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Phoenix Rising? Canadian Rider In Front After Day One Of Rolex

Michelle Dunn rk3de.com

The first day of dressage at the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event is in the books and WUKY’s Samantha Lederman has this report.

Thursday’s windy conditions were certainly not ideal, flapping flags and tents and spooking the horses, but the eventual leader at the halfway stage of the first phase, Canadian Jessie Phoenix is vastly experienced at this level and it showed. She rode a calm and relaxed test on Don Good’s Pavarotti into first place, just ahead of last year’s National Champion Lauren Kieffer on Mrs Jacqueline Mars’ Vermiculus.

Credit Samantha Lederman
Lauren Kieffer and Vermiculus

Vermiculus is an anglo-arab that Kieffer has ridden since he was a 3 year old and a full brother to her very first event horse, and the first horse she ever rode around the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event.

Lying third after making two expensive mistakes is Frenchman Maxime Livio on Qualao Des Mers.

Credit Samantha Lederman
Maxime Livio andQualao Des Mers

The scoreboard is expected to change by Friday evening with some heavy hitters still to come in the dressage phase, and then the real crux of the competition takes place on Saturday.

All the riders agree that the cross country this year looks especially tough, and with the forecast being hot and humid the weather will likely be a factor as well. 

Lauren Kieffer, Jessie Phoenix and Maxime Livio

Dressage continues Friday. Cross country starts at 10am Saturday, and the competition will be decided on Sunday in the main arena over the stadium fences.

Listeners might remember Lederman and her English accent from when she was a morning news anchor on WUKY from 1999 to 2001.
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