Saturday, April 30, 2011

Carrie's Rolex Experience - Saturday...Need I say More?

Good thing we got to the KHP when we did. As we pulled off I-75 (at 8:15 a.m.) there was a line, a long one, already forming to get in.  Parking, was closer to the campground for us today, which actually, I didn't mind.  I think by now we have seen literally one end of the park to the other.  The place is massive. 
Ecogold Rider Sinead Halpin and 'Tate'

From what I heard described as 'a pretty straightforward track for a 4*'...I can assure you, it certainly didn't ride that way.  There were a ton of run outs, 'the Big E' reared its ugly head more times then I can count and there were massive changes among the leader board from yesterday.   

I loved Laine Ashker's ride though the HSBC Water Park...not only was it brilliant, on the way out...she had a massive smile on her face and gave 'Al' several huge pats. 

Bobbi - Who has been a Jump Judge at
Rolex since I have been alive
We spent a little time at the Head of the Lake (d'uh), where I was lucky enough to be sitting beside the jump judge.  No big deal right?! Well, this might be a little different.  Bobbi, from Cincinnati, Ohio, has been coming to Rolex and volunteering as a jump judge since 1978....for the record, I was born in 1978.  I turned 32 last December.  A-Ma-Zing!!!  She said she has been coming every year because she loves the horses, the atmosphere and the people.  She was awesome.  She also told me that "1978 was a pretty good year then."  Thanks for speaking with me Bobbi!! And thank you as a volunteer for making Rolex what it is today! 

At the end of the day, we were headed over towards the Altech Indoor because the rest of my entourage wanted to check out the reining horses and|Western which point I realized I wouldn't be able to do up a western girth if my life depended on it...anyways...probably the highlight of my day...We were walking along the dirt path that the horses use to get to and from the start/finish of the xc.  Ecogold rider, Jessica Phoenix, whom I  interviewed yesterday afternoon, was on her way back to the barn (she literally still had all her gear on and her helmet done up), after a wicked run on Exponential.  I saw her, she saw me, I went "Hey!!! You were amazing!!" She threw her arms around me, hugged me (more like crushed my ribs) and said "Isn't he AMAZING?!"  I wish I could describe the pure joy and admiration in her voice.  It was probably the highlight of my day.  Exponential = one Hell of a horse.  I can only describe him as being able to soar.  Walking back to the wouldn't have thought he had just run around a 6,300 meter track.  He was cool as a cucumber.

We spent a little bit of time swimming with the ducks on the way out of the park and are really looking forward to stadium tomorrow.  As all the horses are getting their legs iced, I am hoping that the riders are enjoying a much deserved beer. 

We are sunburned, our feet hurt, I have blisters from my flip flops...and I wouldn't have it any other way!!

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