There’s a reason riders bubble-wrap their horses and breathe a sigh of relief when they turn down the lane into the Kentucky Horse Park for the Rolex Kentucky CCI**** in Lexington in April: Even getting to start the competition is never a sure bet.
Two riders have had to scratch today, another is injured, and two more broke down en route.
Will Coleman withdrew his 2012 Olympic ride, Twizzel. The 17-year-old Westphalian hadn’t competed since the Games, where he suffered an injury. “After much deliberation between his owner, Jim Wildasin, his vet, Kevin Keane, and myself, we have decided that it is simply too soon for the horse to compete at the four-star level coming off his injury at the Games last year,” wrote Coleman on his Facebook page. “Twizzel is well and will remain in work to look towards something later in the season.”
Joe Meyer, who lives in Anthony, Fla., but rides for New Zealand, scratched his mount, Sanskrit. “Sanskrit pulled up sore last weekend at [the Ocala Horse Properties International Three-Day Event] and will not be able to compete at Rolex,” wrote Meyer. “I will still be at Rolex at my sponsors’ tents and with Snip for his big retirement ceremony Sunday. Sanskrit will be back in action in the fall.”
Marilyn Little is unsure about competing RF Demeter after sustaining an injury when a young horse fell during a jump school on April 21 in Ocala, Fla. Following a series of tests, an overnight stay in Ocala Regional Hospital and a subsequent consultation with specialists at The Orthopedic Institute at Gainesville, Fla., she was diagnosed with a Grade 3 separation of her right shoulder.
Little remains optimistic about Rolex Kentucky and said she’s feeling better by the day, but she’ll remain in close contact with U.S. Olympic Committee Medical Consultant Dr. Mark Hart.
For some riders, the final challenge came in just getting from Point A to Point B. Eventing Nation reported that Boyd Martin and Caitlin Silliman had their truck break down 10 minutes from their starting point in Cochranville, Pa., with Rolex Kentucky horses Trading Aces and Catch A Star on the trailer. Fortunately they were able to take Silva Martin’s “much cleaner” truck instead.
Jan Byyny had a similar mishap on her way to the Horse Park as her truck broke down in West Virginia. But Trav Schick of Cross Country Hardware had been working on Byyny’s cross-country course at Surefire Farm in Purcellville, Va., and he drove a replacement truck to meet her. Inmidair and Syd Kent arrived safely in Kentucky after a long day on the road.