Saturday, April 30, 2016

a brief peek into Rolex shenanigans

Happy Saturday everyone! Hope you're all off to a great start to your weekend! As you might imagine, things are going pretty freaking swimmingly down here in Lexington (well, technically we're staying in Louisville but that's mostly besides the point, it's still pretty awesome).

Day one at Rolex was incredible - here are a couple snaps of how we've spent the time.

Obviously you can't come to Kentucky and not sample some bourbon, right? This stuff was fantastic too - you could smell it the moment it hit the table! 

And right off the bat we I hit up some of the shopping vendors, picking up this baseball cap by request for Brita. Also, eye spy with my little eye a particularly famous body of water in the background.... 

Another notable activity of the day was picking up another full set of tickets at the box office, given the fact that I forgot my originals at home... Whoopsies... Seriously, I don't recommend trying this yourself folks bc I just about gave myself a heart attack when I realized what had happened before boarding my plane. Ugh. Thank god tho, the powers that be at Rolex are very well organized and I was able to get in with practically no headache at all. Phew! 

Anyways, once on the ground it was smoooooooth sailing! Yesterday's weather was perfect - couldn't ask for anything better. Mid 70s and sunny with an occasional slight breeze. The perfect setting for interspersing walking around and browsing with watching the dressage tests. And among the spectacles we got to see while out exploring were these awesome Paso Finos on their way to a demonstration. These little horses are just soooo fun to watch!

And quite unexpectedly we also stumbled across this familiar looking mustang and his 4* rider/trainer. I'm personally a big fan of Elisa Wallace and really enjoy following along with her helmet camera footage and vlogs so it was pretty awesome to get to watch her work her mustangs up close and in person. We missed the demo, but just seeing her and Rune (maybe, not totally sure actually) go through their routine was pretty cool. And obvi she was bareback and basically bridleless (just a rope halter). #lifegoals y'all

Of course, the real show was going on in the big ring: Day 2 of the dressage tests. And the atmosphere was electric. I probably took about 18 thousand pictures of all the various tests we saw, but they more or less all look pretty much exactly like this shot of Alexandra Knowles and Sound Prospect. So I'm undecided on whether I'll even post them all or not... Maybe not, since there are so many other pictures to share. We will see.

Suffice it to say that there was some very impressive fancy prancing going on. I missed Michael Jung's test, as well as most of the top 10s, unfortunately. But I did get to see example after example of world class riders working through tension on very very FIT horses who wanted nothing more than to go gallop across country. More than a few erupted into rears or spooks upon hearing the applause following their final halt lol.

Other fun moments from the dressage rings included watching the riders warm up - including attending Allison Springer's seminar with the USEF's Event College. She told us a little bit about her own feelings going into the test, and described some of what we were seeing with Kim Severson's and Sinead Halpin's (pictured above) warm ups. Oh and we also got to see David O'Connor wandering around doing h is coaching thing. So many big names in such a small place - obvi I had to pull out my camera and be a total creeper fan girl haha.

Obviously there will be way more to write about cross country later (seeing as the day hasn't even started yet at the writing of this post) - but we took advantage of yesterday's pleasant weather to walk most of the course. It looks FUN. Maybe not as many super technical questions, but still a serious test of accuracy and maybe, beyond all else, fitness. We shall see how it all goes if the weather turns particularly nasty today. 

Anyway, after watching a few more dressage tests, we booked it over to Keeneland to catch the last few races - especially given that it was the last day of the meet until this fall. Guys. What a COOL place to be. It's unlike any racetrack I've ever been to (mostly bc I've only ever really been to Pimlico haha). The horses were all incredible (this guy above shares a sire with Bali - the late Arch, may he rest in peace) and the grounds were spectacular. 

We had a total blast running back and forth from the paddock to the betting windows to the track to take in as much as possible and watch it all. And actually all of us won at least something from at least one race!!! Predictably not as much won as was lost... but it was solid good fun all the same. Definitely worth the little side trip, even if it meant we missed Allison and Arthur's riveting test to finish off the day.

Anyways, that's just a brief little looksie into how our weekend has been going so far. Can't wait to see how the rest of the event unfolds!! Obvi I'll have plenty to share later - including tons more random photos (esp of stuff from sponsor village etc!) so stay tuned!!


  1. That is an excellent start! Have a blast today!!

  2. I love Keeneland! Probably the nicest track I've ever been to, and I've visited maybe not a LOT, but several.

  3. Totally jealous of your trip! Looks like so much fun so far!

  4. Looks so fun! I used to live in Louisville

  5. Keeneland is one of the prettiest places on earth, period.

  6. Weather looks great and the trip sounds like a blast so far!

  7. Awesome!! Hope you enjoy the rest of your time there!

  8. So fun! My sister is in college in Louisville and we go to the track whenever I visit. I don't really follow racing but it's so exciting in person- and fun to bet on!

  9. Oh wow, it looks like an amazing time already, enjoy your trip- looking forward to reading more!!

  10. How much fun! I hope I get to go one day!

  11. Yas yas yassss! Omg so jealous!

  12. So jealous! Sounds like such a fun time!