On the Line has every excuse for dropping off the Internet blogosphere for a week or so. First of all, there is very little that could top John French’s epic save, as featured in the previous post. Second of all, post-WEF recovery takes up a significant amount of one’s time. Pools need laying next to, cocktails need sipping. . . .well, actually, it seems that it doesn’t matter whether or not it’s season, certain equine bloggers are perpetually buried in “real” work.
And most importantly, just what has been happening in the horse world these past two weeks? All of our top show jumpers have scattered to their respective corners of the world, and keeping track of them all can be like herding cats.
Luckily, the biggest tomcats in that herd have made the job easier, at least for the next three days. Twenty top American riders are all gathered in Leipzig, Germany this weekend for the 2011 World Cup Final of show jumping (and dressage, and driving, and vaulting…) Sadly, On the Line’s expense account did not include plane fare to the Final, so all of that action will have to be followed virtually. The only live feed available in the U.S. is via FEItv.com, and it’s not free. But if you’re willing to plunk down 25.99, you can get coverage off all the happenings in Germany, and join me in hoping that certain dramas do not repeat themselves this year. So far, the U.S. is off to a solid start, with four of our riders placing in the top 12 of Round 1. Full synopsis here, and more on that later.
But wait – that’s not all! As if the World Cup Finals of Show Jumping and Dressage weren’t enough action for one weekend, the U.S. eventing calendar’s biggest weekend is happening closer to home, at the Kentucky Horse Park. The Rolex CCI4* Three Day Event began its dressage phase today under sunny skies (the opposite of yesterday’s exciting weather), with 45 horses and riders qualified to compete.
Although this blog’s first love is show jumping, and although On the Line can’t be in Kentucky this weekend, those are not reasons enough to skip over Rolex completely. After all, On the Line’s official eyes (that would be the talents of Cheval Photos, official Rolex photographer) are on the ground at the Horse Park, bringing us moments like these from now until Sunday:
Katie Ruppel and Sir Donavan. Photo by Cheval Photos
Photo by Cheval Photos
As someone who has no desire whatsoever to fling myself and my horse across ditches, logs and the like, I’ve automatically got the utmost respect for any rider who is brave enough to send in their Rolex entry form. So Katie Ruppel’s moment of bad luck today during the dressage phase was one to empathize with – for whatever reason, her horse just didn’t want to play today. We’ve all been there at one point or another. Better luck next time Katie, and in the meantime, thanks for providing material for some photos that are far more exciting than what we’d get from a “regular” dressage show.
Moving on, and speaking of luck. Allison Springer and Arthur have experienced extraordinary luck, and talent, and fashion sense over the past 36 hours. Allison won best dressed female rider during yesterday’s jog, won a random drawing for a Rolex watch during the competitor’s dinner last night, and stands 1st after day 1 of the dressage phase.
- Allison and Arthur leave the ring after their dressage test -the first go of the day- that earned them the top spot. Photo by Cheval Photos
Allison, like most eventers, is very down to earth and admitted that she was even a little dissapointed after her test, that she thought it could have been better. And as for luck? “You make your own,” she commented. We’ll see about that. Tomorrow the “big guns” of the eventing world will ride their dressage tests, and Allison’s luck could change. On the Line will be watching the livestream, wishing we could be live in Kentucky, but enjoying it all the same from inside an air conditioned apartment. Where will you be?
Like these pictures? Want to see more from Rolex Kentucky? Visit Cheval Photos throughout Rolex weekend for access to the very best moments from Rolex, as captured by award-winning photographer Selena Frederick. You can also follow Cheval on Facebook and Twitter for instant updates.