Sunday, April 24, 2011

Becky’s Antici- (Say it! Say it!) Pation!

I can’t seem to sustain any focus at all….perhaps I watched too much Rocky Horror Picture Show as a young adult. But I think it has more to do with the plethora of horse events happening this weekend, and with me not able to do anything but hear about them. Soon, though, it will be time for the ONE event that is NOT to be missed: RK3DE!

A good friend tweeted while he watched Badminton, and between EN, the Ecogold blog, CoTH forums, and live scoring, I was able to live a wee bit vicariously, thrilling to the stops and recoveries and completions. I’m truly sad that Ingrid Klimke, Karen O’Connor, Stephanie Rhode-Bosch, and Ollie Townend were all eliminated; they are, each and every one of them, riders I watch to learn more about the sport I love.

Meanwhile, closer to home, friends were competing at Holly Hill Horse Trials in Benton, LA, and I was watching live scoring to see how they were all doing. Originally I, too, was entered, but my horse Paddy is recovering from surgery on a fractured splint bone, so I was forced to live vicariously through yet another live scoring web page on the Internet. Congrats to all those who did well, especially at new (or almost new) levels!

Any disappointment I might harbor about not being able to stream Badminton or compete at Holly Hill is quickly quelled by thinking about my upcoming foray to Rolex, though, and the excitement of wallowing in the beautiful Kentucky Horse Park along with thousands of my fellow eventing junkies. Nothing like being around folks who “get it,” who are as giddy and excited by it all as you are!

And the setting….My, oh, my. Currently I reside in West Texas—think flat, dusty, hot, and dry…that about sums it up lately—which leaves much to be desired in terms of environmental aesthetics. But Kentucky….now THERE’S a place worth seeing! Rolling hills. Gorgeous, manicured pastures. Barns nicer than many of the homes in the state. And the horses…….I will be coming from Paris, KY, which means I will be forced to drive first Paris Pike, then Ironworks Road every day for thirty minutes (twice!), drooling over the fantastic sight of splendid TB mares and babies frolicking in pastures, doing my best to stay on the road as I gape at the magnificent horses/setting. Luckily, KY drivers have been quite forgiving in the years I’ve been doing this. I haven’t gotten any better about not looking!

I’ll be excited to cheer for all the Ecogold riders, but I’m especially excited that a fellow Texan, Heather Morris, will be there. GO EXPRESS EVENTING!

I have been on the ground far too much this spring, so I’ll be particularly excited to watch and learn in preparation of being “back on that horse” (and, yes, maybe to shop JUST a little bit…!). Once again, I’ll be a fence judge on XC day; I like feeling like in this, the pinnacle of the sport, I help just a tiny bit. It’s amazing how much you learn by watching the best riders IN THE WORLD go over the same fence, too. You learn what works, what preparation happens before, during, and after the fence, which horses are honest, which riders are prepared, and so forth. I’ll find out which fence I have on Friday night!  

In addition, thanks to Ecogold, I’ll get to go on a coursewalk with one of the sponsored riders, and I’ll get to listen to Q&A’s with some of the best riders in the world, all of which I intend to blog faithfully both for Ecogold and in my own annual Rolex Report (http://rolexreport11.blogspot.com). More chances to learn! I cannot WAIT!

Weather (and airlines) permitting, we get to KY Wednesday evening, and we’ll be there bright and early Thursday for dressage (after a quick trip to Quillin Leather in Paris, KY….a yearly pilgrimage). Until Thursday…..unless there’s a Time Warp…..!

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