If you are riding the cyber wave at home, like me, but living vicariously through the great HJU bloggers onsite at Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, you’re going to be glued to the computer today.
Here’s a quick guide for cross-country:
First of all, familiarize yourself with the course. The virtual course map at the www.rk3de.org on the home page, and check the videos of previous days’ course walks with HJU celebrities (see link here).
Second, check the time schedule — cross country times start at 10:00 a.m. eastern, run til about 12, then there is a lunch break and a second session goes from 1:30 p.m. to about 3:00 p.m.
Looks like the horses will start at 5 minute intervals leaving a good amount of time between fences. If you are there in person, usually it takes 10-15 minutes to walk to each cluster or area of jumps, give or take a few minutes (if you hustle and don’t have kids or whiney friends), that means you have two horses to get moved from jump to jump, which is actually good for viewing the action of a lot of obstacles if you like the Move Around theory. If you’re a Sit Down Stay at One Place viewer, you’re already sitting at the HOTL or got the good spot by the Jumbotron!
Folks, you’ll want to watch (this is my own list). Take a look at your entries and the results to date from dressage and make your own list of “must-watch” riders!
- Andrew Nicholson – Calico Joe and Quimbo (10:20 a.m. and 3:05 p.m.)
Don’t miss the master cross country rider of the century on both of his horses, now in 2nd and 3rd place after dressage. His judgment and knowledge of pace, his position, the flow of his ride will be a clinic to those watching carefully.
- William Fox-Pitt – Seacookie and Chilli Morning (first on course at 10:00 a.m. – 2:40 p.m.)
He is riding the first placed horse (Chilli) and the pathfinder on Seacookie, so you’ll have two chances to watch yet another master cross-country rider. Again, watch for the subtle balancing WFP achieves with his horses for each question.
- Buck Davidson – Park Trader, Mar De Amor, Ballynoe Castle RM (10:10, 11:45, 2:55)
He’s going to be on course three times but these are three different horses so watch how he rides each one differently. Ballynoe Castle is his most experienced at the level and he will be riding to go clean and clear on this one. The other two are a bit green at the level so he’ll be carefully riding to achieve confidence on them; Mar de Amor is very scopey.
- Will Faudree – Pawlow – 10:45; Becky Holder – Can’t Fire Me – 10:50; Daniel Clasing – Houston – 11:20; Kristi Nunnink – R-Star – 11:30; Sally Cousins – Tsunami – 11:35; James Alliston – Jumbo’s Jake – 11:55.
I’ve just picked out these because I expect all of them will have really good rounds today and would like you guys that are there to watch and photo all of them for me! Seriously, I like all these horses a lot and know they have the scope and ability to get around this course today, so am hoping for the best for all of them.
- Allie Knowles – Last Call (1:30)
This is the first rider after lunch so make SURE you have eaten, dumped your trash, and run back out to the course to watch. She’s very highly placed after ripping off a superb dressage test and is one of our brightest new American hopes so make sure you are there to watch her.
- Oh dear, four of the must-watch pairs come right after lunch! Get out of that porta potty line! Next after Allie and Last Call is Ringwood Mississippi and Austin O’Connor and I’ve not seen this pair and would like to. Right after is Pirate and Meghan O’Donoghue, one of the horses that was picked as the fittest; then Fernhill Urco and Mary King, the Mary King – and he will not be as green this year as in 2011 where he finished 2nd. I expect pedal to the metal – she will be trying to make the time!
Marilyn Little and RF Demeter (2:45) She is riding with a sore shoulder but I think she really likes riding this mare, and Marilyn’s got a pretty nice string of horses. It will be an achievement on a grand scale if she can get around clean and fast today and I am hoping she will. They are highly placed after a pretty nice dressage test yesterday.
- Phillip Dutton – Mighty Nice – last horse on course today. This is an exceptional jumper, and he didn’t put forth his best dressage this competition but Phillip is a master at pulling it off and he should go clean and fast to move up the leaderboard.
And download the CrossCountry App for a virtual course map with commentary from Clayton Fredericks.
Here’s to all the riders and horses today — good luck and to all that are watching, at home or live – have fun, stay warm, enjoy the day! And get lots of pictures!