Saturday, April 25, 2009

Rolex 2009 Cross Country: Some impressions

Well, I was hoping this year would be casualty free. Unfortunately, Mike Winter lost his partner Kingpin in a tragedy that no one could have predicted. While I did not witness the fall at fence 10, I'm told that Kingpin was behaving erratically a few strides before the first fence, and he apparently fell on the descent from the last element of the combination. Early reports indicate he may have had a heart or pulmonary problem. It would seem that Kingpin's death was not the result of dangerous riding or jumps, but that is meager comfort to his rider and owners. My heart goes out to them. Mike Winters was not badly injured but he withdrew Wonderful Will from the competition.

Some scenes from Rolex 09
I took a lot of footage, but for now I'll just post a few of my favorites. Here is Lucinda Fredericks and Headley Britannia at the duck pond...

Tara Ziegler's Buckingham Place is described as "a tricky ride," and I'm so glad she finished the cross country phase. She has been one of my "sentimental favorites." Here we see here negotiate the squirrel combination...


  1. Stacey,

    I have been avidly following your blog for awhile and I have been enjoying living vicariously through you during your trip to Rolex. I am horrified to hear about Mike Winter and Kingpin - I don't know him personally, but I have ridden with his wife, so I have a connection and was rooting for him. What a horrible thing to have happen. Thanks for keeping us all up to date.

  2. So sad when a horse is lost. At least it was not due to a crash and that Mike is as OK as he can be considering what happened to his partner.

    That jump, ditch, hill, jump was one tricky combo, but, at the same time pretty fair looking. Takes a "head-up" ride, and a bold and athletic horse--just what eventing is all about.

    Thanks for the good reporting.

  3. I was at Rolex last weekend, I was very disappointed that Mike
    Winters didn't pull the horse up prior to that fence. With their experience the rider certainly knows the horse. I was watching jumps 2 & 3, Kingpin hit two then climbed over the first of the two mushrooms, the jump judge was concerned because he left so much grease on the jump. It seemed from the get go the horse was off his game. I also talked to the jump judges at 10, which was a 9'9 spread trakehner, and they said the horse was really backed off and going sideways & two strides before the fence Mike Cracked him & he jumped landing on top of the jump, rotational fall and landing on the side of his head and neck. It doesn't seem to be the kind of jump you have a bad approach to and still tell the horse to go. I hope the USEA looks into this accident a little closer. In this sport the riders need to be held responsible, when they make bad decisions and a horse dies.


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