The Kentucky Jog

Our quick summary of the jog at Rolex Kentucky, where the rain didn't stop the horses and riders shining

Watching the ‘jog’ (as the trot-up, or first horse inspection, is called in the US), via livestream (thank you, USEF Network) was a great way to start the day.

Rolex Kentucky jogs are always interesting, the riders really go to great efforts selecting their outfits. While trot-ups at Badminton and Burghley are also very special, they are far more traditional and at Kentucky there are always some surprises.

This year’s came from our own Joe Meyer who, in our opinion, won the New Zealand fashion stakes out of the five Kiwi blokes competing. He elected to trot up in a kilt! Bruce Haskell (the ultimate wit on Twitter) tweeted “Didn’t know @JoeMeyerEvntr had Scottish heritage! Mind you he could never find his wallet so that might explain it. #nicelegs”

Joe was quick to reply that the kilt was “his Hunter tartan that I’m wearing for my father and grandmother.”  Go Joe! Clip Clop passed the first inspection, and celebrated in style, as you can see in the tweet from US Eventing. He is quite a character, that horse.

Update: It has just been confirmed that Joe Meyer won the Dubarry of Ireland ‘Best Dressed’ Award along with Sinead Halpin. Will Joe wear his new boots under his kilt for the final trot-up, perhaps? Well done Joe, deserved winner.

All horses, including our lot, were accepted, although a few were sent to the hold box, just to make life exciting. New Zealander Andrew Bennie is one of the Ground Jury, and got a bit wet as the rain did come down, although the talk of thunderstorms seemed to be only talk.

Sir Mark and NZB Campino are being picked as one of the combinations to look out for – but isn’t that always the case? All our blokes looked good (but then we would say that, wouldn’t we?). Jock had a nice lighter blue suit on, Tim looked awesome in his dark suit, and while both Sir Mark and Blyth opted for blue blazers, Blyth went for smart tan trousers with Toddy more traditional in a fawn pair. Their horses looked fantastic and were mostly well behaved, though there were hi-jinks from some of the other horses. The camera man from USEF Network was in considerable danger at one point.

New Zealand thoroughbred, FIS Prince Charming, looked great with his American rider Lisa Barry. This horse was produced by Donna Smith and sold to Lisa in 2008. He is by His Royal Highness and it is their second time competing at this event.

Laine Ashker’s dress was the most outstanding. We have come to expect her to look fantastic, and she sure did.

Sinead Halpin’s lovely hat and overall look with a cream dress was all class, although we do prefer to see sturdier shoes. She won the best dressed prize for women. Why some riders insist on wearing heels or wedges at a trot-up is beyond us, and the most awkward running style was awarded to one contestant (who shall remain nameless) in her heels.

I looked but could see no sign of our photographer Libby Law on the sidelines via livestream (she was certainly there, as you can see from the photos) but I couldn’t help but notice the number of huge camera lenses! Hope they can all use them as well as our Libs! Do check out the gallery of Libby’s photos from the first horse inspection, there are some crackers (top of this post).

Ringwood Magister is the horse that stood out for me – he really is a most spectacular grey. In fact, I can’t even remember what his rider, Tiana Coudray (USA), was wearing: I couldn’t take my eyes off her horse!

Michael Jung looked focused, but he always does. He is a clear favourite in the event after poor Wesko’s injury. Tim’s Bango looked magnificent, though, and we hope the young horse can shine this weekend.

 

So that’s the first hurdle successfully negotiated. Stay tuned for as much Kentucky coverage as we can fit in!