If you are at the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event but find yourself without a 4* horse to ride, you can still get a taste of the cross-country experience. However, your mount will have four wheels, not four legs.
Land Rover, the global manufacturer of highly functional luxury SUVs, is everywhere at Rolex: In 2013 the company increased its support of the event and is the title sponsor of the Land Rover Tailgate, presenting sponsor of the NBC Rolex telecast, and presenting sponsor of the “Land Rover Best Ride of the Day.” This last award, a 24-month lease of a 2013 Range Rover Evoque, will be given to the top U.S. rider who comes closest to the optimum time on cross-country with no jumping penalties.
One of the most talked about activities for non-riders at Rolex is the Land Rover Off-Road Test Drive, where attendees can pilot one of the new Range Rovers or Land Rovers over an off-road demo course that includes hills, water hazards, mud and other challenges. As we are both considering new vehicle purchases, HJU blogger Cheryl and I decided it would be a great idea to wander over and see what Land Rover had to offer. After an initial chat with the folks at the welcome area to assess our needs, it was determined that Cheryl would get to drive the top-of-the-line Range Rover. (This vehicle is the definition of luxurious comfort — it even has massaging seats!!!) Since I was looking for something that would tow a trailer, schlep kids to soccer/lacrosse/horse shows, and serve as something I could take clients out in, I was seated behind the wheel of a Land Rover LR4.
Land Rover paired me up with Lee Magee, off-road driving instructor for Land Rover North America, who is a very patient man, and, I learned later, renowned in off-road circles as one of the Camel Trophy veterans. Bless Lee’s heart, he dropped terms like “foot-pounds of torque” and “torsion control” into sentences with every assumption I knew what the heck he was talking about, and did a fantastic job explaining things when I gave him that cocked-head, confused spaniel look I do when confused. He also very calmly handled my (at times) over-exuberant reactions to what was going on. I hope Land Rover realizes what a jewel they have in this man. Thanks so much, Lee, you were great!
Cheryl, my partner in crime, filmed my test drive, which you can view below. If you get to Kentucky for the Rolex, I highly recommend giving the Land Rover test drive a try.
And Santa, if you’re reading, please please please may I have one of these for Christmas?