We’re in Kentucky, filming a half hour episode in various destinations across the state, including Lexington. I just left the Rolex Three-Day, one of the most exciting equestrian sporting events in the world. The horses and riders in this competition, especially Karen O’Connor and her horse, Theodore O’Conner, are truly amazing. I can’t imagine the exhilaration they must feel as they take on water jumps, intimidating hedges, giant ducks, and steep drop offs.
Though the day began with rain, the clouds cleared to reveal blue skies by noon. I was able to gain insight into the event by interviewing Jane Beshear, First Lady of Kentucky and an accomplished equestrian. The First Lady has been closely tied to the Rolex since it’s inception. I asked her what she thought it took for these horses to make it to this level. The First Lady emphasized not only the athleticism these horses posses, but also the heart it takes to excel at this level of competition. As an eventer, the First Lady can relate to the riders and their horses.
The day was not without its obstacles. As I write this, we nervously await word on the condition of fan favorite Lainey Ashker and her horse Frodo Baggins who experienced an unfortunate fall early on. It’s never easy to see a rider fall. We wait breathlessly for both to get up. Unfortunately Lainey was airlifted to a local hospital and Frodo Baggins received on the spot emergency veterinary care, before he too was taken away. They will remain in our thoughts.
Learn more about Equitrekking on PBS and the Equitrekking episodes on DVD and learn about exceptional equestrian vacations at EquitrekkingTravel.com.