Behind the Scenes at Rolex Kentucky 2013

Earlier this year we interviewed professional eventing groom Cat Hill. Cat just returned from Rolex Kentucky 2013, where she was the groom on the Daniel Clasing Eventing team. Check out her Rolex recap and show photos below!

From Cat:

Cat & Houston in the barn at Rolex

I am just sitting down after a whirlwind week at the Rolex Kentucky 4-star Event. I have worked many Kentucky’s in the past 10 years, but this one will always hold a spot near my heart for a couple reasons.

The stables at Rolex Kentucky 2013

This year I was working for a rider, Daniel Clasing, that I have watched grow from a “punk with talent” into a rider who can make the best equestrians sit up and take notice. Daniel brought his Rolex horse Houston up from a weanling to the 4-star level with very little money—but with a lot of persistence, skill and sweat. Additionally, I was there with my 4 month-old baby Adelaide, teaching her all about what happens behind the scenes at our biggest event in the USA.

Daniel and Houston jog up

Rolex is always a great, if exhausting, week. As a groom it means early mornings, late nights and long days making sure my horse has the absolute best in care. This year the highlight of the trip is tough to pick. There were two great moments.

Daniel and Houston at the head of the lake

First, the moment Houston came galloping through the finish fast and clear. It is never a given at a 4-star event that your horse will come through those finish flags to you, especially without any penalties. It is even less of a given when the rider trained the horse himself from the time he was a teenager and the horse was a foal. Even though you only get a moment to think about it before the rush to get the horse un-tacked, cooled out, and quieted down in the vet box, at that moment you simply look at that horse and think,  “Wow.”

Show Jumping at Rolex 2013

The second moment was catching Houston after show jumping, and standing with him at the tent where they weigh boots. He was standing, head up, nostrils flaring, as if he knew, without a doubt, that HE was now a 4-star horse.

Daniel, Houston, Cat, and Adelaide, course complete and officially 4-star!

After Rolex Kentucky 2013 finished, we headed back to Houston’s stable in Maryland. When we first arrived back, we turned Houston out with his best friend Yardley, who is Dan’s first advanced horse. We watched as Houston rolled, then leaped up and bucked. After a full bottle of Showsheen® and half a container of Magic Cushion™ that week at Rolex, we promised Houston he could just be muddy, messy and gross for at least a week- he had more than earned it!!

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