Digital Killed the Party

Day 4 of my Journey of the Spirit to the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event.

Covering every angle. In all honesty, this photographer probably looked this way before digital.

The press tent isn’t fun anymore. I have the gray hair. I’ve done the time. Let the curmudgeoning begin.

Back in the day, when the competition and the press conferences were over, writers and photographers were done. No horses to photograph. No riders to interview. The evenings were our own. We, um, filled that time.

My second most memorable night occurred during the Washington International Horse Show when I turned left instead of right out of a restaurant parking lot after a late evening. I ended up in a rental car driving through deepest Northeast in the o-dark hundreds. Not the place you want to find yourself as a young woman on her own. I took to driving through red lights in the desperate hope that the police would stop me and get me out of Dodge. My most memorable night is not something I care to relive. Suffice to say, people were surprised to see me at the show the next day. Then, there was the time I got lost in Lexington because I got distracted and followed a firetruck instead of the directions. I could go on…

Now, once the show is over, photographers are uploading shots for their clients and posting albums on their own pages. Writers are madly composing and posting daily updates for one or more venues. Or, more and more often, writer/photographers are doing both. If there is a party, folks go for the snacks and head back to the press tent to commune with their laptops. Industrious, yes. Entertaining, no.

Of course, now that I am on the receiving end, I love the costume commentary on the jog by Horse Junkies United or checking the real-time scoreboard. But I appreciate the cost to the people who make it possible.

Leader after day 1 of dressage: Boyd Martin and Remington XXV
Lanterne Rouge: Jessica Hampf and High Society
When I see high score – in eventing low score leads – I have to wonder if there was generalized tension, if the rider forgot where to go, or if the horse staged a spectacular display of being fundamentally fed up with where he was. (To steal mercilessly from D. Adams, the source of so many beautiful quotes.)

LINKS to get you started: [There’s way more out there]
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
EN: Four-Star Rookies
The Chronicle of the Horse, Eventing


How has the digital age changed your life?

6 thoughts on “Digital Killed the Party

  1. Yeah, you nailed it … these days we don’t even go for the snacks most of the time. I pretty much lived on those pre-fab crackers with imitation cheese or imitation peanut butter in ’em, through three weeks at WEG. There’s sort of a perverse pride, I guess, in being the last ones chased out of the press tent every night, but it sure as hell ain’t fun. But at least we’re getting paid really, really poorly for it.

  2. High Society definitely didn’t have major disobedience. The judges seem to be scoring VERY harsh to me, with many steady tests scoring in 60s. They’re not as relaxed, but the horses aren’t bucking/rearing/leaping out of the ring or anything.

    1. 10q Holly. I guess leaping out of the ring & galloping down the long side is reserved for us fools in Walk-Trot. Yup, my one and only show with Mathilda.

  3. The digital age means I can stream the Olympics without leaving my living room. I had given serious thought to going to London, but with the horse sports inside the city, no-freaking-way. The crowds, the crowds, the crowds … living room here I come.

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