Welcome to Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by Bridgestone – and the first day of dressage. We had just enough time to get to the stadium where we took a few pix of Sinead Halpin and “Tate” – Manoir de Carneville, who performed the test ride. Last year they finished third at Rolex, winning the USET Foundation Pinnacle Cup as the highest-placed US rider/horse combination as well as Best Conditioned Horse.
Dressage Test Rider Sinead Halpin & Manoir de Carneville, highest placed Americans at Rolex 2011 when they finished third. © Lauren R Giannini
Dubarry Style Award Winners!!!
Dubarry Boots awarded their Style Awards last night at the competitors’ and sponsors’ cocktail party (we weren’t invited this year, boo hoo, even though we got to go last year & get pix) and the winners are Ta-DAH!!! Karen O’Connor and Doug Payne!!!
Dubarry Style Award winner Karen O'Connor & Mr. Medicott at the first veterinary jog - fashionable in white & 3-inch heels & svelte - rewarded with a pair of bling boots. © Lauren R Giannini
Doug Payne, in his Featured Rider Blog for RK3DE.com , said towards the end of part 4: “I’m just very lucky to be riding such a fabulous horse [Running Order] and have this opportunity. I fully intend to make the most of it.” So far, so good, and a pair of our fave bling boots thrown into the bargain!
Doug Payne & Running Order cut a dashing figure that earned them the nod from the Dubarry of Ireland "ground jury' and a pair of the bling boots. © Beth Harpham/equidigital.com
Important SmartPak Announces Cross-Country Course Walk Time/Day Change at Rolex
The SmartPak sponsored course walk will take place Friday morning at 11:30!!! NOT today (Thursday) at 3:30. The course walk riders are Boyd Martin and Allison Springer, so no change there. Meet up at the start box. Stop by the booth in the Sponsor’s Fair asap to get your SmartPak goodie bag as they aren’t going to last very long on a first come, first serve basis! All sorts of shopping at SmartPak in the Sponsor Village and all sorts of fun. Check out this photo…
3, 2, 1 - PULL !!! SmartPak staff at Rolex Kentucky 3-day event, presented by Bridgestone, demonstrate Point Two Hybrid Air Jacket: Megan Gardiner pulls the activation key of Kristen Lindhom's protective Air Two vest, simulating what happens when rider gets separated from saddle and the CO2 cannister immediately fills the vest with air, protecting the rider's torso and collar area before before he/she can hit the ground, thereby reducing the impact of a crash landing on terra firma. © Lauren R Giannini
Flair Sponsors Two XC course walks
On Thursday at 4 pm, Phillip Dutton will conduct a cross-country course walk that concentrates on the four most difficult complexes. Limited to 50 participants, you can register with a Flair representative just outside the Bit of Britain tent between 10:30 and 1 pm today. The second cross-country walk with Eric Dierks and Ralph Hill takes place Friday morning at 10:30 – open to all, meet at the start box.
Practical Horseman’s Jimmy Wofford Cross-Country Course Walk
Jimmy Wofford, one of our favorites, will spend about two hours on Friday, starting 30 minutes after the final dressage ride of the day. Meet Jimmy at the first water complex: according to the program this would be the HSBC Water Park, #5abcd, which is up toward the start of the course (over the hill from the terraced area used for the vet jogs, in case that helps you to find your way). You are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing and footwear and to be prepared for a couple of hours on foot – shooting sticks are allowed, by the way. A bottle of water might be a good idea, too. Enjoy Jimmy – he came out of retirement to pilot The Optimist for Karen O’Connor back in 1986 around Rolex, besting all the younger whippersnappers. According to a wonderful VHS tape we have of the XC (must get it transferred to DVD), the on-dit at Rolex that year happened to be along the lines of “it ain’t over till the fat boy rides!” Well, we think that Jimmy is a substantial individual, mind & body, and he will entertain and educate you on this course walk – betcher boots!
Dubarry of Ireland announced its Dubarry Team Pose contest on Facebook – you could win a trip for two to Ireland, home of the Galway boot! If that live link doesn’t work, just go to FB & key in Dubarry of Ireland, scroll down in the timeline and the post re the Dubarry Team Pose contest is there. Contest opened today and if you act quickly you will have up to four opportunities to enter and that means more chances to win! Not sure if the rules allow professionals, sigh, because we love Ireland, but you can avail yourself of this grand opportunity to visit the ould sod!
Dubarry of Ireland boots suit working press 24/7, dawn til dusk, indoors at the press center and out in the fields. Check out Dubarry's contest for a trip for two to Ireland on their facebook page. © photo by Michelle Dunn, on the Rolex staff of Classic Communications/Rolex Chief Press Officer Marty Bauman.
Now, the morning session is complete and we’re waiting on dressage scores to let you know the early leaders before we wrap up this post, but meanwhile here’s a heartwarming story about three of eventing’s tough guy riders who made a visit to the local hospital and brightened up the children’s day – win-win on both sides, you might say… Press release and photos courtesy of Classic Communications:
Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event Riders Visit Kentucky Children’s Hospital
For Further Information Contact:
Marty Bauman, Press Chief, (508) 698-6810, email@example.com
Lexington, KY—April 24, 2012—Three riders in Lexington, KY to compete in the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by Bridgestone, took time out from their preparations to visit patients at Kentucky Children’s Hospital.
Three 2012 Rolex Kentucky riders visited patients at Kentucky Children's Hospital: Michael Pollard, Buck Davidson and Clark Montgomery. Photo Courtesy of Classic Communications
Prior to the opening of competition, Bruce “Buck” Davidson, Jr., Clark Montgomery and Michael Pollard stopped by the hospital to visit with young patients.
“It was a very moving experience,” said Davidson, who, along with Pollard, won a team Gold Medal at last year’s Pan American Games while also adding the individual Bronze. “Seeing these children reminded all of us just how fortunate we are. It really was a privilege to be able to spend some time with them.”
Buck Davidson, individual bronze and team gold medalist at 2011 Guadalajara Pan American Games, brought along his gold for patients to wear. The riders were armed with Rolex posters and pins as gifts for the youngsters.Photo Courtesy of Classic Communications.
In addition to bringing Davidson’s Pan Am Gold Medal for the children to wear, the riders also brought “Rolex Kentucky” posters and pins. They signed autographs, posed for pictures and took time to speak with the youngsters, asking if they ride, have pets or plan to come watch next year’s “Rolex Kentucky” event.
“The children all had great attitudes and very positive outlooks,” said Montgomery. “I hope they enjoyed our visit.”
The visit was organized jointly by the Professional Riders Organization (PRO) and Equestrian Events, Inc., organizer of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event and Ariat Kentucky Reining Cup which runs alongside “Rolex Kentucky.”
“The visit was very worthwhile,” said Pollard. “I hope it is something that we can do again next year.”
Okay, here’s the RK3DE leaderboard where you can check up on results. Right now, Karen O’Connor & Veronica are in the lead on 47.8pp, followed by Andrew Nicholson (NZL) & Calico Joe on 48.7pp, with Becky Holder & Courageous Comet in third on 48.8pp. Keep in mind that there are still a bunch of horses & riders to go and dressage judges are notorious for saving the lowest scores for later in the schedule – at least, that’s what it looks like to us. So, there’s lots of room to ring up the changes in the leaderboard. BUT here’s the great news, dressage scores are just one phase of the three-day! So, by the time we get to Friday afternoon’s press conference after dressage with the top three, the riders will all be looking toward the cross-country on Saturday which will paint a great picture of who might be in the catbird seat for the show jumping finale on Sunday.
So, check out the official website for Rolex Kentucky and stop back often or visit Sidelines on Facebook for updates about what’s happening in the horse world or Sidelines magazine and be sure to enter Sidelines’ Bad Helmet Hair contest!
More anon from Rolex Kentucky!