Weekend Wrapup

A fun 6-day weekend is just about over. I assume anybody reading this realizes that this was Rolex weekend (the Rolex Kentucky 3-Day Event, if you’re a stranger to this site). Since I have some vacation that has to be used or lost, I decided to take a couple of days on each side of the weekend to properly prepare and detox, and have some fun with my own horse.

One major difference between this year’s Rolex and previous years is the lack of pictures. I finally got burned out with the photography. Since 1996, back before the event even had its own website, I have been taking pictures and posting them on my Rolex site. It was fun at first, because all this interweb stuff was still new to a lot of people back then, and I was doing something unique. Then those guys out in California invented that Google thing, and my site became more visible. Even after the event’s official website was launched, mine frequently appeared in the results when people searched for the event, or for a specific rider. I was occasionally contacted by riders asking for the pictures. That was a little bit of an ego boost.

But the novelty is gone. Now there are thousands of people at the event with digital cameras, uploading pictures to their Flicker and Photobucket sites via the Wifi in their hotels all weekend. There’s no longer any “gee-whiz” factor in it. And since I usually don’t know any of the riders, having a bunch of pictures of them doesn’t mean that much to me. And watching the whole event through the lens of a camera gives a more limited view. Focusing on a jump, waiting for the horse to get there so I can push the button, makes it harder to watch the horse’s approach to the jump and observe the overall ride.

So this year, I decided to give up. I took my camera on Saturday and took a few x-c pictures, but I haven’t even looked at them. And on Sunday, I didn’t even bother taking the camera to stadium jumping. If you want to see pictures, go Google Rolex Kentucky and see what pops up.

Overall, this year’s event went very well. There was one unfortunate loss of a horse on the x-c course, but that was due to a hemorrhage which wasn’t directly related to the competition. It could have happened any time; it was just unfortunate timing that it happened in competition.

One other sad note was the absence of local favorite Dorothy Crowell, who had been planning to compete but got bitten by one of the new rules that were imposed as a result of the problems of the previous year. Most people agree that the rule, although well-intentioned, was poorly written. Ironically, Dorothy could have qualified by competing in horse trials the two weekends before Rolex. That kind of back-to-back competition would have risked pushing horse and rider past their limits, and Dorothy is the last person in the world to risk her horse’s welfare that way. But another rider in her position might have been tempted to do that, in which case the rule would have actually increased risk instead of reducing it.

But aside from those issues, it was a great weekend. The weather was pleasant. The winning rider, Lucinda Fredericks of Australia, rode stunningly, as did other riders. After her victory, she displayed a wonderful sense of humor at an awards ceremony, and graciously signed autographs and posed for pictures with young children.

And, to avoid being just a couch potato spectator, I got some quality Crossbo time on Thursday and Monday. Thursday we hauled to Masterson Station Park to play around on their cross-country course, and Monday we hacked around at home.

Although I’ve given up the camera work at Rolex, I’m working on another equine photographic theme: Horse’s-Ear Views. A couple of weeks ago, as Crossbo and I were taking our first tour of the farm for this year, I looked at the scenery in front of me and decided that the world always looks better when viewed through a horse’s ears. So I pulled out the iPhone and snapped a picture, making sure I included the horse’s ears in the shot.

Since then, I’ve taken a similar picture each time I ride. I’m going to try to take at least one picture each ride, and hope to be able to get something interesting and different each time, and not just the same old grass and trees all the time. I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to do that without getting repetitious, but we’ll see what happens. At least for now, the pictures will be in
this Facebook album.

And, speaking of pictures, I have an update on the Easter Egg story, with a happier ending than I thought. Only one of the eggs hatched, but that baby survived a few trips in his mobile home, and today I saw him preparing to venture from the nest, and later he was gone. Photo updates available here.

If you’re wondering about my use of Facebook as a photo repository, it seems to be the quickest way to get a picture from my phone onto a web page, so that’s where phone pictures are going for the moment. I may move them somewhere else if I get tired of the Facebook fad. My opinions on that could fill another couple of pages that I’m not going to write tonight, so that’s all for now.

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