2013 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI4* Blog – Saturday Cross Country

April 28th, 2013 5:30 PM | Comments Off on 2013 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI4* Blog – Saturday Cross Country

By Sarah Miller, Primary Blogger for MacMillan Photography & Media Services

Saturday Rolex Blog – Cross-Country Excitement and More People Watching….

“Rain, rain, stay away”, was the mantra of the day today. The forecasters threatened rain after lunch and the sky threatened it all day. Enough of the 26,872 people who came out today must have been repeating that wish to make a difference; because aside from a few sprinkles the day stayed dry albeit gloomy.

I picked a section of the course to shoot which has become a favorite of mine. It’s in the field off Marks Lane behind the Land Rover Experience course. The Ditch Brush (fence # 12), the Sunken Road (# 13), the Dueling Fallen Tree (#14), the Stepped Tables (#21) and the Tobacco Stripping Bench (# 18) are all in this area. You can even see the Hammock (# 11) from here if you peer up the hill and into the trees. This is also the area of the course where Land Rover has their tailgate party area. For those who didn’t want to wander the course all day there was a “jombotron-esque” portable screen showing coverage of the rest of the course. It was the perfect place to go see a lot of jumps and enjoy the crowd.


 And boy, did I enjoy the crowd today. Some people have been coming for years, like this woman.

Others like Lynne Blackburn and her Pony Club kids were first timers. They made a bus trip down from Ottawa, Canada, to see cross-country. Tonight they’ll hop back on the bus and head home. I met a former 4-star eventer who brought her daughters to Rolex to cheer on Andrew Nicholson. I met people on the course from Minnesota, Montana, Kentucky, and Missouri. If I asked enough people I’m sure I could get most of the U.S. states and a good chunk of Canada accounted for. So, if you go out next year, talk to your neighbor while you’re waiting for a rider to come through – you never know who you’ll meet.


I did a little people watching too. Spotting pink Wellies required a little looking, but they were all around if you kept your eyes sharp.


I tried counting Corgi dogs today too, but that was less successful. I saw exactly two. One in the morning and one at the end of the day. Apparently Corgis are the favorite of the dressage set and Lab/Lab-crosses are the favorite of cross-country fans. Something to keep in mind for next year.I did have a winner for cutest dog on the course – Spike, the Chinese Crested in his giraffe-print bodysuit.


But, you ask, how was the riding? Fantastic!

There were only five falls and no one was seriously hurt. The penalties acquired on course were spread around from jump numbers 7 through 25, so no one jump was the “bugbear” this year.

William Fox-Pitt started the morning off with a demonstration of “how to get the job done” on the Trakehner gelding Seacookie TSF. They finished the day in 4th place.

Watching William and Seacookie

William and Seacookie galloping

         William and Chilli Morning retired from the course later in the day, which was unfortunate for them, but allowed Andrew Nicholson to move into first and second place on Quimbo and Calico Joe respectively.

Andrew and Calico Joe coming out of the sunken road      

Andrew and Quimbo

Bruce (Buck) Davidson Jr. had three clear jumping rounds on cross-country, two of them double-clear (no jumping or time penalties) rides today. On Park Trader he picked up 16 time penalties, putting them into 22nd place. He and Mar de Amor had a double clear round and their time of 11 minutes 15 seconds won Buck the “Land Rover Best Ride of the Day” award (for the U.S. rider closest to optimum time) and a lease on a 2013 Land Rover Evoque. His third clear round, on Ballynoe Castle RM (a.k.a. Reggie) put him into third place.

Buck and Park Trader

Buck and Mar de Amor

Buck and Reggie

Buck with his gilrfriend Andrea and Mar de Amor’s owner Leigh Mesher.

My other favorites didn’t do too badly either. Kristin Schmolze and Ballylaffin Bracken had a clear jumping round, but picked up 13.6 time penalties, putting them into 21st place.


 Ireland’s Austin O’Connor and Ringwood Mississippi also had a clear round over the jumps, but picked up 4.4 time penalties which put them into 18th place.


Sadly, Ronald Zabala-Goetshel and Wise Equestrian Master Rose were eliminated at the Head of the Lake so I’ll have to cheer them on another time.

Ronald and Wise exiting the sunken road           

 Stadium tomorrow should be exciting. Stay Tuned!

Three Brits check out the standings

Press Conference XC leaders – Left to Right: Andrew Nicholson, Buck Davidson & William Fox-Pitt.        

All photos by Sarah Miller/MacMillan Photography. All photos are copyrighted and owned by MacMillan Photography & Media Services. To purchase photos contact us at photo@looncreekenterprises.com or 260-468-2392.


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