Today was a busy day. Although we had no competing to do, there was plenty to be done, in fact, it’s now 11.30pm and I have just got back to the hotel from doing late night check. I dropped Selena back at the hotel earlier and predictably she is now asleep, so I guess you won’t be getting her ten cent’s worth tonight.
We get to the barn around 7.30 each day that doesn’t require an earlier start. That way the horses stay on the same routine as at home. Solo, as always, sings us a welcome as he sees us coming. He has always been one for lots of singing and shouting when there is something going on, dinner is his favourite reason for a song, but sometimes he is just glad to see us, he is very endearing that way. Mr. C. does a little whoohoowhoohoo through his nostrils to indicate he is happy to have us come around the corner, it’s nice to be wanted.
The second half of the dressage went today, putting Selena into 17th place. Not where she wanted to be….first is always nice….but certainly still well in the hunt. It has rained on and off through the day, but not enough to be offputting. However, we were told today that there is a possibility of tornadoes tomorrow, in which case, all the horses have to go to the new indoor arena that was built recently. I have not been inside it, but I hope it’s good and big. There are 53 horses running in the competition, several riders have extra horses with them and there are a whole bunch of jumpers here for the WEG test event on Sunday night. All in all, I would imagine the number is around 100. I am not sure how many of them are going to enjoy being jammed in an indoor arena together, so let’s do the ‘no tornado’ dance tonight. William Fox Pitt’s horse kicks (people) like a banshee. The horse is really wicked and will spin his hind end around and cow kick in an effort to get you. We watched poor Dougie Hannum easing his way into the stall to work on it. Dougie’s own personal magic kept him safe, he likes to say he “gets a handle” on a horse, this horse needs him to keep a good tight grip on the “handle”
Selena had another course walk, this time with Colombo’s owner Elaine Davies, and some of the wonderful people who have travelled all the way to Kentucky to watch the event and cheer Selena on. It’s great to see faces you know when you are competing at something as big as this. Home support makes all the difference. She feels the course is not as hard as last year, we shall see.
I have to now relate my rather embarrassing tale of the day. In the morning, Selena and I had gone to the trade fair to talk to the lady at ‘Fits’, a store we have bought shirts from at Kentucky in the past. Selena loves their shirst and wanted to buy another one. While we were there, we got talking and the upshot of it was that ‘Fits’ decided to sponsor Selena with breeches and shirts for competiton. Their breeches are great having an innovative ‘full seat’ that has gaps in it so that you don’t get that, can’t get into the tack feeling. Amazingly, the incredibly charming people at Fits also decided to dress me, and presented me with a gorgeous pair of black breeches and a black and white shirt to match. We had to leave, but promised to go back at 4pm to model our new breeches and be there for a wine tasting from a Californian vinyard. Fits is an Oregon/California company.
The breeches were incredibly comfortable so I kept them on to ride Solo. Took Solo down to the ring while Selena was having a quick jump school with David. As Selena left the jumping ring, the president of the CEF, the eventing team stable manager, the chef de quipe, Grit High one of the Canadian Selectors, David O and another couple of offical Canadian bodies were all standing in the corner of the ring that I was working in. Selena pointed out Solo, telling them that it was her up and coming horse and how wonderfully he was going for me….kiss of death. About five minutes later, he gave one wonderful buck, he is nothing if not athletic and I sailed into the air and landed with a whump in the WET footing with my new breeches no less. Well, can life get any more embarrassing? Yes it can. The president of the CEF and Graeme Thome the Chef d’Equipe had to catch my horse for me and hang onto him while I clambered back into the tack….UGH! Oh well, now I can say I have ridden and Kentucky and fallen off at Kentucky….sigh. I am happy to report that when I went back to the Fits booth at 4pm with my absolutely filthy breeches, they forgave me and let me stay for the wine tasting anyway.
On a brighter note, tonight was the Red and White party which is always wonderful and this year was no exception. In addition it was Grit High’s birthday and we sang happy birthday and Jen Hollings produced a birthday cake complete with candles. We also had an energising speech from Greg Paul who does a great job of garnering sponsorship for the Canadian Team and several of our team sponsors had flown or driven to Rolex to attend. One of these is Gordon Chang and his fabulous PR lady Patti Hanco from Omega Alpha, all natural products which help and enhance horses health and performance. We have been using several products from Omega Alpha with huge success with both Colombo and Solo and tonight we found out that they do human products too. Gordon has promised to help me with leg cramping that assails me regularily, and hopes to also help Selena with stiffness problems that she gets in her neck and shoulders using Omega Alpha products for humans. If it works as well as the sinew-x that we give to Colombo for his stiffness problems, it will be amazing.
There are a lot of ‘up and coming’ eventers at Rolex. Riley Carter, is the daughter of Kyle and Jennifer, Liam Law was there and Tara Zeigler’s daughter is 6 months old and gorgeous. I hear that Riley has already been to her first horse show on her pony. I bet she was as cute as a button and very excited about ‘showing’, I wish I had seen here there.