Our contact on the inside at the Rolex Kentucky 4*, Lee Ann Zobbe, had a great second day at Rolex:
The second day of Rolex draws to a close, we’re sitting in the campground around a fire. I had several meetings to attend today so didn’t get to see all the dressage but did get to see most of the top rides. William Fox-Pitt had a beautiful ride on Chilli Morning. I saw this horse go at Burghley in 2011 when he was still green to the level and was keen to see him go again as I was so impressed with him then, he did not fail to impress. Also got to see Andrew Nicholson’s 2nd place ride and Mary King’s ride on Fernhill Urco; she was clearly a crowd favourite with her cheerful demeanour. I missed Alexandra Knowles on Last Call test but it is really nice to see one of our up & coming riders in the mix in her first trip to Rolex.
I’ve been out to look over my Area for tomorrow; it has two combinations that are later in the course this year, two single fences and two stopping points. We have 20A/B/C, the HSBC FEI Classic TM Normandy Bank complex which is a big bank up to a vertical and then a scamper down to what looks like one of those impossibly skinny skinnies, 24 A/B the Animal Water Park which is a big brush into the water followed by a goose (short route) or a longer route that is a bit more level terrain over a big brush in & a winding path back to a frog, plus two single fences: The Hammock, which is a massive fly fence that’s been on the course many times and (fence 11) and the Hillside Red Cabins (fence 23) which are new this year & very picturesque. The cabins are after a long gallop down from the Normandy Bank, downhill landing on a sweeping turn to the water, it should be an interesting bit of question as the horses are likely to be a bit tired by that point and only 5 from home.
Here’s hoping for tomorrow’s predicted rain to hold off til we’re done for the day tomorrow and an exciting but safe day of sport for everyone tomorrow!
As all great reporters do, Lee Ann has got the inside track from friends she’s seen at Rolex and asked them for their thoughts on the event:
Test drove the Land Rover today…over the obstacle course at a challenging speed of 10 mph (16 kilometers /hour)……and the instructor looks to the right…and asks…whatever are all of those people doing? (500 people on a course walk with Will Coleman leading….) And no one is riding the course right now??? Why do they want to see it without action? Must be a horse thing……
Everyone is hanging around the camping park this evening … and since it is the night before cross country things are a little bit subdued. Even the Canadians are quiet tonight. That – of course – won’t be the case AFTER cross country when this place will liven up quite a bit and there a dozens of parties around the grounds. By the way – you do have to give it up for the Canadians – they certainly do proclaim their heritage. As a percentage there probably are not many of them here … but you can spot them a mile away with all of the red maple leaf flags plastered everywhere around them. But I digress … hanging around the campground and catching up with local and non-local friends alike is a lot of fun. And tomorrow will be even better.
Pony club activities are popular side attractions that are running concurrently this weekend–There are a wide range of demonstrations presented. One of the local pony clubs presents a quadrille, an Eventing 101 exhibition is to introduce visitors to the skills required for each phase of the three day. The Prince Philips Cup is one of the highlights of the demonstration ring as some of the top Pony Clubs compete for the right to have their name affixed to the Prince Philip Cup as the Rolex Pony Club Games champion. There are driving, reining, and other various disciplines demonstrated in the Rolex Three Day celebration of all things horse.
I have been coming to Rolex for the last 29 years. It is amazing to me how much this event has grown over the last three decades. Thirty years ago it was certainly a big show but nothing like it is today. It still is amazing to me how many people come from all over the country to see this event. The horses are the best of the best in the world, for the sport of 3 Day eventing . This event brings eventers from all over the country to share in the love of this sport.