Francis Whittington and Easy Target. Photo by Lily Clark.
Welcome to Rolex Week! Each year, EN welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world as we cover the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. We’ll be updating this page constantly to chronicle all our coverage, so keep checking back.
Watch Online: Your Official Guide to Watching Rolex
EN’s Annual Rolex Pick ‘Em Contest, Presented by Omega Alpha
Make a Friend’s Rolex Trip Special! Nominate Them to Win a Tredstep Solo Makeover
Who Will Win the West at Rolex? Presented by Ride On Video
4th Annual Rolex Top Dog Contest Presented by World Equestrian Brands
Cross Country Course Preview:
Get to Know the Competitors:
Meet the Rolex Rookies:
Lisa Barry and F.I.S. Prince Charming
Maya Black and Doesn’t Play Fair
Angela Gryzwinski and Novelle
Liz Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill By Night
Ellie MacPhail and RF Eloquence
John Michael Durr and Esprit de la Danse
Leah Lang-Gluscic and AP Prime
Allie Sacksen and Sparrow’s Nio
Jimmie Schramm and Bellamy
Lizzie Snow and Coal Creek
Cody Sturgess and Imperial Melody
Elisa Wallace and Simply Priceless
Amanda Wilson and Cool Decision
Wednesday, April 22
75 Horses Pass Jog, Madison Park Withdrawn: Seventy-five horses will move on to dressage following the first horse inspection at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. All horses presented to the ground jury were accepted on a blustery afternoon here in Lexington, where a cold, wet morning mercifully dried up beautifully to give us ideal conditions.
Rolex On the Sidelines: First Horse Inspection: One of my favorite parts of attending any event is getting a look at horses and riders when they aren’t in the ring. For that reason, I plan to capture as many “off-camera” moments as I can this weekend at Rolex, and I started with the First Horse Inspection this afternoon.
EN’s Rolex Best Dressed Jog Picks: The riders threw down this afternoon on the fashion front at the Rolex Kentucky first horse inspection, and we’ve made our picks for who we think made the biggest statement on the jog strip. Check out the photos and vote in the poll at the bottom of the post for who YOU think should win the title of EN’s Best Dressed.
#RK3DE First Horse Inspection Social Media Roundup: Rolex officially got under way with the First Horse Inspection this afternoon. All the horses and their riders looked absolutely smashing and, as usual, we saw quite the eclectic mix of looks. While all horses presented eventually passed, the jog lane was by no means drama free!
Through the Viewfinder: First Horse Inspection: The best of the best came from all over the world to compete at this year’s Rolex. Everyone came to the first horse inspection dressed to the nines. It was a lovely day for fashion and horses on the best runway around.
Thursday, April 23
Dressage Day One Morning Open Thread: It’s a lovely, albeit crisp, morning, so we can expect to see some fresh horses this morning. Refresh this page frequently for the latest updates from dressage this morning, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for live scores and commentary. Go Rolex!
Total Saddle Fit Daily Instagram Challenge: We’re officially in the middle of Rolex Contest Week here at Rolex Kentucky! In honor of how many spectators we know will be coming through the doors this weekend, we’re introducing a brand new Instagram photo challenge!
Rolex Riders Minds Revealed with Word Association Game: What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the term “4*”? How about “Horse”? “Selfie”? “Vacation”? “Idol?” Frankie Thieriot wrangled a few riders into playing a game of word association in the Rolex barns this morning. Their responses were all over the map — and seriously hilarious. What REALLY goes on inside the mind of a top event rider?
No One Surprised Michael Jung Leads: I’d be smiling like that too if I just scored a 39.3 at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event with my best horse still to come. As expected, Michael Jung took us to school in the sandbox this morning aboard his individual WEG silver medalist fischerRocana FST, breaking the 30s threshold to hold the lead at the lunch break on the first day of dressage.
Leah Lang-Gluscic’s Rookie Blog from Day One: Rolex Rookie Leah Lang-Gluscic is video blogging behind the scenes of her first CCI4*. She’s already battled an allergic reaction on jog day but is all set to take on dressage this afternoon at 1:48 p.m. EST. Keep it locked here for more updates from Leah!
Rolex Dressage Day One Afternoon Open Thread: A cold and windy morning led to some fresh horses here at the Kentucky Horse Park for the early Rolex rides. We’ll see how the weather and the scoreboard evolve right here on the afternoon open thread. Refresh this page frequently for the latest updates from dressage this morning, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for live scores and commentary. Go Rolex!
Rolex On the Sidelines: Thursday Morning Dressage: The morning session of dressage has come to a close here at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, and we’ve already seen some fantastic rides from the early riders. There are so many more great horses and riders yet to go, but Michael Jung has set the bar low — on the horse who is getting less attention that her stablemate, no less!
Laine Ashker Selfie Toaster: #thathappened: As we established earlier today via this word association game, four out of four Rolex riders associate the words “selfie” and “hashtag” with Laine Ashker. Girl has over 6,000 Instagram followers (@laineyea) and has perfected the art of pursing her lips while staring coyly into the lens of a camera.
Watch the Top 5 Tests from Day One: The USEF Network livestream is a lifeline for all the sad, deprived folks out there who want to be ringside at Rolex but are stuck somewhere much less fun. As usual they’ve been piping it out non-stop all day, in addition to posting individual test videos so viewers can cherry-pick what they want to watch (or watch again).
Sights and Sounds from Rolex Dressage Day One: We had a chance to catch up with a few of the riders competing here at Rolex Kentucky this weekend, and the overall attitude is quiet confidence with the dreary weather forecast for Saturday in the back of their minds.
Michael Jung Holds Lead, 7 Americans in top 10: The internet had some fun with the scores on the USEF Network live stream this afternoon when an American flag kept appearing next to Michael Jung’s name at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. Considering he’s still leading at the conclusion of the first day of dressage on 39.3 with fischerRocana FST, I’m not sure any of us would be too disappointed about that nationality switcheroo.
Press Conference — That Wallpaper Looks Good on You: When you earn a perhaps-permanent, perhaps-fleeting moment in the sun, do you step back and admire your tan in the mirror… or do you slather sunscreen all over that pale pokerface you’ve perfected the art of wearing? At today’s press conference, the top-three placed competitors took three very different approaches.
Rolex on the Sidelines: Thursday Afternoon Dressage: Once again, there was plenty of drool-worthy horseflesh on display this afternoon at the dressage arena. As the afternoon riders took their turns in the sandbox, we saw some more proud moments as riders entered and left the chute leading to the big arena.
The Shahannigans Show Is the Best Thing at Rolex: Stop what you’re doing right now and watch The Shahannigans Show, Sinead Halpin and Hannah Sue Burnett’s USEF Network variety show.
The Many Faces of Rolex Social Media Roundup: We have tons of incredible tests to look forward to on Friday, but let’s look back on the emotions of today and celebrate the successes of the horse and rider combinations that have worked so hard to get here.
Friday, April 24
Dubarry of Ireland Nations Team Challenge Teams Announced: The pressure is on for Team USA in the second edition of the Dubarry of Ireland Nations Team Challenge at Rolex Kentucky this year. With a total of $20,000 in prize money on the line, four teams representing their respective nations will duke it out in true team-style to achieve the lowest cumulative score at the end of the day on Sunday.
Win a Prize Pack from Absorbine in Today’s #RK3DE Instagram Challenge: We hope you enjoyed our first Instagram daily challenge yesterday! We had some really great submissions, and we’re expecting many more today. Keep an eye out here and on our Instagram page for the daily themes and prize opportunities while we’re at Rolex.
Rolex Word Association Game, Round 2: Yesterday in Round I, Frankie Thieriot administered the test to Angela Grzywinski, Liz Halliday-Sharp, Lauren Kieffer and McKenna Shea. Today she sits down with “it” girl Laine Ashker.
What’s In a Groom’s Backpack? Rolex Edition: With his glistening bay coat, flawless braids and snow-white chrome, Sharon White’s Wundermaske has been turning heads wherever he goes. What’s their secret? Rachael Livermore, Sharon’s groom extraordinaire, reveals the contents of her ringside touch-up kit.
Rolex Dressage Day Two Morning Open Thread: Tim Price and Wesko Take Charge: Refresh this page frequently for the latest updates from dressage this morning, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for live scores and commentary.
Win a Prize Pack from Absorbine in Today’s Instagram Challenge: We hope you enjoyed our first Instagram daily challenge yesterday! We had some really great submissions, and we’re expecting many more today. Keep an eye out here and on our Instagram page for the daily themes and prize opportunities while we’re at Rolex.
What’s In a Groom’s Backpack? Rolex Edition: With his glistening bay coat, flawless braids and snow-white chrome, Sharon White’s Wundermaske has been turning heads wherever he goes. What’s their secret?
More Inner Workings of Riders’ Minds: The interior of a four-star rider’s mind is a curious place, indeed. This weekend we’re picking competitors’ brains via a special Rolex-themed word association game. The rules of play: We give them a word and they tell us the first thing that pops to mind.
Elisa Wallace Reflects on Her Rolex Rookie Weekend: Elisa Wallace laid down the test to remember yesterday in her first Rolex dressage test aboard Jill and David Hopcroft’s Simply Priceless. Ever the perfectionist, Elisa noted a couple of things that she felt could have been better, but she still had a big grin on her face this morning after realizing yesterday’s events were not just a dream.
Tim Price Sails Into Lead, Mackenna Shea Leads American Charge: Tim Price and Wesko sailed into the lead this morning on Day 2 of dressage at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day event for New Zealand, scoring 36.3 to sit in first by 3 points over Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST. It was just one of these tests that was truly a privilege to watch.
Friday Afternoon Dressage Open Thread: The USEF Network will be streaming live all day today for those in the U.S. and Canada, and you can click here for times and options for watching if you are not in North America. Refresh this page frequently for the latest updates from dressage this morning, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for live scores and commentary. Go Rolex!
Watch Friday Afternoon’s Breakout Tests: Today’s competitors are trying their darnedest to shake up yesterday’s leaderboard, and two of this morning’s tests succeeded in knocking yesterday’s leaders off their perch.
8 Life Lessons We Could All Learn from Pony Club Games Kids: Pony Club games kids know what’s up. Hang around them long enough and you’ll start questioning why we eventers do what we do. I mean, who has time to fool around with the nuances of shoulder-in when you could be out tearing around the arena in a cloud of dust with your best buds?
Michael Jung Ties Tim Price for Lead, Colleen Rutledge Top American: I think we all expected Michael Jung and La Biosthetique Sam FBW to be sitting in first place at the conclusion of dressage at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, though I’m not sure we expected him to be sharing the top of the leaderboard with anyone
Rolex Riders Comment on Derek di Grazia’s Cross Country Course: With the questionable weather forecast for tomorrow looming and a formidable track set by course designer Derek di Grazia, there is plenty of buzz around the grounds today about how tomorrow’s cross country will pan out.
#RK3DE Press Conference: ‘We Will See’: In the immortal words of Outkast’s André 3000: “You can paint a pretty picnic but you can’t predict the weather.” In the immortal words of Michael Jung: “We will see.” The top-three placed competitors after Rolex dressage are all veteran four-star champions. And they understand better than anyone that in this sport that the best laid plans aren’t bulletproof — or even waterproof.
Poetic Justice at Rolex for Colleen Rutledge: It’s no secret that Colleen Rutledge has never been named to a USEF High Performance Training List, a fact our readers have often lamented each time a new list is released. She’s been invited to train with Coach David O’Connor at the training sessions aboard her homebred Covert Rights, but never officially listed.
Mixed Bag European Team Takes Charge of Dubarry Nations Team Challenge: The Dubarry Nations Team Challenge teams were named on Wednesday evening, and it’s not a huge surprise that the mixed bag European team consisting of an Irish, German, Australian, and New Zealand rider currently holds the top spot in the standings.
Not a Dressage Show Social Media Roundup: With Boyd Martin’s final salute aboard Master Frisky, the dressage phase at Rolex 2015 came to a close. While a four-star is rarely considered a dressage show, tomorrow’s weather forecast will certainly add to the challenge, as the going will be damp to say the least.
Friday Night’s ‘Shahannigans Show’ is More Ridiculous Than Ever: If you missed out on the “Sinead and Hannah Show” presented by the USEF Network last night, you’ll definitely want to step back and catch up here. Trust us, it’s one of the funniest things we’ve seen since, well, ever.
Saturday, April 26
Your Guide to EN’s Rolex Tailgate, Presented by World Equestrian Brands: Eventing Nation has the best readers in the land, and because nothing says “thank you” like free refreshments and swag, we’re throwing Eventing Nation’s 3nd annual reader appreciation tailgate party!
Snap the Dash to Win a Tipperary Eventer Pro 3015 Vest!: Tipperary returns to Kentucky this year as the sponsor for its annual “Dash for Cash” contest, which offers winning riders a $5,000 per phase for sporting a Tipperary T-Series helmet.
Part 1 of 2 Rolex Cross Country Open Thread Presented by SmartPak: Welcome to Saturday at Rolex on Eventing Nation! This is part 1 of 2 of our open thread coverage.
Part 2 of 2 Rolex Cross Country Open Thread Presented by SmartPak: Welcome to part 2 of 2 of our open thread coverage of Rolex 2015.
What Would Jimmy Woof-ford Say About Your Dog’s XC Style? Find Out at the EN Tailgate!: What you’ve heard is true: “Jimmy Woof-ford’s Build-a-Gymnastic Canine Jumping Course” is a real thing that’s really happening AS WE SPEAK over at the EN Rolex Tailgate Party.
Tim Price and Wesko Lead Rolex; One Second Makes All the Difference: What a cross country day at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event!
Ride Around Rolex With Highest Placed Rookie Elisa Wallace: Watch Elisa Wallace and Simply Priceless jump around clear with just 7.2 time penalties to sit in 12th place on a score of 58.0, which makes them the highest-placed Rolex Rookies after cross country.
Memorable Quotes from the Rolex Cross Country Day Press Conference: It was a full press conference this afternoon at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, with not only Tim Price and Michael Jung in attendance but also Will Coleman, recipient of the Land Rover Optimum Time award, as well as course designer Derek di Grazia.
How the FEI’s Frangible Rule Played Out at Rolex + Other Notes: It took more than two hours for officials at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event to release the final scores after a dramatic day of cross country in Lexington. We can’t help but wonder if that had something to do with the FEI’s new frangible penalty rule.
Watch Tim Price’s Cross Country Round via USEF Network: Sit back, relax, and enjoy Tim Price’s leading ride with Wesko.
Catch Up on the Latest ‘Shahannigans’ from Cross Country Day: Somehow poor Michael Pollard got wrangled into the Sinead & Hannah Rolex after show on the USEF Network this evening, which is set in the Alltech Arena where the reiners are practicing for the evening’s festivities.
International Dream Team Has Firm Grasp on Dubarry Nations Team Challenge: The hodge-podge team of Tim Price and Wesko, Michael Jung and Sam, Bill Levett and Improvise and Austin O’Connor with Balham Houdini are sitting pretty atop the Dubarry Nations Team Challenge after cross country this afternoon.
Tropical Storm Rolex Social Media Roundup: There were times today that it seemed spectators and competitors alike might simply float away, but it was an incredible day of cross country riding with all the excitement and drama we expect at an event of this caliber.
Sunday, April 26
2015 EN Tailgate Party Was Off the Chain, As Usual: We don’t call it the EN “Insanity in the Middle” Tailgate Party for nothin’. And this year’s edition, presented by World Equestrian Brands, was no exception.
Rolex Jog Report: 41 Horses Move on to Show Jumping: Forty-one horses will move on to show jumping at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event following a chilly final horse inspection this morning in Lexington. Easy Target and Mighty Nice were both withdrawn before the jog started, and Catch A Star was withdrawn from the holding box.
Preview Richard Jeffery’s Rolex Show Jumping Course: Doug Payne kindly took the time to walk Richard Jeffrey’s show jumping course this morning and give us the inside scoop on how it’s laid out. As usual, Richard is not taking it easy on the horses who have made it through the Final Horse Inspection, using related distances and tight turns to really test the competitors’ ability to come back out on Sunday to lay down a clean round.
Rolex Show Jumping Open Thread Presented by SmartPak: Michael Jung is making a habit of winning at the Kentucky Horse Park, following his winning WEG 2010 ride aboard La Biosthetique Sam with a winning Rolex 2015 ride on fischerRocana FST.
Dambala Euthanized Due to Cross Country Injury at Rolex: In very sad news from the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, Dambala was euthanized this afternoon after sustaining a suspensory injury on cross country yesterday with New Zealand’s Emily Cammock.
Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST Win Rolex in Pole-Dropping Finale: A pole-dropping finale at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event significantly shuffled the leaderboard to ultimately give Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST the win on their dressage score of 39.3 after jumping a double clear round early in the order of go.
#RK3DE Final Press Conference: Keeping Your Cool in a Pressure Cooker: You’re heading into the Rolex arena with a fighting chance at winning the most coveted wrist candy in eventing, and there’s just a fraction of a point separating first and second. What’s going through your mind?
Watch Video on Demand from Show Jumping at Rolex: Our friends at the USEF Network have posted all of the Rolex show jumping rounds, on-demand.
More Information on the Decision to Euthanize Dambala: News of Dambala’s euthanasia broke during show jumping today at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, and Emily Cammock has provided more information to EN to explain the injury in detail, as well as the decision to euthanize the 15-year-old New Zealand Thoroughbred gelding.
Video: Sinead Halpin and Michael Pollard Wrap Up Rolex: Sinead Halpin teams up with Michael Pollard to lead the charge in Sunday’s episode. Sorry, Hannah fans. Hannah probably had to get back to riding horses, or something. #shemichaeligans #nothesameringtoit
Europeans Clinch Dubarry Nations Team Challenge Victory: As if Michael Jung needed more prize money to line his pockets with — ok, who are we kidding, there is never enough prize money to support this habit of ours! — the mixed European team sealed the deal to clinch the win in the Dubarry of Ireland Nations Team Challenge.
3 Things From the Rolex Trade Fair Your Significant Other Might Kill You For Buying: The Rolex Trade Fair is America’s #1 destination for blowing stupid amounts of money on horse stuff. If your significant other made the fatal error of sending you off to Kentucky with his/her credit card, even better!
On Being Considering and Well-Informed: With the first four-star of the year behind us, we have naturally experienced a vast array of emotions in the past five days, taking us from exhilaration to deepest disappointment and back again. Sadly, there was a pall of misery hanging over the conclusion of the event, with the euthanasia of Emily Cammock’s Dambala following a catastrophic injury on cross country.
Omega Alpha Rolex Pick ‘Em Contest Winner: Congratulations to Madison King, who correctly selected Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST as the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event winners. She was fairly close on her predicted score — she said they’d end on a 41.7, when they actually ended on a 39.3 — but since she was the only entrant to pick correctly she did not need to have the score correct.
Top Five Team USA Takeaways from Rolex: With another #RK3DE officially in the books, it’s time to rehash the results and gnaw on the data. It certainly proved to be an interesting and influential event for Team USA on a number of different levels, and we’re visiting that topic first. Here are our top five takeaways for Team USA after the conclusion of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event.
Bartenders Reveal the Most Popular Drinks at Rolex: From hardcore bourbon swillers to one-and-done lightweights, the drinkers of Rolex 2015 were a mixed bag of fresh-faced rookies and seasoned professionals. And whether they made it through the finish flags or pulled up just short of home, each and every one of them is a winner in our book.
You Can’t Miss This Rolex Music Video: Drop whatever it is you’re doing and check out this ridiculously awesome Rolex music video provided to us by Madison Harris and her friends. They brought their A game to the Kentucky Horse Park this weekend, and even got Allison Springer and Dom and Jimmie Schramm in on the action. What is this craziness?
The Faces of Rolex: How It Feels to Complete: Simply completing the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event is an accomplishment in and of itself. Forty horses and riders accomplished that this past weekend in Lexington. Here’s a look at what it feels like to complete Rolex.
Watch the Full Playback of Rolex Cross Country: Our friends at The USEF Network have published the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event cross country phase in its entirety, complete with commentary from John Kyle, Karen O’Connor and their guests. Relive the cross country action as it happened!
Rolex Kentucky: Tales from a Groom: Meg Johnson takes us behind the scenes at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, where she groomed for Rolex Rookies Ellen Doughty-Hume and Sir Oberon this past weekend. Ellen and “Obie” completed the event in 39th place.
Ride Around Rolex with Laine Ashker and Anthony Patch: We’re still nursing our Rolex hangovers, and there are still blogs, videos, photos, and many other ways to keep that hangover going this week. Laine Ashker completed Rolex this weekend with her OTTB, Anthony Patch, and her fans will be pleased to know that she was also wearing her helmet cam on cross country.
A Baptism By Fire at My First Rolex: Rolex Rookie Jimmie Schramm gives a candid account of her four-star debut with Bellamy at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, which ended abruptly at fence 24 on the cross country course.
Rolex Horses Enjoy Their Vacations After Kentucky: After months of focused preparation and an intense five days of competition, we love seeing the horses that put in such valiant efforts at Rolex Kentucky receiving some well deserved R&R. These horses are making the most of their vacation time, and we look forward to seeing them back out later this year, doing what they do best!
Biggest Breakout Equine Stars from Rolex Kentucky: We’ve talked about which riders had the most impressive Rolex Rookie debut, now let’s talk about the biggest breakout equine stars that emerged from the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. In order of their final placing on the leaderboard, let’s get to know five horses that should have a bright future ahead based on their four-star debuts.
Watch Lizzie Snow Make the Best Save at Rolex: If you were wondering why Rolex Rookie Lizzie Snow had time penalties with Coal Creek in her four-star debut at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, it’s because she was busy making the best save of the whole day.
Rolex Dressage Saw More Helmets Than Ever (With a Few Notable Exceptions): At last year’s Rolex, helmets were worn in 35 out of 61 rides (57%), and this year was a huge improvement even on that, with helmets worn in 63 out of 75 dressage rides (84%).