April 24—Lexington, Ky.
The 46 horses presented today for the initial horse inspection at the Rolex Kentucky CCI**** were all accepted by the ground jury, but a last-minute injury forced the withdrawal of Emily Beshear’s Here’s To You. Beshear, of Somerset, Va., did not present.
Kiwi rider Andrew Nicholson’s mount Quimbo was the only horse sent to the hold box, but he passed upon re-inspection.
The dressage test ride kicks off tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m., followed by the first competitor, William Fox-Pitt aboard Seacookie TSF, at 10.
OK, with those newsy nuts and bolts out of the way, let’s get down to the nitty gritty: Who wore what. Follow along in our photo gallery for a visual feast!
There are plenty of veteran riders in this year’s crop of contenders and a big contingent of first-timers as well. In the same way, we saw plenty of recycled outfits from years past (mostly on the gents… I would assume William, Andrew and Phillip own more than one sport coat, but my photographs from jogs throughout the years show only evidence to the contrary…) and some new and exciting outfits that turned heads and brightened up the dreary day.
White pants have been popular amongst the femmes in recent years, and while a few women did show up in them today, they were completely upstaged by the crop of young ladies who donned on-trend skinny jeans in an Easter-egg array of colors. The riders who chose to make this strong statement, like Hawley Bennett-Awad, Lynn Symansky and Caitlin Silliman, did so perfectly, balancing their brights with simple neutrals on top.
But classic style is also not to be ignored. Jan Byyny looked super fab and left everyone yearning for summer when she trotted up Inmidair and Syd Kent in her nautical-inspired ensemble. Erin Sylvester wore a similar, longer jacket (both were classic navy with wide white trim) to present No Boundaries.
Madeline Blackman also looked picture-perfect (albeit a bit autumnal) in her exquisitely fitted hunter green military-style coat, topped off with a cute newsboy cap, chunky scarf and tall boots. And Jennie Brannigan stood out in a double-breasted brown leather coat with a classic Burberry plaid scarf.
While the gentlemen didn’t push too many boundaries, a few did showcase a little personality. Buck Davidson kicked up his heels in his trademark red-with-yellow-polka-dot socks, and Boyd Martin doffed his jaunty cap when greeting the ground jury. Phillip Dutton wore a sporty mesh golf hat with the iconic Palmetto symbol of South Carolina, and Will Faudree looked handsome as ever in his simple belted trench coat.
My Top Five Best Dressed:
4. (Tie) Caitlin Silliman and Hawley Bennett-Awad
These two ladies sported looks that were “so them.” Caitlin, wearing red matchstick pants, a trendy black tuxedo-style jacket and a simple headband, and her gray mare Hoku looked sweet as can be together, while Hawley and Ginny brought a bit of rock star flair from their home in Southern California. In lime green jeans and a black leather biker jacket, Hawley (adorable nose stud included) looked like she could run straight from the jog lane to a night on the town. And both these women wore the ultimate accessory: a big, beaming smile.
3. Jan Byyny
When it comes to jog attire, the woman can do no wrong, am I right? Navy, red-and-white stripes, gold buttons… be still my heart!
2. Madeline Blackman
I know it’s not a real uniform, but that ensemble deserved a big salute. Black horse + red hair + green coat = the perfect palette.
1. Lynn Symansky
Skinny jeans and scarf in a delicious-looking toothpaste color, muted by a belted, tan jacket and tan snakeskin flats. Even the smallest details worked: the bracelet on her right hand matched the pants and scarf (and detracted attention from that pesky broken finger!) and the tortoise-shell watchband on the left played perfectly off the coat buttons. I tried to find fault, and it just couldn't be done. Well done, Lynn. You’re an example for the kids.
Be sure to stay tuned for Sunday’s jog blog to see if today’s style icons can top themselves. Plus we’ll have, you know, real news from all the action here at Rolex Kentucky all week long, so stick with us!
Ciao for now,