Thursday, May 5, 2016

My weekend in KY at the Rolex 3 Day Event

Every year, the last weekend of April, I travel to the gorgeous KY Horse Park in Lexington KY for the Rolex KY Three Day Event.  I "think" 2005 was my first year, but I'm honestly not sure.  I work as a member of the media. . . I photograph for various publications, organized by friends of mine.  It's super fun as there are many perks to working media.  But it is *not* paid and everything including hotel is on my dime.  As a member of the media we do get many free meals though which helps.  But it's not as glamorous as it might sound.

What is the Rolex KY 3 Day Event?  It's a 4-star 3 day event (the highest level of Eventing and the only 4-star held in the US).  It's an international level competition and often times part of the Olympic selections.  I'll summarize it in my next post when I share some competition photos.  First I wanted to share some personal pics of my adventures first.

First up was dinner the first night.  We went to Windy Corner Market. I had this gigantic po-boy called the "Kentucky Boy". . . .Pulled pork in Bourbon Barbecue Sauce, crispy fried pickles, Bourbon Barrel beer cheese, red onion, shredded lettuce and our Special Sauce.

 I would like to say that it was yummy but it was just ok.  I don't think this stop in on our list for next year.

Our group of 7 people divide the 2 days of dressage into shifts.  My friend Kristi and I had the Thurs afternoon shift.  So on Thurs morning we hit the trade fair and shopped.  Gotta get the good deals and the sizes you want before the crowd arrives.  There are significantly less people there on Thurs than the rest of the weekend.

The first place we hit is our favorite booth - Animals to Wear.  This place is expensive, but they run a show special of buy 3 get one free.  Kristi and I split that - we pick out 2 items each and split that discount for the free 4th item.  This year and last our items have all been the same price so it's just divide by 2 and we are good to go!  Most of the clothing is Kerrits brand.  I have a love/hate relationship with it. The sizing is hard.  Which is why we go here first, but I also wish they'd offer other brands.  Specifically Under Armour and stuff that is more sized for the average person and potentially that holds up better too.

I bought this purple ( yes it looks black) light weight vest and this pink/orange colored technical fabric shirt.  Here are the backs. . .

I love the backs.  So fun to wear!!!!

I bought too much stuff so I won't bore you with the details.
Thursday afternoon we shot our dressage session.  We had 13 horses.  The morning shift was much longer so we got the better deal this year!

Did I mention how few people are there on Thursday?  You can see the empty stands.  Those get more packed as the weekend goes on.

Friday we didn't have to shoot, but we did get invited to an Absorbine press gig - they gave us appetizers and drinks. . . . and told us all about their new fly mask, which seems super cool.  And we got a free one!

 I also played the Cosequin facebook game where I posted a pic of the Cosequin logo located somewhere on the park for a free prize.  We happened to go claim our prize at the same time they were giving away their buckets.  They do bucket giveaways a couple times each day and people line up well in advance.  I don't know what people do with the buckets.  But I got one.  I chose this cute little horse as my FB prize.

Saturday was Cross Country day.  This is the heart of eventing and brings in the most people.  It rained all day.  I don't have many pics from that day because I was huddled under an umbrella.  My expensive lens that I use for that day was not working and I'm really bummed.  Beyond bummed as I have to send it to Nikon for repair.  I wanted to cry.  But I did get a photo of before the rain started. . .  I lived in that jacket.  It's an Animals to Wear jacket that I got last year.  It's an icefil jacket so it's very lightweight and also blocks the sun.  I wore it every day.  Unfortunately I have the snags to prove it.  That material sucks in terms of durability. 

Saturday night we got media passes for the Hunter Hayes and Friends concert. . . 

This was the first time I've had a press credential for a concert.  It was so fancy!

You can see how close we were. That speaker was right next to the stage.  We had to wear ear plugs.

I'm not a huge Hunter Hayes fan, so we didn't stay for long. . .

What would a concert in a horse arena be without a horse?

Sunday was Stadium Jumping and I got rained on again.  I had a new cover for my camera and I don't like it.  It wasn't really meant for my camera, but the plastic window is shaped funny and I'm not sure I get what camera is shaped like that. 

My friend bought a spirit horse while we were shopping - to hand from her rear view mirror. Sunday morning when we got in our cars to drive to the park one last time I said "I want a spirit horse!"  So I got one. . . 

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