Great Britain’s Mary King is the one to beat in tomorrow’s final jumping phase at the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event, second leg of the HSBC FEI Classics™. The Devon-based rider holds the lead aboard Kings Temptress while the Portuguese-bred Fernhill Urco is two penalties behind in second.

“I never dreamed that I would be in this position when I left England,” said King. “They are two very different horses. Kings Temptress is very experienced at this level and was fluent all the way round. Fernhill Urco has no experience at this level and he was a bit green at the first water but he improved the further he went.”

A clear jumping round for 2.8 time penalties sees Australia’s Clayton Fredericks in third with Be My Guest, a rise of seven places through the scoreboard following the Dressage.

“The first time I walked the course this week it was under water but today I thought it was perfect going,” said Fredericks. “After watching Mary spin round inside the time I thought the ground was going to be fast but actually it did take its toll, particularly later in the day.”

America’s hopes rest with Sinead Halpin, whose inexperience at this level did not show as she steered Manoir De Carneville home clear to move into fourth place.

“I was excited when I walked the course because I thought it would really suit my horse,” said Halpin. “I felt he was well prepared coming here as we went to Boekelo last fall and he coped with the heavy ground and large crowds.”

Final statistics showed that just three of the 41 starters — Kings Temptress, Hannah Sue Burnett’s St Barths (fifth) and Jessica Phoenix’s Exponential (eighth) — completed within the 11min 11secs optimum time while eight combinations were eliminated and three horses were retired. There were several falls, including Dressage leader Tiana Coudray (Ringwood Magister), third-placed Allison Springer (Arthur) and William Coleman (Twizzel) who was well placed in fifth.

Questions were spread throughout Derek Di Grazia’s 28-fence track and 12 of the finishers did so with jumping faults to add. Notable riders to be penalised included Badminton champion Mark Todd when Grass Valley ran past the first of two offset brushes three from home while Great Britain’s James Alliston incurred 20 penalties in the final water when Jumbo’s Jake refused. Todd is currently lying in 18th place.

Course-designer Derek Di Grazia commented that the final figures “look fine to me. There was a lot to do out there and riders had to concentrate from the first fence all the way to the end.”

1 Kings Temptress/Mary King (GBR) 47.7 + 0 = 47.7
2 Fernhill Urco/Mary King (GBR) 41.7 + 8 = 49.7
3 Be My Guest/Clayton Fredericks (AUS) 50.2 + 2.8 = 53
4 Manoir De Carneville/Sinead Halpin (USA) 48.7 + 4.4 = 53.1
5 St Barths/Hannah Sue Burnett (USA) 53.3 + 0 = 53.3
6 Neuf Des Coeurs/William Fox-Pitt (GBR) 53.2 + 0.8 = 54
7 ODT Sonas Rovatio/Oliver Townend (GBR) 55.8 + 2.4 = 58.2
8 Exponential/Jessica Phoenix (CAN) 60 + 0 = 60
9 Remington XXV/Boyd Martin (USA) 49 + 12.4 = 61.4
10 Tipperary Liadhnan/Kim Severson (USA) 48.5 + 14 = 62.5