Today, let’s flashback to Kentucky 2014. Picture it (or, you know, watch the video above): Andrew Nicholson was seeking the Rolex Grand Slam, our hopes hinged on Sinead Halpin and “Tate” for a home-country victory, and Lillian Heard was a rookie to the level.
Things are different now — the event is no longer known as “Rolex”, but as Land Rover Kentucky; it’s no longer a four-star, but a five-star; we don’t have to deal with a 1.5x dressage coefficient anymore; and there will be no spectators this year.
Nowadays, I get a bit of a kick out of watching the main stream media coverage (what little there is of our sport at least) as it glosses so casually over the finer details of it all, but there’s something about these emotional, musical NBC segment introductions that still give me goosebumps and make my heart flutter the same way they did when I was a kid glued to the TV, dreaming of taking riding lessons someday.
Thanks to Sara Kozumplik Murphy, Lynn Symansky and Dorothy Crowell leading the charge to make sure the event went on this year, and to the personal contributions of many more eventing fans across the country, maybe there will be a dramatic 2021 Kentucky segment on NBC this year too.