sport

Fox-Pitt wins again in Kentucky

British 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 Kentucky 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 Ballynoe 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.

Fox-Pitt'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.

But it proved a day to forget for world number one Andrew Nicholson and his reigning Burghley champion Avebury as they dropped from seventh place to 21st after having six showjumping fences down .

The foundation for Dorset-based Fox-Pitt's latest four-star triumph was built during 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 cross-country performance.

"He's not that experienced at this level, but he gave me a confident ride. He felt fantastic.

"We may have looked a bit messy in the first water complex, but it didn't feel as bad as it may have looked!"