One of the most interesting and educational places to be during Rolex, or any other big event, is the warm-up ring. It is truly fascinating to watch these top horses and riders get ready to step into the big ring. We started the morning by watching Hannah Sue Burnett and St Barth's warm up. Under David O'Connor's watchful eye, she and Nike did some absolutely lovely trot work.
Canadian Ecogold rider Rebecca Howard, and her Canadian-bred horse Riddle Master, were also competing this morning. Riddle Master is one of my (Calina's) favourite horses competing right now. He rose to the challenge last fall when he ran his first four-star at the WEG and I can't wait to see how he progresses over the course of the next year or so.
Quintus 54 and Karen O'Connor were very impressive today. While his dressage score didn't put him at the top of the leaderboard today, it is clear that he will be very competitive in short order.
This afternoon, after eating a quick lunch, we headed to the warm-up area to watch Ecogold rider Sinead Halpin prepare for her four-star debut. Manoir de Carneville (Tate) showed off his super trot and then took a few quiet moments to meet some fans. It was very heartwarming to watch a couple of kids get to meet one of their equine heroes.
Sinead’s test was absolutely beautiful – we are sure she was thrilled with Tate’s performance and are so happy that she is sitting in the top 10 going into cross-country tomorrow.
Hamish Cargill and Sandhills Tiger were also warming up at the same time – I (Cheryl) loved the bridle Hamish had on his horse. It stood out from all the other bridles I saw this weekend, and looked stunning on his beautiful black horse.
During the afternoon break we got to watch Jessie Phoenix warm-up Exponential (and Mary King warm-up her beautiful grey Fernhill Urco, who is currently sitting in second):
We hope Jessie was happy with this test – it was very tactfully ridden and the pair had some nice trot work. Where this horse really shines, however, is on cross-country - we can’t wait to see his jump tomorrow.