Thursday News & Notes from SmartPak

Aerial view of one of my favorite combinations at Rolex!! Photo courtesy of Levi Ryckewaert.

Aerial view of one of my favorite combinations at Rolex!! Also, a tiny Tyson Rementer. Photo courtesy of Levi Ryckewaert.

Spring is in the air, and the tension building for Rolex is palpable! This time next week, the first riders will be cantering down centerline, ready to decide the first part of their four-star fate. This year, there are a lot of returning champions, as well as a decently good percentage of rookies, which always makes for an interesting result. I personally feel like there are three horses in the field who have equal chances of winning this event, and maybe, just maybe, William Fox Pitt will let an American win this time. #rolexgoals

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Fair Hill International H.T. & CIC [Website] [Omnibus] [Entry Status]

Longleaf Pine H.T. [Website] [Omnibus] [Entry Status]

CDCTA Spring II H.T.  [Website] [Omnibus] [Entry Status]

River Glen Spring H.T.  [Website] [Omnibus] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Holly Hill Farm H.T.  [Website] [Omnibus] [Entry Status]

St. Johns H.T.  [Website] [Omnibus] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

News From Around The Globe:

This weekend is all about the FEI World Cup Finals in Las Vegas. Held in the United States for the first time in six years, Las Vegas is filled with some of the finest show jumping and dressage pairs in the entire world. Names like Charlotte DuJardin (can anyone beat her?) and Rich Fellers come to mind. I’m personally rooting for Laura Graves and Verdades (his barn name is Diddy…I mean…) to pull out a personal best and bring the U.S. back into relevance in the dressage scene. [US Competitors Ready for World Cup]

How did $150 million worth of horses fly all the way to Las Vegas? In fancy horse airplanes of course! Somehow I’m still fascinated by horses in planes, and I’m not the only one. Check out Valegro and others boarding the planes last week. [Horses Fly To Vegas]

Have you checked out the Badminton 2015 cross country course yet? With all the Rolex hype, we sometimes forget that Badminton is right around the corner as well. This year it’s all new on the cross country, with the direction changed and lots of combinations added. They’ve taken out the Vicarage Vee, the Normandy Bank and the Shooting Butt, which means three of the most recognizable Badders jumps are missing. [Five Things About Badminton 2015]

Rap music and dressage: two things you never thought to be related. Now thanks to Josh Hill, young rider extraordinaire, they are intertwined forever. Pro-tip: he’s cousins with local Eventer Justine Dutton! [Listening to Rap Makes a Good Dressage Warmup]

Up and coming Eventing star Fleeceworks Royal is taking a break from three-day action to try her hand at jumpers this spring. While Tamie Smith spends some time on the east coast vying for a spot on the Pan Am team, she has handed over the reins on this special mare to her show jumping mentor, Susie Hutchinson. Susie is already having great success, as they just won the 6-year-old Young Jumper Championship Qualifier at Blenheim Spring Classic 3. [Fleeceworks Royal Goes Jumper]

Best of Blogs: Why Is There Only One Horse In The Barn??

Close Second: 27 Things That Happen When You Own An Ex Racehorse


For a fun Rolex throwback…I give you Rolex 2007!

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