Holy rain! Red Hills has been absolutely slammed with torrential downpours and howling winds this morning, to the point where it was difficult to see even see the horses and riders at some points. Allie Knowles and Last Call were fourth out this morning in the CIC3* just before the worst of the rain hit, and they scored a 40.3 to lead about a third of the way through the division. We’ve seen quite a few fussy horses so far — can you blame them? — but Fergie really put her head down and powered through the nasty weather. We know how good these two can be in the dressage, and they were the highest-placed American pair after this phase at Rolex last year. If they can produce this type of work in such unbelievably horrible conditions, watch out, Kentucky!
Laine Ashker and Anthony Patch rode through the worst of the rain — as you can see in the photo below I shot while holding an umbrella in one hand! — and they’re currently in second place on a score of 45.0. Imagine trying to sit the trot with a saddle that wet! Lainey shared a quick video clip on Instagram that gives you another view of the rain. Of course, Lainey — ever the stylist — didn’t wear a rain coat to battle the downpours — #fabulous. Ellen Doughty also didn’t wear a rain coat on Sir Oberon; they’re sitting in fourth place on 50.4 just behind Phillip Dutton and Atlas. We already knew eventers are totally insane, but anyone who doubted it need only look at these photos for confirmation. Insanity in the middle, indeed!
The rain is finally starting to let up, and it looks like the storm is now passing over us based on the radar. THANK YOU to all the volunteers and officials who braved the rain this morning. Darby Shaw, the ring steward for the CIC3*, had to practically shout into her radio to try to be heard over the howling wind and rain, and she ran the ring with a big smile on her face all morning despite the conditions. This sport couldn’t exist without all the selfless people who give of their time rain or shine! Live scores are running a bit behind, so I apologize if anyone else has crept up to the top of the leaderboard while I’ve been typing this. Stay tuned for much more from Red Hills!