Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Rolex Experience By Lauren Lambert

It always interests me how seemingly normal people find their way into the horse world, and even more so the event world.  Usually it has something to do with a childhood fascination with the horses down the street, or that first Rolex experience that had them hooked.   I was on a horse before I was born, but there was one special Rolex that made me decide my future was with horses.

When I was a kid, Mom had an incredible horse named Over The Limit.  'Jake', as we called him, was my horse (at least mom told me so).  He was an OTTB whom Mom trained from the ground up.  The two of them were on the campaign trail to Rolex and this horse had it all.  Then, at North Georgia Horse Trails Mom informed us she was scratching from the competition, selling the horse, and building a house.  Soon after, Jimmy sent a quiet young woman named Kim Vinoski to try Jake.  It was meant to be.  Her friend Mrs. Wachmeister sent a check and Jake was gone. 

Jake returned to Kentucky the following year,  and this time he was there to compete- there to dominate.  Sunday of Rolex 1999 was a nerve racking, heart pounding, aw-inspiring day for this 10 year old girl... MY horse won!! And I wanted to do that.

Thirteen years later, the Rolex dream still lives on.  After watching Jake and Kim win, the decision to take all the opportunities the horse world had to offer has become an amazing journey.  This winter has been full of new experiences. My advanced horse is doing well in his recovery and is back jumping, but not having another upper level horse means being out of the action at big shows like Red Hills.  I have two lovely client horses to ride and train this winter, and it's been great experience getting to know such different horses.  Aunt Margie's horse has been a pretty consistent player, finishing 1st and 2nd in his first two preliminary level events.  My favorite redhead Lil' Birnie (who ironically is not so little) completed his first event at Rocking Horse and was a CHAMP!  It was great to feel him gaining confidence in every phase.  Sally Abell's Honour Mission is continuing to develop nicely.  David has been instrumental is helping me figure out the pieces of the puzzle with Honour.  His lessons are challenging, but clear and simple.  He has very high expectations about the smallest attention to detail, which if not addressed in the beginning, will be called out in the end!  It has been eye opening getting help from David, and also very motivating.

Things in Ocala are beginning to wind down and we are all pretty excited to head back to Kentucky soon.  It's an exciting year for eventing as superstar horse and rider combinations are coming out to play and prove they deserve a ticket to London.  Sunday at Rolex Kentucky is going to be another nail-biting, heart-pounding experience... And while the crowd is going crazy applauding their new champion, there will be a little girl in the crowd, with a dream of doing THAT.

Lauren makes her home in Goshen, KY at Lands End Farm. Photo provided by Lauren Lambert.

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