Rolex week is nearly upon us, and we know you’ve been madly packing and planning for a great trip to the Horse Capital of the World. The Kentucky Horse Park has so much to offer during Rolex, so we’ve rounded up a list of must-dos at #RK3DE 2016.
Celebrate Thoroughbreds at the Hagyard Hoedown: The Retired Racehorse Project is hosting the Hoedown at Hagyard, presented by Boehringer Ingelheim, on Saturday, April 30 in the sport horse covered arena at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute from 6 p.m. until the music stops. Steve Norman’s Shades of Grass Band will provide the entertainment with catering by central Kentucky’s award-winning Red State Barbecue, plus there is an open bar around which you can rub elbows with a number of Thoroughbred celebrities. Tickets are $50 or $35 for RRP members. All proceeds will benefit the Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium. Click here for more info and to purchase tickets.
Run for Charity: The second annual RK-5K Twilight Race will take place on Friday, April 29 at 6:30 p.m. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Rolex Kentucky’s official charity, Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance. This year’s run features chip timing, commemorative performance T-shirts, DJ and a new scenic course looping through the Kentucky Horse Park. Not a runner? Go for the 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk that begins five minutes after the 5k. For race updates and information, visit the RK-5K Facebook page. Click here to register for the race or make a donation.
Watch breed and discipline demonstrations: Horses of all shapes and sizes come to the Horse Park to participate in demonstrations and competitions besides the Three-Day Event. Spend some time nearby the Walnut Ring and you’ll be sure to learn something new about an unfamiliar breed and walk away with renewed respect for the versatility of the horse.
We’ve recently profiled Patrick the mini horse and Dungarvan Feather’s Gypsy Cobs who will be doing demonstrations at Rolex this year. Elisa Wallace, who is riding Simply Priceless in the four-star, will also be returning to perform in the Walnut Ring with her mustangs. You’ll also definitely want to catch part of the Prince Philip Cup Games. Click here for a full schedule.
Maker’s Mark Auction, Reception and Tastings: A limited number of Maker’s Mark Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event commemorative bottles featuring the 2015 event winner, Michael Jung riding Fischerrocana FST, will be auctioned off with all proceeds going to Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance. The auction and reception will take place Thursday, April 28 at 7 p.m. at The Livery, a Lexington landmark. Tickets are $200 per individual or $300 per couple. Tickets will not be available at the door. Download the order form here.
If you can’t make it to the reception, you can still get a taste of smooth Kentucky bourbon at scheduled tastings at the Horse Park. For $15, a Maker’s Mark Distillery Bourbon Specialist will guide you through a tasting of three select Maker’s Mark bourbons. Of course, you must be 21 to enjoy. There are four tastings per day from Thursday through Sunday. Click here for available times and information on how to reserve your spot!
Remember Roger Haller: There will be a special tribute to Roger Haller from 5:40-7:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 28 at the Head of the Lake. Roger was a tireless servant of the sport who passed away from cancer this March. His absence at this year’s Rolex will be felt my many.