What It Means to Be a Rolex Fan On Cross Country Day

Longtime Rolex spectator Anne March gives us a firsthand look at what the spectators experienced on a cold, wet, windy cross country day on Saturday in Lexington. Send in your own stories about attending #RK3DE to [email protected] Go Eventing.

Tim Bourke and Luckaun Quality gallop by spectators. Photo by Anne March. Tim Bourke and Luckaun Quality gallop by spectators. Photo by Anne March.

Being a Rolex fan means bringing your “A” game to Saturday. Cross country is eight hours of sheer enjoyment no matter what the footing feels like on the crossovers or the sky is doing to you.

We get plastic, charge the camera batteries, wear the rubber boots, and go on. Dogs, babies, tailgates and favorite riders make the horse park fields their own, and we take it all in. We are masters of the porta potty lines, we tweet and Instagram and Facebook, cheer, whoop and yell, “Go!” to our riders.

We drink a little, we walk a lot, we watch and learn and experience. We find some food, crash a tailgate or two, meet friends everywhere we see only once a year and instantly pick up where we left off. We walk last fence to first, or we spend time at every complex, or we park at a spot near our favorite fence and stay there all day. And some just wander hoping for that perfect shot. We hope every rider makes it home.

We end exhausted and spent, straggle back to our hotel rooms, pass one another in the halls and parking lots and share that Rolex Saturday smile with a stranger who also has horse park mud on their boots and is dragging an overflowing shopping bag of bargain tack from the trade fair — and another Rolex Saturday is in the books. Lastly, we remember to bring peppermints for The Gray Goose on the way out of the park.

It’s tough being a serious Rolex fan. But we persevere, we carry on, and we’ll be back — next year — to do it all over again.