Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Rolex Time!

Photos by Amber Heintzberger

I am so excited to be at my first Rolex Kentucky three-day event! We drove down yesterday - my best friend Colby Saddington is with me and I am very lucky to have her helping me this week. She groomed for Phillip Dutton at the World Games and the Olympics so I know I am in good hands. Phillip is here with a couple of horses and will be coaching me and my vet Kevin Keane is here as well, so I have a great team behind me. I am thrilled too that my family came out from California to watch the event, (photo with Mom at right).

Today I did a little flatwork at the warm-up area by the big grandstand. Elliot knows something is up, that it's a big event, but he's handling it with total class. He always likes a crowd - some horses get nervous but he steps his game up a bit. Eric Smiley from Ireland used to ride him and he's been to the World Games in Jerez and around Badminton so he knows his stuff!

This will be Elliot's last event and then he'll retire at Katie and Cuyler Walker's farm in Pennsylvania. I hope that their kids can keep him going at the novice level or maybe he can do some foxhunting so that he still has a job to do. I'd like for him to go out with a great, confident round here. He deserves a positive finish to his career.

The jog (above) today was fun, it was like going down the runway at Fashion Week with all the photographers lined up at the end! I wanted to go with a traditional, classy look but still look like I'm 23 years old. My outfit is from Bloomingdales and my hat is from That's Hats on Highway 202 in Delaware. My shoes were a bargain!

Tomorrow I'm going to flat Elliot again and then Phillip and I are going to get a look at the course. This is my first visit to the Kentucky Horse Park and when we drove in my jaw dropped - it's just amazing.

Stay tuned for more updates from the event!


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