STURMINSTER Newton eventer William Fox-Pitt won his third Rolex Kentucky title in five years after a nerveless showjumping performance on Bay My Hero.
The 45-year-old Olympian had to jump clear or the season’s opening four-star event would have gone to American Lauren Kieffer and Veronica.
But Fox-Pitt, who won at Ken-tucky in 2010 with Cool Mountain and two years ago aboard Parklane Hawk, delivered an immaculate round to finish on 44.0 penalties for the dressage, cross-country and showjumping phases.
Kieffer took second with a score of 46.7, with another American combination – Buck Davidson and Bally-noe Castle – finishing third.
Fox-Pitt, the overnight leader on Bay My Hero after a cross-country clear round inside the allocated time, finished ninth on his second ride Seacookie, while fellow British challenger Sarah Bullimore was 13th on Reve du Rouet.
The Dorset rider’s victory also installed him as clear leader in the 2013-14 FEI Classics Series after three of the six counting events as he warmed up for next month’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials in impressive fashion.
The foundation for Fox-Pitt’s latest four-star triumph was built during the cross-country on Saturday, when he produced another riding masterclass.
“He went superbly,” said Fox-Pitt, reflecting on 11-year-old Bay My Hero’s performance.
“He’s not that experienced at this level, but he gave me a confident ride. He felt fantastic.”