I am such a bad blogger :( Working to try to get caught up on my story now.
The last weekend in April I went to Rolex and had a great time! The weather was quite nice, the Rolex food was subpar but the area restaurants were great and I had good company. What an awesome trip! It started on Thursday when we left around 1130a. It was a little over a 7 hour trip down there but the time went quickly as I had RB4 to chat with. We made it to our hotel at 730p and for a hotel that we paid $53 a night for we were impressed. We stayed at the Howard Johnson and it was NICE for what we paid. The room was clean, modern and HUGE! It had 2 queen sized beds in it and if you rearranged things you could have fit a third queen size bed in it. The continental breakfast was also pretty good, there was a good selection of bread, bagels, french toast and waffles plus fruit, fruit salad cups and juices. Would highly recommend the hotel!
Friday was dressage day and while I only got to watch a few riders, it was pretty cool to watch. I watched William Fox Pitt ride Chilli Morning and Mary King ride at least. It was interesting to watch them, the upper level horse movements are so much faster than what I school at. A medium canter for them is a super forward canter compared to mine, I keep telling myself that I am on little horses (in comparison) but it was cool to watch the differences. Friday I also went on a coursewalk. Twice actually! The first one was with Peter Atkins of Run Henny Run and it was an awesome coursewalk. If anyone has the chance to do so, I would strongly recommend it. It was very small, only about 50 people and was like a mini lesson. He explained his strategy of approaching the fences and how he routes his entire run because since Henny is not the fastest horse, his goal as a rider is to take as few gallop strides as possible. He is always running to the rope to make the course as short as possible. How cool is that? I got a lot out of his coursewalk and enjoyed going. The second coursewalk was with Jimmy Wofford and it was huge, there were probably 300 people there! It was a pretty good coursewalk but I must have been spoiled because I thought Peter Atkins was much better :)
Saturday was cross country and it was awesome. We started out at the Normady Bank jump and it was quite impressive watching the horses go up and over the bank and jump. We then went to jump 6/9 and watch people jump the double brushes with the false ditch and then come around and jump the combination log, ditch and brush. We watched Peter Atkins jump through the first water complex at number 7 before making our way over to the ditch/wall before the sunken road. It looks like such an "easy" jump as you approach it until you look at it from the side, then it is scary as you can get. The jump isn't even max height but there is a 4 foot drop into water that makes up the jump spread so when looking at it from the side it looks like the horse is jumping closer to 8 feet. Wowsers! We watched the sunken road and then sat at the whiskey barrels after lunch as we had a good view of several jumps. We then meandered over to the double corners and watched Andrew Nicholson and Quimbo go over them. What a great day.
Sunday was stadium jumping and SHOPPING! We didn't know we had to buy seats for it before we got to Rolex so thankfully we found out and were able to buy bleacher seats on Friday. Last time I was there you could sit in the grass and watch, well not anymore! We did some shopping before parking ourselves in a prime position and letting the crowd fill around us. It was awesome watching everyone jump and was cool to see that even top riders don't have perfect equitation over most jumps. I was really happy for Quimbo to go clear, love when a horse other than brown wins! I was also very pleased with Pirate and Henny for placing in the top 10, good for them!!
After some residual shopping we headed back for our 7 hour drive back to Michigan, in which it rained about a third of the way. We finally got back at 11p and crash I went as it was back to work on Monday and a show the following weekend.