Sunday, April 11, 2010

Our Rolex preview – Part 1

We’re only 10 days away from Rolex and you can definitely feel the excitement. At Ecogold, I wouldn’t exactly call it excitement…more like complete mayhem and total exhaustion. It’s all hands on deck, 7 days a week, trying to supply all the orders that need to be delivered for Rolex. The pressure is definitely on.
But enough about us, let’s talk about the riders with a bit of inside information you might not know… Here’s our Rolex preview: the riders we’ll be cheering for.

Phillip Dutton

Believe it or not, Phillip Dutton is the first event rider we ever met, in October 2008. At the time, we were completely clueless with regards to eventing and didn’t quite know who he was. He was extremely nice, really liked the product and even offered to give us a hand in promoting it as he had “some name recognition” (his words). After our meeting, we googled him and almost fell out of our chairs. I guess there’s nothing like starting at the top! Since that first meeting, Phillip and his team have been invaluable, helping us immensely on the product side of things.

Phillip won Rolex 2 years ago and will definitely be the busiest man this year, with 3 horses plus another horse on its way to Badminton. Here are some videos from what seems like our “2009 Phillip Dutton-stalking-tour!” and a very special video of his 2008 Rolex win.

Something you might not know...at Phillip's True Prospect Farm, there is a wall of fame and a wall of shame, with pictures of those not-so-flattering moments.

Phillip and Kheops du Quesnay at Fair Hill 2009:


Phillip and Woodburn at Wits End CCI-W:


Phillip and Connaught win Rolex 2008


Karen O’Connor
One of the most successful riders in history, Karen has won the USEA Lady Rider of the Year title a record ten times, won Rolex three times, completed Badminton 5 times and is the recipient of numerous awards. She missed Rolex in 2009, but is back with a vengeance, riding her 2008 Olympic mount Mandiba.

Something you might not know.. the O’Connor barn definitely wins the “cutest dogs” trophy! There’s a menagerie of precious little terriers, who seem to be all related but I couldn’t quite keep track of which one was the aunt, grand-mother or 2nd cousin.

Here is a video of Karen riding Mandiba at Fair Hill International 2009


Boyd Martin
Boyd had a very successful year in 2009. He finished 3rd overall on the USEA Leaderboard, officially changed his citizenship with the FEI to become a member of the US Team (he was previously riding for Australia), struck out on his own with his training and sales business Windurra USA LLC, and had a series of wins, most recently at Fair Hill International 3* with Neville Bardos, in the most horrendous weather conditions. So if it rains at Rolex, no worries!
Boyd will be riding Neville Bardos and Remington XXV in his own colors (navy and white) but he rides Rock on Rose in Bruce Davidson’s colors (red and white) as he owns the mare.

Something you might not know… it has been reported that he practices yoga regularly.

Here are videos of Boyd's three Rolex horses.

Neville Bardos winning at Fair Hill International 2009

Remington XXV at Wits End CCI3*-W


Rock on Rose at Jersey Fresh CCI3*


Buck Davidson
Buck will give his top horses Ballynoe Castle RM and My Boy Bobby a well-deserved break, and is bringing Titanium to Rolex. Last year, Buck was 2nd on the USEA Leaderboard and finished 3rd at Rolex, winning the Pinnacle Trophy with My Boy Bobby for being the highest placed US rider (which he also won in 2004). He just won the Fork CCI*** in April, as well as consistently placing at or near the top at every show.

Something you might not know… Buck told us how to design the straps on our XC boots.

Buck and Ballynoe Castle RM at Burghley Horse Trials


Buck and My Boy Bobby win Wits End CCI3*-W


Allison Springer
Allison is one of our great supporters and super nice, so how can we not be rooting for her? In 2009, she gained valuable experience competing in Europe against the best in the world. In 2010, she seems to be on a roll with Arthur, finishing 2nd at the Fork CCI3* last week. We’re sending good vibes for a great performance at Rolex and a place on the WEG team.

Something you might not know… Allison trained the Haiti 3-Day event team, hoping to get them ready for the Central American and Caribbean Games in July 2010. After the earthquake hit, she posted updates of what was happening to the riders. Thankfully, they were all ok.

Here's Allison and Arthur's dressage ride at Burghley Horse Trials


So there are the US riders we'll be rooting for. Check out Part 2 later this week as we focus on the Canucks! :)

- Patricia


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