Ahh, Rolex. One of these days I'd like to have a Rolex watch to call my own. I may be waiting a very long time, but that's ok.
In the meantime, I get to witness great riding a sportsmanship every April at the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event, held in Lexington, KY, this week! It's our nation's only 4**** event, which basically means it's Olympic, World Championship caliber. Only the creme de la creme of the sport get to compete in this event. And for us eventers, most riders are household names. People we discuss like we're on a first name basis with them.
The beauty of eventing is that while we're all competitive, the support of your fellow competitors is unlike any other sport I've experienced. And everyone - from the top level riders to the weekend amateurs - will always lend a hand, whether to help or give you a high five after that killer cross country run.
This year, we have the opportunity to watch live and be a part of such a big event, even if we're sitting on our couches, or at our desks at work (yes - I give you permission), because the USEF Network is airing it all online - free! If you're me, you'll drag your computer out to your field with a lawn chair, sipping a spiked lemonade while your horses munch on spring grass. (Zeus usually comes over to investigate a) what I'm watching and b) what I'm drinking.)
Here is the schedule lineup:
Thursday AND Friday, from 9 AM to 3:30 PM ET, Dressage will be shown here.
On Saturday, from 9AM-3:30 PM ET, the Cross Country will be shown here.
And on Sunday, from 11:30 AM - 2 PM ET, the finale - Show Jumping - will be shown here. NBC Sports Television will also be airing the show jumping - live - from 2PM to the end.
Riders to watch for:
Laine Ashker riding Anthony Patch (pictured above in Cross Country). Laine's horse, Al, is an ex-racehorse who has made it to the top in Eventing. I think Laine is fabulous because she is one of the few riders who makes sure her lip gloss is on before riding Cross Country. I can relate! I think Laine is a rising star in the sport and is definitely going places. Susan Salk from Off Track Thoroughbreds did a great story on them, which you can read here. Laine had a devastating loss and yet she rose above it - all at previous Rolex events.
William Fox-Pitt riding....well, he's riding 4 horses. He's the busiest guy at Rolex this year and when you see him ride, you'll know why. He's super tall and lanky, and no one can ride a 4* course like him. He hails from Great Britain, and I'm excited to see him go on US soil!
Phillip Dutton riding Tru Luck and Fernhill Eagle. Phillip is one of those guys who puts in consistent rides on every horse. He's a pleasure to watch.
Last year, 10 horses in the top 20 at Rolex were ex-racehorses. This year, 51% of the horses entered are Thoroughbreds, which makes me very excited (Zeus, are you listening?!).
So pick your favorites, set your Outlook Calendar, and enjoy the Rolex experience!