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Comentamos ayer que M. Jung / ROCANA lo tenía difícil con cuatro conjuntos a menos del derribo. No se trataba de un acierto sino de un comentario dentro de la lógica más aplastante. Así ha sido. No obstante, también comentamos que ROCANA se enganchó fuertemente en un salto, y que ello en frío podría tener consecuencias, no ha sido así y por supuesto lo deseábamos y nos alegramos. Sin embargo, también hay que decir que aunque ROCANA fue finalmente aceptada en la inspecccion antes fue al "holding box". Respecto a esto último hay que hacer la consideración que hoy en el salto en pista a ROCANA la hemos visto bien al igual que a la mayoría lo que indica a nuestra manera de ver que el cross del día anterior aunque fue fuerte no fue en absoluto nocivo para los caballos ni física ni mentalmente (no se les humilló, ¡qué importante!).


Vamos a los últimos (los de posibilidades de ganar). La excepción hay que hacerla con Oliver Townend que tenía dos caballos entre los primeros, con lo cual se le adelanta KING JOULES con el que era 4º. Comete un derribo y pasa al puesto 6º.


La estadounidense L. Kieffer / VERMICULUS era 10ª y el recorrido sin falta la lleva al puesto 4º. Posiblemente el recorrido de pista más bonito.


El australiano nacionalizado estadounidense P. Dutton era 8º con Z, pero asimismo un recorrido limpio le lleva al puesto 4º.


La estadounidense M. Little / SCANDALOUS era 6ª con 32.8. Su recorrido sin falta la lleva al puesto 3º.


La estadounidense L. Synmarsky / DONNER era 4ª y un derribo la lleva al puesto 6º.


Seguidamente lo hace Oliver Townend / COOLEY MASTER CLASS que con 28.7 puntos era 3º. Muy buen recorrido sin falta que le llevan a ser líder provisionalmente pues quedan dos por competir. Con el caballo irlandés el año pasado ganó el CIC*** de Burham Market como en 2016, en 2013 el CCI** de Ballindenisk...


Seguidamente compite el australiano Christopher Burron / NOBILIS (Hannnoveriano de 2005, Nobre-Gem Master xx / Lemon xx-Blauer Reiter) que es 2º con 27.9. Si hace 0 consigue arrebatarle el liderato a Townend. Sin embargo, comete dos derribos que le llevan hasta el puesto 9º. Caballo medio hermano de NEXXUS (Nobre) que montaba el gaditano E. Benítez. El conjunto en 2016 ganó el cuatro estrellas de Bughley...


Finaliza el gran Michael Jung / ROCANA que va ganando con 27.5. Para seguir con el triunfo (hubiera sido el 4º consecutivo en este CCI**** de Kentucky) tiene que hacer el recorrido sin falta, pero comete un derribo que le hace ser 2º, siendo el triunfo para Oliver con COOLEY MASTER CLASS.


O. Townend el año pasado ganó el CCI**** de Burghley y oro equipos en el Cto. de Europa; en 2009 oro equipos en el Cto de Europa, CCI*** Burghley y Badminton (2º en 2014 con ARMADA el CDE propioi hermano de NEREO ganador el la última edición con A. Nicholson); en 2007 oro equipos Cto. de Europa; en 2006 compitió en los JEM; ha ganado muchos CCI*** y CIC***...


Ya la semana que viene tenemos el gran Badminton (compite el español Carlos Díaz / JUNCO CP) que coincide en fechas con el Cto. de España y con el CSI***** Global Champions Tour de Madrid (sin comentarios).


Oliver Townend compite en el próximo Badminton con COOLEY SRS (ISH de 2007, Ramiro B / Killteaiy Spring-Sky Boy xx / King of Diamonds), por tanto medio hermano de COOLEY MASTER CLASS (Ramiro B), con el que ganó el año pasado el Campeonato de Europa por equipos (individualmente eliminado), en 2015 el CCI*** de Ballindenisk... El jinete ganó en 2009 Badminton con el tordo FLINT CURTIS (caballo británico de 1996, William Curtis xx / John Ogaun), con el que en septiembre fue componente del equipo que ganó el Campeonato de Europa en Saumur, aunque fue eliminado a nivel individual en la última inspección, prueba en que participaba el español Albert Hermoso con OBELIX.


Nuesto deseo de mejoría al jinete de completo español y amigo Ramón Beca que ha tenido un accidente a caballo con fractura de omoplato y costillas y  que está dolorido, pero totalmente fuera de peligro.


Oliver Townend


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Oliver Townend (GBR) and Cooley Master Class are the winners of the 2018 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event

In a nail-biting finish filled with gasps and thrills, Oliver Townend of Great Britain did the seemingly impossible: He beat Germany’s Michael Jung at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event.

Standing in third overnight, he jumped a gorgeous fault-free show jumping round about Cooley Master Class, finishing on his dressage score of 28.7 penalties and setting up the showdown with overnight leader Jung on Fischerrocana FST. When the German pair dropped a rail at fence 5, the victory was Townend’s. Jung would finish second (31.5).

“Obviously its a fantastic feeling,” Townend, 35, Dudleston Heath, Ellesmere, Shropshire, England, said. “I had to do a bit of arm-twisting to get the horses here as there was no funding from Britain to come here this year. The owners gambled on me to win their money back, and I’m pleased the horses have come through with great results and that I’ve repaid the owners’ gamble on me.”

American pair Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous also put in a double-clear round to move up into third overall, to win the Land Rover/USEF National CCI**** Championship as the highest-placed Americans with a score of 32.8.

“She is a diva and is notoriously a terror in the stable,” Little, 36, Frederick, Md., said of “Kitty” a 13-year-old Oldenburg.  “But she knows her people, her groom is with her at all times, and she’s very trusting. She has an incredible sense of the moment and loves performing for a crowd. She’s  real princess, which was a concern early on, as we wondered was she too delicate and fragile and careful for eventing? But, she’s become a courageous horse, and she gives you 150 percent of all she has.”

The morning started with a dramatic turn when Fischerrocana was sent to the holding box during the final horse inspection, as was second-placed Christopher Burton of Australia with Nobilis 18. As the crowd held their breath, the ground jury accepted both horses upon re-presentation.

Early on in the show jumping, rails fell, but it was also clear course designer Richard Jeffrey had measured the course tightly, and even horses who were jumping clean were having multiple time penalties.

The first to post a double-clear round was Kim Severson and Cooley Cross Boarder (21st/55.9) and the crowd roared their approval. As the top horses came in one by one, the tension ratcheted up. In the end, only seven would complete the show jumping with no jumping or time penalties, and those that could climbed up the order.

Townend had come into the show jumping with Cooley Master Class in third and MHS King Joules tied for fourth. He went early on King Joules and lowered a rail, so he cantered in aboard Master Class, all business. The bay gelding jumped his heart out, putting pressure on Burton and Jung.

Burton would lower two rails, and the crowd grow grew silent as Jung, the Land Rover Kentucky winners for the last three years, cantered in. At fence 5, the 13-year-old German-bred mare stood off the triple bar and just tipped the front rail.

“I’m very happy about Rocana, a little more sad about me,” said a circumspect Jung, 35, Horb, Germany. “It was my mistake, I was too far away from this fence. My mare tried hard, and it was a good round, only one down, but it was one down too much. But it was a very nice week here in Kentucky. I really like this event, it’s beautiful and I’m happy to be here.”

When Jung faulted, Townend covered his face with his hands in disbelief before dissolving into tears.

Ultimately, three others besides Townend would finish on their dressage scores: Phillip Dutton/Z (33.7/4th), Sharon White/Cooley On Show (35.6/7th) and Will Coleman/Tight Lines (38.3/12th).

Townend has had Cooley Master Class since he was a 4-year-old and says he has always been a barn favorite. “He came right at the end of a period where I had sold a lot of my good horses to set my life up and buy a property,” he said. “ He came right at the right time, and when I sat on him, I said ‘one way or another we’re finding a way to keep this one.’

“I was lucky to sell to him to someone who let me keep the ride, and he’s never really let us down,” he continued. “He had a couple of niggles injury-wise, at certain stages in his career. At times we thought, ‘Will he ever come through with what he can really do?’ But these last two seasons he toughened up, and we learned more about him and how to manage him. He’s always been cheeky and talented and I’m very pleased for him to come through with it.”

Townend also finished seventh on King Joules. “(With) Joules, I’m just thrilled, really pleased. If you’d wanted me to sign a piece of paper saying I’d have one down before the round, I’d have happily signed for that. He is the most difficult horse I’ve ever ridden and also the most talented. For him to put up the performance this week he did, I’m just as happy as I am with the winner.”

The winner takes home a check for $130,000, and for his seventh-placed finish Townend adds an additional $14,000, making it a profitable weekend for his team. MHS King Joules and Cooley Master Class are both 13-year-old Irish Sport Horses.

For his victory, Townend will also receive a one-year lease on a Land Rover Discovery, and he got to take a victory lap in the car. He zoomed around the ring to the roar of the crowd. When asked how fast he was going, he replied with a dry laugh, “I don’t know, the man in the passenger seat was screaming too loud.”

Townend has a reason to be happier than most with his win, as this victory is his second leg of the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing. A hefty cash prize  of $350,000 goes to the winner of Mitsubishi Motors Badminton, Land Rover Burghley and Land Rover Kentucky. Townend won Burghley last September aboard Ballaghmor Class, who is entered at Badminton next week, along with Cooley SRS. If he wins there, he will only be the third person in history to take the Grand Slam. Previous winners were Jung in 2016 and Pippa Funnel in 2003.

“I’m very fortunate to have two nice horses also belonging to (Cooley Master Class’ owner Angela Hislop), and we’re living in dream world,” Townend said. “She came up to me about six years ago and said if she was going to own horses for me she wanted a four-star winner and a British team horse, and now we’ve had both. So, we’re both living in dream world, and hopefully it will continue for another week–please.”

In the Dubarry of Ireland Nations Team Challenge, Team Germany/Great Britain/Australia/Poland (Jung/Fischerrocana FST, Burton/Nobilis 18, Oliver Townend/MHS King Joules, Pawel Spisak/Banderas) maintained their top spot, winning with a final score of 102.7, over Team USA (108) and Team Canada (244.2).

Mark your calendars now for the 2019 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, April 25-28.

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