For US team hopefuls, if the WEGs are the Super Bowl, then The Fork is wild card weekend (that’s the first round of playoffs for our readers who think of footballs as being made of pentagons and hexagons). For all the other competitors, The Fork is a really big, really tough, and really exciting event. The facilities are immaculate as always, and the organizers are doing a terrific job getting everyone settled into the barns. Dressage begins on Thursday with David giving the test ride on Riddle Master. I’d normally feel bad for the first rider to go after David, but it’s Phillip on TruLuck.
45 of the 72 current Rolex entries are entered in the CIC3* or Advanced this weekend, which means we will get to see all but a couple US Rolex horses in action together.
Some key questions for the weekend:
(1) Which of Phillip’s horses looks particularly strong? Connaught is making his 2010 competitive XC debut and this weekend is his first major event since Rolex ’09. Only Kheops and The Foreman are sitting out.
(2) How do the horses handle the predicted 84 (F) degree Saturday highs around the hilly terrain? Rolex tends to either burn or pour, and we will get an early look at fitness levels on Saturday.
(3) Who looks like they are riding to win, and who looks like they are riding to not pick up a stop?
(4) Do the veteran stars such as Courageous Comet and Northern Spy look past their prime or great as ever?
(5) How do Mandiba, and Neville rebound after their recent XC issues? The pressure is definitely on.
Best of the Blogs: Boyd’s Fork preview
A special thanks to Lee Ann, Geoff, and Della for responding to Anon’s request for info about Rolex entrant Peter Atkins. Read their answers here
Lastly, be sure to vote in the final matuchup of our Bracket Battle as Dan and Podge face off for all the marbles. Charisma leads as of Wednesday night by the slimmest of margins. Be sure to read the comments before you vote, they are awesome.