Sunday at Rolex is always a day of mixed emotions for me. On one hand, I’m excited for show jumping but on the other hand it’s the last day for Rolex and I have to head back to the real world. I don’t ever look forward to that. This year, the show jumping was highly anticipated. Would Mary King hold onto her 1, 2 lead? How would the up and coming young, American riders in the top 10 finish? Plus I had some exciting activities with Ecogold to look forward to in the morning.
I had planned to get over to the Horse Park to watch the second horse inspection. But when I work up to rain and thunder I decided to skip it and sleep in a little longer. I made my way over shortly before 10 to meet up at the Ecogold booth in the trade fair. First up, a Q&A session with the fabulous Sinead Halpin. Sinead talked a lot about her horse Tate and also what a typical day is like on her farm.
|Meg Kepferle and Sinead Halpin|
Next a visit from Diana Burnett for a Q&A session. Unfortunately Diana had to withdraw Manny before cross country on Saturday. Diana spoke about why she chose to withdraw and what’s up next for her and Manny.
Then we got to head over to the stabling area and we got the chance to meet the incredible Emma Ford and see Fernhill Eagle up close and personal. Shared with us a little of her own history, life on Phillip’s farm and how he manages to always have such great event horses.
Time for a last look around the trade fair and then into our seats for show jumping. The course was very fair. Time good, only the real slow pokes seemed to accrue any time penalties and the rails were pretty spread out over all the fences. As I’m sure everyone has heard by now, there was not much suspense going into the end of show jumping. Mary King jumped out of order with Fernhill Urco. A double clear round guaranteed that Mary would be taking home the Rolex watch, the only question was with which horse.
William Fox-Pitt jumped a perfect , clear round, moving him up 2 places to finish in 4th.
|William Fox-Pitt and Neuf des Coeurs|
Sinead Halpin, who was so nice and genuine when we met that morning, also had a double clear round. She finished her both her and Tate’s first 4*by adding only a few time penalties to her dressage score. It was also enough to move her up to 3rd place and make her the highest placing American rider. Congrats Sinead, you deserve every bit of it!
|Sinead Halpin and Manoir de Carneville|
Finally Mary King entered the ring on King Temptress. Although she later admitted to being nervous, Mary looked cool as could be. The mare’s unusual jumping style caused me at least to have a few gasps, sure that they would knock a rail. But she finished with all the rails still firmly in the cups and no time penalties on the clock. Mary had made history as the only rider to place 1st and 2nd at the Rolex Kentucky event. It was an incredible end to a great weekend. Hard to believe it all happened so quickly and once again it was time for me to start the 6 hour drive home.
|Mary King and King Temptress|