2013 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI4* Preview Blog # 6

April 24th, 2013 4:13 PM | Comments Off on 2013 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI4* Preview Blog # 6

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

 What else to do at Rolex Kentucky – Part 3 

You thought I meant restaurants when I asked what to do with the nights, didn’t you?

Nope. Once you’re finished shopping and seeing the sights on Friday and Saturday, head over to the Alltech Arena to watch some reining.

 If you’ve never been to see the the Kentucky Reining Cup CRI***, make this the year. The pattern is deceptively simple – a series of circles, flying lead changes, rollbacks, and sliding stops. I say deceptively, because one small error will stand out like the proverbial sore thumb.

This is the third year for the reiners to share the weekend with Rolex, and my third time to go. The first time was something of a shock. Every other horse sport I’d photographed before requires quiet, or relative quiet, when the horse is in the ring. Not so in reining. Cheering your favorite on is not only recommended, but required. The energy in the arena when the crowd gets going is like a winning round on every ride. I’m convinced if people didn’t cheer the reining horses would wonder what they did wrong.

After watching the patterns, I expected reining freestyles to be like dressage freestyles. Not so. Even I have wished that the dressage freestyles would add a smidgen of ‘color’ to their routines.

These guys pull out all the stops on the “fun-o-tron.” Props, costumes, and upbeat music are par for this course. Here are some pictures from that first year in 2011…

The first freestyle was performed to “Whiskey For My Men, Beer For My Horses” by Toby Keith and Willie Nelson. There was a prop bar, complete with “whiskey” bucket for the horse.

After that the night only got better. You might see a move like this in the dressage ring.

But not one like this without some serious equipment malfunctions. Did you notice his bridle is off? Go Desperado!

Now this is Free Style!

Not all of the costumes are so ostentatious. This nattily dressed man turned in a perfect performance that had the judges and the crowd in agreement – Shane Brown and Houston Shine won the inaugural event.

Heather Johnson

 This year I’m grabbing my blingy shirt, my cowboy boots and my “holler.” (And a better understanding of the rules and the patterns.) See you there!

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


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