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Kim Severson and Winsome Adante Claim Second Victory in Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI****

Eventing Press Release

Lexington, KY—April 25, 2004 — Kim Severson and Winsome Adante led the field from start to finish to claim victory in the 2004 CCI**** Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by Bayer, held April 22-25, at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY.

The winner in 2002, a broken leg prevented Severson from defending her title last year, but Three-Day Eventing fans were thrilled to see the 30-year-old Virginia native return to the winner’s circle. Severson of Keene, VA, took the early lead on Friday with a dressage performance that garnered a score of 37 penalty points from the international panel of judges. Throughout the next two phases, cross-country and stadium jumping, Severson and Winsome Adante were perfection personified, adding nothing to their opening score to claim their second Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event at the four-star level. Riding Over The Limit, Severson also won the three-star division of the event in 1999, the final year the CCI*** was held.

“I feel more connected with Winsome Adante than I have in the past, he feels stronger and more together,” said Severson who earned $60,000 US in prize money as well as a Rolex timepiece to add to her collection.

The previous riders all posted clear rounds to put the pressure firmly on Severson’s shoulders, but neither she nor the 11-year-old English thoroughbred gelding owned by Plain Dealing Farm, Inc., let it interfere with their game plan. Having contributed to the Team Gold Medal effort at the 2002 World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain, Severson is now hoping to be selected for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, but is cautious about her chances.

“We’ve been in this position before where it has looked good and we didn’t get to go, so it’s way to soon to tell,” commented Severson.

Phillip Dutton of Australia and Nova Top finished as the runner-ups and were awarded the Carimati Cup as the highest-placed foreign combination. Dutton was one of seven riders to complete course designer Michael Etherington-Smith’s without penalty, a feat he repeated on Sunday over the stadium jumping test set by Richard Jeffery to finish on his dressage score of 43 penalty points.

“He’s an interesting horse,” reflected Dutton of the 13-year-old English thoroughbred gelding owned by Shannon Stinson. “Someone asked me this morning if I ever thought I would get this far with him and I’m not sure that I did. His dressage is getting a lot better, he’s turned out to be a cross-country machine and in show jumping he just tries so hard.”

Abigail Lufkin of Middleburg, VA, enjoyed a successful return to the sport following a four-year hiatus while she completed her graduate studies in California. Like Severson and Dutton, Lufkin also added nothing to her dressage score of 45.8 penalty points riding Kildonan Tug, an 11-year-old Australian thoroughbred gelding.

“One of the things I like best about this sport is that you experience such a range of emotion,” noted Lufkin, 33. “You have the nerves and you have the adrenaline, and you also care how your friends are doing and feel for them if they have a bad day.”

William Fox-Pitt finished fourth with a score of 47.4 riding Ballincolla, the same position as in 2002 when he made his Rolex Kentucky debut aboard Stunning although he did one better in 2003, finishing third aboard Moon Man. Rounding out the top five was Julie Richards of Douglas, GA, riding Lufkin’s former mount, Jacob Two Two.

Offering $190,000 in prize money, the CCI**** Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event was a qualifying competition for the 2004 Olympic Games as well as the seventh competition for the USET Foundation Pinnacle Cup.

Photo by Marc Manning