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Long Ride Home From Rolex

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  • Long Ride Home From Rolex

    I look forward to Rolex every year...the excitement of the event, seeing old friends, shopping the trade fair, etc. However, this year my ride home seemed a bit long. The show IMO did not have the sparkle and excitement as previous Rolex competitions. Only half the horses made it to the final jumps...which concerned me. Were the riders too inexperienced? the horses unfit? the jumps too technical? Then the trade fair....well, I think the vendor's fees charged at WEG must have burned a lot of bridges between the KHP and vendor's. For the past couple years, the shopping at the Rolex trade fair has been in decline; this year was really lack luster. I kept going around thinking, "This is it?" Is it the economy? Online shopping? So many of the vendors were service and product related...a need for sure, but not what I was hoping to see.
    P.S. I thought too that the $6.75 I spent for a Pepsi and bag of chips at the refreshment stand ridiculous...that I know was WEG pricing.

  • #2
    I will condition this by saying that I have been busy with showing this weekend, so most of my Rolex updates have been via Facebook statuses and text messages from friends watching live coverage, so forgive me if I am way off base with what my opinion is going to be....

    From the sounds of it, a lot the rider falls were tip offs. Things a few years ago, people could have gotten back on and finished the course, making it to the final day and at least FINISHING, even if it was with a cricket score. Now a tip off of the shoulder or popping off over a shoulder because of a peck means a long, sad walk home. I think it sucks. (Again, I haven't watched ANY footage, so forgive me if I'm way, way off. This is just the impression I've gotten from the snippets I've picked up over the last two days).

    And it does sound like there were a lot of tired horses. Why? Good for the riders who realized they needed to call it a day. But why were their horses not fit enough? What's missing?

    Sounds like the issues were spread about, so I think that's decent design. And I have ALWAYS been impressed with Derek's course design, so I am loath to think the design is bad (and, since there were very, very few horse falls- one, I think? And wasn't it at the 2nd?- I think that is testament to a good design). Again, haven't looked at the course walks, but I've seen enough of his courses to have an inkling of how it was.

    Maybe the riders weren't prepared. Maybe it was just one of those years. However, it IS a four star. It isn't meant to be easy. Sure, I'd like more than 27 to make it show jumping, but there could be so many factors at play, not just one.

    I can't even begin to answer the question about vendors, etc.


    • #3
      They really have to aim the top mounts for the top events - Olympics, World Games. Those come on two year cycles. So the top horses will be seen at the Rolex 2011 for the Olympics in 2012, or Rolex 2013 for the World Games in ? not sure where in 2014.
      So in the years like this you'll see less than the top, somewhat, so you will see some hopefuls. Hopefuls make the leaderboard look like it did after XC yesterday. Nature of the four star competition. I thought that the new to the level horses this year were actually a fairly weak sort of field and a few I thought would be quite good were not and a couple of old timers I thought would be great were not. However that should not take away from the brilliance of the rides of Emily Beshear, Sally Cousins, Kate Hicks, etc.
      In addition, the course design was ramped up a bit I believe for several reasons. Giving American riders a "soft" 4-star does us no favors when it comes time to raise a flag and stand on a podium at the end of international team competitions.
      Third -- I highly recommend flying home! Driving is too long and boring! And at the cost of gas, it's almost as cheap.
      Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
      Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)


      • #4
        I was just thrilled that no people or horses were killed or seriously injured. I thought a lot of the riders made the course look easy, as well. So I don't have any complaints about the outcomes.


        • #5
          I second this! No fatalities, no major injuries and "the pack" was well separated! This goes down in my book as a very. good. year!

          I was thrilled with the Rs and the W's! I truly hope and think it was everyone being smarter about what sort of day their horse is having. AND thinking just as much about the future as they are of one particular day or competition.

          I absolutely LOVED the long slow ride around XC our last place finisher took. It was appropriate to her horse and by golly they are safe and sound and have completed a clear Rolex **** XC course (and Rolex itself).

          Bravo to all our smart safe riders, whether or not they completed!

          I'm thinking these are very GOOD OMENS for eventing!

          The above post is an opinion, just an opinion. If it were a real live fact it would include supporting links to websites full of people who already agreed with me.



          • #6
            There's already another thread complaining about Rolex this year, maybe you should share your thoughts there.

            My drive home from Indiana was 3 hours, maybe you got lost on the way.


            • #7
              I think you have Post Rolex depression. I think Di Grazia's courses are fabulous...very challenging but not dangerous (you know what I mean - obviously it's terrifyingly dangerous- I'm talking relatively!) I like the way he sets up technical lines with lots of run out potential but not horse flip potential. His safety record for the past 2 years attests to the tough but fair design. Thank God Parker is alright but that was not a course design issue.

              I do agree with you about the number of vendors being way down from previous years. Don't get me wrong - I still did plenty of damage but I wished there was more. The one thing I miss most of all is the Area 8 bag check booth - stopped because of high booth fees.


              • #8
                I absolutely LOVED the long slow ride around XC our last place finisher took. It was appropriate to her horse and by golly they are safe and sound and have completed a clear Rolex **** XC course (and Rolex itself).
                LLDM, I saw that on the live feed, too - Gina commented on it a few times. I thought it was super - she gave her horse the positive experience of getting around the course, took great care of him, and finished Rolex 2012!
                Only one cat - must not be totally crazy yet!


                • #9
                  Having just driven through Indiana from Rolex, I think the OP is depressed because ofthe horrid bumpy highways in Indiana. :-)

                  (that is a JOKE, for those of you lacking the humor gene).


                  • #10
                    i went to rolex!!

                    this was my first trip to rolex. i made the final decision to go on friday at 5pm thanxs to my friends and enablers. lauren and i got on the rode at 9. we got to rolex at 745am after driving all night. closed our eyes for 45 minutes and walked in only to discover we weren't dressed warmly enough for the morning freeze. hiked back to parking and added layers only to discover in the afternoon what hyperthermia and exhaustion were all about.

                    i really went to cheer sally cousins on who rode tsunami around a challenging course quietly and beautifully. it was exciting to see all the riders but she is someone i love to ride with. the course was beautiful. i liked that the jumps weren't overdecorated. no bright red cheese wedges with mouse heads popping out of the holes. i did see one very tired horse who was struggling up this hill with the rider spurring it on every stride. we remarked how tired it looked considering it was only fence 15. they were pulled from the course a few jumps later and the reason was "pressing a tired horse". a couple others seemed to struggle also and one was ridden by a very respected upper level rider. perhaps it was the extreme weather changes in temp and what not that mother nature provided.

                    the vendors....well by the time i got there i had been up for 32hrs straight. my dog was overwhelmed as was i. i never made it to the inside vendor area. but i did buy a new bridle and shirt from smart pak who has firmly won a spot in my heart as the best customer service ever. they rock!!!'

                    the food was overly high. i wish there would have been more water for dogs to drink but there wasn't. so i spent a bit on bottled water and let them drink out of my hotdog box. but i expected the price to be high....so i waited to pig out until we left the park. but...the parking was free which surprised me and made me very happy

                    my drive was almost 10hrs. i got home today at 511pm. we were going to stay and go watch sj but i could not find a hotel close enough that welcomed dogs. we did find some but they made you stay in a smoking room. barfffffff and gasp.
                    so finally in barboursville west va we found a comfort inn with a clean room, two fabulous beds with perfect pillows and a hot bath....it was heavenly.

                    i was only disappointed in the less than attractive rolex gear. the material of the teashirts, sweatshirts etc was cheap and the logo this year was very unattractive. the ballcaps were downright ugly. the volunteers had cute ballcaps and if you drove the rangerover and filled out a survey,,,, you got the best ballcap of all with rolex 2012 on the back....i learned this after they left for the day. but i did get two free collapsable dog bowls with gourmet dog bones in each as i entered the park from...rangerover...! priceless for i forgot my dogs bowls in my haste to leave home.

                    it was a super experience and hope to do it right next year...not so hastily. but i had a impulsive blast with lauren and was privleged to watch some incredible horses and riders perform in a beautiful setting.