Rolex kicked off today with the first horse inspection. Fifty-eight pairs will move on to dressage. Take it away, John.
58 of 59 horses presented at this afternoon’s Rolex first horse inspection will move on to the dressage. All in all, the horses looked fantastic for the start of a 4*, as the beautiful Kentucky sunshine beamed down upon the crowd of spectators. Llewellyn, ridden and presented by Brittany Kart, was held by the ground jury. Brittany made what feels like the longest jog in the world–the second presentation–and sadly did not pass upon reinspection. Canada’s Diana Burnett and Shigatzi and the USA’s Kate Hicks and Belmont were also held but passed upon reinspection. The most exciting moment of the first inspection came when Phillip Dutton’s ride Mighty Nice slipped and fell all the way down onto his side. The startled horse and rider quickly regrouped and finished their trot to the satisfaction of the ground jury.
Largest Cheer: The largest cheer of the day definitely went to Rolex veterans Courageous Comet and Becky Holder.
Best Dressed: Asking me to judge best dressed is a bit like asking Charles Barkley to judge a golf swing. As Annie pointed out this morning, 95% of the time you will find me wearing my UVa hoodie, which, indecently, is the only hoodie I own. At any rate, I consulted a few well dressed members of the audience who nominated Lainey, Karen, and Katie Rupel as best dressed. I’m told that the heels Karen wore were three inches tall, which has to be worth major points for sure. Dubarry will be giving out best dressed guy and best dressed lady awards from the first horse inspection this weekend. Each year I promise to give a most improved dress award, but discretion is the better part of valor and I’ll hold off one more year.
- Laine Ashker and Anthony Patch
Photos: Against my better judgement, I am publishing my jog photos below. Riders, please forgive me. Photo snobs, please avert your eyes. Looking at my jog photos is a lot like watching me go cross-country. It’s the wrong person with the wrong equipment with the wrong timing generally doing the wrong thing. It’s hard to watch and we’re all just glad when it’s all over–me more than anyone else. Also, I didn’t get a picture of Doug Payne Equestrian, which is a true tragedy for all of us. I also didn’t get anything but a passing photo of the back of Will Faudree’s head, so my apologies Will I’ll make it up to you from Sunday’s jog. As an international gesture of courtesy to our pairs from overseas, I did not take pictures of them. We will link to the many better galleries as they are published throughout the evening. Click on each photo for a larger version page: