Emily & Katy’s Excellent Rolex Adventure: The grand finale

Horse Nation junior reporter Emily Kelly reflects on the final day of Rolex and leaps back into everyday life with some brand-new inspiration.

Well Horse Nation, it’s back to reality for me as I am back in Minnesota and had my first day back in school today! However, Rolex does always leave me anxious to head out to the barn and use all the tricks I saw the 4* riders using! In my rides yesterday and today, I was channeling my inner Becky Holder and pretending I had a 4* horse of my own and as crazy as it sounds, it actually helps!  I tend to stay more focused in my riding and pay more attention as I apply each of my aids. While I’m sure I could go on ranting all day about every little detail from my past two rides and how my trip to Rolex affected these, the purpose of these posts was to actually talk about Rolex, so I shall try to stay on topic now.

The horse inspection, or jog, on Sunday morning went smoothly as each horse was trotted in front of the vet panel to assess their soundness and ability to continue onto show jumping.  There were more horses held for re-inspection or not accepted than in past years, in part because of the difficult cross-country course from the day before… those refusals are not kind on the horse’s legs!  After the jog, we headed out to the shops and I splurged (again, I really seem to have trouble with self-control in this area!) on an Ecogold Cross-country saddle pad and a leather halter with a name plate and a little purple padding for my own horse!  The pad was put to the test tonight and I was highly impressed–very breathable and stays in place wonderfully, just as advertised!  Shopping causes my brain to start spinning in circles as I see a blinged-out browband or a new kind of stirrups specially designed to help knee pain and I just HAVE to have them! (Thank goodness for Katy and my mother, who helped me to control my urges a little at least!)

Following our shopping excursions, we made our way back into the Rolex stadium for show-jumping to begin!  The course, again, was very challenging and there were few double-clears throughout the day.  I saw some lovely ridden rounds that looked flawless and smooth, and I also saw a few rocky rides that needed a little more leg here and there.  Even the experienced riders, such as Phillip Dutton, had some trouble with pulling the rails down.

Allison Springer finished with a beautiful round and held onto her second place, and William Fox-Pitt did the same to stay in the lead!  He now has two of his three 4*s won, and only has one remaining before he takes the Rolex Grand Slam, although with Badminton now being cancelled, I am not sure if he can get to another 4* to keep the title.  Sunday flew by, as always, way too quickly and soon we were racing the crowd back out of the stadium to begin our fourteen hour car ride back home.

I always have a hard time coming back home after Rolex after having lived the dream, with horses and eventing  24/7 for three days.  But we made the trip back in good time and mdae it back to Minnesota just in time for my dressage lesson last night!  I pretended I was Becky cantering down the centerline and put in a great ride.  This weekend, I’ve got my first JDRP (Junior Developing Rider Program) Clinic of the year with Becky Holder and I cannot wait to have another two solid days of living and breathing eventing! In the meantime, channel your inner 4-star eventer Horse Nation, and have a fantastic, horse-filled week!

Photos by Emily.

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