I promised Abby I would publish a post from Rolex, and I intend to keep my promise... Mike and I trucked down to Kentucky on Wednesday afternoon for a spring mini-break. The goal of the trip was to see our first four day event, but we left a day early to get some additional site seeing in. We arrived late (late, late, late) Wednesday at Shaker Village in Pleasant Hill, just outside of Lexington where we stayed until Friday morning. Shaker Village is a wonderful little place to visit, and I think no trip to the Lexington area is complete without a stop there. When my dear friend Anna was a seminary student in Wilmore (between Shaker Village and Lex), I had the chance to visit her; one of the places we visited was Shaker Village, and I was so impressed I wanted to return. The village once housed over 400 Shakers; Shakers were known for their woodworking, farming, and their abstinence, as well as their erratic dancing! The village has been preserved in almost pristine condition. You can see how the shakers lived and worked through mini-museums visits and tours. We went on a nice hike and then spent hours walking around, making friends with all the animals; here are a few of my favorite shots:
Shaker beds = a slim sleep
The drafts, not Rolex contenders ;)
Me and a goat
Me and, er, another goat!?!
On Friday we drove to the KY Horse Park for Day 2 of Rolex; we were able to see about 20 riders complete their dressage tests. Perhaps I am weird, but I don't really get bored watching dressage, and at Rolex, the horses are just fabulous. We took advantage of the great shopping, and I picked up some fun finds, including a new bit and this great shirt:
Today was cross country day, and the weather was looking like it wasn't going to cooperate. However, due to smart organizing and a slow-moving storm, all the riders got on course before 1:30pm, an hour before the storms began. There was even a decent amount of sunshine (hence my sunburned chest). Cross country is surely every eventer's favorite phase, really the reason many event, and the Rolex course is an impressive site. We got to see all the big names go, and Mike took some great photos. Boyd Martin looked calm and confident as did Phillip Dutton. Amy Tryon has some foibles aboard both her horses, which was perhaps to be expected given her injuries this year. I loved watching Snooze Alarm go around the course; he's a striking Anglo-Arab, and he just looks like he loves xc (despite his smaller stature). Karen O'Connon looked strong, of course, and it was a pleasure to watch Kim Severson and Becky Holder. Both of their horses looked really solid. There's something undeniably magnificent about watching sport horse gallop across a field and soar over a 4 foot fence (some with 7 foot spreads). Even non-horse sport fans could get into cross country, if only they knew about it. I left the course today eager for my first horse trial (in only 7 days!). While I don't aspire to go any higher than Novice level, I am an avid fan, and I have great admiration for the riders and horses who give their lives to this sport.
Square halt from Phillip and Waterfront
Lauren Keiffer and the ever adorable Snooze Alarm
Phillip and the blue saddle
The squirrels (as Mike notes "only in eventing will you hear the announcer say (in an British accent, no less) '...over the ducks and onto the squirrels'." ha!
Is that Buck Davidson looking down at the fence? Gasp!
Fabulous shot of William Fox-Pitt, the leader after dressage and xc
4 hours ago