LRK3DE reflections

While I definitely was a little sad about missing LRK3DE again this year in person, I was really grateful for the live stream. It’s pretty awesome to be able to follow along with every step of the action, live, over the entire 4 days. What did we even DO before live streams???

First of all, I have to fess up – go ahead and label me a traitor if you want, but by the time we got down to the final 2 in show jumping, I was rooting for Ollie. Yeah I know, I’m severely in the minority. But I love that horse, especially because we have one coming next year by the same sire (Ramiro B) and out of an even more blooded mare than the dam of Cooley Master Class. I’m excited about the foal, and I thought it was pretty neat to see a repeat win for Ollie’s horse, who was absolutely on fire all weekend. Even if it means I get kicked out of America for not rooting for Boyd.

I also liked the commentators on the live stream, for the most part. Specifically the lack of KOC was nice, I have never enjoyed listening to her or her obvious favoritism. I think Doug Payne was my favorite of the rotating dressage commentators this time around, but most of them were fun to listen to and did a good job. Didn’t really love Laura’s showjumping commentary though, it was a little boring. Kinda felt like “they’re gonna want to rebalance here” and “he/she got away with it” on repeat, with a lot of silence in between. Given her experience in pure showjumping it seems like they could have gotten some good conversation there but I thought it fell a bit flat.

I was glad to see so many helmets in dressage, with 88% of riders choosing them over a top hat. I have to admit, I think top hats just look goofy AF these days, and it’s so rare to see an American rider in one that I do a double take. It makes me happy to see so many people that care more about protecting their melons than they do about “fashion” or relatively silly traditional attire.

The best part of the dressage, though? Ollie’s salute. I was DYING. He’s like “Did you bitches see that? YEAH YOU DID. BAM!”. I want to start saluting like that, maybe the confidence will help my scores.

As for cross country day, the rides that really stand out in my head aren’t the big name guys. It’s the first timers getting it done on sheer grit, and it’s the people who have made it this far with their one special horse that they trust 110%. It’s SO fun to watch those true partnerships, like Sara Gumbiner or Allie Sacksen. They have so much faith in their horses, and their horses have so much love for the game. Their rounds might not be as picture perfect as some of the bigger names, and they might not have the scores that are competitive enough to put them top 10, but to me they are way more inspiring to watch. It gives you chills.

Fun fact: the average blood % of the top 10 finishers was 62.8%. If not for Will Coleman’s unfortunate 15 for the flag penalty that cost him 5th place, it would have been 66%.


AND THAT FLAG PENALTY IS SOME REAL STUPID BULLSHIT, I HATE IT. I understand why they put the rule in place, I really do, but I just don’t like how it’s been playing out so far this year. I’m with Will on this one, that horse tried his guts out to get himself over that fence, and the majority of his body definitely made it through the flags. The horse still had forward momentum, he made every effort to jump it with his whole body as best he could… I just don’t like a rule that punishes that. There has to be a better way. Also Will totally said on Facebook what all of us have been thinking for a while:


Moving on to showjumping, I gotta give the top 5 some serious credit, boy are they cool under pressure. I’d have been crapping myself. Boyd’s round was about as masterful as you’d want to see, at a couple jumps I’m relatively certain he picked Thomas up and literally threw him over the fence. Talk about delivering when it matters most. The man has ice in his veins.

When they cut over to interview Buck during one of the breaks, I got one of my favorite and most memorable moments of the weekend. Poor guy has yet another broken collarbone, didn’t get to finish ANY of his three super nice horses at a huge event that they’ve been aiming for for months… if anyone has the right to go hide or be upset, it was Buck. Yet there he was, collarbone taped up, watching stadium and coaching and cheering for his friends. When they interviewed him he said something along the lines of “If you want to see real bad news, turn on CNN. We are all so lucky to even be here.”. He had nothing but good things to say about his horses, the people around him, the event, and even the weather. His perspective is one to emulate, and his sportsmanship is off the charts. Much respect to Buck.

Also I tried really hard all weekend to dislike Ollie, after all that drama with him and his over-eager whip last year, but I have to say that either they’ve done a lot of work on his PR or he’s seen the light a little bit. Dude was a class act from start to finish, in a way that I haven’t really seen from Ollie before. Granted, things were going well… we’ll see what happens when things don’t go so well.

One horse that really stood out to me a lot over the weekend was Paddy the Caddy. I’ve seen him before but he REALLY looks good right now, such a classy horse. Whatever they’re doing with him, it’s working. His blip on XC was unfortunate, yet even with a 20 he still finished with only 4.8 time penalties. Once they put 3 phases together, that could be a really legit 5* horse.

I was also left feeling like, once again, the foreigners tend to have horses that are a bit less “fancy” in their gaits but much better trained and well ridden. Just like Michael Jung – none of his horses are particularly fancy, but he’s masterful at getting the absolute most out of them. Piggy’s horse isn’t a great mover, the trot especially, but her dressage test was just SO well-ridden, she got every possible point she could. It’s interesting to me, because we tend to get hearts in our eyes for those big fancy movers (like Deniro Z) and forget just how much you really can maximize a more average-moving horse. Fancy is not required.

Overall it was a great weekend of sport, a good course, and just the kind of competition you want to see. The first ever 5* was definitely a success, even if I didn’t get to see it in person. I did make a little purchase yesterday that eased some of my sadness, though…

See you in September, Burghley!!!



21 thoughts on “LRK3DE reflections

  1. What happened to everyone’s “favorite”, Marilyn Little? I haven’t seen much of her lately. Not that I really want to, but I am curious what she’s up to.


  2. you’re going to have soooo much fun at burghley. i was amazed at how different badminton and kentucky felt. Burghley probably has its own flavor

    I will say, I can’t like ollie after last year. And I’ll be honest… I didn’t really much try either 😛 I was gutted we didn’t get to see an american win (AGAIN) but hey maybe next year??

    also did you see Z take off the in of that 2 stride with the entire back half of his body? there was a little kid sitting behind us and he goes “mommy… did the horse forget to jump?”


    1. I can’t like Ollie yet either, but I tried really hard to hate him over the weekend and just didn’t succeed lol. Now I’m just a skeptical neutral. I like that horse a lot too though, so there’s that.

      I have a video of Z doing that, I sent it to several people like WTF? It was definitely an off distance, but that was the weirdest reaction. I’ve never been a big fan of that horse honestly, but that was a weird one for sure.


      1. Ollie’s horse was jumping out of his damn skin. 2 fences in I was like no way he doesn’t win this. re: Z I’m usually loathe to blame the horse for things but um P Dutty could jump the legs off a table so get your shit together Z. You’re never gonna get a better ride hahaha!


      2. I wrote something but wordpress ate it but mostly just wanted to say I DID NOT realize he was 36 I totally thought he was in his late 40s. Maybe even 50.


  3. I also obsessively followed the live stream. I know Emma on FraidyCat said that the lower number of entries sucked for watching in person, but on the live stream it was great because you got to see more of each rider’s cross county round, including the lesser known names/horses. I absolutely loved seeing all the first timers, especially Chris Talley and his OTTB that he brought up the levels. You could just tell he was having the best time and was so happy with his horse. Super gutted for Buck, such an unlucky fall.


  4. It’s funny, your comments about the “lack of fancy” in the Dressage. I had sent a friend of mine a text about the state of straight Dressage and Dressage in Eventing. In some ways, and this is TOTALLY a plebeians view, I feel like the Dressage in eventing is closer to what Dressage was originally intended for. The horses are typically not these BIG and EXTRAVAGANT movers. They are well trained horses that are ridden accurately. No one is winning at the top levels because they are riding a 10+ mover.


    1. I have to agree with you. I love seeing a horse polished into it’s absolute best and totally correct vs a big overly manufactured mover that’s just flinging it’s legs around. There are still some really nice not-leg-flinging horses in straight dressage too though, it hasn’t been totally taken over yet.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! I just realized this has been my feeling in the back of my mind. It’s definitely why I appreciate eventing dressage – it’s dressage done by more “normal” horses. I never did care for Toto and his ilk, so makes sense!


        1. Well…I never like Totilas either, and I agree with your, and others, sentiments about the dressage disp!aged at the event, but……if Charlotte and Carl want to give me Blueberry (Valegro), I’m sure not going to turn himdown!!! LOL


    2. YES!! I was actually thinking the same thing!!! It was nice to see grit, weel riden vs all the flamboant movement for sure! Hate me but i like this better!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I enjoyed the coverage very much, other than when they cut away from poor Buck having gone splat on the ground and not gotten up. I was left screaming at my laptop and wondering if he was okay. Thankfully I hopped over to Twitter and someone posted that he was on his feet and walking off with assistance. What did we ever do without live stream AND all social media, LOL. Although – as others have pointed out – I was annoyed by the lack of a course map anywhere I looked. That was a stupid move, intentional or not.

    Thrilled for Boyd’s amazing finish. He looks a bit big for that horse to my eye, but gosh can he ever get him around! And I absolutely love Ollie’s horse, that HORSE totally deserved to win. Just an exceptional animal. Very happy that Ollie acquitted himself so well but yeah, the jury is still out. At least I didn’t have to suffer through the presence of ML!

    Question: where was The Terminator? Are Roxie and Sam retired and he doesn’t currently have a 5* mount? Or is KY now “been there, done that” so he just skipped it?


    1. He has Chipmunk in his stable now (taking it slow with him) and fischerroccana hasn’t been retired yet. Not sure how fit she is after her injury though. I would guess he is focusing on Badminton right now..
      Going by his instagram he spent the last few months show jumping his younger horses…and being so successful at it that the FN officials are fearing he might turn to SJ completely. He is among the top 10 in Gernany and that is saying something .


  6. Sarah G and Allie S are probably some of my favorite riders to follow- I love Allie’s horse and will always root for any Connemara cross especially a Grange baby! Seriously Grange was one of the coolest stallions I have ever met! Watching a 12 year old girl jump him over a 4’+ jump bareback and in a halter is permanently ingrained in my head (oh and he was 22 at the time) I wish I was smaller bc I would totally of gotten a Grange baby back in the day… oh and Sarah G’s interview on Major League Eventing- I have so much respect for her after listening to that and that’s why I’ll always root for her!!! Also I have a lot of respect for Buck, much more than I had a few years ago. His interview with MLE (thanks for writing about that podcast a bit ago) really made me think back and reflect on my own word use and rethinking where I put the blame (aka no excuses- shit happens, prepare for anything and accept what happens)

    Plus I’m with you- Go Ollie!!! It was nice to see him tear up slightly after he jumped clean and it just looked like he was so appreciative of the win vs “suck it up bitches I own you”- it actually seemed like he worked for the win 🙂


  7. From all the horses this weekend, I wouldn’t mind a Leamore Master Plan in my barn. Shame they had a rail, but Ariel gave him one hell of a ride, and I was totally smitten with him on the cross country. I didn’t hear Buck’s interview, but not at all surprised. He’s a genuinely class guy. I do have to say though, I still don’t care much for Oli. lol.


  8. Sorry….for a moment there thought you said you weren’t rooting for Boyd….then realized it must have been a typo or something right? Because how could you not be rooting for the poster child of your favorite boot company and generally awesomest peoples of all times? Must talk to Henny and Presto and tell them to keep an eye on you – can only think the pressure of the last week and worrying about your barn situation must have seriously turned your head…….(walks off muttering ‘poor child’)……..


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