Rolex was such a good time, BESTWEEKENDALLYEAR for sure! It started back in November when I bought tickets the minute they went on sale and scored some amazing stadium seats for Sunday. I had K coming down with her BF and dad as well as a group of 5 from the barn, plus meeting 3 people that the barn people knew. Group pricing for the win!
On Wednesday we started our long drive after work (5p) and drove until 730p before spending the night in a hotel and continuing on Thursday. Nothing like a good 12 hour drive head of you to want to get a few hour head start the day before. We got to Lexington at 430p on Thursday and met up with everyone at the hotel before going out to Roosters for dinner. Roosters is a chain of wing themed restaurants, like Buffalo Wild Wings but so much better. Wings are much larger and they aren't nearly as stingy with their sauces. <3 Their cinnipuff dessert? OMG that was beyond amazing!
Friday we left the hotel at 8a and went to Rolex. My original plan was to scope the shopping before watching dressage warmup as I hadn't bought stadium seating. I bought stadium seating in 2013 and felt it was a waste so didn't bother this time. People had other plans and the barn group bought me a stadium seat for dressage as a thank you for organizing the shindig. Not wanting to appear ungrateful, I left K to watch warmup and I watched a couple of hours of dressage in stadium after doing some preliminary browsing.
There were a few coursewalks I was interested in but K really wanted to go on the Smarkpak hosted one with Boyd Martin. I told her it would be super crowded but she persisted so we went to it. And regretted it. There was easily 200-300 people, likely more. Enough people that you couldn't see the jumps as Boyd talked about them due to the crowd. After the 2nd jump (13), where we couldn't see anything but people, I suggested going off on our own and K was very eager to do that. I think she learned to not pick the course walks with the top riders ha! You can get good info, but you are swarmed with crowds and can't see anything. The smaller course walks are the ones to do. As we left the 2nd jump and was almost to 18ABC, Boyd said that is where they were headed next. I kid you not, at least 75 people literally ran down the hill to get to the jump "first". It was crazy!! At this point, we had walked to the far side of 18ABC and didn't have a crowd so we got to listen to the commentary and see things lol. He announced he was going to the hollow (I think) and, again, a large segment of people literally ran off. SMH. I can't run very well anymore, I will pass. So K and I walked the fences 8-19 and had a good time.
On Saturday, K didn't stick to me like I expected and so I did my own thing most of the day. The men set up "camp" at Head of the Lake while everyone else wandered around. I went with one of the barn ladies to jump 3 and then 5/23 and then 6 before going to Head of the Lake to sit and relax. SO was quite impressed, he knew things were big but was impressed at how well the horses handled such big obstacles. After an hour or so we packed up their "camp" and went to the Land Rover area to see more jumps and watch the jumbotron. We met up with the rest of the clan and watched Michael Jung over the corner jump of 13. That night we met up with the instructors (M and B from 2015) from MI that I had really enjoyed and had dinner with them and a small group of people. Really enjoyed catching up with them!
Sunday was stadium and was the only day we didn't get to park right next the camping area, we had to walk (The horror haha!) a small distance, much closer than 80% of people though. Makes sure you arrive between 8-830a if you want good parking spots peoples! It fills up FAST. We did another round of shopping/browsing/chatting before heading to stadium to watch the Double Dan Horsemanship presentation. Dude, sitting 2nd row from the arena is AWESOME. We were literally in front of the final jump/timer and had a great view of everything. Love!
After that, there was the long drive back to PA. The barn people drove straight through, we broke it up by staying in WV for the night and arrived home at 4p on Monday. Not bad at all! I am a terrible tack ho though, I had went through things before I left and found NOTHING I needed. Saddle pads? NO. Bridles? NO. Halters? NO. The only things I could have used were consumables, poultice/fly spray/liniment. Anything and everything I tried to pick up I talked myself out of because I have multiples of. I have almost a dozen bridles and one horse....I have 24 (? low estimate) saddle pads, 5 half pads, a show halter, a backup halter, 2 rope halters, 4 new breeches, more tshirts than can fit in my drawers, 4 Kasteel sun shirts, blah! A girl doesn't need anything, it is a waste! What did I buy at Rolex? One measly pair of schooling gloves. Yep. That is how pathetic I am. I did, however, get a bunch of free stuff. 1.5 months of HA powder, 2 medium bottles of fly spray, a fabulous, large canvas tote, a Smartpak Coursewalk tshirt, 10 day supply of the new Buteless Performance pellets, 5lb bag of treats, several treat samples, a hat, a Yeti tumbler and a County saddle keychain. So happy!
So I have a ton of media and plan on posting most/all of it!! Lots of video clips of cross country fences and of course pictures. I will work on getting them uploaded, keep an eye out!