With 29 numbered obstacles and more than 40 jumping efforts, this year’s Rolex Kentucky CCI**** course is as big and bold as ever.
An optimum time of 11 minutes and 15 seconds at a speed of 570 meters per minute over 6400 meters, Derek di Grazia’s course will prove tough, and those that aren't accurate, bold and fit might struggle.
We took a walk with di Grazia, now in his sixth year of designing at Rolex, to learn more about some of the key combinations.
The other riders tried to get close to him—him being Germany’s Michael Jung, who won yesterday’s Rolex Kentucky CCI**** dressage with 34.4 penalties—all day.
Marilyn Little and RF Demeter, who went before the lunch break on Day 2, earned 42.5 penalties and closed the gap slightly. But it took the last rider of the day, Allison Springer on Arthur, to get even remotely close with a 39.7.
As Day 1 of dressage at the Rolex Kentucky CCI**** came to a close, and the press conference with the day's leaders finished up, I zipped up my tall boots and adjusted my helmet.
I was about to go on a trail ride around the horse park with fellow equine media members, a Rolex sponsored course walk of sorts. This was purely a leisurely event, a little fun before the intense weekend really ratchets up.
If you'd placed a bet before dressage started at the Rolex Kentucky CCI****, you’d probably have chosen Michael Jung on fischerRocana FST to win the day. But leading with a nearly 10-point margin on 34.4 penalties? Well, you might not have expected quite that result.
Stephen Bradley had a lot on his mind as he cantered down the centerline at the 1996 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event on Dr. Doolittle.
Having been eliminated after a cracking cross-country round at the Burghley Horse Trials CCI**** (England) the year before due to spur marks on Dr. Doolittle’s sides, Bradley needed to complete Rolex, then a CCI***, to show the U.S. selectors that they were worthy of the team for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.