Note: This web page is an unofficial presentation by an event groupie who has absolutely no connection with Rolex, Equestrian Events, USEA or any other organizations responsible for producing the Rolex KY 3-Day Event.If you just came here for the pictures, here they are:
The 2007 Rolex event followed the usual pattern. Derelicts, deviates, delinquents, and degenerates from around the country converged on the "Mecca of Eventing" to renew aquaintances, make new friends, eat, drink, and be merry, and still manage to watch some of the best horses and riders in the world.
The weather was perfect. There was some rain on Thursday, but anybody who wants to watch dressage deserves to get rained on. Friday-Sunday were gorgeous.
The lack of free booze was hardly even noticed this year, as prior planning and preparation kept everybody well lubricated. As I mentioned elsewhere, I had a supply of Rock'n'rye left over from the end of hunt season. A couple of weeks before Rolex, I decided my leftover batch might not be enough, and decided there was just enough time to make a new batch to be ready for the big event. That turned out to be a good decision, since it turned out to be even more popular than the Knob Creek with which I kept a couple of other flasks filled.
If you noticed the links above, I'm only providing pictures of the actual equestrian action this year, without any of the social photojournalism that I usually provide. That's not because I'm getting more conserative or trying to hide anything. I don't know why I didn't manage to get any pictures of the craziness this year. Maybe I just got lazy. But fortunately, Allie kept "Clive" busy (for the uninitiated, Clive is her awesome Canon EOS 20D), and Clive's work can be seen on her Flickr site. (For the Where's Waldo fans, bonus points to anybody who can say how many of those pictures I'm in)
Another effect of age, or just enjoying the companionship of friends too much, is that I didn't move around the cross-country course as fast as I usually do (although a few of us were more energetic than the group who spent much of the afternoon in a large pile of drunk near the Sunken Road). There were a couple of parts of the course that I never got to at all, so my selection of cross-country pictures this year is not as good as it could/should have been.
I got scads of stadium pictures, although there may be more quality than quantity. The (dis)advantage of digital over film is that there's no reason not to just keep pushing the button whether you have a good shot or not.
There is an unfortunate gap in my stadium coverage though. After the first dozen horses, my camera suddenly died with a dead battery indicator. I cursed myself for not having charged it Saturday night, although that shouldn't have been necessary. Unlike my Nikon, which eats batteries so fast I have to carry a spare just to get through a single day, the Canon usually makes it through a full weekend with battery to spare, and I had started the weekend with a full charge. So the next several horses went unphotographed. Then I decided to remove and re-insert the battery, and was rewarded by a full charge indicator and managed to get pictures of the final dozen.
The unquestionable popular favorite of the event was the awesome pony, Theodore O'Connor, aka Teddy, masterfully ridden by Karen O'Connor, who is no relation in spite of the name. (The name really is a coincidence. I had stupidly assumed the name was due to being part of the O'Connor stable, but he was named long before he was placed with Karen for training).
And the unquestionable blonde moment award has to go to Kristin Bachman, who entered the stadium jumping ring in first place on Gryffindor, and then made a wrong turn mid-course and was eliminated. That little oopsy cost her the $65,000 first prize purse (and the Rolex watch). That put the Australians Clayton Fredericks and Ben Along Time in first place, with former Australian Phillip Dutton and Truluck in second. And, then in third place was the Pony Power Pair, Karen and Teddy O'Connor, who brought the crowd to a standing ovation with their awesome demonstration that size really doesn't matter.