Rolex Kentucky 2000

Today would have been cross country day at LRK3DE, if not for the coronapocalypse, and it’s got me feeling a little nostalgic.

My very first trip to Kentucky was in 2000. I was in high school, had grown up in the h/j world, and found myself starting to contemplate what the heck I was gonna do with my life after graduation. One of the options on the table was being a working student, and in those days working student programs really only existed with eventers. May as well go see what the sport was about, eh? Rolex was the first event I ever attended, my first introduction to the sport. And while those were the days before phone cameras or DSLR’s (I’m pretty sure I took these with a disposable) I did manage to get a few pictures.

Bonus points to anyone who recognizes some of these combinations! There are some big ones here.

one of my top 3 favorite event horses of all time

In a lot of ways this was a catalyst event that changed the course of my life. And it’s kind of crazy how everything still looks so similar, even all this time later.

On that same trip we went to several big thoroughbred stud farms, getting to see the likes of Seattle Slew, Rahy, Wild Again, and many more. We even stopped at Churchill Downs and got to see the Derby horses working in the morning – I picked Wheelaway.

While I’m bummed that there’s no LRK3DE this year, hopefully everything will be back to normal by 2021! Here’s to 20 years of being an eventing fan.


5 thoughts on “Rolex Kentucky 2000

  1. My first trip to Kentucky was also in 2000, but it was to attend Breyerfest at the Kentucky Horse Park. I used to collect and show model horses as a child and later picked it up again as an adult. I think that is cool that your first intro to eventing was at Rolex! My intro was being let loose on an old cross country course through the woods on a lesson pony at Summer camp (I had prior to that only jumped in arenas or large fields). 🙂 I have not jumped in years, but I remember what a rush it was to chase the fences like that!


  2. Ok my guesses are Ralph Hill, Phillip Dutton, David O’Connor and Giltedge, Bruce Davidson, and David O’Connor and Custom Made! The only ones that I’m pretty sure about are Ralph Hill and David O’Connor on Custom Made 🙂 After that it was a total stab in the dark- I was basing my guess on their XC!


  3. My first trip to Rolex was 2013, as a graduation present from college (I graduated the December prior). We loved it and went back in 2015 and 2017…but I remember a lot of good things about 2013. I got to spend XC day with some professional photographers who let me use their $10,000 equipment (OMG, the photo quality! It was AMAZING!), but what I remember most is it was what got me interested in learning dressage. It was the first time I had watched any sort of upper-level dressage at all, and I looked at it and thought, “You know, Sky [the horse I leased at the time] can do all of those movements. Not nearly that well, but she can do them. If she can do that, surely she can teach me the basics.” It was right about the time she stopped being able to jump consistently (she was 18 with bad hocks) so we were looking for something new to learn.

    Someday I still want to do an event, but likely it will be a baby schooling event (a “local” barn runs 18″ courses! I can do that!) because honestly, I don’t want to put my 14.1-hand Arab through the training required to jump anything higher than about 2’6″ consistently, because I already stress her physically by doing really long trail rides. We both enjoy dressage, so I don’t mind focusing on just that!


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