Monday, May 23, 2011

A Look Back at Rolex by James Alliston

The big news over the last month was our trip to Kentucky. We arrived in Kentucky on Friday night the week before the event and stayed at Tanya Davis’s beautiful farm in Midway. From here it was a short commute to the Horse Park on Tuesday when the stables were open. It was my first time at the Horse Park and was amazed at the incredible facilities they have there. All the arenas have beautiful footing that I’m sure cost a fortune and it was really cool to ride in the main arena with the big grandstand.

I was delighted with Parker and Jumbo’s Jake in their four star debuts. Parker’s dressage was less than spectacular and I ended up second last. The cross-country proved influential though and I was elated with his fast clear that lifted us up the standings. He was very brave and galloped on very strongly right to the end giving me a dream ride. In the show-jumping he started his round very nicely but had a couple of uncharacteristic cheap rails at the end to end up 14th. He is just nine years old so I hope we can tidy up the dressage and he can be a great four star horse for years to come.

Jumbo’s Jake started with a beautiful dressage that left him in 5th place. This was pretty cool as I was riding on Friday afternoon with a packed crowd so it was nice to do well. On the cross-country Jake was galloping and jumping really well but got a little weary by the end. Unfortunately we had a stop at the rails jumping back into the water the last time which I was a little gutted about as he went so well otherwise. I hope next time if I have him a little fitter it will be a different story but overall I was delighted with him and felt like he really tried his heart out, even when tired at the end. Jake bounced back the next day and finished his weekend with a lovely clear show-jumping and 17th place.

Overall, it was a great week with a lot of family and friends making the trip to help out and cheer. This made for a really fun time and hopefully we can keep coming back in future years. A big thank-you to Jumbo’s Jake’s owner India McEvoy for letting me ride such a splendid animal and also Chuck and Peggy Moore, owners of Graceland Equestrian center, for their ongoing generosity and support.

Next on the calendar back in California is Woodside in a week or so. This is a great local event for us so we will be taking a lot of horses and students and should be a lot of fun.

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