Lexington, Kentucky, USA – May 01, 2022 – It was a wire-to-wire win for Germany’s Michael Jung (GER) and fischerChipmunk FRH, who set a new record for a winning score in the Land Rover Kentucky Three–Day Event CCI5*-L, presented by Mars Equestrian™. The host nation didn’t disappoints as USA’s Doug Payne and Quantum Leap (38.4) claimed bronze honors. Payne, as the highest-placed American, also took home the Land Rover/USEF CCI5*-L National Championship presented by Mars Equestrian™ in front of a crowd of 22,185 spectators.
The show jumping course, designed by Steve Stephens, garnered only six double-clear rounds, with an additional four pairs leaving the rails up and coming home with only time penalties. Clean rounds were few and far between, with time running tight and rails falling. Yasmin Ingham (GBR) added 0.8 time penalties, but it was good enough for second after USA’s Boyd Martin (USA) and Tsetserleg TSF lowered two rails to fall to fourth.
This was something of a bittersweet day for Doug Payne (USA), who experienced the highs and lows of sport all at once. He was thrilled with his result aboard Quantum Leap, a Holsteiner gelding he bought as a weanling, whose double clear round today moved him into third and into the National Championship. However, he also announced the retirement of his long-time partner and Tokyo Olympic mount Vandiver, who had a tough weekend and finished in 24th.
“This is a very tough day actually,” Payne admitted. “We bought (Quantum Leap) as a weanling from (breeder) Elizabeth Callahan, and we now have four horses she’s bred (including both of his CCI4*-S mounts Starr Witness and Camarillo). He was the start of the pipeline of horses coming in. For him to get here … he blew my expectations away and he just continues to get better and better. For an 11-year-old in only his third five-star, I couldn’t ask much more.
“I’m so thankful for the group that owns him with us (which includes, Payne, his wife Jessica and Susan Drillock),” continued Payne. “It’s incredible, to sit here and have the privilege to ride such wonderful horses and so many people come together to make that happen. I’d just like to thank them.”
While Payne is sad to see the end of his time with Vandiver, the excitement of good young horses coming along, and taking home the national championship helps ease the sting.
“It’s difficult today, how I’m feeling (about winning the national championship). It’ll sink in a few days,” Payne said. “It’s a lifetime of work, but I’m driven to always do better. Having (Vandiver) retire and having another horse step into his shoes (with) an incredibly bright future … I’d like to focus on that.”
Sunday awards also means a chance to recognize some additional winners. This year Ingham took home the highest-placed young rider, while Jung took highest-placed international rider. Canada’s Lisa Marie Fergusson and Honor Me took home the prize for the highest-placed sole owner. The grooms of the top three horses also got rewarded, with cash and prizes going to Lena Steger (fischerChipmunk FRH), Alison Bell (Banzai Du Loir) and Courtney Carson (Quantum Leap).
Source: Press Release (edited by Marty Bauman / Classic Communications for the Land Rover Three Day Event
Photos: © Michelle Dunn Photo / redbayphoto.com