Do you have the courage to gallop a four mile course with solid jumps (about 30 of them) ranging up to four feet high and almost ten feet wide (at the base)? I sure don’t. Very few riders in the world have both that opportunity and moxie; however, I got to ride the course at Rolex Kentucky–at a walk.
My trail guide was Olympic eventing gold medalist Leslie Law who narrated the course from the perspective of a competitor!
An excerpt from “My Ride with the Law (at Rolex!)”:
Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I’d ever have the chance to ride the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event cross-country course during the “Best Weekend All Year” in April! Especially since I’ve had my horse for less than a year and I’m not an eventer. (Details, details!) Thanks to the five-star hospitality of the country’s lone four-star event, and as a Sidelines Magazine representative, I was able to join a team of media members on a sneak preview trail ride to see several sections of course designer Derek di Grazia’s masterpiece on the bluegrass.
A Distinguished Trail Guide
As if the honor of riding the course at Rolex Kentucky wasn’t enough, our trail guide was 2004 Olympic individual gold medalist for Great Britain, eventer Leslie Law. Following the end of the dressage day-one press conference, a posse of golf carts whisked us off to meet our mounts tacked up in Western saddles. Leslie greeted us sporting jeans, sneakers and a riding helmet.
I rode Rainbell, a chestnut mare with a long mane and white face. All of the writers had to sign waivers warning us that riding is inherently a dangerous activity and that we’d ride responsibly and only at a walk. I smirked thinking that our stroll around the jumps was probably pretty low on the scale of danger. Rainbell sporadically gave me a jig of a trot, but no one seemed to notice. It was a brisk spring day in Lexington and I too was excited to ride the course at Rolex Kentucky!
Click here to read the rest of this article featured in the July issue of Sidelines magazine.
Your Turn: How would you like to ride the course at Rolex Kentucky? Would you rather walk the course on a trail horse in a Western saddle going AROUND the fences OR gallop the course on a veteran Rolex horse, jumping OVER the fences–you would literally just have to steer and hang on and you would magically be assured of no falls?