After a whirlwind weekend that started at the butt crack of dawn on Friday and ended Monday afternoon, I can officially say that Rolex 2016 is in the books! Whilst washing piles of laundry (because who had time for that before leaving for Kentucky), I wanted to take the time to reflect on how lucky I am to have been able to attend for the fifth year in a row! My best friend lives in Kentucky and got me hooked on visiting for the “Best Weekend All Year” and it has been an annual tradition now for five years and counting.
This year, I brought a couple of girlfriends with me, and we all chipped in for a hotel to stay closer to the park and have to avoid highway lines on Saturday and Sunday. After catching the last couple of dressage tests and watching one of my friends run the Rolex Kentucky 5K race, we headed to what can only be described as the Bates Motel about 10 minutes from the Horse Park. It was old, albeit, clean, so we dubbed it ok for sleeping and spent as little time as humanly possibly hanging in the room. With so much to do it wasn’t hard to stay out and about! Lesson learned: some online travel deals ARE too good to be true!
I went into the trade fair with a hard budget and I am very proud to say that I did not come home with a totally maxed out credit card and a few dollars left in my checking account!
We all had new horses to buy goodies for and three out of four of us — I’m looking at you Rachwal — did not overindulge. Don’t get me wrong, I sat in some V-E-R-Y snazzy and totally out of my price range saddles just because, but was a good girl in the spending department.
I am not going to lie, when the forecast was clouds, rain, and a little bit of thunderstorms for the weekend, I cried a little inside since this would be the second year we would be soaked to the bone while watching our favorite riders compete. You know what made it worth it? Watching a true sportsman and horseman dominate the competition from beginning to end. Michael Jung is humble and gives all his credit to his horse and thanks his parents profusely for supporting him throughout his riding career. While I support Team USA 110%, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t routing for Jung to win Badminton next weekend and join the long standing Pippa Funnell, party of one, in the Eventing Grand Slam hall of fame.
While I mentally prepare myself to head back to my boring job in the morning, my phone is blowing up with plans for Rolex 2017! Anyone want to go in on a tailgate spot?! We’ll be there, rain or shine!