The Rolex

April is kind of a horse month here in Lexington. First, there are the Spring meet races at Keeneland, then the Rolex Kentucky 3 day competition, and the grand finale is the Derby which is one very big party and is coming up fast on Saturday. I can count the number of times that I have ridden a horse on one hand, but hey…I’m always up for the party part. 🙂

I got some great SLR camera speed shooting practice on Saturday at the Rolex Kentucky. By the looks of my pics, it would appear that I need more practice…but damn those big brown blurry things move by fast! Especially when there is a famous rider on top and 45,000 people are watching her go for $200K in prize money. The horses must run a long cross-country course which includes running through water and loads of jumping and obstacles. I didn’t see any spectacular falls, but apparently there were some along other parts of the course. A record crowd of over 96,000 people came to watch the horses do their thing….and at $20 a head for entry, someone was very very happy. 🙂

Ian Stark, a 4-time silver Olympic medalist and much loved rider from Great Britain announced his retirement after the event. He’s been in the game for nearly 30 years, so I’m sure that everyone will be sad to see him go. I was lucky enough to get pics of his last ride, and this candid one of him in the English stables caring for his horse. We met briefly and I shook his hand, he had a calm and pleasant energy about him.

Whether you are into horses or not, it was just a gorgeous day to be out in the green fields of the KY Horse Park hanging around. There were the usual vendors selling random fried objects, and masses of freelance photographers, some of which I had the pleasure to chat up and I managed to learn a thing or two. There were so many photographers I thought maybe a horse race had broken out at an outdoor Cannon convention or something.

Plenty of visiting horse people usually means plenty of craic at my favorite Irish pub here…which provides a rare chance to meet some people from the UK, Ireland, and Australia. I’ve even managed to find a South African or two on some nights.

Hmmmmm….I might have to go test my theory here in a few hours. 🙂

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