LRK3DE ’22 – the Nutshell version

That was… epic. There’s just no other freakin word that can fully encompass the experience that was LRK3DE this past weekend. We’ve been planning this trip for a while and it got delayed thanks to covid and then I considered cancelling this year altogether with the move, but man I’m so glad I didn’t.

I don’t have time this week to give a detailed play by play of the whole weekend and everything we did. Today I’m busy working and packing, and we’re rolling out of here bright and early tomorrow morning, so this is probably the only post you’ll get from me this week at all. We’ll hit the details at some point later on, but for now we can touch on the main points.

Cecelia, Henry’s doppelganger

The way I see it, you really make the trip to LRK3DE for a few main reasons: the competition itself, the shopping, the comradery, and the memories. This year really delivered on all counts.

Will Coleman

First – the competition. Look, maybe I’m a massive traitor, but if Michael Jung is in the house, I will always be rooting for him. Watching him ride is just such a pleasure, you can learn so much from sitting there and observing what he does. He’s a master of the sport and I was absolutely delighted to see him win. I mean… maybe he didn’t have to trounce the Americans quite so soundly (18 points between him and the top American – OUCH) but he absolutely deserved it. Once again, he gave us a master class in all 3 phases. Last time I was in Kentucky I watched him win aboard Rocana, and seeing him do it again on Chipmunk was equally as thrilling. It was also fun to see Pippa. My own personal favorite horse/performance of the weekend though? Palm Crescent. I’ll take one of him to go, please. No need to wrap it. He impressed me last year in Maryland and continued to impress me even more here. He’s got so much try in him.

Pipppaaaaa
Magic Michi

On to the shopping. Ouch. All I can really say is ouch. I went there looking for one particular thing (a sheepskin monoflap girth for Gemma) and it felt like I came home with everything BUT that. It wasn’t for lack of trying though, I looked in every single freakin vendor and didn’t find anything that was exactly what I wanted or not 9 million dollars (possible slight exaggeration). I did find plenty of other things though, but basically everything was on sale so I don’t feel that bad. And a lot of it was clothes, which I do kinda need more of since I got rid of most of my clothes when I packed the t!ny h0use. Whoops. Marie Kondo ain’t got nothing on me when I’m in the mood to get rid of shit. I’m pleased with the things I got in Kentucky to help fill that void, though.

My and Hillary’s combined haul from just Day 1

The final tally is:

  • 5 t-shirts: Majyk Equipe, Ride iQ, a TB-centric short sleeve, a TB-centric long sleeve, and a Mango Bay “Beware the Mare” short sleeve.
  • 2 sunshirts: one navy and white, one gray, both from 70 Degrees (really love this brand, it’s gonna be dangerous)
  • 1 jacket: a black mesh jacket from 70 Degrees that I’m weirdly obsessed with, it’s like a scrim sheet for humans.
  • a pair of breeches because damn you Harcour for making the prettiest dark green and putting GLITTER PIPING on them. I was powerless.
  • a lightweight down vest that was on clearance at Free Ride for a great price and it’s packable so I refuse to feel shame about this since I sold or donated all my other vests.
  • a Ride iQ hat
  • a black sparkly Majyk Equipe XC helmet cover (it was free with purchase, so it really doesn’t even count)
  • a black XC Majyk Equipe pad, the new style one that just came out with the built in half pad. The fabric is so nice and lightweight I thought it might be the perfect Florida pad for Presto. We shall see.
  • navy and silver Majyk Equipe XC boots for Gemma. Look… I really wanted the navy and silver ones when that first limited edition came out however long ago, but I waffled for too long and ended up being just hours late on snagging some, they sold out so fast. So when I trotted my happy ass down to the Majyk Equipe tent and saw that they had restocked that color combo, I just didn’t really have any choice did I? Henry’s XC boots are too big for Gemma anyway. We’ll call it serendipitous and leave it at that. They’re beautiful.
  • I also snagged an OTTB iron-on patch that’ll go on something for Gemma at some point.
we’ll just say I was supporting small businesses and leave it at that

The freebie stuff that places were handing out was hit or miss. I got some cool stickers and several new pens (I always need pens) and a couple chapsticks and some nice little microfiber towels that I will definitely use. Some places had hats and keychains and cups and all kinds of stuff, but I didn’t need any of that and wasn’t sure if it would fit in my bag anyway. All in all I’m pretty pleased with my final haul. Definitely not what I planned on getting but ya know… here we are. I also got to sit in some saddles (Arion and Voltaire in particular) and got a couple contacts to try to work out a new jump saddle once I get to Ocala, so hopefully that ends up being fruitful.

First time seeing Arion saddles in person and I was super impressed

Next up – the legendary LRK3DE comradery. It was like a girl’s weekend on steroids. I went with old friends, made new friends, saw tons of people I haven’t seen in forever (it always astounds me how small the horse world is sometimes), do some business networking for BRC, and met people in person that I’ve known on the internet forever. I somehow have SEVEN new contacts in my phone, and I dunno how even. I’m generally not the most social person to say the least but when you’re in Horse Girl Heaven it’s a little different. I had a fucking blast with our friend group and with so many other people as well. You can’t possibly ask for better company. Nothing bonds you more than blackout level shopping and 4 straight days of sweaty chafing ass cheeks.

I think I was in more pics last weekend than I’ve been in in literally years
Kate (former Texan now Aiken resident), me, Hillary
Leigh, one of our Patrons (getting to meet some of y’all in person was a real highlight!)
After helping liaise a sponsorship between Espoir and Danny Moguel, I finally ran into her in person

And last but most definitely not least, the biggest reason you come to LRK3DE is for the memories. I feel like I have so many stories from this weekend that I could literally write a novel in trying to retell them. I laughed so much and so hard that my abs were hurting the entire time (and still are, btw). We did ridiculous shit, indulged in all that is horsey, and let the rest of the world just fade away for a few days. We went on course walks, stalked a crepe vendor, lost an RV key in someone’s underwear, crammed a couple jumps into an SUV (shoutout to Jen, the jump fairy), drank a fairly obscene amount of cream soda to wash down what felt like a few buckets of cheese curds, hiked from one end of the park to the other about 100 times, and sat in the Kentucky bluegrass and sunshine just enjoying the sport and the horses and the return to something that felt blissfully like normalcy after two years of covid. Oh, and maybe we got some permanent souvenirs.

I’ll tell the tattoo story in it’s entirety when I have time to do it proper justice, I promise. The weekend was quite the adventure, that’s for sure.

When they forget to slice the pizza, just make a pizza taco

Until then – to everyone I saw at Kentucky, it was fabulous to see you again. To everyone I didn’t see, I hope to catch you next time. To Hillary, you remain an impeccable travel companion/enabler/instigator. To my other two RV roommates Holly and Lindsey – never at any point did I want to suffocate either of you with a pillow, and I can’t think of any higher praise than that (although I fear Lindsey may never be the same again after a weekend with us). To those who weren’t able to make it to Kentucky this year, get your asses there next year and do some ridiculous shit with us, please. What else are horse friends for?

11 thoughts on “LRK3DE ’22 – the Nutshell version

  1. Michael Jung is un-freaking-believable. I could watch him ride all day every day, even dressage! And I also loved PC. Maybe someday I’ll go to LRK3DE. But I really want to do a bookend week with it and the Derby. How fun would that be?!

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    1. I did that, as my graduation present from college (I graduated winter semester so it was easy to plan, no finals!). Highly recommend. As a surprise present my family hooked me up with a couple of photographers for some private instruction: I woke up extra early on XC day and shot warmups at sunrise at Keeneland and then got to use their extra equipment to shoot XC day, IN THE MEDIA AREAS. It was AWESOME and even though those pictures are 9 years old now they’re still way better quality than anything I’ve taken since.

      In the interim week we toured a bunch of distilleries, a couple horse farms, further explored the horse park exhibits (we’d been there in 2011 for the IHSA Nationals so we had some familiarity already), and just generally explored Lexington. We went to a KY Oaks party on the lawn at Keeneland (which I also highly recommend, it was just as fun as going to the real thing, with less people and since unless you shell out the big bucks you watch it on the jumbotron anyway, I didn’t feel like we “missed out” on it) and then drove to Louisville for the actual Derby. That was less fun but only because of the weather: it poured rain ALL DAY and the infield was muddy as all get out and by the end of it we were wet, cold, and miserable.

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  2. Someone told DH he was a good husband for lugging all my shopping around and he said nope this is all mine. The two of us did some major damage, as we always do. Even with a shopping list in hand.

    Pretty sure we didn’t ‘need’ a wine rack made out of horseshoes.

    Everything else, saddle pads, shirts, safety vest and Magyk Equipe boots we did need. 😄

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  3. I’m so hoping to make next year happen. It’s not the easiest place to get to from Montana: minimum 2 flights if not 3 to get there! But it’s always a blast and the only thing that saves me from buying ALL THE THINGS is packing it to get it home!

    I’ll also take Palm Crescent home, he’s such a cool horse. Meaghan always looks like she’s having the time of her life too!

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  4. Awww, man, you’re killing me… I so, SO badly wanted to be there but I was a little busy doing something else – getting married and honeymooning! So, you know, the family schedule and my new husband had to take priority over livin’ it up in KY. NEXT YEAR I am going for sure w/ Hubby in tow – the poor man has no idea what he’s in for! Glad you had a phenomenal time with your crew and got to meet new people, too. And yes, I’m with you and everyone else – I could happily watch Michi all day long. No words to describe what an incredible rider and horseman he is. MAD respect!

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  5. Kentucky is definitely on my list! Someday…

    I’m totally intrigued with the 70 Degrees gear – hoping that you’ll do a quick review of it (especially that mesh jacket) when you get a chance!

    Travel safe and happy moving!

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  6. Um, I’m going to need some more information on these dark green breeches with glitter. Somehow I managed to miss them and it sounds like something that I absolutely need!

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