View Full Version : Tips for best Rolex experience

Dec. 30, 2009, 05:03 PM
Haven't attended before --any brief strategies you can share? We'll be driving in Friday, attending Sat and Sun, drive home monday.
*If we get the reserved grandstand seating, where's the best place to be? Is this seating worth it (we're young and ok with lots of standing)
*Hubby will be with me, so he'd have more fun if we can position ourselves near one of the xc obstacles rather than just watch them gallop by. How early sh we be on course to achieve that?
*Any hotels to avoid like the plague?
*Best BBQ joint
*Traffic times to avoid
*anything else?

Dec. 30, 2009, 05:19 PM
Let's see... Comfortable shoes and rain gear... :lol:

Can't help with the seating as I've never had seats. The cross-country is easy, you can walk to any and all jumps and really the only one that you won't get near without getting there super early is the water jump. No help with the hotel since I either lived there or stayed with friends. Don't eat BBQ, sorry. Traffic? Yeah, avoid the horse park during Rolex if you want to avoid traffic... :eek:

Have fun! Rolex really is a blast - rain or shine!

PS - Bring lots of money and an extra empty suitcase for shopping!

Sudi's Girl
Dec. 30, 2009, 05:20 PM
Yeah - Hotel info would be great! I'm feeling overwhelmed! :)

Dec. 30, 2009, 05:28 PM
for dressage try to get grandstand seating looking across the ring instead of up/down it.

for stadium pretty much all the seats are good since the seating re-do last year

for cross country go on a course walk friday night and pick a jump based on which ones your course walk leader says will be "interesting"- usually those are great. for husbands- pick a spot where he can see more than one fence and sort of walk in between them. we always go to the one that jim wofford says will be tricky- you get to see some really amazing riding

avoid the red roof inn- yuck

i am from GA so i think kentucky bbq is yucky- sorry no suggestions to give there- but theres a great sushi place!!

other suggestions:
-bring sunscreen and apply it often
- bring something to sit on
-wear comfy shoes
-dont forget to see the trade fair and get husband to buy you goodies
- bring snacks and h2o
- dont break your ankle trying to see buck davidson on cross country like i did last year- that can be a real bummer although the UK medical team is stellar and will give you pain meds and then deliver you by golf cart to your friends on the xc course if you do.
- have fun and make your own traditions for every year- we do a champagne and cake pic nic after cross country and margarita night after dressage!

i think we should have a COTH BB member meet and greet somewhere!

lesson junkie
Dec. 30, 2009, 05:43 PM
Try to see the inspection Sunday morning. You have to get there early to get a good spot, but it's worth it.

Dec. 30, 2009, 05:44 PM
Hotel: We always stayed at the Hampton Inn in Georgetown. Clean, nice people, free breakfast. It's one exit north of the Horse Park on Rt. 75. The hotel itself is situated very close to the on/off ramps for 75. There are a few eating places around there; you could walk to an italian place from the hotel.

We made it a priority to get to the horse park by 7am on cross country day. Cuts down on the traffic and you'll get a closer parking spot (if there is such a thing).

Reserved grandstand seating is definately worth it. You'll want someplace to sit down for a while after cross country day :)

Have fun!

Dec. 30, 2009, 05:47 PM
I have camped in the campground every year I've gone and even in bad weather and a tent it's not too bad. They have a nice showerhouse at the campground so you can feel pretty normal each day. The nice thing about camping is that you walk right out onto the xc course. You do need to get your tickets ahead of time for this-they check them as you go from the campground into the park. They also have shuttles running from the campground. Call soon if you need a spot that's not primitive.
When I stay in Lexington for horse shows we stay at the Days Inn in Georgetown. Cheap with a free minimal breakfast.
I agree with the other posters about seats. Any of them are good for showjumping. On XC day my husband and I have fun booking around the course to try to see (and photograph) one rider at each jump. Then I have a photo course walk at the end to look at! Dorky I know! The big infield is also a good place to stand (where the sunken road is). There are a few jumps in the field along with the sunken road, plus a large Jumbotron to see the rest. Not as crowded as the water jumps.
I usually eat Olive Garden one night and we have a campfire on the other nights, so I don't know about BBQ- sorry.
Comfy walking shoes and lots of money! You will have a blast!

Dec. 30, 2009, 05:55 PM
Good tips! You guys are great. Despite what the H/J folks say. <grin>

Dec. 30, 2009, 06:01 PM
I stayed at the Quality Inn (I think that was it) right next to the Waffle House in Georgetown--it was very nice, clean, and closeby. And I loved going to Waffle House for breakfast! (We don't have them where I am.) Get the covered seating in the stadium because the sun is hot. I was in the covered seating, but mid way up, so my legs got burned. XC you will get bored if you stay at one fence, so plan to walk around. I always like to watch people come in at the finish line. Definitely bring water, snacks and a hat (or get a Rolex hat).
Park your husband at the Kentucky Ale tent so you can shop. I did after XC on Saturday, and my husband enjoyed sitting near the German riders.
I went the last 2 years and had a great time. I'm not going this year just because I don't know if it can top last year's event! so many top riders, you can't get much better than that. I suspect that this year most of the international riders will only come out for WEG, not both.

Dec. 30, 2009, 06:04 PM
When observing XC, when the whistle blows ensure you are NOT the one in the way of the galloping horse.

Dec. 30, 2009, 06:10 PM
You really need seats these days for dressage & stadium. There is no other way to see it. As for hotels, Georgetown is probably a wee bit closer than Lexington, so look there (here). I can recommend good BBQ!!! Try Billy's: http://www.billysbarbq.com/ :)

Dec. 30, 2009, 06:12 PM

Dec. 30, 2009, 06:14 PM
The campground is so convenient. Coming in by flight, I am still wondering instead of hotel - if someway to rent a camper and stay there instead - maybe split with others? That's the way to go I think. We have to rent a car when we go. No fun with all the money involved in that.

Dec. 30, 2009, 06:44 PM
SUNBLOCK...like every hour for cross country. Lot of water too, though you can refill at the water fountains near the stadium.

We packed our lunches and brought chairs last year and were able to see nearly every jump on x-country during the day. During the lunch break, we headed to the water jump with the ducks and were able to get a front row seat because everyone else was at lunch. We had a picnic under the trees and it was very nice.

I imagine you could do the the same at the head of the lake, though we had no problems seeing the last few riders there at the end of the day.

Save your money for the trade fair- there can be some incredible deals.

khp vol
Dec. 30, 2009, 06:50 PM
If you haven't heard, the Rolex will be part of a WEG test week. Tues. thru Thurs. will be the dressage test event, the Rolex will be the eventing test event and will be at the regular time, and the jumping test event will be Fri, Sat, and Sun evenings. Bottom line, hotel space may be hard to come by.

With that in mind, here are two websiteswhich should be helpful:
For hotels outside Lexington: http://www.rk3de.org/visitor_guide.html

For Lexington: www.visitlex.com.

One hint: there is a new hotel at the Newtown Pike Exit, #115: the Fairfield Inn. I mention it because there are probably many people who don't know about it.

For restaurant info, let us know what you're looking for and I'm sure someone will help you.

Cheval Gris
Dec. 30, 2009, 07:14 PM
MONEY for the tradefair!! Raingear for sure. Comfy shoes. There is a nice holiday inn a few exits from the horsepark that is nice...we always stay there but it is about 15 min from the park..but a nice place to sit in the sauna after all the walking you will do (good place to dry out too ;))!! Have fun :D

Dec. 30, 2009, 09:41 PM
Try to see the inspection Sunday morning. You have to get there early to get a good spot, but it's worth it.

Haha, yes! Definitely get there early. I lucked out last year. We arrived maybe 20 minutes before jogs only to find a sea of people in front of us. I did some scoping and found another little roped off area almost head on with the path. Sweet. So since the other areas were roped off, too, I thought it would be okay. I started looking around a few minutes in and noticed that I was in the company of grooms, riders, parents, and other big time supporters. Whoops... :rolleyes: We did get pretty close (http://www.flickr.com/photos/37822886@N03/3480999481/in/set-72157617315570309/) though!

We always got seating for D & SJ days. Especially, for whatever reason, SJ always seems to be the hottest of days. Last year, we got seating in the covered for the first time. Big difference.

For crosscountry, make sure to pack/wear:
+ Water/Drinks
+ Little snacks (unless you plan on taking a break)
+ Rain Gear
+ Sunscreen/Sunglasses
+ Comfy, waterproof shoes (nothing sucks more than to walk XC with squishy feet)
+ Camera
+ Blanket/chair for the in field (or just grab some grass)

Fences are actually really accessible. I usually start off at a less popular fence (maybe the Hammock if they have it this year) where I can still see a lot of the course, and then I'll start moving around. I do like to see the entire course so, I'll stop at a jump for a rider or two and move on. I can usually get around the course in plenty of time and have a couple of rides to park myself at a good complex at the end of the day. However, the only fence I'd really recommend getting to early if you want to be one of the first to see it is the Head of the Lake. Middle to late day won't be as bad for it.

I'm another person we can't make a good BBQ recommendation, but if you need others, I highly recommend Joe Bologna's (http://joebolognas.com/) and the Atomic Cafe (http://www.atomiccafeky.com/). Mmm.

Whew, this is long. Anyways, have a blast! :)

Dec. 30, 2009, 11:01 PM
We plan to be there with DD and her horse in tow. Things are looking very good right now for the 4th run at Rolex for the little guy. We stay in the campground with the LQ trailer.

We bring all our rain gear and all our sun gear and hope we have the right clothes for people and horse.

I always make time for the trade fair. I Bee Back Fudge is a family favorite, that and the Bourbon fudge. I always spend a lot at Bit Of Britain too.

I don't walk the xc until after because my heart won't let me. Our friends like to watch in the area of the big screen TVs. There are usually a few "live" jumps to see and the rest you get to watch on the screen.

DH walks the course several times and does the measuring, then he runs the course as far as he can while DD is riding. I watch in the stabling office on a normal size TV because the jumps look really small on that size screen!

We meet up at the finish to take care of the horse and rider.

it is the most most most stressful, exciting, rewarding, time of the year.

Dec. 31, 2009, 12:15 AM
I went for the first time last year and had an awesome time! I'll link to my photo albums from last year so you can see what we were able to see and do.

Don't forget to wear sunblock. I got a little red on my arms the first day, but my friend was wearing a skimpy tank top and got totally fried :eek: We brought a cooler with lunch stuff, snacks, and drinks and went back to the parking lot to picnic at lunch time. (We also got lucky and had great parking spots on the first 2 days.)

We drove down from PA overnight and arrived early Friday morning. If you are interested in really seeing dressage then get tickets for seating, it is hard to see anything from outside the stadium. We hung out by the warmup rings instead and got to see everyone up close. Dressage warmup pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/furlong47/sets/72157617323708427/

On Friday we also spent the most time shopping and exploring the trade fair, then walked the XC. There are big groups that go out with various riders and trainers, but we chose to go by ourselves. Course walk: http://www.flickr.com/photos/furlong47/sets/72157617417555322/

After that we checked in at our hotel. Saturday, XC day, take a small bag with you and bring sunscreen, snacks, drinks, etc. Remember sunglasses and possibly a hat. We started at one of the jumps near the end of the course. We watched one or two riders at each jump and then headed to the next jump moving backward along the course. This way we got to see every rider and almost every jump. There was not a problem getting a good vantage point anywhere. People tend to spread out over the course, with big crowds only around the Head of the Lake and a few of the more complicated areas. XC pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/furlong47/sets/72157617360158463/

Stadium - our seats were in the covered grandstand. It was worth it to be out of the sun (or rain if that were to happen) and had a great view of the arena. One jump was slightly hidden by a small pillar but I only needed to lean a little to one side or the other to see it. Stadium pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/furlong47/sets/72157617365527905/

When you have a little extra time make sure to check out the rest of the Horse Park: http://www.flickr.com/photos/furlong47/sets/72157617453136192/ We also enjoyed just driving around the area and admiring all the gorgeous farms and horses.

Oh, we also paid for the program/book which was well worth it, there's a lot of good information in it and I think it was like $5. By the end of the weekend our copy was pretty dog-eared from all the thumbing through :lol: And they have sheets available each day that show order of go/times so you can make sure to catch the riders/horses you want to see most.

Dec. 31, 2009, 09:22 AM
You will want the covered seats in the grand stand, especially if it is a hot, sunny Rolex and you get fried walking XC on Saturday! (Ask me how I know this.) Be ready for any type of weather, although in my experience it has been really hot and sunny, or non-stop rain and cold. Either way it is still a really good time.

Have a shopping list or you WILL get overwhelmed by the amount of stuff for sale. It is amazing! The first year I went, I brought home lots of crap I did not need because I went into a buying frenzy when I saw all the great stuff that was available.

I hope that you have a great time!

Dec. 31, 2009, 10:05 AM
As far as grandstand seating, you cannot view dressage OR stadium competition without purchasing some kind of stadium seating, which is additional to your admission to Rolex at the "gate." If you've never gone to Rolex before, that might be a surprise because in the old days, you could stand and watch both events from the fences or try to get a bleacher seat by getting there early.

Also, you can no longer camp in the Ky Horse Park campgrounds on a "whim" as all the campsites are booked completely on the day AFTER the current event is over! They take reservations 365 days in advance, and so that's what everyone does. I think you can still get a primitive site ( no water/electric/etc) by getting there early with your tent or camper.

A little preparation for either blazing sun or pouring rains will make you more comfortable should either, or both, happen! One year we even had tornadoes!

Dec. 31, 2009, 10:31 AM
The campground was full like 2 weeks ago!

Dec. 31, 2009, 10:38 AM
My traffic tip is use Georgetown Road to get to KHP on xc day, NOT Newtown Pike or I-75 (hope I don't regret saying that, lol). I have never been stuck once on Georgetown Road, others can be horribly slow and you may miss rides.

My favorite place to hang out on xc day is actually the finish. I love seeing the horses and riders come in, the joy and smiles are great to see, the pit crews amazing to watch. :yes:

Dec. 31, 2009, 10:46 AM
All good advice. If you are arriving Friday, wait until Sunday to shop -- things go on super sale (ESPECIALLY Rolex gear. It will all be cheaper on Sunday). Th is also good to shop since no one is there yet.
Also if you arrive on Friday, totally worth it if you can to go do one of the sponsored course walks -- like JW's. lots of great info and you can scope out the lay of the land and make an attack plan for the next day :D

Dec. 31, 2009, 11:00 AM
My number 1 is comfortable, well broken in shoes that are waterproof if possible. Second is raingear. My experience with Rolex is that it's lots more likely to rain than be like last year which was an anomaly to my thinking. You had better plan for rain.

You will walk and walk and walk, so good shoes and socks are necessary. My feet were a mass of blisters after the first day last year, which was a real hinderance on XC day.

As to where to sit, I like section 210, which is by the in gate and you can also see the warm area from there.

If you can make the time, breakfast at Keeneland on Friday is one of the best things happening in Lexington during Rolex.

Dec. 31, 2009, 11:09 AM
On Saturday, try your best to bring a picnic lunch unless you have access to a lunch in the Equestrian Club or Patron tents. The lines in the food court are terrible on XC day because everybody streams in from the course at the same time.

Dec. 31, 2009, 01:25 PM
Yes, get reserved seats -- Rolex is no longer peon friendly equal-opportunity event it used to be. Gone are the days when I could show up and spread a blanket next to the fence of the grass show jumping arena, sigh.

I actually prefer to watch just a few tests on dressage day and spend most of my time at the warm up rings. Far better pictures and much more interesting, IMO, than watching the same test a gazillion times.

If you plan on taking pictures, bring a long lens. I repeat, bring a LONG lens. Rolex without some kind of zoom lens will be lots of pictures of little speck horses. I like to pick different jumps on XC day and move around a lot. Of course, there are giant crowds at the water complexes as people seem to be magnetized by splashies, so don't count on a good seat there unless you want to get there super early and camp out.

Bring a GOOD rain jacket and mudboots that are comfy to walk in.

Dec. 31, 2009, 09:35 PM
Excellent advice. Only thing I'd add is be prepared for a wide range of weather - I 've seen everything from sleet to 80oF sunshine. Kentucky weather in April is quite changeable - I've been colder there than ALMOST anywhere else!

Kentucky is not known for barbecue, not recommended. Hot browns are "state specialty." Go to Texas for BBQ.

Georgetown is definitely the "unknown jewel" for Rolex. Lots of new hotels, friendliest little town in the world. You'll love it, limited traffic, and only a few minutes from KHP - you're going AGAINST traffic!

Tuppysmom - we'll be rooting for you, hope you win the damned thing!! If you get time, we'd love for you to visit us at the farm on Coleman Lane - less than 3 miles west of KHP. Annual sales showcase is (I think) on Friday evening, but you're welcome to stop in any time. One of our working students this year is another of your Idaho compatriots who had one of your old horses!


Dec. 31, 2009, 11:03 PM
Thanks Secretariat. We are going to give it a good try.

We try to arrive a few days early so the horse can have some bluegrass turn out before the competition begins. We stay at Bardstown until Monday and move to the KHP then. We usually have some free ish time on Tuesday. We would love to visit your farm!

The horse you have met came to our farm as a 2 week old orphan. He had been "put out in the street" by the big fancy barn in the valley. They just didn't want the trouble, I guess. Anyway he did fine and has gone on to be a friend to several riders since.

Jan. 4, 2010, 02:41 PM
XC day is a lot more fun if you plan to walk a lot - don't plan to park in any one place for very long. Start at the beginning and walk along the course, not necessarily stopping at every single jump but maybe finding a place to stand where you can watch a few people do a few in a row, so you get the feel of how the course flows. When there was the 3* and 4*, you had the luxury of sitting still for a while, but with fewer riders you don't want to miss the end because you spent too much time at the beginning! You'll be sitting still on Sunday for stadium so wear yourself out on Saturday!

Jan. 4, 2010, 02:53 PM
I went in 2004 with my college roomie (we road-tripped from Morrisville, NY, haha). It was such a great time!

1. Bring sunscreen!

2. Wear comfortable walking shoes.

3. Bring a good camera.

4. Be on the watch-out for loose horses on X-Country....we saw a rider fall off, only to have the horse come running straight at us. Broke through the rope, and was close enough that I could have probably reached out and touched him as he ran by.

5. Bring water, and money!

Enjoy....we had a blast when we went...totally worth the 10 hour drive, lol.

Jan. 4, 2010, 03:17 PM
There are LOTS of beautiful things to see in Kentucky during Rolex. If you're coming down soley to see the event, that's fine. But if you have the opportunity to meander through the Bluegrass Scenic Driving Tour to see some of the farms, you'll never regret it. Also, if you have the chance, visit one of the vet hospitals for a tour. I used to work at Rood and Riddle and went on the tour last year. I hadn't been there in almost six years and the changes were amazing!!

As far as tips, I recommend the warm-up rings and start area. Watching the riders mentally prepare for each phase is inspiring. I also like the finish line for cross country and have gotten some of my favorite pictures there.

One more tip, for future reference: If you have the opportunity, look at volunteering. I don't recommend it for your first trip, as you'll be too busy taking it all in. But I've volunteered at Rolex for 8 years and enjoy it every time I do. (Plus you get nifty free stuff!)

Have fun!

Jan. 4, 2010, 06:15 PM
I hate you.

Jan. 4, 2010, 06:23 PM

Do what they all said and have a fabulous time while I'm stuck back here. Only other advice is that if you want to see a variety of jumps start at the end and walk backwards along the course so you don't feel like you are racing horses to the next fence. Walk the course on Friday if they still let you do that. (I accidentally stumbled into a Team coursewalk one year -- oops. Thanks for suggesting it while looking me directly in the eye, CMP, but no, I probably won't take off from that spot for that brushjump in this lifetime.) If you want a Rolex hat go early. In fact, get me one while you are at it, I lost mine.

; - )

Jan. 4, 2010, 06:29 PM
I was surprised how much I enjoyed watching the jog. I have the most stunning picture of WFP looking right at my camera, as if it was a personal portrait.

Bring good food for XC day. I was envious of this rather grand couple with a lovely picnic leisurely sprawled on their blanket looking refreshed while I felt dog tired, eating what wasn't more palatable than a convenience store hamburger.

If I were to do it again, I would pull a Yogi Bear and steal their pic-a-nic basket!

Jan. 4, 2010, 08:07 PM
Traffic is bad on XC day, so plan to arrive early. We went a couple of years ago, and thought we left plenty early...arrived at the freeway exit a little before 9am, rather got in line to take the exit...cars were lined up in every direction...took us over an hour to go the ~2 miles into the parking lot...didn't get on-course until 10:30am and missed the first 30min of rides. Otherwise had a blast! Most of the fun is in moving around from jump to jump...and wear bright clothing so that you can see yourself later on the DVD (which I recommend buying because you'll miss a lot)!

Jan. 4, 2010, 08:30 PM
Ditto to what everyone said....comfy shoes, rain gear sunblock, sunglasses, hat. I also bring a smallish antibacterial liquid for after the portapotties!

I use a backpack rather than a purse; I can carry most of my stuff, and it's not in the way.

And just a warning: if you buy lots of stuff at the trade fairs, you have to carry it back to your car! So shop close to leaving time. :lol:

Have FUN! I've blogged it every year since I started going--here are the blogs:


Jan. 4, 2010, 08:42 PM
If you want the best seat at the Head of the Lake, plan to arrive by 7am! I did that 2 years ago to see Teddy go. He was the first horse on course. The advantage was no lines to get to KHP, could pick a very good parking spot, and plant our chairs at the best location to tape and photograph the horses at the Head of the Lake. Of course it is a long wait until the action starts, so bring something warm to drink, maybe a book, or whatever to help time pass. After we saw enough action at that spot, we moved around the course and spent some time in strategic locations where we could see several jumps at the same time.

As everyone else said, bring food for lunch, good comfy walking shoes that will keep your feet dry, a rain poncho, sunscreen, a hat, a light folding chair, camera and plenty of water. You may be cold, wet, warm, sunburned, all in the same day, but you will have a blast!

Jan. 4, 2010, 10:24 PM
My favorite spot XC later in the day is near what used to be the Lexington bank. You're close to the start and close to the finish. The new water is very enticing for viewing. There is also a hill where you can see most of the course with binoculars.

Has anyone mentioned how nice it is to have a small but powerful set of binoculars for all of the phases?

Jan. 5, 2010, 10:44 AM
Area VIII has a bag drop that's usually located right across from stadium entrance near the lake. It's cheap and great if you want to shop and not tote everything around all day.
Plus it benefits the Adult and Young Riders Programs. That's a win - win.

Keeneland is also open that weekend. It's a grand old meet and if you've never been there I highly recommend a Friday afternoon jaunt.

Take orders from friends for Rolex gear, or buy gifts there--last year I bought a winter hat even though it was hot hot hot. I just found it the other day and it's sweet, and I think it was $8! Merry Christmas to me!



Feb. 28, 2010, 04:56 PM
Two words: Liquor. Barn.

Apr. 9, 2011, 12:58 PM
I'm reviving this thread because this is in the Eventing FAQ sticky.

I'm spectating at Rolex for the first time ::enter happy dance:: and I guess I've failed at searching, because I can't seem to find a list of "rules" and such on rk3de.org. Specifically, I'm looking for things that can/can't be brought into the park. First thing that comes to mind are coolers? Hard, soft, or none? Second, are tripods allowed? Not a big one. Thanks!

Apr. 11, 2011, 10:18 AM
In 20 years of attending, I've never heard that cooler or tripods were banned. Lots of photographers on course, so it would be impossible to ban tripods. But I don't know that you would want to lug a cooler and tripod on xc.

pony grandma
Apr. 11, 2011, 10:36 AM
I'm sure that this question only came to mind b/c of the WEG restrictions.

Personally I find enough terrific photos taken by pros and others that I now just enjoy watching and making my personal memory tape. You miss a lot trying to film or snap. Of course there is that thrill trying to capture a moment.

Apr. 11, 2011, 11:37 AM
Yes, my questions came up because of WEG. It's not that I want to lug a huge cooler or tripod around, but I like cool drinks and video that won't be mistaken for the Blair Witch Project. :lol: I have little travel items that pack and carry nicely, so I wanted to make sure it would be ok. Sooo excited!!!

pony grandma
Apr. 11, 2011, 11:47 AM
Sooo excited!!!

You and 50,000+ other people :lol: It's like an annual pilgrimage.

Apr. 11, 2011, 11:49 AM
You and 50,000+ other people :lol: It's like an annual pilgrimage.

But no one else understands when I say it!! :winkgrin:

Apr. 11, 2011, 11:58 AM
Did I miss the annual "what I'm going to buy at Rolex" thread? In past years it would be pages long by now!

Apr. 11, 2011, 12:17 PM
Snaffle81, I'M SOOOOOOOOOO EXCITED TOO!!!!!! My favorite weekend of the year!!!

Apr. 11, 2011, 12:30 PM
Did I miss the annual "what I'm going to buy at Rolex" thread? In past years it would be pages long by now!

the economy's down

Apr. 11, 2011, 01:29 PM
^And the shopping has largely sucked in recent years.

I work at KHP and the tents are going up. It is fun watching the daily progress! I can hardly wait!

Apr. 11, 2011, 03:41 PM
Don't forget to visit the INDOOR trade fair. Lots of vendors in there, and many people only shop outside and miss it entirely. Earlier in the thread someone had said to wait to shop until Sunday. True, things do sometimes go on sale Sunday, but many of the really good deals sell out before then. Shop early and often. :) Can't wait!

Apr. 11, 2011, 04:03 PM
Wanted to throw out a couple of food suggestions away from the horse park:

Jalapenos - local Mexican place on New Circle Road. Not far from KHP, and lots of horse show people go there.

Wallace Station - a bit of a drive out to Midway, but beautiful horse farms to see all along the route and very yummy sandwiches.

Doodles - breakfast/bruch - mostly locally grown & raised food. Downtown and across the street from a local coffee shop on the corner of Third Street and Limestone.

Keeneland track kitchen for breakfast - is quite an experience to go early in the morning and have breakfast and watch the racehorses working out.

khp vol
Apr. 11, 2011, 05:17 PM
I'll throw out a couple more near KHP:

Sam's (been there for years, new ownership- group of employees).Take Iron Works to US25, turn right, at Fayette/Scott county line.

Red State BBQ: Turn left on US25, near Rood & Riddle
New place, believe it's owned by R&R vet.

Apr. 11, 2011, 05:23 PM
Shopping...order your Ecogold saddle pads now for pickup at the park and get 10 percent off....Bit of Britain is having a Charles Owen promotion and you get a purple necklace with a newly purchased helmet that give you a chance to win something....hmmm...haven't done my due shopping diligence yet but when I feel better will get online and work on it! :)

Apr. 11, 2011, 05:28 PM
A question about breakfast at keenland.. what day would be best? Will be there sat, sun and monday morning ( I am thinking monday bc there will not be a rush to get to the horse park...)... not sure if I will be in Lexington early enough friday... That sounds like it would be alot of fun.. can you just show up at the track and watch workouts? suggestions on how early to arrive?

Apr. 11, 2011, 05:46 PM
Keeneland's last day of racing is Friday, I think. Apr. 29? So if you are talking about Monday Apr. 25, probably. Monday, May 2? Not sure, altho horses may still be there training, and it might be open for that...who has the downlow on Keeneland -- PinkPanther?

Apr. 11, 2011, 05:55 PM
I am getting tickets on dressage day but not tickets for the dressage. We'll use it to shop pretty much. What I found was that I enjoyed sitting on the grass and watching the warmup rings more then the actual tests themselves.

I wouldn't bring anything that A. you didn't mind carrying all freakin day through hill and dale or in a crowded shopping area and B. that you don't mind lugging all the way from the cars.

Apr. 11, 2011, 06:01 PM
I am getting tickets on dressage day but not tickets for the dressage. We'll use it to shop pretty much. What I found was that I enjoyed sitting on the grass and watching the warmup rings more then the actual tests themselves.

I wouldn't bring anything that A. you didn't mind carrying all freakin day through hill and dale or in a crowded shopping area and B. that you don't mind lugging all the way from the cars.

The Area VIII Adult riders have a check-your-packages/coats/etc booth in the trade fair. You can check stuff all day, and add to it, for a very nominal fee.

Apr. 11, 2011, 06:31 PM

I would also suggest if you are eating in the eating areas to do so at non normal eating times. If you run in at 1pm expect to stand in line forever, and on XC day forget about it.

I found shopping on XC day to be about as impossible.

I also stepped on a lot of dogs in the indoor shopping area.

Apr. 12, 2011, 10:26 AM
on XC day bring your lunch and something to sit on so you can picnic your lunch and enjoy the good weather, we are praying!
covered seats are always good especially with the high chance of rain....
take your time in the trade fair, it is much better then the one at WEG...
i love the horse park itself....have to visit it.....
comfortable sneakers and something water proof and a heavy sweatshirt just in case.....the weather is so unpredictable that time of year...
have a great time....

Apr. 12, 2011, 10:27 AM
Don't forget your rain gear. Came in really handy last year!

Apr. 12, 2011, 11:29 AM
A question about breakfast at keenland.. what day would be best? Will be there sat, sun and monday morning ( I am thinking monday bc there will not be a rush to get to the horse park...)... not sure if I will be in Lexington early enough friday... That sounds like it would be alot of fun.. can you just show up at the track and watch workouts? suggestions on how early to arrive?

There will be horses out on the track in the mornings, and it is open for the public to show up and watch the workouts.
Saturday will probably be the best of those mornings, will be more horses out training.
I like to get there around 6am if I am going to watch horses train, but even at 7 or 8 there will be some on the track.

Apr. 12, 2011, 11:46 AM
[QUOTE=Dawnd;4597979]I was surprised how much I enjoyed watching the jog. I have the most stunning picture of WFP looking right at my camera, as if it was a personal portrait.

She's right about the photo. I know because she pulls it out to show all of us about once a month :lol: But it is seriously awesome.

I loved, loved the course walks. I parked myself next to Bonnie Mosser's shoulder one year and she let me ask her a million questions. I learned a ton.

Apr. 12, 2011, 05:18 PM
Whole heartedly agree with everyone who brings their own food and drinks. The prices there are outrageous. Something like $3-$5 for a bottle of water! I haven't gone the past couple of years, but I went in 2007 and 2008 and trying to eat there was insane. The group from my barn that goes takes coolers filled with sandwich items and snacks and goes out to the parking lot for lunch.

Also, wait until the last day to buy things, if you can. Rolex logo wear (t-shirts, hoodies, etc.) are discounted on the last day... not sure if other vendors do that.

Apr. 13, 2011, 04:03 PM
A lot of booths (like VTO Saddlery, etc.) will have "bargain bins" filled with $10 brushing boots, $20 breeches, and so on. The desirable sizes usually sell out VERY quickly. If possible, shop Thurs & Fri to get the good stuff.

Apr. 18, 2011, 11:37 AM
I wanted to be sure and pass this along. I'm from the Louisville/lexington area and one of our daily Groupon coupons is 1/2 admission for cross country.

Just thought I'd share the wealth if you haven't purchased tickets yet.


Apr. 18, 2011, 12:03 PM
I wanted to be sure and pass this along. I'm from the Louisville/lexington area and one of our daily Groupon coupons is 1/2 admission for cross country.

Just curious but why in the world would the organizers opt for a GroupOn for Saturday?

It's slightly ticks off the rest of people who are planners and regularly attend Rolex so tickets were purchased long ago for more.

Further in terms of proceeds for the organization that nets them 1/4 of the rate they normally get. (GroupOn will take 1/2 of the proceeds from the pitched cheap rate.) Sure I get the economics from the stand point that more the merrier for the organizers perspective as there is no added "cost" to the event as per say. And that frankly you can never "sell out" for cross country. Still it does run the risk of miffing those who paid more.