Sadly, its not the ability to successfully compete at the 4* level. Or, frankly, any level of competition governed by the FEI.
Rather, we both ride chestnuts (hers has a slightly longer resume and a chance at making the US Olympic Team, mine excels at keeping grass well cropped) and last Sunday, we both got to sit in the driver’s seat of a Range Rover. Allison, however, clearly has the upper hand as she gets to keep hers for the next 18 months.
For those who have never been to Rolex…I should probably explain. Every year that I can remember, Land Rover has delighted licensed drivers by setting up a grueling obstacle course at the Kentucky Horse Park.
This course cannot be tackled by just any vehicle. In fact, I suspect my normal ride, Edmund (an Echo hatchback), would have pulled a Boyd Martin and nearly drowned in the water hazard.
Given my challenging daily commute (only a few kilometers on a very flat road) and Edmund’s advancing age, I thought it high time that I take up the Land Rover challenge. My super Land Rover instructor Tim didn’t quite seem comfortable with me taking one for a spin all by myself, so he rode shotgun and was my assistant photographer on this little adventure.
With Tim as my guide, we went up and down steep hills, charged fearlessly through water of unknown depth, challenged large moguls and drove the Range Rover across a bridge and over incredibly sloped terrain.
Despite my concerns that I would manage to flip the car, we managed to finish in one piece. I think I may just be a convert. I just need to find myself a more challenging commute to justify the purchase.
In all seriousness, Land Rover does a great job setting up a fun course, and their vehicles have features I hadn’t even considered possible. We are very lucky to have them as such a great sponsor of Eventing.