After the events in Boston last week, I am in desperate need of a little “pick me up”…and there isn’t much I get as excited about as a do for the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event each year! It has been a distinct pleasure (and nice job benefit) to be able to attend each of the past six years as part of the SmartPak crew. Being an eventer certainly helps, but as I’ve gotten to know the riders competing better and better the game has changed for me. You worry like crazy that they all come home safe on XC day and ride the peaks and swells with their competition highs and lows. Being here as part of the “Springer Dingers” last year and cheering Allison on as she clenched the #2 spot with Arthur on Sunday was simply unreal. She isn’t here this year competing, but will be here rooting hard with me for fellow Team SmartPak riders Boyd Martin, Jan Byyny, Jennie Brannigan and Phillip Dutton to make a strong showing.
The Kentucky Horse Park started to spring alive for this annual tradition today. The horses are arriving and the warm-up rings are abuzz with a veritable who’s who of US and international eventers. Vendor row, including the biggest-ever SmartPak booth (located in Sponsor Row) is under construction, with tempting wares to woo even the most steadfast retail hold-outs. Mick Costello and his team are out and about on the XC course, making sure that a beautiful and yet challenging assortment of jumping questions will greet the rider/horse teams that roll out of the start box come Saturday. And, our friends at USEF and EEI are making sure that vendors, sponsors and riders are all sorted and well looked after ahead of the public arriving on site come Thursday.
It’s looking a bit like a giant ant farm of people, vehicles and horses all moving with a sense of purpose to pull off this massive event and leave those who attend with memories to last a lifetime. Buckle your seat belts kids and LET’S GET READY TO ROOOLLLEEXXX!!!