2013 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI4* Preview Blog – Who I’m Rooting For

April 26th, 2013 10:10 PM | 1 Comment


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

Blog # 7 – Who I’m rooting for…


Everyone who competes deserves to be cheered on, but I went over the list of competitors today and picked a few specific people to root for this year.

  • Austin O’Conner and Ringwood Mississippi. I picked him because he’s riding for Ireland and it would make my great-something grandmother happy. Seriously though, he’s the veteran of two Olympics, 2000 & 2008.

  • Kristin Schmolze and Ballylaffin Bracken. Try not to say this horse’s name and not smile. Look him up on the web and try not to smile. He’s a handsome bright bay Irish Sport Horse with four white feet. 

  • Ronald Zabala-Goetshel and Wise Equestrian Master Rose. I picked Ronald’s name off the list because, like Austin O’Conner, he was the only rider representing his country. Then I learned a little more about him. He’s the first rider from Ecuador to compete in eventing at the Olympics. Along with being a top-level eventer he runs his business, and dabbles in designing saddles with Phillip Dutton.  What’s not to cheer there?

  • Bruce “Buck” Davidson, Junior. I’m rooting for Buck because he’s a favorite of mine. When I got into the sport he was the first rider that I learned recognize. I’ve seen him at every Rolex I’ve been to and also at Guadalajara in the Pan Am Games. He’s riding three horses this year, Park Trader, Ballynoe Castle RM and Mar de Amor. I’ll be happy to watch him on any of his rides, but I’ll be cheering a little harder when he’s on Mar de Amor. What’s not to love about a horse whose name means “sea of love”? Good Luck Buck. (See him below on Absolute Liberty at the Pam Am Games and on Titanium last year.)



  • William Coleman III and Twizzel. Because, I’ve met Twizzel. At the end of cross-country in 2011 I found myself at the start box at the end of the day. I was walking back beside the barns and there was this bay horse being grazed on the grass just outside the official area. A couple of kids and their mom were petting him and I moved in to take a shot. Because I am a kid at heart when horses are anywhere around, I asked if I could pet the horse too.

I assumed he was one of the horse park horses and was surprised when I learned he was a competitor instead. Meeting him was an unexpected thrill and I’m glad to see him come back to Rolex one last time. This will probably be the last time that he comes to Rolex. The Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event web site has a nice article about Will and Twizzel.


(A note: I found out Wednesday night upon arrival in Kentucky that William and Twizzel have withdrawn from the competition this year. While I’m sad about it, I’m sure it was the best thing for horse and rider to do and I wish them well in the future.)

  • Since I’d like to keep the list at five people, I’ve picked Andrew Nicholson and Calico Joe from New Zealand. Since they ended the first day of the competition in first place, this seems to have been a good choice. Good luck to the both of them.

One Response to “2013 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI4* Preview Blog – Who I’m Rooting For”

  1. […] sets of riders included two people from my “Cheering For” list (see pre-Rolex blog # 8):  Bruce Davidson Jr. (a.k.a. Buck) on Mar de Amor and Kristin Schmozle on Ballylaffin Bracken. […]