Wednesday News and Notes from MDBarnmaster

"Lillian Heards Share Option and Jon Hollings Zatopek B discussing strategies for their first 4****! #RK3DE #newbieselfie!" Photo and caption courtesy of Savannah Kilpatrick.

Good morning EN! The  2014 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event officially begins today with the first horse inspection at 3 p.m. Competitors have been arriving all week to settle in, and the EN troops are on the ground to bring you photos and coverage throughout the entire weekend. Don’t forget to keep up with all our Rolex contests here. Keep checking back for all things Rolex-related, including a jog report later today.

[RK3DE Website] [Event Schedule] [Entry Status] [Official Facebook Page]

Weekend Preview:

Fresno County Horse Park H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Times]

Loudoun Hunt Pony Club Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

University of New Hampshire Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Times]

Today’s News:

Have you entered any of EN’s contests for Rolex yet? Contests currently open are The Point Two Protect YourSELFIE ContestDesign Your DubesSmartPak’s Too Fun To Have Just One, Show Us Your Collection ContestOmega Alpha’s Pick ‘EmKeep up with all the currently open contests here. [Rolex Giveaway Insanity]

Once again Andrew Nicholson and William Fox-Pitt will face off as the two of the top riders in the world. Fox-Pitt is back with last year’s Kentucky runner-up Seacookie TSF, who went on to win Les Etoiles de Pau last October. Nicholson brings his popular mount Avebury, who was second-placed at Burghley last year and the winner of the same event in 2012. William Fox-Pitt does currently lead the 2014 FEI Leaderboard, though it is still too early in the season to make much of his nine point lead over eighth-placed Nicholson. [Horsetalk]

EN sends best wishes and lots of good karma to Kelly Pugh, who sustained a serious knee injury recently. Shannon Lilley sent us an update saying that Kelly was accidentally kicked by one of her horses and the force of the impact tore her meniscus off the bone. She will undergo surgery on May 5, and will then continue with rehab for the next 4-6months. Here’s to a speedy recovery!

Badminton will welcome Grassroots Championships once again. The competition began in 2002, and enables amateur riders to compete at the famed Badminton estate. Qualifiers are held around the UK throughout the eventing season, and the championships will feature two classes: BE90 and BE100. They will run on May 6-7, just before the big event kicks off. [Horse & Country]

This week on the Eventing Radio Show: All eyes are looking to Rolex. Doug Payne joins hosts Jess and Samantha to talk about his upcoming trip to Europe to compete at Saumur. Rolex first timer Ellen Doughty talks about her wedding plans on the Friday of the event, and Ruy Fonseca gives the seasoned competitor perspective. Clark Montgomery gives this week’s training tip. [Eventing Radio Show]

Best of Blogs: PRO Riders competing at Rolex continued their tradition of visiting children at the UK Children’s Hospital yesterday. Buck Davidson, Jennie Brannigan, Lynn Symansky and Jon Holling and joined reiner and Lexington resident Lyndsey Jordan at the hospital. Click to see photos and read more. [PRO Blog]

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