What’s in Your Arena? is an EN series sponsored by Attwood Equestrian Surfaces in which riders share their favorite jumping exercises. This week, however, being at Rolex and all, we’re taking a slightly different tack! Let’s have a look at some of the show jumping fences that appeared on today’s course in the Rolex Stadium.
As usual, Richard Jeffery’s course was as much a work of art as it was a physical challenge. Save a few sponsor logo fences it was distinctly Kentucky themed, with several of the obstacles recycled from the 2010 World Equestrian Games held here at the Kentucky Horse Park.
“The inspiration for these fences is taken from local horse farms and other landmarks that identify the Bluegrass area of Kentucky as the Thoroughbred breeding capital of the world,” he explains.
A few examples:
The wings of this jump are inspired by the A-frame stallion barns at this iconic Lexington Thoroughbred breeding farm. The farm, which was formed by John R. Gaines, considered the founder of the Breeders Cup, has been home to many influential stallions. Their most successful stallion is surely Tapit, who who has sired dozens of graded stakes winners. Check out photos of the actual Gainesway Farm here.
Race Track Rail
The inspiration here is clear — distance markers at a race track — but do you know what the various colors indicate? Answer: Black/white pole = 16th mile, green/white = eighth mile, red/white = quarter mile.
Keeneland Race Course
When you turn right into Keeneland, you might notice a distinctive old iron post in the center of the drive. It’s marked with the letters “KA,” as it was salvaged from the long-gone Kentucky Association race track that was once located in downtown Lexington. Check out more Keeneland history here.
Man o’ War
2017 marks the 100th anniversary of Man o’ War’s birth, a landmark the Kentucky Horse Park is celebrating throughout the year, including a tribute at its International Museum of the Horse. “Big Red” won 20 of 21 races at ages 2 and 3, including the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes by a whopping 20 lengths.
This fence pays tribute to Calumet Farm, with its iconic white board fencing and red-and-white barns, as well as one of its best known stallions, Whirlaway. The poles are inspired by the farm’s racing silk colors, “devil’s red” and blue. Visit the Calumet Farm website here.
Job well done to all of this weekend’s finishers! Go Eventing.