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).