It has certainly been a whirlwind these last few weeks. Last weekend, I traveled with the eventing team here at school to Lexington, Kentucky for the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, #RK3DE. Just like last year, it was an amazing experience. Tiring, exhilarating, hot, cold, wet, all of it.
I took on the task of driving the eight hour journey to Lexington, and my co-pilot, Molly, was in charge of documenting the journey and tagging the official Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event social media pages to share our “story.” Please enjoy our cute and awkward car pictures (taken while the car was not moving might I add. #safetyfirst).
Although the trek to Kentucky was a very rainy one on Thursday, the next day was beautiful for the Dressage portion. We were able to watch some of our favorite horse and rider pairs, including Tim Bourke and Luckaun Quality, aka “Obie.” Molly was especially excited to cheer on Tim and Obie as she has ridden in clinics with Tim and he frequents her home riding facility in the summer. We were both happy to see him finish in 11th place with great rides that weekend.
We were also excited to meet up with friends we knew from Wilson while in Kentucky. Shoshana, a recent graduate of Wilson and fellow Equine Journalism major is now a resident of Lexington and worked at Rolex as media. We ran into a few other recent graduates and horse friends while at the park as well. Horses and horse friends everywhere. My kind of weekend.
Cross-country day was rainy and chilly, and stadium day started out sunny then turned to rain. After Molly and our friend, Katie, discovered that their coats were in fact not water-proof while walking around the cross-country course, we went hunting for some rain ponchos. Regardless of the soggy weather, we happily huddled in our raincoats (or ponchos) and under our umbrellas. We considered a bad day of weather at Rolex still a very good day.
I absolutely love attending large-scale equestrian events like this one for several reasons. Number one, being surrounded by wonderful horses for days straight. Number two, being surrounded by so many great and skilled riders. Just like you can pick up some great tips and lessons from auditing clinics, the same can be done at horse shows. Watching, and watching again, excellent riding is a fantastic way to learn and expand your knowledge base as an equestrian and horseman.
Watching all of the great, poised riding this weekend inspired me to improve my own riding, and the mental aspect of riding that must be mastered to climb to such a level as those riding at Rolex have reached. Fear is left behind at the gate. There is complete trust and partnership between horse and rider. Regardless of who wins at the end of the day, it is that passion and teamwork that drives the entire event.
That being said, congratulations are in order for Michael Jung and Fischerrocana of Germany for once again winning the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. It was very well deserved. They are a tremendous example of a horse and rider pair completely in sync and are a pleasure to watch, especially in person.
Here’s to more learning, experiencing, and becoming better horsemen and horsewomen. All while doing it with great people.