On day two the plan was to get up early and head over to see the reining which started at 7:30.
Well, that did not happen.
We didn't make it to the venue until about 8:30, and then found out that the breakfast place, the fantastic Maker's Mark Bourbon Village wouldn't open until 9:00. So we waited until 9, ate breakfast, and watched the reining on the TV monitors in the hospitality tent. We saw the last rides as we were just finishing up. So we completely missed Session 3 of reining.
We still had tickets to session 4, which we were able to see. The Americans were in the lead at that point, but all the countries had their anchor riders going in session four, so it was still possible that someone could catch up. Nobody went off course that we saw, and there were some really nice horses and riders. I think the biggest mistakes I saw were overspins and flying changes that were not clean.
In all there were 21 total countries competing in reining, with an additional seven countries represented with individual riders. In the end, the USA team of Tim McQuay, Craig Schmersal, Tom McCutcheon, and Shawn Flarida came out with the gold medal, with Belgium taking the silver and Italy with the bronze.
After the reining we walked around a bit to see what else there was to see. We went over to Walnut Grove, which is another vendor-type area that had a beer tent, champagne tent, and a bourbon tent. Bit of Britain horse supply was there too in a rather large tent.
Then we walked to Equine Village, which was another vendor area that had smaller tents in a park-like setting, all in amongst trees. Here there was more artwork, some horse supplies, and different associates that had their tents set up. Right in Equine Village is the Al Marah Arabian Horse Galleries. We tried to get in to see the special exhibit, Gift from the Desert, but they were having a special receptions and it was closed to the public. Bummer.
Next to Equine Village is a large arena where Kentucky Horse Park was running their breed demonstrations. They showcase different breeds of horses and what they are known for. I've seen it before so we didn't stay to watch, but it's really neat. Then we took a little tractor driven trolley around the breed demo area and up to Alltech Arena where the reining was held., It's nice to have some sort of in-park transportation. There are tons of golf carts to take staff and competitors around the show but very little for the spectators.
Then we tried to find the kids area. First we found this large sandbox that had a mechanical cutting horse and bull that the kids could try out. We thought that was it, and that would have been pretty weak. But then we found a barn that had a whole bunch of really cool educational displays about the horse and it's health. There was also stuff about barn safety, boxes where you could stick your hand in and guess the horse-related item, and one stall that had a felt replica of the horse's digestive system stretched out so you could see just how bit it was. It was draped all the way around the stall.
From my vantage point, there is very little for kids to do here. I think if you are 12 years old or older, and a horse crazy kid, you'd really enjoy this. But I think younger kids and kids not into horses would have a pretty boring time here,. And from a parent's perspective, there is nothing worse than taking your kids to something you want to go to that they don't and are going to be bored. It's the worst. If you think your kid can sit through hours of rides, then bring them. Otherwise I'd seriously consider having them stay home.
We were so tired after that, and all the horse things were done for the day,. So we left site and got some dinner and went to bed early. Cindy brought her pedometer and it turns out we walked 6.25 miles that day! No wonder we were tired!
Day 3 – Dressage Team Competition, Day 1, Sessions 1 and 2.
Our New Girl
17 hours ago