Sally Spickard
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Sally Spickard


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About Sally Spickard

Living the dream as a professional internet stalker and EN reporter.

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Vote for the #TredstepPayItForward Rolex Contest Winner

In honor of Rolex this year, we challenged you to Pay It Forward to a person who has had an influence on your riding career, whether it be big or small. You all turned in some really great, inspirational nominations, and it was very difficult for us to narrow the field down.

Enter to win a pair of Medici Tall Boots from Tredstep Ireland!

We’ve selected five finalists from the entries on Instagram, and now it’s time for you to vote! Check out the stories below and then vote for your favorite Instagram user’s name in our poll. The poll will close on Wednesday at 5 p.m. EST and we will update this post with the winner’s information.

Good luck to all, and thanks for playing!

1. @ajequestrian

I nominate Bonnie Mosser as my #TredstepPayItForward person! She is my inspiration, coach, and dear friend. Her work ethic, attention to detail, observation skills, teaching abilities, and knowledge are to be admired. Anyone who has worked with her has walked away better in someway– whether as a competitor, student, coach, or auditor. I have watched her transform from an intense competitor in the sport of Eventing, to a coach and instructor at her home base-producing horse and rider combinations to watch and appreciate. She brings years of experience and knowledge to the table, as well as an open mind for adapting to change- whether in the sport or with a specific horse/rider. I have learned valuable lessons from Bonnie, not only with horses but also in life. She defines Eventer and Equestrian, and I’d love to pay it forward!

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2. @darkhorse3211

#tredsteppayitforward @dmzrimsek I nominated @dmzrimsek Diane and I met on social media about 10 yrs ago now. We have never met in person, but that didn’t stop Diane and I from developing a friendship and eventing support. I’m based in Canada and she, in the US. Diane and I converse and share barn banter via social media and support for each other in competition and horse talk in general. It was this that lead to Diane sending me a Rolex 3 Day Event baseball hat. I had gone to watch friends compete in 1999, and sadly all hats were sold out. It would be about 10 yrs later that Diane and her friends went to Rolex and when I asked if she could pick up a hat for me, she did. Not only did she buy this, but she sent it to me where I live AND covered all costs. I wear this hat with pride. At a friendship that I have with an amazing equestrian and in support of the Rolex 3 Day Event- something I never expected to be able to attend. 💓💕💞💖❤

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3. @knight.eventing

I’m nominating my dad, Mark Knight for #tredsteppayitforward ❤ My dad is the most inspirational and helpful person in my equestrian life. From coming to my first walk-trot crossrail show to buying our first horse to competing himself to coaching me, my dad has been through it all! Through multiple trainers and barns, some great, some not-so-great. Through so many of the best horses, all our crazy OTTBs (and WB!). Through all the drama and craziness. Through the early mornings and late nights, he’s been there for me through it *all* There’s no one I’d trust more with my training. He knows when to let my “real” trainers take over and when to support me and offer advice. He’s also a fantastic rider. From trail rides on vacations to his first Training level show on a previous OTTB, Magic (top), to his first home show with our first and current horse, Beau (bottom), my dad knows how to ride! He is the perfect nomination for the Tredstep Pay It Forward challenge, because he is such an inspiration and has helped me through so much! (Props for reading all of this!)

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4. @sagartland

5. @xbetterbesocialx

Hasta La Vista, Baby: Rolex Sunday Social Media from Equithrive

In true Ze Terminator form, Michael Jung clinched a hat trick for the history books today in Rolex Stadium, winning his third Rolex Kentucky in a row aboard fischerRocana FST — the first time the same rider and horse have won three consecutive times. The previous Rolex three-time winner was Kim Severson and Winsome Adante, who won three times in four years.

It’s been an epic weekend in Lexington, and we’d once again like to thank each and every one of you for making Eventing Nation your one-stop shop for all things #RK3DE. Stay tuned for more from Rolex, and we’re already looking forward to seeing all of you next year, April 26-29!

#RK3DE Links: Website, Final Scores, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Ultimate Guide to Rolex, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

What a weekend and what a horse for the future! #teamwce #rk3de

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Winner winner. #fischerrocana #basicallybeyonce #fangirling #rk3de #rk3de2017 #bestweekendallyear

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Love this horse! What a week! #ballylaffinbracken #rk3de

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happy retirement ballynoe castle rm (reggie) 🎉❤️ way to go out strong and beautiful!

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Team USA Clinches Dubarry of Ireland Nations Team Challenge Win

Boyd Martin and Crackerjack, Hannah Sue Burnett and Under Suspection, and Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Fugitive. Photos by Leslie Threlkeld. Boyd Martin and Crackerjack, Hannah Sue Burnett and Under Suspection, and Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Fugitive. Photos by Leslie Threlkeld.

An unsung storyline of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event this weekend, the Dubarry of Ireland Nations Team Challenge crowned its winning team this afternoon. The Nations Team Challenge is a way for riders to compete in a team environment, and with an additional $20,000 in prize money on the line, there was plenty to compete for.

Teams were selected to represent each nation based on their FEI World Ranking and the top four rankings per country went on to represent their nation in the Team Challenge. Mixed nationality teams were also allowed if a country did not field enough riders for a team.

The results of the Dubarry of Ireland Nations Team Challenge are as follows (the dropped score is in parentheses):

1st Place: Team USA – 179.2

Boyd Martin / Crackerjack
Hannah Sue Burnett / Under Suspection
Phillip Dutton / Fernhill Fugitive
(Lauren Kieffer / Vermiculus)

2nd Place: Team New Zealand/Germany/France – 180.3

Michael Jung / fischerRocana FST
Maxime Livio / Qalao Des Mers
Joe Meyer / Clip Clop
(Tim Price / Ringwood Sky Boy)

3rd Place: Team Canada – 231.5

Selena O’Hanlon / Foxwood High
Hawley Bennett-Awad / Jollybo
Jessica Phoenix / Pavarotti
(Rachel McDonough / Irish Rhythm)

4th Place – Team Australia/Great Britain – 1190.8

Zara Tindall / High Kingdom
Ryan Wood / Fernhill Classic
James Alliston / Parker

5th Place – Team Ireland/Mexico – 1191.2

Tim Bourke / Luckaun Quality
Aidan Keogh / Master Tredstep
Daniela Moguel / Cecelia

Top Quotes from the Grand Finale Rolex Press Conference

Phillip Dutton, Maxime Livio, Michael Jung and Zara Tindall. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld. Phillip Dutton, Maxime Livio, Michael Jung and Zara Tindall. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

It’s hard to believe another Rolex has come and gone, and we’re bringing you the top quotes from the final press conference as we wrap up yet another #BestWeekendAllYear.

#RK3DE Links: Website, Schedule, Live Scores, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Ultimate Guide to Rolex, Live Stream, How to Watch Live, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

Here is what the top placing riders had to say about their weekends here in Lexington:

Michael Jung:

On his show jump round with fischerRocana FST: “This is a very wonderful horse. fischerRocana is absolutely a top horse. The mare is so much fighting for me, we get a very nice partnership and I know everything that she needs to motivate her. She gives me a very, very good feeling in the warm-up, that gives you a good feeling before such a tough jumping competition and in the course then I had a very good feeling, the problems started a little bit on the white combination. She was a bit spooky and maybe I used my hands a bit too much. And then I had not enough power in the triple combination, and then we had still two more jumps. That makes me a bit nervous, but in the end it works and I’m very very thankful for my whole team and for my horse.”

On what he looks for in a three-day horse: “The best thing is when the horse is nearly perfect in dressage, jumping and cross country! Definitely you need a very powerful horse, maybe in the beginning a bit more difficult, but in the end at a big four-star competition like this you need the power. And in the end, you have to work with that horse many years to get a good partnership— like fischerRocana — a lasting partnership to get better and better and I think that’s the way.”

Maxime Livio:

On the “pressure cooker” situation he entered the ring in: “All the time, you feel pressure when you come to the ring, especially when you are competing four-star with all the top riders. With my horse, I just have to speak to him and be good with my ride and if I do that, the pressure goes on because the horse is very careful and he’s very strong enough. I know if I focus on my riding, the horse will do his best so of course the pressure was here, but just because I want to be good for my horse. After that, I think it’s good for me to start to put pressure on Miche (the room laughs). I think all week, my horse was 100%, I was maybe 90% on dressage so after that I had no regrets. He gives me his best in life. So I’m very happy.”

Zara Tindall:

On how it feels to finish this weekend after such a disappointment here in 2015: “I’m obviously very lucky to come back here. It’s great to be up here with these guys. I tried to put the pressure on and it didn’t work. But my horse was fantastic, all through the competition, and he jumped great today. He’s been a fantastic horse for me and I loved riding him all weekend. Being in Kentucky at Rolex, it’s such a fantastic competition and thank you for having me.”

On what she looks for in a three-day horse: “William (Micklem) bred my horse, so I’m very thankful to him. He has all the qualities I’d love to find again in a horse. He’s a great galloper and a really fantastic jumper and he’s got all the heart you could ever want in a horse.”

Phillip Dutton:

On the emotions he’s had to manage this weekend: “It’s not easy. Lee Lee is in rehab at Bryn Mawr and I’m very glad for the live streaming because apparently she’s really enjoyed watching. It’s a struggle, and it’s something I hope you all don’t have to go through. But luckily, everyone has been great in the horse world and have really bonded behind us. It really is truly a great family. We’re just battling on. I think with time, she’ll be back here hopefully next year.”

On what he looks for in a three-day horse: “Especially having four-stars like this one, you definitely need a horse that can gallop and who are comfortable to gallop at 10, 11, 12 minutes.”

On Mr. Medicott’s incredible performance this weekend: “I was quite unsure about what to do, whether I should bring him. He’s been off for two years, but there wasn’t much else for him the rest of the year, I didn’t think, that’s that suitable. A horse like this … a lot of the events are beneath him, if you know what I mean. I think this is a pretty appropriate event for the horse to come to. And for him to show so much heart; I probably didn’t have him quite fit enough, and I only had one Horse Trial on him now in two years, but he’s such an incredible horse. I’d say this will be his last time at this level, so this is a great way for him to finish.”

Rolex Show Jumping Open Thread, Presented by SmartPak

Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST. Photo by Jenni Autry.

It’s almost time to get underway with the exciting finale of the 2017 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. We’ve got 39 pairs to see this afternoon jumping in reverse order of go.

Defending champion Michael Jung has just a rail in hand over French rider Maxime Livio with Qalao Des Mers. A similar situation arose at Pau last year, where Maxime was the eventual winner.

Keep refreshing this page for live updates. Let’s get this party started!

#RK3DE Links: Website, Schedule, Ride Times, Live Scores, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Ultimate Guide to Rolex, Live Stream, How to Watch Live, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

3:20 pm:

Two legends of the sport and now the new USEF CCI4* National Champions! #rk3de #teamleelee #leeleestrong

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3:18 p.m.: #BREAKING: fischerRocana gave Michael a very good feeling in the warm-up. Here is your top 10, stay tuned for the full report!

3:18 p.m.:

He’s done it a third time! Michael Jung is the winner of the 2017 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event with FischerRocana FST #rk3de

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3:17 p.m.:

3:15 p.m.:

The man. The myth. The legend. #rk3de #bestweekendallyear

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3:14 p.m.:

He does it again!! #ForeverJung #rk3de

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3:13 p.m.: I can’t believe we just witnessed this. Three Rolex wins in a row. Four wins at Kentucky Horse Park. This man is INCREDIBLE.

3:11 p.m.: Well, he used his rail in hand but HE’S DONE IT AGAIN!! ZE TERMINATOR WINS!

3:11 p.m.: How cute is this??

3:07 p.m.: Zara’s team celebrates:

3:07 p.m.: Here we go. My palms are sweaty. Maxime is in.

3:05 p.m.: Zara Phillips jumps the last and is the third double clear of the day! With that, a European is guaranteed the win, another year without a win for the U.S. But how thrilled are we for Zara!

3:04 p.m.: Top three time! Here come Zara Tindall and High Kingdom.

3:03 p.m.: A rail and some time moves Matt down into fifth and moves Phillip into the top U.S. position.

3:01 p.m.:

3:00 p.m.: Just one rail to move Hannah Sue into at least sixth with Under Suspection! Now we move on to Matt Brown and Super Socks BCF who are in line for the USEF National Championship.

2:28 p.m.: We’re into the top 5 now, starting with Hannah Sue Burnett and Under Suspection.

2:57 p.m.: Just ONE second of time for Phillip and Mr. Medicott. What a comeback for this awesome horse!!

2:56 p.m.:

Phillip & Mr. Medicott getting ready to go. #rk3de #kentuckyhorsepark #bestweekendallyear #stadium

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2:55 p.m.: Now we will see Phillip’s last ride, Mr. Medicott.

2:55 p.m.: Poor Tim has four down and seven time for an 80.2 to drop them out of the top 10.

2:52 p.m.: Boyd has one down and is guaranteed a top 10, currently in 8th, with Crackerjack on a 61.4. Now we will see our resident speed demons, Tim Bourke and Luckaun Quality.

2:50 p.m.:


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2:50 p.m.: We are now into the top 10 with Boyd Martin and Crackerjack.

2:48 p.m.: Selena has two down to finish on a 70.6 for 12th place provisionally.

2:47 p.m.: Erin Sylvester has four down and three time to drop them down into 15th. Now we’ll see Selena O’Hanlon and Foxwood High.

2:45 p.m.:

Big cheers for Kurt Martin and Delux Z for a fantastic clear round! #rk3de

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2:43 p.m.: Four rails down for Hawley and Jollybo to move into a three day score of 77.2. Next in is Erin Sylvester and Mettraise.

2:40 p.m.: A bit of a bummer for Holly Payne Caravella and Never Outfoxed with five rails down. Next in will be Hawley Bennett-Awad and Jollybo.

2:39 p.m.:

Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti complete #rk3de for Canada!

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2:38 p.m.: Kurt Martin is our second double clear of the day! He even had a plank fall down as he went over a fence, but it caused no distraction, thankfully!

2:35 p.m.: Jessie Phoenix has one rail down and seven time for a final score of 83.7.

2:34 p.m.:

2:33 p.m.: Next in is Canada’s Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti, who are working on their first Rolex completion.

2:32 p.m.: 5 rails but inside the time for Joe Meyer and Clip Clop.

2:31 p.m.:

2:30 p.m.:

All smiles for Lisa Marie Fergusson as she completes with Honor Me 🇨🇦 #rk3de

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2:29 p.m.: Lillian Heard has a heartbreaker of a rail down at the last with LCC Barnaby but a lovely round for a finishing score of 78.3.

2:29 p.m.: And Madeline completes her first Rolex! One rail down and 9 seconds of time for a final score of 88.5.

2:25 p.m.: PS Arianna looks to have plenty of spring in her step today:

2:24 p.m.: Two down and one time for Phillip and Fernhill Fugitive to put them on a 63.0. Time will tell how that will affect his final standing. Next in will be Madeline Backus and PS Arianna.

2:21 p.m.: Two down and one second of time for Lisa Marie Fergusson and Honor Me to put them into 21st. Phillip Dutton returns again out of order with Fernhill Fugitive, currently in seventh position.

2:19 p.m.: Lisa Marie Fergusson and Honor Me will jump for 20th position or better now.

2:18 p.m.: A bit of a right drift gets Ellen in trouble for two down and a couple of time to finish on a 94.5. The first fence seems to be a bit of a bogey.

2:17 p.m.:

2:14 p.m.: We’re getting set for the top 20, and the stadium is absolutely packed! We’ll see Ellen Doughty Hume and Sir Oberon first.

2:05 p.m.:

Sally and Sue!!! Through the triple to the finish! #rolex #crosscountry #rk3de #rk3de2017

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2:04 p.m: Buck has one rail down with Flower to finish on an 89.3. We now will go to a quick break for a ring drag and will pick back up with the top 20 at 2:15.

2:01 p.m.: Buck Davidson and Petite Flower will wrap up this first session of jump rounds.

2:01 p.m.:

Will Faudree and Pfun clinch the first clear round of the day! #rk3de

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2:01 p.m.: Four rails down and 10 seconds of time for Sally Cousins and Tsunami.

2:01 p.m.:

The crowd went wild for Jen McFall and High Times after their clear round. Go West Coast! #rk3de

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2:00 p.m.: Literally the cutest:

1:58 p.m.: Jennifer McFall and High Times are clear with just 3 seconds of time. I am SO thrilled for this pair, who has been working so hard on their show jumping. This is the best I have ever seen “Billy” jump. Jen goes to her stick for the liverpool oxer and gets the job done.

1:56 p.m.: Will and Pfun are our first double clear!! A 97.1 to finish the day. Jen McFall and High Times are in next.

1:55 p.m.: Will Faudree is trying really hard to be the first double clear.

1:55 p.m.:

What it feels like to complete your first Rolex! #rk3de

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1:53 p.m.: Woodge Fulton has a big smile on her face after having just the first down! She picked up a considerable amount of time because she took the scenic route to one of the fences, but who cares!

1:52 p.m.: Holly has had an infectious smile on her face all weekend. Well done!

Can’t miss that smile! 🎉 #rk3de

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1:48 p.m.: Kelly Prather shakes her head as she finished with four down and three time with Truly Wiley, but she’s got a completion under her belt! Next up will be Kristin Schmolze and Ballylaffin Bracken.

1:46 p.m.:

Holly Jacks-Smither and More Inspiration catching some air #rk3de

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1:46 p.m.:

Congrats to Caroline Martin and Spring Easy for completing their first 4* #rk3de

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1:43 p.m.: Phillip has two down and picks up a second of time with I’m Sew Ready, which will likely prove to be costly at the end of the day.

1:42 p.m.: And Holly Jacks Smither has her first Rolex completion as well! She has one rail down and one time with More Inspiration for a final score of 105.9. Now we’ll see Phillip Dutton and I’m Sew Ready, jumping out of order, who are currently on 10th place.

1:40 p.m.:

1:39 p.m.: Aidan Keogh and Master Tredstep’s miss:

Aidan Keogh and Master Tredstep.

1:38 p.m.: One down for Clark and Glen, putting them on a final score of 110.0. Now it will be the turn of Caroline Martin and Spring Easy, our first Rookie pair to see.

1:37 p.m.: I have no shame, none at all.

1:35 p.m.: Aidan Keogh and Master Tredstep swim through the big oxer that is the third to last question, but they’re completed with just that one miss. Next in will be Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen. John Kyle accidentally calls him “Phillip Montgomery,” and Karen comments that that would be “quite a rider.”

1:33 p.m.: One rail and one time for West Coast pair Andrea Baxter and Indy 500. This is Andrea’s first Rolex completion, go girl!

1:31 p.m.: One down for Lillian and Share Option, jumping out of turn, for a final score of 80.0. Andrea Baxter and Indy 500 are our next to see with one down so far.

1:27 p.m.:

Good boy, Houdini! #rk3de

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1:27 p.m.: It can be done! Will has one rail down but demonstrates that the time can easily be made and comes home in 90 seconds.

1:26 p.m.: Will comes in with a bit more pace than we’ve seen so far, he might be the first to make the time.

1:25 p.m.: Next we’ll see Will Coleman and Tight Lines, who come in on a two day score of 117.2.

1:24 p.m.: Three rails and one second over the time allowed for Katie Ruppel and Houdini. Karen O’Connor confirms that the time allowed will remain at 93 seconds.

1:22 p.m.: Two down and three time for Tim Price and Ringwood Sky Boy. The time allowed is 93 seconds, we’ll see if there is an adjustment.

Tim Price and Ringwood Sky Boy.

1:21 p.m.:

Bobby Meyerhoff and Dunlavin’s Token are first to jump #rk3de

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1.19 p.m.: FernhilL Classic goes bowling with Ryan Wood and has five rails down. Never really looked settled into a good rhythm, sadly. Bummer. They finish on a final of 144.2.

1:17 p.m.: A great ending to Bobby’s weekend:

Bobby Meyerhoff and Dunlavin’s Token.

1:17 p.m.: What an emotional moment for Bobby, whose horse will now retire from upper level competition.

1:14 p.m.: Bobby and Dunlavin’s Token are underway, and they’ve got the first fence down unfortunately. Clear since then so far.

1:13 p.m.: We’re running a bit behind, and Bobby Meyerhoff has had a bit longer of a warm-up than anticipated. We’re getting set now though and he’s coming down the ramp.

1:12 p.m.: Haha!

1:11 p.m.:

#showjumping day is here again at #rk3de #eventing

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1:11 p.m.:

The legendary Reggie retires ❤️ . . . @bdjeventing #rk3de #rolex2017 #eventingnation #lexington #😭

A post shared by Lisa Lach (@centeredinthesaddle) on

1:10 p.m.:

1:10 p.m.: Ballynoe Castle RM has his official retirement ceremony today, and just looking at the photos makes me cry.

Rolex Sunday Jog Live Updates: 39 Move On, Vandiver Not Accepted

Capturing the perfect moment. Photo by Shannon Brinkman. Capturing the perfect moment. Photo by Shannon Brinkman.

It’s the final day of Rolex, and it’s been a whirlwind of a weekend. It’s hard to believe that it’s already almost over, but before we get too far ahead of ourselves we have the final horse inspection this morning followed by show jumping at 1 p.m. EST.

If you’re behind on what happened yesterday, catch up in our cross country report here. Refresh this page for the latest from the second horse inspection. Best of luck to all!

8:57 a.m.: Sadly, Vandiver has not been accepted by the ground jury. That completes our final horse inspection, and we’ll see you back at 1 p.m. for the grand finale.

8:54 a.m.: Vandiver is being presented for re-inspection.

8:53 a.m.:

Every eventers favorite word: accepted! #rk3de #rolex2017 #rolexkentucky #eventing #equestrian #bestweekendallyear

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8:51 a.m.: We now wait for Doug Payne to re-present Vandiver from the hold box.

8:49 a.m.:

8:48 a.m.:

Pfun looking fabulous! #rk3de

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8:48 a.m.:

8:47 a.m.:

Captain Jack accepted ✔️#rk3de

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8:46 a.m.: Canada’s Holly Jacks Smither and More Inspiration are accepted.

8:46 a.m.:

8:45 a.m.:

Beautiful morning for watching the reigning world, Olympic, and Rolex champion! #rk3de #bestweekendallyear

A post shared by Emma Stapley (@ww1_capote) on

8:45 a.m.:

8:43 a.m.: Tim Price and Ringwood Sky Boy are accepted!

Tim Price and Ringwood Sky Boy.

8:43 a.m.:

8:42 a.m.:

Zara Tindall and High Kingdom are in third place after cross country #rk3de

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8:42 a.m.:

8:41 a.m.:

8:40 a.m.: That big sigh of relief when you hear “Accepted!”

Ellen Doughty-Hume and Sir Oberon.

8:40 a.m.: Sorry, I missed earlier that Tim Bourke and Luckauan Quality were accepted!

8:39 a.m.: Sir Oberon will be reinspected now.

8:38 a.m.:

8:38 a.m.: fischerRocana is accepted!

Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST.

8:37 a.m.:

Love this smile from Bobby Meyerhoff! #rk3de

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8:37 a.m.:

Hannah Sue Burnett and Under Suspection accepted! #rk3de

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8:36 a.m.:

Aidan Keogh and Master Tredstep have been accepted! #RK3DE

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8:34 a.m.: Hannah Sue Burnett and Under Suspection are accepted.

8:33 a.m.: Standing still is overrated, Master Tredstep says. He is accepted for Ireland’s Aidan Keough:

Aidan Keogh and Master Tredstep.

8:32 a.m.:

Qalao des Mers is looking very fresh this morning! #rk3de

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8:31 a.m.:

8:31 a.m.:

Love this smile from Hawley Bennett-Awad! #rk3de

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8:30 a.m: Bobby Meyerhoff and Dunlavin’s Token are accepted, while Ellen Doughty-Hume and Sir Oberon are sent to the hold.

8:29 a.m.:

8:28 a.m.: Andrea Baxter and Indy 500 accepted! Most of the horses are looking super relaxed (perhaps a touch tired) this morning, but Indy shows a bit of sass coming back towards home.

Andrea Baxter and Indy 500.

8:26 a.m.: Whew! Share Option is accepted.

8:25 a.m.: It’s a packed house for the jog this morning!

8:24 a.m.: Kurt Martin and Delux Z are accepted, and now Lillian Heard is re-presenting Share Option.

8:24 a.m.:

Second-placed Qaloa Des Mers is accepted! #rk3de

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8:23 a.m.:

8:22 a.m.: Pavarotti looks nice and relaxed with Jessica this morning:

Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti.

8:22 a.m.: Jen McFall and High Times as well as Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti are accepted.

8:19 a.m: Hawley Bennett-Awad, Caroline Martin and Kelly Prather’s horses are all accepted. Bear with me as I’m having some technical difficulty.

8:16 a.m.: Qalao Des Mers looks full of energy this morning:

Maxime and Qalao Des Mers.

8:16 a.m.:

8:15 a.m.:

8:12 a.m.:

8:11 a.m.: Our rockstar Rookies, Madeline Backus and PS Arianna, are accepted!

Madeline Backus and PS Arianna.

8:11 a.m.:

Boyd Martin and Cracker Jack enter the jog. #RK3DE #

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8:10 a.m.: Weird to see Boyd without multiple horses at a jog. Crackerjack is accepted and we move on to Sally Cousins and Tsunami.

8:09 a.m.:

Lillian Heard and LCC Barnaby.

8:08 a.m.:

8:05 a.m.: Phillip Dutton presents his three rides, all of which he brought home clear yesterday, and they’re all accepted.

8:03 a.m.:

8:02 a.m.: Lauren Kieffer decided to withdraw Vermiculus last night, citing muscle soreness.

8:01 a.m.: Getting us started are Joe Meyer and Clip Clop, who were our first to complete yesterday. They’re accepted!

Watch Erin Sylvester’s #RK3DE Land Rover Best Ride of the Day

Erin Sylvester and Mettraise. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld. Erin Sylvester and Mettraise. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Each year, Land Rover features their Best Ride of the Day award at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. Encouraging riders to aim for the optimum time, the prize for the American rider who comes closest is a two-year lease on a Land Rover Discovery Sport. Pretty neat, right?

This year, it was Erin Sylvester’s turn to take a spin in the Land Rover after coming home bang on the optimum time with her CCI4* first-timer, Mettraise. Owned by Spike and Jeanne Sylvester, Mettraise is a 13-year-old unraced Thoroughbred mare by Metfield (Seattle Slew) out of Spin A Yarn (Huckster)

Check out the video below. Congratulations, Erin! Well ridden.

Must-Read Quotes from the Cross Country Day Press Conference at #RK3DE

From left: Derek di Grazia, Maxime Livio, Michael Jung, Zara Tindall, Matthew Brown, Erin Sylvester. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

The post-cross country press conference at Rolex is always a special event, as we get to really hear what the riders thought of their rides. We compiled some must-read quotes from the top four riders, as well as from the winner of the Land Rover Ride of the Day award, Erin Sylvester, and course designer Derek di Grazia. Read on for more!

#RK3DE Links: Website, Schedule, Ride Times, Live Scores, EN Tailgate, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Ultimate Guide to Rolex, Live Stream, How to Watch Live, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Michael Jung:

On how he felt his ride on fischerRocana went: “You never know exactly what happens in every situation; you still make a plan for your ride. I feel in the warm-up fischerRocana was not very perfect feeling with the weather, which makes me very nervous before the start. But she galloped really well and jumped everything very powerful, which gives me a good feeling.”

On what the secret to their success is (at least the parts he will let on about!): “We have a very good partnership and that’s the most important thing in this sport is you know the horse and the horse knows the rider and you trust each other. You have to be very quick in every situation and find a way out of the difficult situations, and in the end everything worked very well and I’m very happy that we are both very healthy and we finished.”

On this year’s course vs. last year: “I think the gallop was a bit nicer, we had a bit more soft turns so the gallop path worked really well. Every course is a bit different so I think this year, maybe a bit more easy, but in the end was really tough to ride. But it was a very nice course and also I like much more the beginning, I think that was much better for the horses to get a bit more time to come in a good rhythm.”

Maxime Livio and Qalao Des Mers. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Maxime Livio:

On how he felt about his first trip around the Bluegrass: “I am super happy with my horse. He starts like he starts every time, very fast, very strong. I’m super happy, exactly what I wanted everywhere. The conditions were very nice, the ground was superb.”

On why he decided to come to Kentucky this year?: “Why not? No, but I wanted to know how my horse traveled by plane.

On whether or not he thinks tomorrow will be a Pau repeat: Glances over at Michael, “Winning all the time must be very boring!”

Zara Tindall and High Kingdom. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Zara Tindall:

On how she felt High Kingdom handled the task at hand today: “I had a great ride. A few years ago, I didn’t do anything out there. I had a great ride, he galloped straight. He was very good through all the combinations and did pretty much what we planned to do all the way around and he kept galloping in the heat — we were a little worried about how he was going to cope with the heat.”

On her reaction to a bit of rain: “I was very happy for the rain last night. I did a little rain dance in my room when I heard it!”

Matthew Brown and Super Socks BCF. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Matt Brown:

On his plan for cross country: “My only plan going out was to take each exercise one at a time. I was maybe thinking about taking some options, but after jumping into the Head of the Lake I just realized I just need to trust this horse and know that he’s going to jump every question. I didn’t give a great jump to the table into the Head of the Lake and he already likes to jump a little careful, so we got the four strides there, but he jumped it great. After that combination, I was like ‘Ok, I need to trust that my horse knows what he’s doing,’ and it got easier to do that as we went through the course.”

On an unexpected issue on course: “He unfortunately jumped out of both of his front shoes somewhere before the Head of the Lake, but I think that there was a few jumps where I thought I saw a good distance and he kind of backed up. Knowing now that he didn’t have his front shoes, I think he was probably making some good decisions.”

On how “Flaxen” came out of the day: “I did find it hard to find good ground toward the end of the day when most people had been galloping. He was quite tired at the end, but that horse is nothing if not all heart, so I asked for more and he kept giving it to me. I’m really happy with him.”

Erin Sylvester and Mettraise. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Land Rover Optimum Time Winner Erin Sylvester:

On making the optimum time: “This is her first four-star and I did not go out with a plan to hit the optimum time. At the last big combination, I thought maybe we could do it.”

On how it felt to have a newly minted four-star horse on course: “The conditions were good for her, she likes to have deeper going, it seems to make her more confident and she was great. She definitely had spots where she felt green and not picking up on stuff 100% but she tries very hard to lead the way and digs in after the jumps and loves to gallop away. She came in well and I look forward to jumping her tomorrow.”

Course designer Derek di Grazia:

“I think that there were a lot of really great rides, I think all of these riders here had great days and I want to congratulate all of them for that. I think the horses all looked really good. As Michael has said, in the beginning it gave them a chance to get into a rhythm and then sort of from the Head of the Lake on, you know, you really sort of had to stay on the game. There were continuously things to do from there all the way to the finish. Because of that, I think that’s what in the end made the time a little harder. That’s what I think.”

Ride It Like You Stole It: #RK3DE Cross Country Day Social Media from Equithrive

Another cross country day is in the books at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, and we’re still not quite ready for it to be over. So let’s keep the party going with a look around today’s social media posts. Brace yourselves, this is going to be a hefty one! Be sure to use #RK3DE in your own posts to be included!

#RK3DE Links: Website, Schedule, Ride Times, Live Scores, Course Preview, EN Tailgate, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Ultimate Guide to Rolex, Live Stream, How to Watch Live, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

@ks_eq & Ballylaffin Bracken up and over the Ditch Brush! Link in our bio to watch! #RK3DE #JointheJoy

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slowmo. #rk3de #bestweekendallyear

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My favorite place at the end of April #Rolex #RK3DE

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#BestWeekendAllYear #rk3de

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How @landroverusa does tailgating.

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Cross country day complete! #eventing #eventingnation #rk3de

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The exhaustion is real.

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#rk3de #rolexkentucky #kentuckyhorsepark

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Rolex Riders Comment on Their Cross Country Rides

Erin Sylvester and Mettraise. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld. Erin Sylvester and Mettraise. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Our intrepid reporter Samantha Clark has been hanging out at the finish line all day to catch up with the riders as they complete the cross country. Here are some reflections from the riders throughout the day, many thanks to Samantha!

The top 15 share their thoughts below, and you can view the rest of our interviews here.

Leslie Law shares his thoughts on the day:

Michael Jung (38.7, 1st Place):

Maxime Livio (44.6, 2nd Place):

Zara Tindall (46.6, 3rd Place):

Matt Brown (47.8, 4th Place):

Hannah Sue Burnett (50.8, 5th Place):

Phillip Dutton – Mr. Medicott (53.6, 6th Place):

Doug Payne (53.8, 7th Place):

Tim Bourke (57.2, 9th Place):

Boyd Martin – Crackerjack (57.4, 10th Place):

Phillip Dutton – I’m Sew Ready (60.1, 11th Place):

Selena O’Hanlon (60.6, 12th Place):

Erin Sylvester (60.9, 13th Place):

Hawley Bennett-Awad (61.2, 14th Place):

Holly Payne Caravella (66.4, 15th Place):

#RK3DE Links: Website, Schedule, Ride Times, Live Scores, Course Preview, EN Tailgate, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Ultimate Guide to Rolex, Live Stream, How to Watch Live, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

Rolex Cross Country Live Updates, Presented by SmartPak

Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

And suddenly the moment we’ve all been waiting for has come. It’s cross country day at Rolex Kentucky! We’re thrilled to be bringing you another open thread today, so keep this page bookmarked so that you can keep up with the action as it happens. Also be sure to follow along on Twitter @eventingnation.

Our trailblazers will be the very seasoned James Alliston and Parker, who will be the perfect pair to really show us the way this morning. We’ll close the day with Buck Davidson and Petite Flower later this afternoon.

Don’t forget, for those of you out and about at Rolex, you absolutely must stop by our infamous tailgate! Let the mimosas flow, it’s cross country day! The tailgate is located at spaces S240 and S241, near the jog strip and announcer’s tower overlooking the infield. More info can be found right here. Also, be sure to download our brand new shiny EN app so that you can grab some free swag at the tailgate.

As always, we’re wishing safe, clear and fast rides to all, and remember, we’re all #LeeLeeStrong today.

#RK3DE Links: Website, Schedule, Ride Times, Live Scores, Course Preview, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Ultimate Guide to Rolex, Live Stream, How to Watch Live, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

2:06 p.m.: Here is your top 20 heading into tomorrow’s show jumping finale. Matt is our top American, and it’s all Europeans in the top three spots. I have to give a shout out to my coach, Hawley Bennett-Awad, for moving into the top 15 on a mare she’s had less than a year. Made us proud, coach!

2:05 p.m.: Big pats and cheers for Flower as Buck closes the day.

2:04 p.m: Holly Jacks Smither on her ride:

2:03 p.m.: Buck gets it done:

Buck and Flower showing their grit.

2:03 p.m.: Honestly, aside from the blip at the Teton Rails, this is one of my favorite rides of the day from Buck and Flower. She has gotten more and more game as time goes on.

2:02 p.m.: Phillip talks about Mr. Medicott’s triumphant return:

2:01 p.m.:

2:01 p.m. A gutsy ride for Buck and Flower coming off of the Normandy Bank.

2:00 p.m.:

Buck Davidson and Petite Flower.

2:00 p.m.:

1:59 p.m.: Go Cave!

Phillip and Mr. Medicott.

1:59 p.m.:

1:58 p.m.: Buck has a runout at the corner at the Teton Rails. Matt Brown will be the highest placed American, in fourth, heading into tomorrow.

1:58 p.m.:

Jessica Phoenix and Bentley’s Best.

1:58 p.m.:

1:57 p.m.: Buck and Flower have the course to themselves as the last rider of the day. They look textbook through the Head of the Lake.

1:57 p.m.: Hear from Will Faudree after his finish:

1:56 p.m.: Mr. Medicott has triumphantly returned to Rolex with just some time added as he crosses the finish!

1:55 p.m.:

1:55 p.m.: Jessica Phoenix picks up a 20 and another and calls it a day at the Teton Rails following the Head of the Lake.

1:53 p.m.: Jessica Phoenix looking super bold at the Head of the Lake! Bentley’s Best has so much scope to spare.

1:52 p.m.: Buck is away with Petite Flower! Last of the day. Mr. Medicott is clear through the Land Rover Landing.

1:51 p.m.:

Client Stall Destinations at Rolex Kentucky! #rk3de #rk3de2017 #rolex #stalldestinations

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1:51 p.m.:

1:50 p.m.: Jessica Phoenix takes her time through the Mighty Moguls and gets it done with Bentley’s Best.

1:50 p.m.:

1:49 p.m.: Will Coleman and Tight Lines become the latest victims of the chevron at the Land Rover Landing.

1:47 p.m.: A running start for Mr. Medicott!

Phillip Dutton and Mr. Medicott.

1:47 p.m.:

Will Faudree (USA) / PFun head into the Rolex Head of the Lake. #BestWeekendAllYear #BestRidersAllYear #RK3DE

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1:46 p.m.: A lovely ride through the Moguls for Phillip and “Cave.” Karen O’Connor comments that this is a phenomenal horse to ride on cross country. Remember, this is a former ride of hers!

1:44 p.m.: Phillip Dutton and Mr. Medicott are away!

1:44 p.m.: Two clear rounds for the Payne duo today! Here’s what Doug had to say:

1:43 p.m.:

1:43 p.m.:

1:43 p.m.:

Into the Head of the Lake! #rk3de #rolexkentucky

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1:42 p.m.:

Stay cool everyone!

1:41 p.m.: Holly Jacks has evidently been given a 20 at the Frog Pond but John Kyle says it was perhaps unwarranted because she took the option. We’ll see what happens when scores are confirmed.

1:40 p.m.: Bummer of an end for Boyd’s day:

Boyd and Steady Eddie.

1:40 p.m.: Look at that smile from Rookie Woodge Fulton!

1:39 p.m.:

1:39 p.m.:

@dpequestrian through the hollow #likeaboss #easypeasy #vandiver #60 #rk3de #rolexkentucky #rolex

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1:39 p.m.:

1:38 p.m.:

1:38 p.m.: Here is the questionable 20 for Boyd at the Mighty Moguls:

Boyd and Steady Eddie.

1:37 p.m.: Steady Eddie slips on the turn after the Normandy Bank and they’re down. They got right back up but what a heartbreaker.

1:36 p.m.: Zara Tindall chats with Samantha at the finish:

1:36 p.m.:

1:36 p.m.: Matt Brown is all smiles after his double clear run!

1:35 p.m.: Will Faudree had a runout at the Mighty Moguls. Doug Payne is about 10 seconds down but clear so far through the final water!

1:34 p.m.:

1:32 p.m.: Hear from Ze Terminator:

1:31 p.m.:

1:30 p.m.: Tim Price and Skyboy at the Land Rover Landing:

Tim Price and Ringwood Sky Boy.

1:30 p.m.: Just a tad out of position for Michael #backseatdriver

Michael Jung and Fischerrocana FST have done it again. Adding a bit of time but moved to the top of the leaderboard. #rk3de

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1:29 p.m.:

1:28 p.m.: Tim Price and Ringwood Sky Boy have a runout at the chevron at the Land Rover Landing.

1:27 p.m.: Lillian Heard talks with Samantha about her second ride with LCC Barnaby:

1:26 p.m.: Doug Payne and Vandiver are away!

1:26 p.m.:

1:25 p.m.: The USEF Network live feed is very spotty at the moment, we’re sure they are working on it!

1:24 p.m:

1:24 p.m.: Hear from Tim Bourke at the finish:

1:23 p.m.: So thrilled for Matt and Super Socks, he has worked so hard to get where he is. Take a look here.

1:23 p.m.:

1:22 p.m.:

1:20 p.m.:

Matt Brown and Super Socks BCF.

1:20 p.m.:

1:14 p.m.: Bummed that we didn’t get to see any of Tim and “Obie”:

1:13 p.m.:

1:13 p.m.: Ryan Wood chats with Samantha at the finish:

1:11 p.m: Woodge Fulton will be our next starter out. Michael is almost home, he is going to miss the time! 11:21. Maybe he is human. That’s still good for first though, naturally.

Michael Jung.

1:11 p.m.: No big deal.


1:09 p.m.: Roxy is so responsive to Michael and always looks so game, no matter what. This is so incredible to watch. Roxy gets a little close to the one stride brush near the end but of course she makes it.

1:08 p.m.:

1:08 p.m.: Michael changes nothing and just kept coming to the skinny skinny chevron at the Land Rover Landing, showing us all how it’s supposed to be ridden! Textbook.

1:06 p.m.: Lillian Heard is out with LCC Barnaby. Michael stays in the backseat over the C element of the Hollow and gets the job done.

1:06 p.m.: Hannah Sue talks about her ride with Under Suspection:

1:05 p.m.: Michael really has to work to get the Head of the Lake done but he’s through as only Ze Terminator can do!

1:04 p.m.:

1:04 p.m.: Zara is our third double clear!

1:03 p.m.:

1:02 p.m.: Michael has a perfect ride through the Mighty Moguls at 4.

1:02 p.m.:

Kim on course. #rk3de

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1:01 p.m.:

1:01 p.m.: Michael is away!

12:59 p.m:

12:59 p.m.: Clark Montgomery talks about his day:

12:58 p.m.: Michael Jung is coming up soon! Tim Bourke and Luckaun Quality are our next starters.

12:58 p.m.: What a shame! Kim will retire Cooley Cross Border after a hairy moment and a refusal at 22A. Bummer but she’s making a horseman’s call.

12:57 p.m.:

12:56 p.m.: Ryan Wood has had a problem at 25, the Water Park.

12:55 p.m.: Kim gets the job done and shows her experience at the Head of the Lake:

Kim Severson and Cooley Cross Border.

12:53 p.m.:

12:53 p.m.: Great Britain’s royalty, Zara Tindall and High Kingdom are our new starters.

12:52 p.m.: Kim is really riding like she stole it today! Looking lovely so far.

12:49 p.m.: Hannah was living dangerously early on:

Hannah Sue takes a flag at the Teton Rails.

12:48 p.m.:

These ponies can fly #rk3de #rolex #rolexkentucky2017

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12:48 p.m.: Jordan Linstedt will not run RevitaVet Capato.

12:47 p.m.: Kim Severson and Cooley Cross Border are our next starters!

12:46 p.m.: “After that, it just kind of took the wind out of his sails … but we got him home which is an accomplishment,” Clark says of his runout.

12:46 p.m.: Sharon White has retired at the Normandy Bank.

12:45 p.m.: Ryan Wood and Fernhill Classic are our new starters.

12:45 p.m.:

12:44 p.m.: Hannah Sue and Under Suspection:

Get it done girls!

12:41 p.m.: A big cheer from the crowd at the finish for Clark and Glen, who have to just be so devastated. We love you, Clark! Hannah Sue Burnett and Under Suspection are now on course.

12:40 p.m.: Clark runs into trouble again at the second to last.

12:40 p.m.:

Katie Ruppel’s OTTB Houdini makes easy work of this tough combination #ottb #rk3de #houdini #katieruppel

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12:39 p.m.:

12:38 p.m.: Watch how it happened:

What heartbreak looks like.

12:38 p.m.: Bobby is continuing on while the Ground Jury makes sure the refusals hold up rather than pull him up erroneously.

12:37 p.m.: Clark loses his stirrup after the Land Rover Landing and had a bit of a miscommunication coming to the Footbridge but they’re over and on their way home. We should see him focusing on getting home and not pressing for time now. So bummed.

12:36 p.m.: Heartbreaking. Clark Montgomery has a runout at the Land Rover Landing, the skinny chevron.

12:36 p.m.: Evidently Bobby picked up three refusals and were eliminated around the course. Bummer.

12:35 p.m.: Clark is clear through the Hollow, once again using all of his aids to steer and be as efficient as possible through the turning questions.

12:34 p.m.: Aidan Keough and Master Tredstep are on course and have a runout at fence 4. Bobby Meyerhoff had a runout at the Normandy Bank.

12:33 p.m.: Clark has a bit of a unbalanced landing off the table into the Head of the Lake but picked Glen up and made it look easy on the way out! Here’s a gallop shot:

Clark and Loughan Glen.

12:32 p.m.: Clark is seeing those big bold distances to the gallop fences a mile away. Looking super confident!

12:32 p.m.:

12:31 p.m.:

12:31 p.m.: The crowd is behind Clark every step of the way as they make their way around.

12:30 p.m.: Lovely through the Mighty Moguls at 4 for Clark and Glen.

12:29 p.m.: Kurt Martin chats with Samantha:

12:29 p.m.: And our leaders are away! Go Clark!

12:28 p.m.: Ellen cuts it close!

Ellen Doughty Hume and Sir Oberon.

12:27 p.m.: Holly Payne chats about her quick ride:

12:26 p.m.: Bobby Meyerhoff is on course with Dunlavin’s Token for their swan song run.

12:25 p.m.: Ellen saves a big jump into the Head of the Lake but doesn’t make it to the fish. She stays on though! Our next starter will be Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen. No pressure, buddy!

12:24 p.m.: Jessica Phoenix talks about her ride with Pavarotti:

12:23 p.m.:

12:23 p.m.:

12:22 p.m.:


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12:21 p.m.: And now we will see Ellen Doughty Hume and Sir Oberon, who typically make this course look like child’s play.

12:21 p.m.: A big smile and pats for Delux Z from Kurt Martin!

12:20 p.m.:

12:19 p.m.: Andrea Baxter and Indy 500 are also making the West Coast proud! I love this little mare, and Andrea has worked so hard to get here.

12:18 p.m.: Kurt Martin lives a bit dangerously and just wanting to get home now. This pair won the CCI3* at Rebecca Farm in 2015.

Kurt Martin and Delux Z.

12:18 p.m.:

Outstanding shot from @the900facebookpony !!! #rk3de #eventing #crosscountry #bestweekendallyear

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12:18 p.m.: Sinead speculating on perhaps needing some bigger studs after the downpour awhile ago.

12:17 p.m.:

It’s their first four-star, but Caroline Martin and Spring Easy looked like seasoned pros at the Mighty Moguls complex #rk3de

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12:17 p.m.:

12:17 p.m.: Did Holly Payne (who came home clear with 4 seconds of time) have advice for brother Doug? “He’d better ride hard.”

12:15 p.m.:

12:15 p.m: We’re glad you’re ok, Rachel!

12:10 p.m.:

12:09 p.m.: Bummer. Rachel McDonough has taken a swim at the Head of the Lake after Irish Rhythm lost his footing on landing. They tried to make it over the fish but Rachel couldn’t hang on. Not fun! They both look fine.

12:07 p.m.:

12:07 p.m.: Let’s hear from Lauren Kieffer!

12:06 p.m.:

12:06 p.m.: Buck Davidson has withdrawn Copper Beach.

12:05 p.m.:

A aerial view of P-Dutty and Fernhill Fugitive.

12:05 p.m.:

12:03 p.m.:

12:03 p.m.:

12:02 p.m.: Samantha chats with Jennifer McFall after her clear round and second Rolex cross country completion!

12:02 p.m.:

12:02 p.m.:

12:01 p.m.:

11:59 a.m.: Sinead Halpin is now back in the commentator’s booth. Many thanks to John Kyle and our guest commentators today!

11:59 a.m.:

11:58 a.m.: Sadly, Liz Halliday Sharp has fallen at the Normandy Bank. She is on her feet and both horse and rider are ok.

11:58 a.m.: Liz’s trouble at the Hollow:

Liz Halliday Sharp and Fernhill By Night.

11:57 a.m.: Sorry for the delay on this, I had some YouTube issues but let’s hear from our hero, Madeline Backus!

11:56 a.m.:

Splash! The Frog Pond in #crosscountry day @rk3de_official! #rk3de #eventing #horses #horseshow

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11:56 a.m.:

11:55 a.m.:

This one’s for you girl!! #leeleestrong

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11:55 a.m.:

11:53 a.m.: Here’s what Caroline Martin had to say after her Rookie round:

11:53 a.m.:

Nicely done, Jessica!

11:52 a.m.: Lauren Kieffer is home clear with Vermiculus in his four-star debut! Phillip Dutton is now on course with Fernhill Fugitive.

11:52 a.m.:

11:50 a.m.: West Coast proud!

11:49 a.m.: In the running for save of the day so far:

Lauren Kieffer and Vermiculus.

11:49 a.m.:

11:48 a.m.: The feed is really not loving the West Coast riders as Jen McFall has also disappeared from the feed but report is that she is clear, I believe.

11:48 a.m.: Try not to swoon while you watch this:

11:48 a.m.:

11:46 a.m.:

11:45 a.m.: HOLY CRAP. Lauren is officially Ms. Stickablility after Vermiculus almost faceplants into the Head of the Lake. She lost her way to the brush in the water but wow, what a save.

11:44 a.m.: Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti are getting ready to head out of the box.

11:43 a.m.:

11:42 a.m.: John Kyle puts it best about Lauren Kieffer and Vermiculus: We’re hoping for an exhibition round today. Get it done, Lauren!

11:40 a.m.: Kelly Prather has a runout with Truly Wiley at 23. A lot of lengthening to the base of this really skinny chevron which is causing the horses to misread.

Kelly Prather and Truly Wiley

11:38 a.m.: Caroline has another problem at 23, the Park Question.

11:37 a.m.:

11:37 a.m.: Jennifer McFall gets a last minute pep talk from coach Hawley Bennett and she and High Times are off

Hawley and Jen McFall.

11:36 a.m:

Problems at 18 for Jenny Caras.

11:34 a.m.: Jenny goes to her stick coming towards the end of the course with “Forty.” He looks like he might be a bit checked out here, they’ve had another problem and has retired. Bummer.

11:32 a.m: Just a few time for Hawley Bennett and Jollybo! 11:33 is their time. Welcome back, Hawley! Jenny Caras has a runout at 18AB.

11:31 a.m.: Caught a glimpse of Hawley towards the end of the course, and Jollybo is still looking quite keen and not the least bit tired.

11:30 a.m.:

Ham it up, Maxime!

11:30 a.m.:

11:28 a.m.: Jenny Caras is having a lovely go with Fernhill Fortitude. Hawley Bennett has unfortunately disappeared from our feed because the cameras have not switched views but reports are she’s having a stellar ride. Caroline Martin is now on for her Rookie run.

11:27 a.m.:

11:25 a.m.:

11:25 a.m.: Hear from Erin Sylvester, our first double clear!

11:22 a.m.: Hawley means business and has a textbook ride through fence 4.

11:20 a.m.:

11:19 a.m.: Our next starter will be Canada’s Hawley Bennett Awad and Jollybo. Maxime is going to be inside the time! Right on it at 11:17.

11:18 a.m.: Maxime gives a pro ride through the one stride brush towards the end. Daniela Moguel has fallen at the Mighty Moguls. She is on her feet.

11:18 a.m.:

11:17 a.m.: Selena chats with Samantha about her ride:

11:15 a.m.: Mexico’s Daniela Moguel and Cecelia are our next starters.

11:15 a.m.: “She found really hard for me out there,” Erin says of Mettraise.

11:14 a.m.: Karen O’Connor is now taking over from Sinead for the announcing.

11:13 a.m.: Erin Sylvester and Mettraise have come home BANG ON the optimum time! She wants that Land Rover!

11:12 a.m.: Maxime Livio gives one of the best rides all day with Qalao Des Mers through the first water.

11:09 a.m.: Allie Sacksen and Sparrow’s Nio have parted ways at the Head of the Lake. We didn’t get to see it but reports are that they’re fine.

11:08 a.m.: Mettraise doesn’t quite read the skinny, skinny brush but they get the job done!

11:07 a.m.:

11:07 a.m.: Sally Cousins chats with Samantha about her ride:

11:06 a.m.: Big pats for Woody!

11:05 a.m.:

11:05 a.m.:

11:02 a.m.: Is it too late to send Selena and Woody to Rio?

11:02 a.m.: Selena gets the job done nice and smooth at the final water:

11:01 a.m.: Hear what Boyd thought about his first ride on Crackerjack:

10:59 a.m.:

10:57 a.m.: Madeline is home CLEAR! I am so thrilled for this kid. Well deserved! In some sadder news, Bunnie has called it a day after a runout at 18.

Madeline makes it home!

10:56 a.m: Get Lillian and Katie’s thoughts on their rounds:

10:55 a.m.: Selena had probably one of the best rides so far through the Mighty Moguls.

Selena and Foxwood High.

10:54 a.m.:

10:52 a.m.: Selena O’Hanlon is next with Foxwood High.

10:52 a.m.:

10:51 a.m.: Wow, what a lovely horse in PS Arianna! She trips just before the giant oxer at the Teton Rails but hunts the fence and makes it over beautifully. Chills!

Madeline and PS Arianna.

10:49 a.m.: Bunnie Sexton is on course with Rise Against!

10:48 a.m.: Boyd tells Frankie that he still didn’t sleep really well last night. Celebrities, they’re just like us! Here are Phillip’s thoughts on his round:

10:46 a.m.:

10:45 a.m.: And our first Rookie is on course, sporting her traditional pink! I think she was late to the box, but Madeline Backus and P.S. Arianna are on their way!

Madeline Backus

10:44 a.m.: Boyd looks like he might have had the fastest so far. Crackers looked a tad tired but was still jumping really well at the end. Well done!

10:43 a.m: Sinead reminds us that later in the course you cannot ask for big adjustments on a tired horse, you just don’t have the horse under you.

10:43 a.m.: Boyd really showing Crackers the way towards the end of the course:

Boyd getting it done with Crackers.

10:43 a.m.: Bummer. Courtney Cooper has retired after a second refusal at 10C, the second water.

10:41 a.m.: Our new starters are Sally Cousins and Tsumani. Lillian Heard is home provisionally clear!

Lillian over the last.

10:39 a.m.:

10:37 a.m.: Boyd is getting the job done on Crackerjack!

10:34 a.m.: Some trouble for Houdini at fence 18:

Katie and Houdini.

10:33 a.m.: Now on, Boyd Martin and Crackerjack!

Boyd and Crackerjack.

10:32 a.m.:

10:29 a.m.:

10:29 a.m.: Our new starter is Lillian Heard with her first ride, Share Option.

10:25 a.m.: I didn’t see what happened with Will but:

10:25 a.m.: Laine Ashker comes out to help coach Buck Davidson out after he parts ways from Park Trader. They both look fine but what a bummer. We’ve only had two finisher so far: Joe and Phillip Dutton.

10:24 a.m.:

Will Coleman walks home on OBOS O’Reilly.

Buck walks home.

10:23 a.m.: Crap! And Will Coleman has retired on OBOS O’Reilly as well:

10:21 a.m.:

10:19 a.m.: Phillip goes to his stick on the out of the Hollow with I’m Sew Ready to just get the extra push off the ground needed.

Phillip and I’m Sew Ready.

10:17 a.m.: Our new starters are Will Coleman and OBOS O’Reilly. Phillip Dutton is giving us a master class as he crushes the Head of the Lake. Will is at the Mighty Moguls.

10:16 a.m.: Clip Clop takes a peek at the Lake.

Joe Meyer and Clip Clop.

10:14 a.m.: Phillip has a textbook ride through the Moguls at 4.

10:13 a.m.: Our new starters are Phillip Dutton and I’m Sew Ready. Joe Meyer is officially our first to make it past the Head of the Lake! A bit of a hairy ride in but he gets the job done.

10:12 a.m.: Joe really has to sit up and help Clip Clop out over 7A, the same fence where Jessie had trouble. They’ve scrapped their way through through.

Joe Meyer and Clip Clop.

10:08 a.m.: Jessie puts her hand up after a stop at fence 7A, the Frog Pond. Looking for our first completion now with Joe Meyer and Clip Clop.

Jessie retires.

10:06 a.m.: Jessie adds two strides to the C element of fence 4 but makes it work with the huge scope of A Little Romance.

Jessica Phoenix and A Little Romance.

10:02 a.m.: Our trailblazers James Alliston and Parker are on course! They just made fence 4, the first big combination, look easy.

James Alliston and Parker.

9:58 a.m.:

9:55 a.m.: Sinead Halpin will join John Kyle in the commentator’s booth this morning, which will make for some excellent remarks as we get ready to cheer on our first pair out of the box. Safe, fast and clear to all!


9:30: We’re counting down to the start! Just 30 minutes to go now. Preview each fence on course here.

Who are the power couples to watch on cross country today? Don’t miss Maggie Deatrick’s analysis of the cross country powerhouses of Rolex here and EquiRatings’ weekend preview here.

Check out a preview of the course for today with designer Derek di Grazia:

I Need a One Dance: Rolex Friday Social Media, Presented by Equithrive

One of my favorite thing to do while running EN’s open threads is to peruse social media. Let’s face it, I’m a bona fide social media stalker so writing these wrap-ups is basically second nature. Consider yourself stalked, EN!

#RK3DE Links: Website, Schedule, Ride Times, Live Scores, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Ultimate Guide to Rolex, Live Stream, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

I met Arthur!!!! Happy retirement! . . #rk3de #eventing #rolexkentucky #bestweekendallyear

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I met @michaeljungofficialnews and it was amazing like best day ever…. #rk3de

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Bentley thinks he's an Eventer after running the RK5K #rk3de #khp #australiancattledog #runswithdogs #werunky

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Buckeye besties #rk3de #buckeyenutrition #bestweekendallyear #allisonspringereventing

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The amazing BadEvent Groom finishing the 5K! #rk3de #TheBadEventer #BadEventer #beastmode

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Obligatory photo 💁🏼#engaged #RK3DE #Rolex

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Morning warmup for dressage #RK3DE

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Head of the Lake #RK3DE

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Jumps of Rolex past #rolexkentucky #rk3de #crosscountry #imnotjumpingthat #eventinghistory @athenaequestrian

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#bestweekendallyear #RK3DE17 @willcolemanequestrian

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I never want to leave. #rk3de2017 #bestweekendallyear #teamfollyfarm

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Watch the Top Dressage Rides from Rolex Kentucky

We were treated to some really spectacular riding today at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, and the hard workers at US Equestrian have uploaded the top three tests to YouTube for our viewing enjoyment. You can also peruse their channel for more fun videos from the weekend that will continue to upload each day.

While tomorrow’s cross country is sure to shake the tree a bit, let’s all take a moment to appreciate what a truly correct dressage looks like. Don’t tell my horse, but he’s in for a lot of circles next week!

#RK3DE Links: Website, Schedule, Ride Times, Live Scores, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Ultimate Guide to Rolex, Live Stream, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen (33.6, 1st place):

Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST (37.1, 2nd place):

Kim Severson and Cooley Cross Border (41.0, 3rd place):

A Curtain Call for the Ages: Allison Springer and Arthur’s Last Dance

Leslie Threlkeld Photo.

In a moment that was sure to bring the house down from the moment it was announced, Allison Springer and Arthur took the Rolex stage one final time ahead of Arthur’s retirement from competition to contest one final dressage test this afternoon.

It was a packed house full of adoring fans, and Allison and Arthur entered the arena with their typical poise and focus. While we aren’t sure what the test would have scored, it was lovely from the beginning and surely would have been near the top had it been a part of the judged rides.

If it was emotional for those of us watching, it was tenfold for Allison. “I cried every step of the way down that ramp,” she said. “Coming around the turn to the warm-up, I cried a bit. I got it together to have a nice final warm-up, but it was so emotional to go in there and hear everyone cheering.”

As much as this horse means to Allison, it is still special to her that Arthur has touched so many lives throughout his career. “All of the letters I’ve gotten over the years from people who have had difficult horses or who just have had that special bond mean so much. And what a gift to be able to learn from such an amazing animal.”

While Arthur will no longer event, Allison confirmed that he’s received the thumbs up to still dabble in pure dressage or show jumping. Allison is entertaining the idea of competing in Prix St. Georges level dressage with him, and she’s looking forward to enjoying life with her horse. “He’s certainly not ready to retire, and he doesn’t know that his weekend is over. He’s been staring at that cross country all day.”

Allison is quick to thank the village that has supported her and Arthur over the years, including the grooms who have had him in their care as well as her veterinary team that has been with her from day one. “I am just so blessed to have had so many wonderful people supporting us,” she said.

And, for anyone wondering what Allison’s score would have been, she was informed that her test was available to be picked up, so she has told EN that she will let us know when she finds out her score! Not that we are judges, but we thought it looked pretty competitive.

Social media immediately exploded with love for the liver chestnut, with whom Allison has worked to the tune of 38 FEI completions, including a USEF National Championship and an overall second place finish at the Rolex Kentucky CCI4* in 2012, as well as a sixth place finish at Burghley later that year.

Allison Springer’s longtime partner Arthur was retired from the sport of eventing today at #Rolex17 #rk3de

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Arthur’s last dance in the Rolex arena! ❤️ #rk3de

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We here at EN would like to wish Arthur the most blissful of retirements. Enjoy it, friend, you’ve truly earned it. Thank you for the memories.

Breaking Down the Winning Ride: Where Did Clark Get the Upper Hand?

Clark Montgomery and Michael Jung. Photos by Jenni Autry.

It’s no surprise that two of the best dressage event horses in the world are currently nearly neck and neck for the lead heading into cross country at Rolex Kentucky. Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen were just shy of a personal best, scoring a 33.6 for the lead, followed by Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST on a 37.1.

While there is a tiny bit of breathing room (less than 10 seconds of time for tomorrow’s cross country test) at the top, it’s certainly still any man or woman’s game at this point. Nevertheless, we thought it would be interesting to break down the top two tests to see exactly where Clark gained a scoring advantage from the judges.

Here is a look at each test broken down by judges’ marks at each movement, collective marks, and total penalty points and percentage:

Clark Montgomery:

Michael Jung:

For the sake of surface analysis, we did a progressive average to find out where each pair really had their best trend as well as their lowest. From a pure numerical standpoint, here is the breakdown of averages for each rider:

Some notes that are of interest:

  • Clark Montgomery started his test at a 73% with his first centerline, halt and salute. From there, he progressively trended up, only losing a hair of traction (if you can call a +75% “losing traction”) in his walk and the beginning of his canter work. He ended on an average of 76.4%, not including collective marks.
  • Michael Jung started strong and lost traction throughout the rest of his test. His first centerline, halt and salute earned him a 9 from Nick Burton at M, and his starting percentage was a 75%.
  • Michael lost the most amount of momentum in his walk work. Looking back at the live stream, which featured Marilyn Payne as a guest commentator during this test, a few comments were made about Michael giving fischerRocana FST perhaps a bit longer of a rein that necessary. This is speculation, of course, without seeing the judges’ remarks, but Marilyn did make a comment about this.
  • Both riders’ highest average marks from the three judges came during their flying changes towards the end of the test, across center line.
  • Collective marks notwithstanding, Clark had an overall score average of 75.8%, while Michael averaged 73.4%. You can see the final percentages above that include the collectives.
  • Michael received two nines during his test, both from Nick Burton: his first center line and his halt prior to the rein back.
  • Clark received four 9s and one 10 (two of the 9s and the 10 from Nick Burton, the other two from Christina Klingspor) on the following movements: Extended trot, his second flying change, his second center line flying change, and his final halt, which received the 10.

While these two scores are certainly not “neck and neck”, it’s still fascinating to break down the averages and see exactly how each pair managed their tests. We could go even farther into detail, but my math skills stop right about here.

Take a look at the top two tests here so that you can do your own comparison!

Maggie Deatrick also contributed to this report.

#RK3DE Links: Website, Schedule, Ride Times, Live Scores, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Ultimate Guide to Rolex, Live Stream, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

Friday Video from World Equestrian Brands: Preview the #RK3DE Cross Country with Derek di Grazia

We’re getting hyped for cross country on Saturday here at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, and just in time the USEF Network has posted a course preview with designer Derek di Grazia. Check it out as Derek walks us through some of the most challenging questions on the course.

It should be a great day of cross country action, so stay tuned for much more from Lexington! And be sure to stop by the EN Rolex Reader Appreciation Tailgate Party, presented by Amerigo, to win great prizes from World Equestrian Brands!

#RK3DE Links: Website, Schedule, Ride Times, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Ultimate Guide to Rolex, Live Stream, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram, Live Scores

Rolex Friday Afternoon Open Thread, Presented by SmartPak

Woodge Fulton and Captain Jack. Photo by Jenni Autry.

It’s just about time to wrap up the dressage here at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. This morning we were treated to some real master classes on how to perform a CCI4* test, and it’s Clark Montgomery leading the charge with Loughan Glen on a 33.6. You can catch up on our full report here and our morning open thread here.

While it will be a tough play to best Clark’s score from this morning, there is still plenty of deep talent left to see today, and it’s likely we’ll see quite a few more shuffles on the board before we finalize the standings heading into cross country.

Keep refreshing this page for the latest, and we’ll be joining you shortly at 1:30 p.m. EST with the first ride of the afternoon, Lillian Heard and LCC Barnaby, her second ride of the weekend.

#RK3DE Links: Website, Schedule, Ride Times, Live Scores, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Ultimate Guide to Rolex, Live Stream, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

4:02 p.m.:

3:41 p.m.: Catch Buck’s thoughts on his last ride with Petite Flower:

3:38 p.m.: Well it will be Clark Montgomery, Michael Jung and Kim Severson who are your top three heading into tomorrow’s cross country! Stay tuned for the full report, and I will continue to add more tidbits to this thread.

3:37 p.m.: I really hope that the judges kept a score for Allison because we would love to know how she would have placed!

3:37 p.m.:

3:35 p.m.: Allison receives a standing ovation from a packed house as her final curtain call with Arthur comes to an end. The pure emotion that we’re seeing right now is overwhelming. She now takes a victory gallop as a final farewell. I am really sorry I don’t have more GIFs, my computer chose the perfect time to say nah.

3:26 p.m.: Oh God. It’s time. I can’t handle the amount of tears that are about to happen.

3:26 p.m.: Buck is working on a really nice test here with Flower.

3:22 p.m.:


3:19 p.m.: And now we’re on to our final judged ride of the day, Buck Davidson and the homebred by Bruce Davidson’s Petite Flower.

3:19 p.m.:

A class performance from Bentley's Best in his CCI4* debut with Jessica Phoenix #rk3de #bestweekendallyear

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3:19 p.m.:

Mr. Medicott is baaaaaaack! 😍#rk3de

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3:18 p.m.:

3:17 p.m.: Jessica knows that test was a solid one! She looks thrilled.

3:15 p.m.: Check out Holly Jacks and Will Coleman’s thoughts on their tests:

3:15 p.m.:

3:14 p.m.: Bentley’s Best is really showing off his chops here:

Jessie Phoenix and Bentley’s Best.

3:13 p.m.:

3:12 p.m.: Just a couple more to see still and now we will see Jessica Phoenix’s third and final ride, Bentley’s Best.

3:11 p.m.: How is that for consistency? Phillip earns a 44.8 on Mr. Medicott to tie with his earlier ride, I’m Sew Ready.

3:10 p.m. An absolutely lovely test from Phillip and “Cave.” Unfortunately, my GIF maker has decided to crap out on me so bear with me as I try to get it up and running again.

3:02 p.m.: Some tension will hurt Will’s score with Tight Lines but a solid showing with a good finish for this horse’s first CCI4*.

2:58 p.m.: Hear from Will Faudree on his ride with Pfun:

2:57 p.m.: Will Coleman and a stunning looking Tight Lines are the next in.

2:57 p.m.:

Holly Jacks-Smither gives big pats to More Inspiration after making their #rk3de debut 🇨🇦 #bestweekendallyear

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2:57 p.m.:

Will Faudree gives Pfun a big pat after seeing his score of 47.6 in the horse's CCI4* debut #rk3de #bestweekendallyear

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2:55 p.m.:

2:48 p.m.: And now we are on to our final Rookie, Holly Jacks Smither and More Inspiration, representing Canada. Will Faudree earned a 47.9 on Pfun.

2:46 p.m.: A lovely finish to Will’s test.

Will Faudree and Pfun.

2:45 p.m.:

2:45 p.m.: Big shout-out to John Kyle, working hard as always in the announcer’s booth!

2:43 p.m.: Pfun is looking absolutely stunning for Will Faudree. Funny story, I just started to spell “Faudree,” “Pfaudree.”

2:43 p.m.:

2:36 p.m.:

Boyd Martin hams it up for the crowd at Rolex after the best test of Steady Eddie's career! #rk3de #bestweekendallyear

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2:33 p.m.: Get Boyd’s thoughts on Steady Eddie’s test:

2:33 p.m.:

2:29 p.m.: If only all tests could be this quick!

2:28 p.m.:

Boyd Martin on Steady Eddie at #rk3de

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2:27 p.m.: Catch Doug Payne’s thoughts on his test with “Quinn”:

2:27 p.m.:

Doug Payne on way to arena! #rk3de2017 #rk3de #eventing @visitaikensc #aikensc #rolexkentucky @dpequestrian #dougpayne

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2:26 p.m.: And we’re onto our final break of the day and will resume at 2:40 p.m. with Will Faudree and Pfun.

2:23 p.m.: Nice changes from Boyd, I missed the last one off of the extended canter, but that was my favorite. A lovely transition from the extended to the collected and a nice lift for the change.

2:22 p.m.: We caught up with Tim Price after his test:

2:21 p.m.: Am I the only one who was kind of wishing that the FEI didn’t institute a new rule about not catch riding at this level so that William Fox-Pitt could have ridden this horse?

2:17 p.m.: And the final of our second to last group today is Boyd Martin and his second ride, Steady Eddie.

2:17 p.m.:

2:14 p.m.: Not quite as flashy as the leaders, he’s trending more towards the 67% but a consistent and obedient test about half way through.

Doug Payne and Vandiver.

2:11 p.m.:

Good luck finding a bigger or more passion group of fans than Woodge Fulton has! #rk3de

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2:10 p.m.: Here are Jordan Linstedt’s thoughts on her test:

2:08 p.m.: Tim left a few points on the table in the latter half of his test but nailed his final halt to give a good final impression. They will take a 46.9 into cross country tomorrow. Next we will see Doug Payne and Vandiver.

2:07 p.m.:

2:06 p.m.: Matt Brown chats with the media:

2:06 p.m.:

RevitaVet Capato says, "Is all that cheering for me?" #rk3de #bestweekendallyear

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2:04 p.m.: A superb start for Ringwood Sky Boy. This could be a challenger! A slight mistake when Sky Boy tried to take a step forward in the rein back and then hit the board during.

2:02 p.m.: Here’s what Woodge Fulton thought of her test:

2:01 p.m.: And now we have Tim Price with Ringwood Sky Boy, who could be ones to challenge the leaders.

2:00 p.m.:

1:59 p.m.: John Kyle comments that the number of changes in this test has held many riders back from better scores, especially since they come as some of the last movements of the test.

1:58 p.m.: A lovely change for Capato, who has my favorite gallop. Just wait til you see him tomorrow.

1:57 p.m.: A little resistance in the rein back for Capato:

Jordan Linstedt and RevitaVet Capato.

1:56 p.m.:

Woodge Fulton definitely wins for the largest cheering section! #rk3de #bestweekendallyear

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1:55 p.m.: We are now joined by the lovely Jordan Linstedt and RevitaVet Capato.

1:54 p.m.: Slo-mo of Flaxen’s spook after clipping the board by C:

Matt Brown and Super Socks BCF.

1:53 p.m.:

1:50 p.m.:

The Biggest Smile of the Day Award goes to Rolex Rookie Woodge Fulton with Captain Jack! #rk3de #bestweekendallyear

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1:49 p.m.:

Chinch has the solution to that #fridayafternoonslump #secondwind #bloodymarymotivation

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1:47 p.m.: A little tense heading into the first medium trot on the short diagonal. Perhaps a bit of tension from this horse, but they still present a really nice picture.

Matt Brown and Super Socks BCF.

1:46 p.m.: Next up, Matt Brown and Super Socks BCF. Matt surely has his superhero socks on, and this will likely be a super lovely test.

1:44 p.m.:

1:43 p.m.: And Woodge has made her official Rolex debut! We all know Captain Jack is not a huge fan of the dressage (we get it, buddy), but now it’s on to the fun stuff!

1:40 p.m.: Captain Jack says “How do I look?” to the crowd at his halt at C.

Woodge Fulton and Captain Jack.

1:38 p.m.: And now we have another Rookie and another one of our youngest riders this year, Woodge Fulton and Captain Jack.

1:35 p.m.: Lillian has a big grin as she makes her final halt. A really nice test with just a couple of mistakes from LCC Barnaby. They earn a 57.0 from the judges. Barnaby looks quite pleased with himself!

Lillian and LCC Barnaby.

1:34 p.m.:

Go Woodge! #rk3de #fmfblue #fullmoonfarm #jointhejoy #pony #horselife

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1:32 p.m.: Karen O’Connor comments that LCC Barnaby is not “the most extravagant” of movers, so Lillian really has to concentrate on quality of transitions and accuracy, as well as setting her horse up as best she can to get the most out of each movement.

Lillian Heard and LCC Barnaby.

1:30 p.m.: And here we go! Underway with Lillian Heard and LCC Barnaby, who is 11 this year and looking for his second CCI4* completion this weekend.

1:27 p.m.: The ever wonderful John Kyle is now re-joined by Karen O’Connor for this first afternoon session.

1:21 p.m.:

Warmup! #rk3de #dressage

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Brotherly Love: Lauren Kieffer Comes Full Circle with Vermiculus

Lauren Kieffer and Vermiculus. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Lauren Kieffer’s eventing career has come full circle this weekend as she pilots Ms. Jacqueline Mars’ Vermiculus around his first CCI4* at Rolex Kentucky. Vermiculus, a 10-year-old Anglo-Arabian (Serazim X Wake Me Gently), was purchased by Lauren as a 3-year-old because he is the full brother of her first CCI4* horse, Snooze Alarm. (Read more: “The One That Started It All: Snooze Alarm.”

Both Anglo Arab geldings, Vermiculus and Snooze Alarm share both the Thoroughbred athleticism and the Arab stamina that makes for excellent eventing horses.

Lauren said that the two are very different rides, even though they share blood. With that in mind, here is a look at Vermiculus’ Rolex 2017 test …

… in comparison to Snooze Alarm at Rolex in 2010:

See any resemblance?

“It’s special to have his connection (to Snooze),” Lauren said yesterday. “He’s greener and known for being cheeky in the dressage. This year he’s grown up a little, but I didn’t expect him to be quite so good in there. You can’t match the atmosphere with a green horse, so you just don’t know exactly what will happen.”

Lauren and Vermiculus are off to a super start, having scored a 43.8 in dressage that was good for second place heading into Friday’s competition. We look forward to watching Vermiculus follow in his big brother’s hoof steps on Saturday — Snooze Alarm jumped around clear with time here in 2010.

Lauren Kieffer couldn’t be more thrilled with Vermiculus! Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

#RK3DE Links: Website, Schedule, Ride Times, Live Scores, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Ultimate Guide to Rolex, Live Stream, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

Rolex Friday Morning Open Thread: Clark Montgomery Bests Ze Terminator

Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Welcome to day two of competition here in beautiful Lexington, Kentucky! Once again, we’re ready to bring you the latest and greatest in all things #RK3DE, and we’re kicking things off in high gear with the morning session of dressage.

We’re in for some real treats today as the remaining horses and riders will take their turn in the sandbox. Stay tuned to see reigning champs Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST as well as powerhouses Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen, Buck Davidson and Boyd Martin with their remaining rides, as well as so many more.

And, last but not least, please stay after the final ride of the day and watch what is sure to be an emotional, bring-the-house-down finale with the final ride of Allison Springer and Arthur. I got chills just typing that, I swear. And … commence ugly crying. Dang it.

#RK3DE Links: Website, Schedule, Ride Times, Live Scores, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Ultimate Guide to Rolex, Live Stream, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

12:28 p.m.: And this is why we love you, JJ. You should have had some bourbon chicken waiting for him!

12:24 p.m.: Watch Clark’s test here! #masterclass

12:21 p.m.: Here are Michael Jung’s thoughts on his test:

12:15 p.m.:

12:15 p.m.:

12:14 p.m.: Tim Bourke chats about his test with Luckaun Quality:

12:14 p.m.:

Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST survey their kingdom! #rk3de

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12:13 p.m.: Hear from Zara Tindall:

12:12 p.m.:

12:11 p.m.: Here are your top 10 heading into the lunch break:

12:08 p.m.: So it’s a 37.1, actually a tad high for Roxy, for second place. It’s the Clark Montgomery show this morning! We now go to lunch and reconvene for the final session!

12:06 p.m.: Well he didn’t quite trend up to where Clark was early on but let’s see! What a LOVELY test.

12:04 p.m.: The thing I love about Rocana is how happy she looks to work. One of the most pleasant horses I think I’ve ever seen.

12:00 p.m.: ALL HAIL THE QUEEN!

Michael and fischerRocana FST.

11:59 a.m.:

11:58 a.m.: IT’S TIME.

11:56 a.m.:

Cheers! I love dressage day! #fancyprancing #rolex #rk3de

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11:54 a.m.: A quiet and relaxed test from “Obie” so far. We have two Obies and an Oboe this weekend.

11:53 a.m.:

11:52 a.m.:

Zara Tindall and High Kingdom score 46.6 #rk3de #bestweekendallyear

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11:52 a.m.: JUST ONE MORE TO GO! Next up are Tim Bourke and Luckaun Quality, followed by QUEEN ROXY.

11:52 a.m.: Hear from Kim Severson on her test:

11:51 a.m.:

11:48 a.m.:

11:46 a.m.:

Zara and High Kingdom.

11:44 a.m.: Hear from Hannah Sue on her test:

11:44 a.m.:

What a 4* debut for Cooley Cross Border with Rolex queen Kim Severson – 41! #rk3de #bestweekendallyear

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11:44 a.m.: Next in we will see Great Britain’s Zara Tindall and High Kingdom.

11:43 a.m.: There is he is!!

11:42 a.m.: And a 41.0 for Kim puts this pair into second!

11:40 a.m.: A minor bobble in one of the changes but such a nice picture. A huge cheer from the crowd, we all love Kim here! She NAILED her final halt too.

11:37 a.m.: I absolutely love this horse. I’m so thrilled that he seems to have really come into his own in the last season.

Kim Severson and Cooley Cross Border.

11:35 a.m.:

11:34 a.m.:

11:33 a.m.: Up next will be Kim Severson and Cooley Cross Border, who we expect to have a nice test.

11:32 a.m.: Quite a few bobbles for Ryan and Fernhill Classic today. Bummer. But we’re excited to see these two show off on cross country tomorrow!

11:32 a.m.:

11:30 a.m.: A bit of resistance in the rein back from Fernhill Classic:

Ryan Wood and Fernhill Classic.

11:30 a.m.:

That moment you think "don't vomit" as you walk in to the #rk3de dressage ring all alone #Rolex #eventer #eventing #4star

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11:29 a.m.: And next in is Ryan Wood and Fernhill Classic. They have a break in the first medium trot, super unfortunate.

11:28 a.m.:

11:25 a.m.:

Sharon White and Cooley on Show. #rk3de #dressage #eventing #bestweekendallyear

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11:23 a.m.: We’re now treated to Marilyn Payne’s commentary in the booth. What a privilege to get a pro judge’s opinion!

11:21 a.m.: A lovely, candenced medium trot from “Pippy”. HSB is busy this month, as she goes next to Badminton to compete Harbour Pilot.

Hannah Sue and Under Suspection.

11:20 a.m.: And we’re back underway with Hannah Sue Burnett and Under Suspection.

11:17 a.m.: OK, what do we think? To date, fischerRocana’s best four star score has been a 34.1 at Luhmühlen in 2015. Last year she earned a 34.4. What will she get this year?

11:13 a.m.:

Awesome turnout! We love our fans💚#BestWeekendAllYear #BestFansAllYear

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11:13 a.m.:

11:12 a.m.: Sharon White talks about her ride:

11:11 a.m.: Chinch is already out of control and it’s only Friday:

Uh-oh, Chinch got busted trying to sneak into the sponsor's tent! #naughtynaughty #butnice #ooermissus #handcuffs!

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11:03 a.m.: Here is a look at the current top 20:

11:02 a.m.:

10:55 a.m.: A 51.6 for Cooley on Show, and now we’re onto our second short break of the day. Next up we will see Hannah Sue Burnett and Under Suspection at 11:20.

10:54 a.m.:

10:53 a.m.: Sharon and Cooley On Show really present a lovely picture. Room for improvement but a great first showing at this level.

Sharon and Cooley On Show.

10:51 a.m.:

10:49 a.m.: Hear what Clark had to say about killing the game:

10:48 a.m.: And last to go before our next short break is Sharon White and Cooley On Show. This horse will look lovely in Sharon’s signature orange on Saturday! This is the first Rolex for this horse, who is 10 this year.

10:48 a.m.:

10:46 a.m.: Aidan looks pleased with Master Tredstep following their test, which earned them a score of 48.6 to tie for 11th with Boyd Martin/Crackerjack and Will Coleman/OBOS O’Reilly.

10:46 a.m.:

#crushedit #RK3DE #bestweekendallyear

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10:45 a.m.:

10:42 a.m.:

Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen 33.9 score #damn #rk3de #kentucky #rolex2017 @beck627

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10:42 a.m.:

10:41 a.m.: Next up is our Irishman, Aidan Keough and Master Tredstep.

10:40 a.m.:

We have a new leader! Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen just blew everyone out of the water at #RK3DE

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10:40 a.m.: Bobby Meyerhoff talks dressage with the press:

10:39 a.m.: Believe it or not, this is actually not a personal CCI4* best for Clark and Glen; their previous low was a 33.3 at Badminton in 2014. No big deal.

10:38 a.m.: WOW. Clark has thrown down the gauntlet with a 33.9 to take the lead by 8 points. Your move, Roxy.

10:37 a.m.: What a treat that was. So accurate. We are looking at our new leader, methinks.

10:34 a.m.: Early on, Clark and Glen are trending towards the mid to upper 70s. Lovely, lovely.

10:33 a.m.: And now we should really be in for a treat: Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen! These two can throw DOWN!

10:32 a.m.: Catch up with Ellen Doughty Hume:

10:32 a.m.:

10:31 a.m.: A 61.3 for Bobby and Token. You could really see Bobby soaking it up as he left the arena. Best of luck this weekend, you two!

10:28 a.m.: Lisa Marie chats with the media following her ride on Honor Me:

10:25 a.m.: A 48.7 and a personal best by nearly 9 points at the four-star level for Ellen Doughty-Hume and Sir Oberon! Well done.

10:23 a.m.:

10:22 a.m.: And now a pair who is very near and dear to my heart: Bobby Meyerhoff and Dunlavin’s Token. Bobby and Token are having their last hurrah this weekend, as Token will retire from upper level competition. Let’s give them all a big collective cheer! Bobby also recently had a fall off of a young horse and broke several ribs and suffered a collapsed lung. Like, two weeks ago. The first time he rode again was this week in Kentucky. It’s fine. I texted him shortly after he got out of the hospital asking if he was still going to Kentucky and he basically said “Well, duh.” My bad, Bobby. Have fun with that sitting trot friend!

10:21 a.m.: A nice change coming back from the extended canter for “Obie”:

10:19 a.m.: A nice obedient rein back from Sir Oberon:

Ellen Doughty Hume and Sir Oberon.

10:18 a.m.:

Pancakes, bacon, coffee, and #rk3de. Happy Friday!

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10:16 a.m.: Some tension marred Lisa’s test with Honor Me, but I have to say that he’s one of the most well turned out I’ve seen so far! He earns a 62.4 from the judges. Next we will see Ellen Doughty-Hume and Sir Oberon. If you remember, Ellen actually got married here a few years ago! #weddinggoals

10:13 a.m.: Many, many thanks to all of our wonderful volunteers this weekend!

10:13 a.m.:

10:13 a.m.:

10:11 a.m.: The best way to watch dressage all day! That must be what I’m missing…

Bloodies and dressage! Cheers to #RK3DE

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10:10 a.m.: Now we will see Canada’s Lisa Marie Fergusson and Honor Me. Get to know them in our Rookie profile from 2016.

10:09 a.m.:

10:09 a.m.:

Beautiful Ride @rachelmcdonough11 #rk3de #rolex2017

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10:07 a.m.: Seeing a lot of horses really anticipating a halt up the final centerline rather than a trot transition. Andrea had some really, really nice changes with her little mare and gets a huge cheer from the crowd! Welcome back, Andrea!

Andrea Baxter and Indy 500.

10:06 a.m.:

10:04 a.m.: A special treat now as John Kyle is joined now by Tim Price’s wife, Jonelle, in the booth.

10:01 a.m.: And we are back underway with the West Coast’s Andrea Baxter and Indy 500. Andrea makes her return to this level for the first time since 2010 and has really done an excellent job producing this Thoroughbred mare.

9:58 a.m.: Kurt Martin talks about his ride on Delux Z:

9:50 a.m.:

Working on Rolex weekend like… #eventerproblems #rk3de #rolex #eventing

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9:50 a.m.:

All smiles for Kurt Martin after his test with DeLux Z #RK3DE #bestweekendallyear

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9:49 a.m.:

Buck Davidson's #RK3DE cheering squad includes daughter Aubrey #bestweekendallyear

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9:48 a.m.: Rachel McDonough chats about her test:

9:47 a.m.: And now we go into a short 10-minute break before we see Andrea Baxter and Indy 500.

9:47 a.m.:

9:45 a.m.: I’m a big fan of Kurt’s stretch canter circle, mostly because you didn’t see the rhythm change at all. Kurt looks really happy with his test! Well done.

Kurt Martin and Delux Z.

9:41 a.m.: What a compliment: Lauren Kieffer tells us that she’s often asked Kurt to help ride her horses when she is gone. Lauren, I’m also available if the need ever arises. #justsaying #amateurfriendly

9:41 a.m.:

52.0 for Buck Davidson and Copper Beach for 15th place #RK3DE

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9:40 a.m.: Our last to go before the first break this morning is Kurt Martin and Delux Z, which should be a really nice test to watch.

9:39 a.m.: Hear what Holly Payne Caravella had to say about her test with Never Outfoxed:

9:39 a.m.:

9:38 a.m.:

Omg I'm actually here 😍 . . . #rk3de #lexington #rolex #horses #dreamcometrue #kentucky #dressage #kyhorsepark

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9:37 a.m.: Just as Jessica Phoenix did yesterday, Rachel forgets her canter stretch circle.

9:36 a.m.: Good luck, Andrea!

9:35 a.m.:

Love this view at #Rolex #rk3de

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9:34 a.m.: A really nice transition from the shoulder-in to the half pass to the right for Rachel and “Ollie”:

Rachel McDonough and Irish Rhythm.

9:33 a.m.: Lauren comments that this new CCI4* test has a really nice flow to it, and I would have to agree.

9:33 a.m.:

Fist pump! First out today and straight into the lead 💃🏻 #RK3DE

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9:32 a.m.: Next up we will see Rachel McDonough and Irish Rhythm, who is an 18-year-old OTTB who completed his first Rolex in 2014. This is an awesome cross country horse, be sure to take the time to watch these two on Saturday.

9:31 a.m.:

Phillip Dutton is now sitting in 5th and 7th with Mr. Medicott still to come at the end of the day #RK3DE

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9:31 a.m.:

9:30 a.m.: Buck (and baby Aubrey!) chats about Copper Beach:

9:29 a.m.:

9:29 a.m.:

Aubrey Davidson found the best seat in the house to watch dad @bdjeventing in the dressage arena! #rk3de #eventinglegends

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9:28 a.m.: Holly putting in a tactful ride on a keen Never OutFoxed. Lots of tension, as this one is ready to get this silly dressage over with! She will be happy to move on to phase two! Lauren Kieffer said it best: “There are a lot of people who would want to sit on this horse on Saturday!”

Holly and Never Outfoxed.

9:24 a.m.: Next up we will see Holly Payve Caravella and Never Outfoxed.

9:24 a.m.: Phillip shares his thoughts on Fernhill Fugitive’s test:

9:22 a.m.: Copper Beach scores a 51.8 with a decent amount of spread from the judges, ranging from 63.750 to over 67. I am honestly a bit disappointed in this score, I thought that this was a score in the 40s, even with a couple of bobbles. But, this is why I am not a judge, I suppose.

9:21 a.m.: A bit of a loss of rhythm into “Sean’s” last change, but overall a really nice looking test. This horse was my “Spoiler Alert” pick this year, so I’ll have my eye on this one come Saturday!

9:19 a.m.: Copper Beach had some really nice, relaxed walk work and this canter transition was really well executed:

Buck and Copper Beach.

9:17 a.m.: Get Liz Halliday Sharp’s thoughts on her superb test as she chats with Samantha Clark:

9:17 a.m.:

44.8 for Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Fugitive for 5th place #RK3DE

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9:16 a.m.:

#RK3DE Friday Coursewalk/Signing info, page 1 #BestWeekendAllYear #BestRidersAllYear #BestSponsorsAllYear

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9:16 a.m.:

#RK3DE Friday Coursewalk/Signing info, page 2 #BestWeekendAllYear #BestRidersAllYear #BestSponsorsAllYear

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9:15 a.m.: Now we’re moving on to Buck Davidson and his second ride of three, Copper Beach.

9:14 a.m.:

9:13 a.m.: Fernhill Fugitive gets a nice big pat from a happy looking Phillip. Super competitive tests right off the bat this morning!

9:12 a.m.: I love this shot from the USEA yesterday!

Hi ✋🏼! @phoenixequestrianteam #rk3de

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9:11 a.m.: Fun fact, Liz Halliday and Fernhill By Night earned a personal best at the CCI4* level today. Their previous lowest came last year when they scored a 43.0.

9:10 a.m.: I have to confess, “Jack” is my favorite of Phillip’s horses. He just seems like such a nice guy.

Fernhill By Night.

9:09 a.m.:

9:07 a.m.: And now we’re underway again with Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Fugitive.

9:07 a.m.:

9:05 a.m.: A really great start to the day from one of our dressage powerhouses! Liz will be pleased, and gives a fist pump to the crowd.

9:04 a.m.: This is a really lovely showing from Liz. Really nice changes from Blackie:

9:03 a.m.: Liz and “Blackie” show great lateral movement in their second half-pass:

9:02 a.m.: Liz had, if you want to call it this, the advantage of being in the announcer’s booth watching a lot of the rides yesterday. With this being a new test this year, it had to have been helpful to see how different riders handled the test and what respective marks they received.

9:00 a.m.: John Kyle is joined this morning by Lauren Kieffer in the commentator’s booth.

9:00 a.m.:

8:59 a.m.: And we’re just about set to go with Liz Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill by Night!

I Wanna Dance with Somebody: Rolex Thursday Social Media, Presented by Equithrive

Kathleen Murray and Ballynoe Castle RM head into the ring. Photo via Maralee Paul on Instagram.

It’s been one heck of a day here in Lexington, and all eyes were on Rolex Stadium as the first pairs tackled the new CCI4* dressage test. Between the emotional test ride from Kathleen Murray and Ballynoe Castle RM and the test that brought the house down to conclude the day from Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti, there is a lot to look back on. Here is today’s social media round-up from #RK3DE!

#RK3DE Links: Website, Schedule, Ride Times, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Ultimate Guide to Rolex, Live Stream, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram, Live Scores

Good times copper mugs acquired! #3de #rolex3de #rk3de #bestweekendallyear #besties #vacay

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Mr. Medicott #rk3de #BadEventer #TheBadEventer

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Lauren Kieffer was thrilled with Vermiculus! They are in second on 43.8 #rk3de

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When you have work to do, but it’s also Rolex weekend… #alwaysahorsegirl #rk3de #graphicdesigner

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look who i met at #rolex!! #rk3de ❤️thanks for being so gracious Boyd! 🇺🇸

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Rolex Afternoon Open Thread: Jessica Phoenix & Pavarotti Clinch Day 1 Lead

Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Welcome to the afternoon session of dressage here on day one of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event! We’re all geared up for some more fancy prancing, and we’re sure to see some lovely tests this afternoon.

As it stands now, Katie Ruppel and her OTTB Houdini hold the lead on a personal best score of 46.0. First up this afternoon at 1:30 p.m. EST will be Canada’s Selena O’Hanlon and Foxwood High.

If you missed any of this morning’s action, catch up on our open thread here and the lunch report here. Keep refreshing this page for the latest!

3:40 p.m.: The leaderboard has been updated again and it looks like Jessica’s score is actually a 43.1. Way to go, Jessie!

3:37 p.m.: Still waiting on final confirmation but it looks like Jessica Phoenix has taken the overnight lead with Pavarotti on a score of 43.5. Lauren’s score was adjusted to a 43.8.

3:36 p.m.:

3:36 p.m:

3:34 p.m.:

We think @lkieffer just went into the lead on Vermiculus!!

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3:34 p.m.:

3:33 p.m.: Big pats for Pavarotti and a big cheer from the crowd as the final ride of the day. Now, we wait.

3:32 p.m.: Nice lateral work from “Rotti”.

3:31 p.m.: Well, Vermiculus just threw down the gauntlet in his four-star debut, earning a 43.9 to take the lead! Only Pavarotti stands in his way for today.

3:30 p.m.: Pavarotti’s last two four-star scores are lower than the leading score today. Can he do it again and steal the show?

3:29 p.m.:

Jen McFall is back at #rk3de with High Times, a more mature & experienced horse since his first appearance

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3:28 p.m.: We could well see some shuffles between Lauren and Vermiculus and now Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti, who are quite well known for stealing the show on the flat.

3:26 p.m.: No matter how high profile Lauren is, or how many horse she has, Lauren still shows so much love for each horse she sits on.

3:25 p.m.:

3:24 p.m.: Whew, Karen and Allison are tough commentators! But so educational to hear the comments from two experts.

3:24 p.m.:

Love is in the air at @rk3de_official! #rk3de

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3:23 p.m.:

Kelly Prather talks about Truly Wiley’s journey to #rk3de

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3:21 p.m.: In 2010, Lauren Kieffer made her CCI4* debut aboard her Anglo-Arab, Snooze Alarm. Today, she enters the ring on his full brother, Vermiculus, whom she purchased as a yearling.

3:20 p.m.: Just two more to see today: Lauren Kieffer and Vermiculus and Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti. Jen McFall scores a 55.7 with High Times. They scored a 71.5 in their debut in 2014, so that is hard work paying off right there!

3:17 p.m.: Jen did a great job holding together a strong Billy, and she looks very pleased at the end. We can’t wait to see this pair on Saturday!

3:16 p.m.: Lol, true story:

3:16 p.m.:

3:14 p.m.: “Billy” shows off his power in the extended:

3:11 p.m.: Jen McFall followed by her loyal grooms and coach Hawley Bennett-Awad:

3:10 p.m.:

Caroline Martin has made it to #rk3de and we expect to see her here many more years to come #talent

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3:09 p.m.: And another West Coast pair in the ring next, Jennifer McFall and High Times. This is their second go at Rolex after debuting in 2014.

3:09 p.m.: We think Allison Springer has missed her calling as a judge! She’s almost called the last few scores right on point.

3:08 p.m.:

3:04 p.m.:

A big smile from Jenny Caras after scoring 46.3 in her 4* debut with Fernhill Fortitude #RK3DE #bestweekendallyear

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3:03 p.m.:

Jenny Caras just completed her first #rk3de test on Fernhill Fortitude

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3:07 p.m.: A bit behind on the stretch circle but Truly Wiley has relaxed a bit more throughout the test.

3:01 p.m.: And now we welcome back Kelly Prather to the Rolex Arena, this time with Truly Wiley. Kelly last made an appearance here in 2011 with Ballinakill Glory, where they finished in the top 30.

2:59 p.m.:

2:59 p.m.: Raise your hand if you’re excited to see Patrick the Mini Horse this weekend!!

2:59 p.m.:

It’s great to have Hawley Bennet Awad back in the #rk3de arena again

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2:57 p.m.: A tad unsteady in the bridle for Spring Easy but a lovely mover nonetheless.

2:55 p.m.: And now another debutante, Caroline Martin with Spring Easy.

2:55 p.m.:

The crowd was thrilled to see Hawley Bennett-Awad is back a the four-star level! #rk3de

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2:54 p.m.:

2:52 p.m.: Jenny had a wonderful first ride at Rolex! She’s all smiles as she does her final halt and salute. Nicely done!

2:51 p.m.:

2:51 p.m.:

2:50 p.m.:

Daniela Moguel talks about her disappointment with today’s test on Cecilia

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2:48 p.m.: Next up, another rookie rider, Jenny Caras and Fernhill Fortitude. This is definitely a talented young pair to watch!

2:48 p.m.: Consistent across the board from all three judges for Hawley Bennett-Awad:

2:45 p.m.: A nice stretch from Jollybo.

2:44 p.m.:

2:42 p.m.: Jollybo with the sassy tail as always:

2:41 p.m.: And returning to this level for the first time in three years is Hawley Bennett-Awad and Jollybo, a former ride of Justine Dutton’s.

2:39 p.m.: Karen O’Connor now joins John Kyle and Allison Springer in the commentator’s booth.

2:33 p.m.:

Go West Coast Eventers! Jolie Wentworth and GoodKnight scored 59.0 to tie for 13th place #RK3DE #bestweekendallyear

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2:32 p.m.:

Jolie Wentworth is happy to be back in the #rk3de arena with Goodknight despite the wind!

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2:26 p.m.: We’re onto a short break here before the next group is led off by Hawley Bennett-Awad and Jollybo.

2:26 p.m.:

2:24 p.m.:

2:24 p.m.: Good luck, Jen and Billy!

Getting ready for dressage @rk3de_official !! Love my @therockhousecouture stock tie and @samshieldamerica Miss Shield 💗 @earlmcfall35

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2:23 p.m.: Sassy pants change!

2:21 p.m.: Jimmy Wofford singing Cecelia’s praises – a huge compliment!

2:20 p.m.:

Le sigh…..#swoon

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2:19 p.m.: Last to go of this first afternoon section is Mexico’s Daniela Moguel and Cecelia. If you don’t know too much about this pair, you should.

2:17 p.m.: Goodknight (“Ari”) says “Shake it off!” after his test:

2:16 p.m.:

Maxime Livio takes the lead on 44.5 giving all the credit to Qalo Des Mers #rk3de

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2:10 p.m.: And here comes another West Coast pair, Jolie Wentworth and Goodknight! This is the fourth CCI4* start for this pair.

2:09 p.m.: And we have a new leader!

2:08 p.m.:

2:07 p.m.: An interesting spot for the number on Qalao Des Mers breastplate:

2:06 p.m.:

Mettraise gets a few well deserved pats from Erin Sylvester’s super groom Joa Sigsbee. #rk3de

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2:05 p.m.: A lovely, straight change at the start of the canter work:

2:05 p.m.:

2:03 p.m.: Maxime came in guns blazing and had a break to canter in the first medium trot. This pair is so lovely to watch, regardless.

2:02 p.m.: Qalao des Mers is coming off of a win in the CCI4* at Pau last year.

2:01 p.m.: Maxime is the first rider we’ve seen so far in a top hat. We know we’re sure to see one on Michael Jung as well.

2:01 p.m.: And now a moment we’ve all been hotly anticipating. French rider Maxime Livio making his Rolex debut with Qalao des Mers!

2:00 p.m.:

1:58 p.m.:

Erin Sylvester is pleased with Mettraise’s first test in the #rk3de arena

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1:58 p.m.:

Emotions for Madeline Backus after her first dressage test at #RK3DE.

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1:57 p.m.: We hate the rein back too, buddy. We get it.

1:55 p.m.: Allison Springer confesses that she’s a “sucker for Connemaras,” aren’t we all!

1:54 p.m.: Next up, Allie Sacksen and the world’s cutest Connemara/TB cross, Sparrow’s Nio. Get to know them here.

1:53 p.m.: A 61.0 for Erin and Mettraise.

1:52 p.m.: So interesting getting tidbits from the commentators. Allison remarks that managing tense horses often involves putting them into a bit lower of a frame, which can then take away from a forward, connected downward transition.

1:51 p.m.: Erin and Mettraise put together a nice looking test even with some tension. They’ll be happy to get on with the fun stuff!

1:48 p.m.:

Ballylaffin Bracken shoes off his big movement #rk3de

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1:47 p.m.:

Selena O Hanlon discusses her test on Foxwoods High, & an unfortunate incident with a dog in the daytime!

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1:46 p.m.: Next up with be Erin Sylvester and Mettraise, making his CCI4* debut. Frankie Thieriot Stutes mentions that is is beginning to rain now.

1:45 p.m.: A very exuberant change! This pair scores a 62.9.

1:43 p.m.: Rox got a little stuck coming off of his left half pass but Kristin is doing a great job here. This is a big, strong horse and Kristin is keeping a lid on any tension quite expertly.

1:41 p.m.:

Selena O’Hanlon and Foxwood High just kicked off the afternoon session of dressage! #RK3DE #bestweekendallyear

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1:41 p.m.: Rox shows off his moves on the extended trot.

1:39 p.m.: “I hope for a lot for (Kristin) this year,” Jimmy says. Kristin and “Rox” really strike a lasting impression together.

1:37 p.m.: A 50.1 puts Selena on her personal best with this horse at Rolex – their official personal best at this level is a 49.5 earned at WEG in 2014. Next up will be Kristin Schmolze and Ballylaffin Bracken.

1:35 p.m.: Selena looks pleased with her test. A couple of tiny mistakes in the canter work but such a nice looking test overall and their final centerline was very smooth.

1:33 p.m.: Woody looking lovely and relaxed in his walk work, which is often quite difficult for these horses. Selena has worked very hard on the flat with this horse, and the work is paying off with some really nice work today.

1:31 p.m.: This is Woody’s fifth CCI4* start. He was 10th here in Kentucky in his debut in 2014 and also represented Canada at WEG in Normandy that year.

1:31 p.m.: And we are back underway with Selena and “Woody”!

1:28 p.m.: Guest commentator Jimmy Wofford says “We don’t have a talent deficit in this country, we have an experience deficit.” John Kyle is joined by Jimmy as well as Allison Springer for the afternoon session.

Rolex Dressage Day One Morning Dressage Open Thread, Presented by SmartPak

Katie Ruppel and Houdini. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Good morning from Lexington! We are getting in position for day one of dressage at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, and I could not be more thrilled to watch Kathleen Murray and Ballynoe Castle RM do the test ride at 9:40 a.m. EST. This is a moment not to miss, so I highly suggest pulling up a chair and tuning in!

I’ll be updating this post throughout each ride, so keep refreshing to stay up to date with the latest. I’ll also start a new thread after the lunch break this afternoon, so there is a ton of exciting content coming your way. Enjoy!

#RK3DE Links: Website, Schedule, Ride Times, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Ultimate Guide to Rolex, Live Stream, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram, Live Scores

12:39 p.m.:

12:39 p.m.:

Go Bunnie! Rise up and Rise Against! What more can we say?!

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12:16 p.m.: And we go to our lunch break with your first 13 horses done for the day. Here is your leaderboard, with Bunnie Sexton in 13th on a score of 68.3. We’ll be back with a new open thread this afternoon at 1:30 p.m. EST, so stay tuned!

12:13 p.m.: Ecko got quite offended coming off of his left half-pass. Bunnie does such a great job taking a breath and asking again without losing composure. We could all learn something from her style and tact. You’ll see she also tries to leave the curb rein alone so as to keep the peace.

12:12 p.m.:

Courtney Cooper IS a star! She talks about her test on Who’s A Star and compares it to last year

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12:12 p.m.:

Sally Cousins tells us she has got Tsunami as fit as she’s ever been this year

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12:10 p.m.: “Ecko” is not a fan of the dressage, but if anyone can squeeze points out of this horse, it will be Bunnie with her tactful rider. You will not want to miss this pair on Saturday! Also, Bunnie’s groom, Taylor Ravenscroft, is currently leading our Rolex Groom’s award! Go vote here.

12:09 p.m.: Next in is fan favorite (and my personal hero) Bunnie Sexton and Rise Against. Bunnie is an inspiration to us all, completing her first Rolex at the age of 50. #BeLikeBunnie

12:09 p.m.: #cheeringsectiongoals

12:08 p.m.: And, I’m crying again. THANKS MADELINE.

12:06 p.m.:

A score of 50.0 for Courtney Cooper and her homebred Who’s A Star #RK3DE

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12:05 p.m.:

12:03 p.m.: Madeline looking so calm and mature beyond her years for her first Rolex test. I remember talking to Madeline in 2013 when she was competing in the Junior Training division with P.S. Arianna, and thinking that this kid was going to go somewhere.

12:01 p.m.: Two of our Rookies are the youngest riders this year: Madeline (21) and Woodge Fulton (22). When I was 21, well, let’s just say that I wasn’t riding at the four-star level. #noviceforthewin

12:00 p.m.: Our first Rookie of 2017 is in the ring! Madeline Backus and P.S. Arianna are ready for their Rolex debut.

12:00 p.m.:

11:58 a.m.:

Happy Rolex Y’all!! #rk3de #workperks #lovemyjob

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11:58 a.m.: Sally Cousins and Tsunami finish their test and are ready to move on to the fun stuff!

11:57 a.m.:

11:56 a.m.:

11:56 a.m.:

Boyd Martin all smiles after his test with Crackerjack. 48.7 for fourth place #RK3DE

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11:54 am.: “Sue” is making her sixth CCI4* start this year at the age of 18 years young. Tsunami raced 24 times back in her race days.

11:52 a.m.: Still waiting for Courtney’s score, now we’re going to see Sally Cousins and Tsunami, who are definitely Rolex veterans.

11:51 a.m.: A quiet pat for an old friend.

11:49 a.m.: Get to know Courtney and Who’s A Star here.

11:47 a.m.: Lovely extended from Who’s A Star, who is a homebred from Courtney.

11:46 a.m.:

Katie Ruppel showers Houdini with praise after taking the current lead on a 46.0 #rk3de

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11:46 a.m.: Next in will be Courtney Cooper and Who’s A Star, back for their second Rolex run.

11:45 a.m.:

11:44 a.m.:

11:42 a.m.: Crackerjack takes a moment to casually grab a nose scratch after a lovely test.

11:40 a.m.:

11:37 a.m.: We will now see the first of Boyd Martin’s ride, Lucy Boynton Lie’s Crackerjack. This is the second Rolex start for Crackerjack, who finished 10th at Luhmühlen last year.

11:34 a.m.: Katie Ruppel’s score has been adjusted to a 46.0 which will put her in the lead. Lillian scores a 51.6 with Share Option.

11:33 a.m.: Lillian shows off one of the most stretchy canter circles that we’ve seen so far. I’ve been really interested to see how this movement rides, and so far I’ve noticed that the stretch is a bit difficult to really achieve, but Whitey is really demonstrating a lengthened frame here.

11:32 a.m.:

46.1 for Katie Ruppel and Houdini to tie Phillip Dutton and I’m Sew Ready for the lead #RK3DE

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11:31 a.m.: Lillian and “Whitey” looking professional. A bit of a sudden halt at C for their reinback, but otherwise they’re doing a great job so far.

11:30 a.m.:

11:28 a.m.: Katie and Houdini earn a 46.1 to tie with Phillip and I’m Sew Ready. This is a personal best at this level, besting their former best of 48.3 in 2016. Next up is Lillian Heard and her first of two, Share Option.

11:26 a.m.: “I think Katie did a great job with him,” coach Clayton Fredericks says of Katie’s ride. He’s had the ride on this horse this spring and Katie has taken the ride back for Rolex.

11:24 a.m.: Houdini says, “Ok, I feel I’ve done enough here, cross country now?” Katie doing a lovely job squeezing every point she can out of her test. This pair is ready to go!

11:22 a.m.: Ok, Houdini is definitely #OTTBgoals. If I could get my little Thoroughbred to move like this for our Training test, that’d be awesome, k thanks.

11:20 a.m.: And we’re back underway with Katie Ruppel and Houdini, an off-track Thoroughbred gelding making his fifth CCI4* start this weekend. Hang onto your hats, it looks a bit windy right now!

11:19 a.m.:

11:18 a.m.:

11:18 a.m.: Are your credit cards ready for their toughest weekend all year?

11:17 a.m.:

Buck Davidson signing autographs for some fans at Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by Land Rover. #bestweekendallyear #rk3de

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11:17 a.m.:

Crackerjack’s dressage tack is ready for action. #RK3DE #bestweekendallyear

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11:15 a.m.: While we’re waiting for our next rider, enjoy this hype video! #feels

11:03 a.m.: We love this shot!

11:03 a.m.:

Buck Davidson talks about his #rk3de dressage on Park Trader & his thoughts on the xc course

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11:02 a.m.:

@willcolemanequestrian’s thoughts on his dressage test on Obos O Reilly

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11:01 a.m.: Here are your leaders following the first group. Live scores can be found here.

11:01 a.m.:

11:01 a.m.:

46.1 for Phillip Dutton and I’m Sew Ready in the horse’s 4* debut to take the lead! #RK3DE

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11:01 a.m.:

11:00 a.m.: Don’t forget to support the online auction for Lee Lee Jones, Phillip Dutton’s stepdaughter. There is so much good stuff to bid on, check it out here.

10:57 a.m.: Rain, rain, stay away! At least it’s not too much on the radar.

10:56 a.m.: A couple of bobbles for Buck and Park Trader but he looks happy and gives the horse big pats after his salute. They earn a 53.6 which will put them into provisional third at the moment. We go onto a short break now and will see Katie Ruppel and Houdini at 11:20.

10:52 a.m.: One tiny bobble in an otherwise lovely extended for “Kobe.”

10:50 a.m.: Buck Davidson nails the first halt with Park Trader and is off to a great start.

10:50 a.m.:

10:48 a.m.: Guys, I am an emotional MESS right now. I’m crying again. What the heck.

10:46 a.m.: A beautiful change from the extended canter across the diagonal for this pair.

10:45 a.m.:

Let’s do this #rolexkentucky2017 #rk3de #dressage

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10:44 a.m.: Oboe looks keen and sharp but so far is putting in a very accurate test.

10:43 a.m.: We’ll be adding in these signing/course walk announcements throughout the day!

10:41 a.m.: New in we will see Will Coleman and his first of two, OBOS O’Reilly, a 14-year-old Irish gelding contesting his second CCI4*. He was sixth here in 2015.

10:41 a.m.:

A personal best for James Alliston and Parker – 56.7! Go OTTBs! #RK3DE #bestweekendallyear

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10:40 a.m.:

10:39 a.m.: Big marks surely on the way for Big Phil’s first ride.

10:36 a.m.:

A personal best for James Alliston and Parker – 56.7! Go OTTBs! #RK3DE #bestweekendallyear

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10:35 a.m.: And that’s JUST the medium trot!

10:33 a.m.: And we’re getting underway with our first U.S. competitor of the day with Phillip Dutton and John and Kristine Norton’s I’m Sew Ready. This is the first CCI4* for this horse, but we should be in for a treat right now.

10:29 a.m.: Ok, Reggie/Kathleen obsession done (for now). Back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Kathleen just rode the test of her life, & #ballynoecastlerm’s last test in the #rk3de arena #allthefeels

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10:32 a.m.: Joe looks thrilled! Some really nice moments from Clip Clop in a very difficult test on a windy and what looks to be a bit chilly of a day!

10:29 a.m.: The feels!

10:28 a.m.: This is the second CCI4* start for Clip Clop, who is 14 this year. They completed last year with one runout on cross country.

10:27 a.m.: Next in will be Joe Meyer and Clip Clop, who looked stunning and full of himself at the jog yesterday!

10:27 a.m.:

Dressage is underway! First in: James Allison and Parker #rk3de

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10:26 a.m.:

10:20 a.m.:

10:24 a.m.:

10:23 a.m.: Jessie has an error after missing her canter stretch circle. A Little Romance is looking a little short and tense in the canter work, but if anyone can coax relaxation out of a horse, it’s Jessie.

10:19 a.m.: Next in is Canada’s Jessica Phoenix and her first of three, A Little Romance. This is Jessie’s 2016 Olympic mount.

10:17 a.m.: A 56.7 for James and Parker to get us started. If you want to follow along with the new CCI4* Test A, click here. This is a personal best for this pair at the level; their previous lowest score was a 62.5 in 2012. Well done!

10:16 a.m.: James demonstrates a new movement in this test, the stretch canter circle. This will be an interesting movement to watch for these super fit event horses! James looks pleased with this test, which commentator Liz Halliday-Sharp remarked was one of the more relaxed she’s ever seen this horse do.

10:12 a.m.: So far looking cool and collected for this pair, who is one of the most experienced in their field. This is their seventh CCI4* start.

10:11 a.m.: James Alliston and Parker are getting us underway! James has pinned the tails of his shadbelly today to try and keep Parker as relaxed as possible.

9:49 a.m.: We will be back in just about 20 minutes with the first competitive ride of the day, James Alliston and Parker!

9:47 a.m. : And, I’m ugly crying. The cheers. THANK YOU, EN, for filling this stadium for this ride. It means so much to the BDJ camp and the Segal family.

9:42 a.m.: Looking like the pros they are. If you missed this special story, catch up here.

9:40 a.m.: And entering Rolex Stadium, Kathleen Murray and Ballynoe Castle RM. Reggie has his game face on, and I am crying. This is not going to be pretty (for me, not Kathleen. You do your thing, girl).

Vote for EN’s 2017 Rolex Groom’s Award

What would we do without super grooms? Photo by Samantha Clark. What would we do without super grooms? Photo by Samantha Clark.

In lieu of a Best Dressed vote this year for Rolex Kentucky, EN is saluting the hardworking grooms who spent hours making their charges look perfect for today’s jog. With that in mind, we’re delighted to announce that this year we’ll be awarding our inaugural Rolex Groom’s Award, with prizes from our friends at SmartPak, Athletux and Cavalor.

The EN team has chosen our finalists, and now it’s up to you to help us decide the winner. The winning groom will receive a brand new Athletux backpack stuffed with Athletux goodies, as well as a $100 SmartPak gift card. The second placed groom will receive a prize bucket full of goodies from Cavalor. Consider it a small token of our thanks for making the equines of Rolex look so darn perfect!

This was not an easy decision as each horse looked absolutely stunning, so to all the grooms we say well done and thank you for your hard work and dedication to these equine athletes. The poll to choose the winner will close tomorrow at 3 p.m. EST, so get those votes in early and we will announce the winner after the poll closes.

#RK3DE Links: Website, Schedule, Ride Times, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Ultimate Guide to Rolex, Live Stream, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

A Little Romance – Sandra Andresen

Jessica Phoenix and A Little Romance. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Cooley Cross Border – Andi Lawrence

Kim Severson and Cooley Cross Border. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

DeLux Z – Nicole Wisniewski

Kurt Martin and DeLux Z. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Fernhill By Night – Gemma Jalinska

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill By Night. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Fernhill Fortitude – Dani Dichting Busbee

Jenny Caras and Fernhill Fortitude. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

OBOS O’Reilly – Victoria Jessop & Lucy Beard

Will Coleman and OBOS O’Reilly. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Ringwood Sky Boy – Beth Mountjoy

Tim Price and Ringwood Sky Boy. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Rise Against – Tayler Ravenscroft

Maddie Sexton jogged Rise Against for mother Bunnie Sexton. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Sparrow’s Nio – Caroline Ring

Allie Sacksen and Sparrow’s Nio. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Vandiver – Courtney Carson

Doug Payne and Vandiver. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.