Micheal Jung wins Rolex on FischerRocanna FST

Michael Jung and FisherRocana win Rolex

Michael Jung and FisherRocanna win Rolex

It came down to one rail. One very costly rail — as the difference between first and second place at Rolex is $56,000. That one rail moved Tim Price and Wesko down to second place, moving Michael Jung and his fabulous mare, FischerRocanna up to the win. The 10-year old mare finished on her dressage score of 39.3. Jung also was third with La Biosthetique-Sam after dropping two rails. The winner of Rolex wins $100,000; the second place winner receives $44,000 and third place winner receives $36,000.

Other results included William Fox-Pitt who finished in fourth place on Bay my Hero. Phillip Dutton, who finished fifth, up from ninth overnight, with a clear round on Fernhill Cubalawn. Will Coleman, who was sixth on OBOS O’Reilly, up from eighth with a single mistake at fence five, and Boyd Martin who dropped one place to seventh with eight faults at the first and last parts of the triple combination at seven on Master Frisky. Dutton was also ninth on Fernhill Fugitive.

Show jumping (and all cross country) is now available on demand on http://www.usefnetwork.org.

Here’s an interview with Michael Jung about his win:

 

KR3DE Tim Price and Wesko in the lead after XC

If you don’t think you’ll be riding around Rolex any time soon, take the time to ride along with Rolex newbie Elisa Wallace. She had a very impressive first trip around Rolex, especially given that heavy rain made the going tough.

This was a day when the USEF live feed was a real boon. It looked miserable at Rolex (as you can see in the helmet cam video from Elisa Wallace) so watching from the warmth and dryness of my living room was very pleasant!

Francis Whittington & Easy Target

Francis Whittington and Easy Target bank the table. GIF from Eventing Nation

From the safety of my armchair, this course looked tough but well designed. I mean, what can you say about a course where the second fence was so big that at least one horse banked it!  Only six horses made it around double clear, but 27 jumped clear with time penalties (could have been more without the rain), 10 riders completed with jumping penalties, four broke frangible pins (picking up 11 faults), 15 riders were eliminated and 10 retired on course.

At the end of the day, Tim Price and Wesko, who finished dressage tied with Michael Jung and Sam, were in the lead by just one second. Should make for a very exiting stadium day tomorrow!

 

After Day 2 of RK3DE Michael Jung is tied for the lead

As expected, the second day of dressage in Kentucky ended with Michael Jung in first place with a score of 36.3 on La Biosthetique Sam FBW. What was not anticipated was that Tim Price tied for the lead riding his 12-year old Dutch gelding Wesko. William Fox-Pitt is sitting in third place on 2014 Rolex winner Bay My Hero.

Here is Tim Price (New Zealand) with Wesko, a 12-year old Dutch gelding.

I haven’t found a video of Michael Jung’s full ride, but here’s some of it.

Michael Jung is tied for first place

Click on the video to make it play

 

Here’s an interesting fact – while the top three riders all wore top hats, I was really pleased to notice that many, many riders (including big names like Boyd Martin and Buck Davidson) wore helmets for their tests.  So much safer!

Cross country tomorrow should prove interesting. The forecast is not good — thunderstorms are moving in. To try to beat the weather, organizers have moved the first ride to 9:45 EST and will start running the riders every 3 minutes after the first few trips (which are 5 minutes apart). Fingers crossed that the weather holds.

Rolex is underway!

The 2015 Rolex Kentucky 3-Day Event started today with a cold, windy day for the first day of dressage. No surprise that leading the field right now is Michael Jung on Fischerrocana, who put in a very nice test, and Laine Ashker is in second place on her OTTB Anthony Patch. Kudos for the riders who kept their very fit horses under control in the less-than-optimum conditions!

Stay tuned tomorrow for Day 2 of dressage and many more excellent teams. You can watch Rolex live on the USEF Network (http://www.usefnetwork.com/) which also posts highlights at the end of the day.

While there are lots of familiar names in the line up there’s a great video interviewing Rolex first-timers. How exciting for them all!

 

 

Ready for hunting? Not sure!

Freedom in the sun

Freedom looking deceptively calm after our ride this morning. He was on high alert for most of it!

After a week of amazing spring weather I’ve almost (not quite) forgotten what a lousy winter we’ve had. It’s been absolutely wonderful to go and ride Freedom and Zelda, to feel the warmth of the sun, to not sink up to our collective knees in snow.

In theory, hunt season started last Tuesday. Sadly, the ground was too wet for horses, and the hunts last week and this coming Tuesday were/are cancelled. In some respects, that might be good news, too, because for the first time I can remember, we (Freedom, Zelda and I are simply not ready). We (mostly me) are out of shape and they are way too excited to take out and gallop in company.

For example, this was Zelda yesterday. I can’t imagine sitting those bucks even when I’m feeling fit. She’s quite athletic!

Honestly, we’re still at the “let’s go for a long walk” stage — where I hope they don’t buck, spook or jig excessively (aka cantering in place).

Zelda’s worth ethic suffered over the winter. After about 15 minutes she wants to turn around and head back to the barn. She’s very, shall we say, expressive about it. First her upper lip starts to twitch, then she shakes her head and neck, and then she has a hissy fit that would put a toddler in a toy store to shame. We’re working out of it, but I think we’re still two weeks away from compliance. I’ve only just achieved a nice canter without bucks, and that’s without any additional excitement.

Freedom offers a different type of challenge. He won’t buck (thank goodness) but he is on a hair trigger. During this morning’s ride he managed some very dramatic jump/spooks when scary things like rocks, birds and squirrels jumped out at him.

And then there’s me. An hour or so in the saddle leaves my legs stiff and creaky. The thought of riding in half seat for any extended period of time is still in the distant future. Of course, it’ll be fun getting back into shape.

Celebrate the anniversary of the Pony Express with Google

Google Doodle Pony Express

The Google Doodle today is an interactive game that highlights the 155th anniversary of the Pony Express. Click on this image to go to the video (I’ve saved it from another locations so hopefully it will be available for longer than today).

If you haven’t checked the Google Doodle today, now’s the time! Their team of animators have created an interactive game to celebrate the 155th anniversary of the Pony Express. More than just a simple Doodle, this is a full blown game where you collect letters and avoid obstacles. You can collect as many as 100 letters but you need to have quick reflexes and enough time today to devote to the game!

For the backstory of the game, Google has posted this video that provides some history about the Pony Express.

Enjoy!