On Sunday, we slept in a bit since jumping doesn't start until 1:00. We got to the park around 9:00 though because we wanted to go to the horse museum and see the horse park. There was a Hall of Champions presentation at 10:15, so we didn't have much time at the museum, which was unfortunate as I love museums and horses so I wanted to see the whole thing.
The Hall of Champions presentation involved the presenter showing some clips and explaining the history of each horse before a handler would bring the horse out for everyone to see. The first horse, Go For Gin, won the Kentucky Derby. He's also an absolute asshole. He kept trying to bite his handler. And not in some cute nibbly way, but really trying to snatch at her.
The other horses were much nicer. They had Be A Bono, a Quarter Horse champion; Da Hoss, another TB; and Won The West, a Standardbred Pacer. It was a cool presentation. The park is also gorgeous with lots of historic barns, huge green pastures, and white fencing. I'd highly recommend doing more than just Rolex when you're there.
|You can see how much they like each other|
|Be a Bono|
We wandered back to the trade fair and bought more things. While my husband was picking up his custom made halter, I found a rack of men's breeches. This was very exciting as we had been asking at every vendor if they had men's breeches and no one did. The selection wasn't huge, but it was more than zero. While he was trying some on, I was trying to get out of the way of all the other shoppers. One woman asked if I was looking at the breeches I was standing in front of and I said no, I was just waiting for my husband. She said something like, "oh husbands, they're always missing when you want to buy something." And I was like, "No, my husband is trying on breeches. I'm just waiting for him."
Although my husband does generally hate shopping, I'm very grateful that he does like horses. So he wasn't just chilling at the beer tent all weekend, but was with me and enjoying the events as much as I was. After shopping, we grabbed some lunch and then went over to the stadium for Show Jumping. We had seats in the covered section, but the sun wasn't behind the cover, so we were actually baking in the sun. I walked all the way back to our car to get our two hats and sunscreen. The seats were great for being right in front of the finish line, but in the future, I'd want to be higher up for sun (and rain if it were to rain) protection.
|Tim Price on Wesko|
|Michael Jung on La Biosthetique - Sam FBW|
|Michael Jung on Fischerrocana FST|
This mountain jump that was in front of us was really fun to watch. A lot of the horses, like Fischerrocana above, really leaped over it. We had paid $25 to rent the live commentary audio. We rented one headset and split the earphones between us. I really like having the commentary as the announcer only spoke between rounds and didn't cover everything. The commentators also mentioned frequently how the horses were really boinging over this jump.
Being right by the finish was also great for watching the different celebrations riders had after finishing. From galloping around the entire arena like Austin O'Conner to wiping away tears of joy like Bunny Sexton, there was a great mix of reactions. We stayed until everyone had gone before heading out of the stadium. However, we watched a bunch of people leave early. Including some of the people sitting right in front of us who left with 2 horses left. So they sat through 39 other horses going and then just couldn't stay 5 more minutes to see who would win? People need to prioritize.
|Unknown rider and horse - but lots of clearance|
We left around 4 to drive to the Louisville airport and make a crucial pit stop to fill the rental's gas tank and, more importantly, bought Dunkin' Donuts. I never really cared much for Dunkin' Donuts, but then we moved to California where donuts are made in some gross fashion I cannot accurately describe to everyone who asks why I think they're different. But everyone I know who is also not from California wants east coast style donuts. And Dunkin' Donuts isn't the best, but it is that style. We got a half dozen to bring some home to CA for friends who asked for them.
In summary, Rolex was amazing. We definitely want to go back. possibly next year, but we're not 100% on that yet. Anyone else already thinking of doing it again? Or has anyone been more than once. Is it always this awesome or does the awesomeness wear off after the first time?