All 30 cross-country finishers presented this morning at the jog at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. Twenty-nine horses passed, with only James Alliston’s Tivoli being spun. Three horses in total were held: James’ Tivoli, Meghan O’Donoghue’s Pirate, and Kendal Lehari’s Daily Edition. Both Pirate and Daily Edition passed upon reinspection. Word around the barns is that the vast majority of horses look excellent after running Derek Di Grazia’s cross-country course yesterday, which we can likely attribute to excellent footing. A huge crowd turned out to watch the jog this morning, with the crowd stacked eight deep at some spots. The sun was shining at the beginning of the jog, but clouds began to roll in as the jog progressed, an omen that we will likely be seeing rain for show jumping later this afternoon.
It’s a real shame for James that Tivoli was spun, as this horse was sitting the best out of his three rides in 14th place after cross country. But James’ two other mounts Parker, sitting in 21st place, and Jumbo’s Jake, sitting in 26th place, both looked wonderful this morning during the jog, and it’s still a huge achievement to bring two out of three mounts into Sunday’s show jumping at Rolex. All of Buck Davidson’s three mounts were accepted, and he heads into show jumping in excellent position with Ballynoe Castle RM setting in third place. The crowd waited anxiously to hear if Reggie would be accepted, and there was a huge cheer when that confirmation was made. The crowd is really pulling for Buck this weekend, who is the highest-placed American rider heading into show jumping. Buck is also sitting in eighth place with Mar De Amor and 23rd place with Park Trader.
Quimbo looked incredible this morning and very fresh. Andrew gave him a pat on the nose to settle the horse as he pranced a little, showing that he looks in fine form to seal the deal and take the Rolex win this afternoon. Andrew said yesterday in the show jumping that this horse is a very good show jumper, so it’s hard to bet against him. Should things go awry with Quimbo, Andrew also has a chance to clinch the win with his second-placed horse, Calico Joe, although Andrew said this horse is not as solid of a show jumper as Quimbo. Buck has an excellent chance sitting in third place with Ballynoecastle RM, and, of course, we can’t count out William Fox-Pitt and Seacookie TSF — who looked lovely this morning — sitting in fourth place. Will Faudree, who is in fifth place with Pawlow, looked very dapper this morning; someone standing next to me commented that he was “bringing sexy back.”
Quite a few horses looked very fresh this morning. Sal Dali hauled Beth Perkins down the jog lane and looked like he was ready to go around cross country again. Jan Byyny’s Syd Kent also looked very keen and ready to go; she heads into show jumping in 13th place. Kendal Lehari — who won our Ballsy Ride of the Day Award yesterday — wins Best Dressed today. She rocked a hot pink dress that someone standing near me observed matched the color of the geraniums lining the jog lane. Daniel Clasing’s Houston, who skipped around cross country yesterday for a double clear in his four-star debut, also looked ready to go, and Lynn Symansky’s Donner looked brilliant. It will be an exciting finale to Rolex this afternoon. Show jumping starts at 1:15 p.m. Stay tuned for much more.