Friday, May 6, 2016

Doing Rolex, the right way.

Sooooo it's been a while. Many, many amazing things have gone on that has pretty much made the month of April a wash as far as any productivity in real life goes.  Hint; Real life is over rated.  Really though I love my real life and am grateful for all the fun stuff I've gotten to do but I am ready to just stay home, ride, boat and play in the woods.  And maybe work here and What?  You mean that shouldn't be considered real life?  Haha then you are not doing life right. 

My April consisted of a week on vacation on St. Augustine FL.  Pony club clinics and activities galore.  A week in Ocala, FL exploring horse country and attending Ocala International (more on that trip later) and to close out the month, an EPIC Rolex adventure.

I will be covering the Rolex adventure in this post.  I love reading everyone's Rolex experiences.   For some it was their first time.  Some traveled halfway across the country to attend.  Some loved it, for some it was just Meh.  I have been going to Rolex for several years now. For a few years I did the just XC day, which is OK.  For the past 4 I've gone full bore 4 full days but this year I think I finally perfected how an Eventer does Rolex!  There are many factors that go into the perfect Rolex experience.

1.  It's all about who you know.  I have a massively amazing group of ladies that I have been doing this trip with for the last 4 years. I have the shopping conasuere.  She is quite the tack whore that knows where and how to find the good stuff.  Remember I am a tack slut.  My only requirements are a) is it cheap b) is it functional.  But this amazing lady can sniff out buttery soft leather and fancy Dubarry Jackets like she was born to.  It also helps to get he champagne flowing in the Dubarry tent when you have a friend that will actually drop $600 on a "I'll only wear it a few times" coat.  Really it's all in who your friends are.  Then you have the encyclopedia.  Seriously a girl that knows every rider, their horses name, where they have competed recently, the breed of their horse, where every course walk is, who is where and when and make sure we are at the right place at the right time.  I just pretty much drink and follow her.  The best jump to see Phillip Dutton at?  Well she has it timed out and planned out how to be there.  Then you have the mother hen.  Who makes sure you can find the potty when all the Day drinking catches up and you have to pee and remind you that you probably should eat at some point.  A liquid diet is only responsible if it involves more than alcohol.  And what do I offer to the group well I am really quite good at sniffy out free stuff, providing music, yummy food and a camp site.
Some of my amazing crew.

2. In the prefect Rolex experience.  Don't be ashamed of day drinking.  Really and after a few glasses of champagne in the Dubarry tent you won't really notice the dirty looks from the Responsible Pony Club moms.

3.  Have really awesome kids that will trek all over kindom come without a peep of complaint.  Even when your mother accidently drops you in the water jump in front of an entire group of course walkers and you have to walk the rest of the day in wet tennis shoes.  How does that even happen?  Trust me I'm talented.  Hey I have never claimed to be a good Mom.  I mean who does that to their kid?  They really are troopers.  And when mom has had about 4 too many they even clean up dinner and put themselves to bed despite the obnoxiously loud music and carrying on outside the camper.  Not mention when the police showed up...OPPS!  Yep.  That happened.

This was just the start of a very wild night. 

4. All the other things I have done the passed 3 years which has made Rolex our highlight of the spring but what made it absolutely perfect?  Camping at the park.  I never want to do Rolex another way.  No worries about having to drive after all the day drinking.  Pretty much my entire Indiana Eventing Posse camp which makes for a wildly fun party in the evenings.  And is there anything better than campfires, music, dancing and horse friends?  Not often that we get to hang out with our horse buddies and not be at a show or a clinic and have horses to care for and actually have to be sober to ride.  But a Rolex?  All bets are off.  We most likely took it a step too far and that became more clear when the police rolled up and we all scattered to our rightful campers.  But it was SO MUCH FUN!

Why do I do all 4 days?  I can assure you it is not because I am interested in watching the same dressage test ridden a million times because I saw all of 2 tests.  They were good ones though, Mark Todd and Phillip Dutton on one of his mounts Copper Beach, and that is all that counts.  Quality not quantity. Why the home body that I am and would rather stay home than almost anything looks forward to Rolex next year before I even pack up to go home on Sunday?

Thursday, to shop.  You get to see everything, touch everything and search for the few and far between deals.  All without being touched by cracked out shoppers that only show up one day and think they deserve to push their way through everyone just to get their fix.  And drinking

Friday is for a bit more shopping, read- go back and buy all the things you scoped out on Thursday, talked yourself out of but couldn't stop thinking about lying in bed that night so you run back and buy as soon as the trade show opens.  And course walking.  Following around big time riders, not being able to keep up or hear a word they say but it doesn't really matter because your back pack has drinks in it.  And the Dubarry tent.  Because if you're smart at all, all your hunting type shopping better have been done Thursday because people. And now we wander, drink all the alcohols we can find and scope out free stuff. Oh and drinking.

Course walking with Doug Payne.  Someone needs to explain to these people that us mere mortals cannot walk at 10 mph up hill in tall grass.  Think of the Corgi's people and old ladies.
Saturday, you won't catch me dead spending any amount of time shopping.  Nope, no way.  Freaking madhouse.  Saturday is all about XC.  Seeing 2-3 horses at each jump then moving on to the next.  Following my encyclopedia around getting the low down on every rider.  She makes it so easy to have a drink in one hand an umbrella in the other and still be in the know.  And pretending that we have the authority to critic these bad ass riders.  "Ooooo they jumped that so nicely",  "Oh man! they really took a long spot there.", "Is that a chickenmonkey on that horse or is that Buck?"  Seriously that man is amazing but sometimes he makes you close your eyes.

What Corgi's think of a wet XC day.  Why mom, why?
shout out to the awesome corgi umbrella!
Just Done.
Sunday we've done several ways. Watch some SJ from the sidelines.  We've bought Stadium seats but this year we opted to do the Pony Club Stadium course walk  with the course designer, which is really an amazing opportunity.  Then pack up and head home to see the ponies and skip the exit crowd and traffic.

Cool Pony Club opportunity is they take the PCer's out on the stadium course Sunday morning and the course designer talks to them about the course. RAD!
The Sea Serpent.  Loved the drop into the head of the lake.
Look Rolex barfed in my kitchen.
 Which was perfect because it was a beautiful day and we made it home in time to dump every thing from the camper and truck into the kitchen, literally. Hook up the jet ski and play in the lake for  a few hours. Can't think of  a more fun way to end Rolex weekend.  Sure we were exhausted from walking probably 20-30 miles over the past 4 days.  Had so much crap to unpack it is stupid.  But while I am not REALLY good at much in life I am actually really good at avoiding all adult responsibilities and playing instead (if you hadn't ever noticed it's kind of my specialty)

So that my friends is how one does Rolex.  It is some what about the huge international competition, big time horses and riders but really it is SO much more.  I will have to do a separate post on what I love about shopping at Rolex.  I've read many that were disappointed by the lack of good deals.  Having done this for many years I can tell you that there are some good deals that are out there but they are few and far between.  It if far more about all the touches and all the feels.  Getting to see everything in one place. Things you have heard about our seen online but really want to see what they look and feel like.  Create want lists for future reference.  Trying on every kind of breech out there to find out what fits you best so you can watch for good deals online.  Putting your butt in fancy saddles and trying on all the XC vests.  Just in case, you know, one day you're a millionaire.  .  But I can see if you show up Saturday, Sunday and even Friday the crowds start rolling in why none of that is that much fun.  And you should always budget for at least 2 or 3 of those, "I really should not buy this but I drank just the right amount and it's SO pretty!" purchases  That's what sick days and Thursdays at Rolex are for.  Next Post what swag made it back home with me????  Now I am off to see a girl about a saddle.  Or to see a saddle fitter.


  1. Just in case one day youre a millionaire HAHA

  2. Haha I love it!!!! Needs moar day drinking tho ;)

  3. We were seriously sad the craft beer tent was missing this year - but we did hit up the local wine tasting booth, and take home a bottle. We have went for just Friday and Saturday the past two years...but Thursday is calling my name for next year!


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