Monday, May 2, 2011

Rolex Cross Country and Freestyle Reining

Saturday the worlds of 3 Day Eventing and Reining intermingled.  It was the setting for one of the most exciting days in the U.S. Eventing world, Rolex Kentucky Cross Country day.  A day where internationally ranked riders and horses go across hill and dale jumping obscenely huge obstacles, splashing through water, jumping in and out of canyons all under a time crunch.  It is completely crazy and COMPLETELY thrilling. 

Leap frog

Cross Country is most riders and my favorite portion of eventing; in truth it is the reason we event.  And Rolex is where the top riders and horses come to play, the setting in at the beautiful Kentucky Horse Park makes it even more magical. As a child this is where I dreamed of coming to one day. (Little did I know I would one day work at an office in the Horse Park.

Saturday turned out to be a beautiful day for cross country. The rain had finally stopped and the temperature only got into the 70's. I met up with some long lost friends from my California riding and Pony Club days (Thank you Facebook!).  I was great seeing them and catching up.  It felt like it was just yesterday that we were out hacking in Briones National Park together, which helps keep the delusion of my age going. ;)  I don't need any more reminders that I am getting ready to celebrate another birthday.

Good pace!
We got to experience our own version of cross country as we walked from fence to fence, the run-off water had created streams and bogs all through the fields.  And smarty-pants me was only wearing tennis shoes, because we had a day and a half of sunshine so I thought everything would be nice and dry. Yeah right.

The excess water did help the Range Rover driving course, where everyday people in possession of a drivers license got to test drive a Range or Land Rover.  My favorite part of this course was the teeter totter.  I can't quite explain how your stomach drops when the teeter totter drops. 

They are trying to balance before they drop down.

After a good day in the sun watching extreme riding I headed over to the Alltech Arena to watch the World Championship Freestyle Reining competition.  I was prepared to see some good reining freestyles but I was taken by surprise to find out that 4 top event riders would be participating...  This should be interesting.

Bellying up to the bar

Watching the event riders try to do sliding stops and spins had good entertainment value.  David O'Connor did a respectable job, enough for him to place sixth.

David O'Connor showing reining skills

Shane Brown and Houston Shine won the night with a great interpretation of the song "In Color" by Jamie Johnson.

It was a busy day that is now full of new memories.  Unfortunately, I still had a whole day of the weekend left to clean the house. sigh

No comments:

Post a Comment