So you have tickets to the Split Rock Jumping Tour’s Bourbon International in hand. Good call. Let’s take a look at what your weekend has in store…
Friday, October 7
2:45p. The sun is shining bright on your Old Kentucky Home and you decide to slip out of work early and meet some friends at Split Rock Farm for a taste of the Bourbon International.
3:15p. You arrive just in time for the $40,000 Amalaya Investments CSI 3* Grand Prix. However, your friends are no where to be found. Ah well, they’ll show up eventually, in the meantime, you’re transfixed on the magnificent grey currently moving through the ring.
Not to mention all the gorgeous horses.
3:31p. Your phone buzzes. It’s your friends. They’ve managed to get a table in the VIP tent and ask if you want to join.
3:32p. You casually stroll into the VIP tent and spot your friends. They are sharing a bottle of wine and eating freaking sushi. Sushi. At a horse show. You take your seat and pour a glass. Now this is living, you say. That’s when Margie Engle strolls by and grabs a piece of sashimi off the table and keeps on walking without saying a word. Legend.
3:38p. So how did you get this table in here, you finally ask. They tell you some guy hooked them up. A handsome lad by the name of Braun…Derek Braun. But that’s not all, they say. He also gave us tickets to some cocktail party for all the riders and sponsors later in the evening. What are your plans for the night, they ask? Before you answer you are already texting home: Going out tonight. Order pizza. Love you.
8:30p. The party is well underway. After a couple chardonnays you begin to feel a little wiggle in your hips as the band strikes up “Rollin’ on the River”. You look for your friends but are interrupted by a gentle tap on the shoulder. You turn to see Canadian rider Keean White.
“Hey, I’m Keean. And you are…?”
“Melting into the floor.”
“Great. Well, you wanna dance?”
You want another glass of wine or 3, but you can’t say “no” now. Luckily, your hips don’t lie.
8:33p. Whew, that was fun, wasn’t it Keean? Keean?
9:08p. You are waiting in line for the restroom when a man approaches wearing a scowl. It’s George F-ing Morris. Before you get the nerve to introduce yourself, he speaks. “You dance like a drunk mannequin,” he quietly says as he passes.
9:09p. You rifle through your purse and pull out your Bucket List and add a big check mark next to “
Meet Get insulted by George Morris”.
9:50p. You have Molly Ashe-Cawley cornered by the bar, grilling her on warmup routines. She says she thinks she hears someone calling her name and leaves to investigate. That’s when you realize it’s probably a good time to call it a night. As you head for the door a voice calls out from behind.
You turn around and see Derek Braun himself.
“Yes, I would love to come back to the VIP tomo—”
“You forgot to fist pump,” he explains while demonstrating perfect fist-pumping technique.
“Oh, right, of course, sorry.”
And with that single pump you slip into your cab and ride off into the night. Another big day at Split Rock awaits. And this time, you’re bringing the whole family.
Saturday, October 8
9:00a. You arrive bright and early Saturday morning. The air is crisp with early autumn as the sun glistens over the Bluegrass. The $7,500 Child/Adult 1.10m Jumper Final is about to begin, but you opt to take the kids on a stroll around the farm for a bit to get the lay of the land.
9:05a. But first, coffee.
10:00a. Strolling around the Split Rock property almost makes you feel like you’re home. There are no paved parking lots or ticket booths, just green grass, riding rings and barns. But then Richie Moloney strolls by on a morning stroll with Carribis Z, and you remember this is in fact not at all like home.
10:35a. You wrap up your walking tour and head back to the main arena to catch the start of the Junior/Amateur 1.30m Final, part of a balanced breakfast. As you take your seat you can’t believe how close you can get to the action. The kids are in horse heaven.
11:30a. The competition is heating up but you’re in need of a cool down. A cold beer should do. It is Saturday, after all. On the way to the beer tent you stroll through the vendor village. Just to look, just to look.
12:05p. Oops. You are now the proud owner of a brand new saddle, coat and a pair of tall boots. That escalated quickly.
12:15p. After running your new haul back to your car while stealthily hiding from your husband, it’s time for that beer. And some bbq. And a cookie. Oooh, is that kettle corn in the air? Yes it is.
12:32p. Suddenly you spot your husband settled in at the beer tent, sampling the selections. Looks like the drink will have to wait. You’re driving home.
12:40p. Back to your seat just in time to catch the end of the Grand Prix. You would stand and cheer as Ali Wolff takes her victory lap, but your hands are full.
1:30p. Your husband has been missing for over an hour. You consider texting him. It was a nice thought. Instead, you take the youngins over to the kids zone where they can run around the hay maze and pet the pony.
1:35p. Your husband emerges from the beer tent, a tad wobbly, but otherwise in tact. He offers to watch the kids so you can get back to the show.
1:55p. Your son taps you on the shoulder.
“Dad’s stuck,” he confesses.
“Stuck? Where? In what?”
“In the hay maze. He can’t get out.”
1:57p. You arrive at the hay maze and sure enough…
“Hey honey, so uh, got a little lost. Could you uh, show me the way out?”
“How many beers did you drink?”
“Oh, you know…a little of this a little of that.”
You want to get mad but then bluegrass band strikes up your jam.
“Oohh, I LOVE Wagon Wheel!” All is forgiven. At least, for now.
3:10p. The band wraps up their set. Your husband is apparently passed out in the jump castle. The kids are drunk on activity and you feel a tantrum coming on. So you decide to call it a day and head on back to the house. For tomorrow is Sunday, the main event…
Split Rock Jumping Tour
Bourbon International CSI3***
October 5-9, 2016
Split Rock Farm
4845 Bryan Station Rd.
Lexington, KY 40516