Peregrinatio in Stabilitate

“Pilgrimages of the heart, not of the feet.”
Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks
Ken Jennings [Scribner 2011]

Both horses are in high investment/low return mode at the moment. Instead of perseverating on their lack of progress, I will spend this week in a journey of the spirit to Central Kentucky. In the eventing world, the last weekend in April means the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event.

Outside of a few purists in Lexington, no one calls it the Kentucky Three-Day. The horse world calls it Rolex. As in, have you ever been to Rolex? A U.S. rider dreams of riding at Rolex. I think this could be a Rolex horse. It may be the most perfect union of sponsor and event in advertising history.

For over a decade, today would have been given over to frenzied packing. Squashing work files, cameras, computer, 3 different sets of volunteer uniforms, sturdy boots, rainwear, sun hat, kitchen sink into the back of a rental car. From the first four-star (1998) through WEG (2012 2010), I went to Kentucky for the week. I’d either volunteer or cover it for a magazine, or – in fortunate and hectic years – do both. I got good at zipping up and down Nina Bonnie Boulevard, the main road bisecting the Kentucky Horse Park. I’ve told my husband, if I ever go missing look for me in Kentucky. How can I not love a state whose major exports are Thoroughbred horses & bourbon? Then my life reorganized and Rolex – amazingly – staggers on without me.

I could paint pictures of galloping horses, green grass, and stone fences but my vacation slides don’t rivet as do those of travel writer Tim Cahill. I’ll skip to the take-home message. Go. If you’ve ever wanted to attend Rolex, or Devon, or the Quarter Horse Congress, do so. Every discipline has a high-end horse show as festival: world-class competition, oodles of like-minded folks, old friends from every part of your life, and shopping. I am not a shopasaurus [Retail Therapy] but even my wallet takes a beating at the Rolex Trade Fair. I keep threatening that next year, I’m going to run down the aisle throwing twenties at random intervals. It would be cheaper.

A conversation with Five Reflections reminded me of a time last year when I was attempting a haiku a day. In honor of that project & this week, I give you an eventing haiku, if not artistically valid at least a string of 17 syllables:

Dressage: be precise.
Cross Country: gallop boldly.
Show Jumping: go clean.

Entries & handicapping thereof, as only Jimmy Wofford can.
[4/26 Apologies. The Wofford link is to 2011, as it says in big black numbers. Blame the mare.]

Rolex K3DE Featured Rider blogs
Doug Payne
James Alliston
Jan Byyny

Rolex K3DE
Eventing Nation
The Chronicle of the Horse, Eventing


What would be your dream horse vacation?

4 thoughts on “Peregrinatio in Stabilitate

  1. It really is all starting to blur …. WEG was 2010.

    If it’s any comfort I’m giving this year a miss too. But I’m not happy about it.

  2. I took my dream horse vacation: Badminton in 1990. I had a press pass, too, so it was about as good as it gets. That said, I’ve never been to Rolex.

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