Note: This web page is an unofficial presentation by an individual who has absolutely no connection with Rolex, Equestrian Events, USCTA or any other organizations responsible for producing the Rolex KY 3-Day Event.
Since the CCI *** event previously held here moved to Georgia this year, the Rolex event consisted only of a CCI ****, which meant fewer horses to watch. In spite of that, it was, as expected, an awesome competition, and everybody had fun.
Dressage. We all know I don't watch dressage; I can watch grass grow anytime. So I don't have much to say, or any pictures. There was some fun at the campgrounds, but to avoid incriminating anyone I won't include an extensive narration here.
CROSS-COUNTRY!! For the real fans, also steeplechase and roads and tracks, but who watches those? Before getting into the x-c fun, let's warm up our minds with a little math problem. If a CCI **** cross-country course is roughly 7150 meters long, and has 34 fences, and there are 36 horses competing, starting 5 minutes apart and galloping at an optimum speed of 570 meters per minute, how fast would an aging, out-of-shape photographer have to hobble around the course to get pictures of horses at each fence? Give up? So did I; I always got lost in calculus when we started dealing with imaginary numbers. Instead, I teamed up with the same intrepid Internet Equestrian shutterbugs as last year (some people never learn), and we toured much of the course at a brisk but survivable pace, with extended stops at some of the more interesting jumps to get several pictures (did somebody say rest?). We had to skip some jumps, and some others were photographed from a distance (you can probably guess which those were). My only regret is that we missed the Miami Valley Hunt's hospitality suite at the Lexington Bank; I'm really sorry about not helping them drain that keg. At the end of the day (or actually, at the end of 2 weeks fighting with Mystic Color Labs), I ended up with 53 pictures that I thought were worth showing off. I decided to group them into three thumbnail pages to provide a reasonable view and keep download time acceptable. So without further ado, I give you:
Cross-Country Page 1
Cross-Country Page 2
Cross-Country Page 3
The hard-core event fans get up early on Sunday to watch the final vet check, but most sensible folks sleep in and have a leisurely breakfast before the stadium jumping. This part of the event is more of a challenge for amateur photographers. Without one of those awesome lenses the pros have that cost more than a good horse, it's hard to get close shots of a lot of the jumps. And without access to restricted press areas, a lot of angles are blocked by other jumps or spectator's heads, so you end up with about 3-4 jumps that you can get a good picture of. And with all the similarly-clad riders on similarly-colored horses taking the same jumps, they all start to look alike after a while. In fact, thanks to my sloppy notes, I ended up with one picture that I looked at for a long time and couldn't decide whether it was Karen O'Connor or Bruce Davidson. I'm sure that each of them has a lot of respect for the other's riding ability, but somehow I don't think either would be thrilled to be mistaken for the other. So I left that one out. But here are the rest:
Stadium Jumping Page 1
Stadium Jumping Page 2
Just for fun, I took a few pictures of people without horses (including Olympic team member Linden Wiesman). I decided to group them all into this miscellaneous page.