Aug 5, 2015

Back at Kentucky Horse Park—But Not For Pony Finals!

By Jen Stiller

I’m back at the Kentucky Horse Park for the first time in five years, and my daughter is no longer the pigtailed pony girl she once was.  She’s grown into a mature, tall-booted, hair-netted big eq rider. 

What else has changed and what has stayed the same?

1.  The Walnut ring, so imposing at Pony Finals, looks so much smaller than I remember (although the height of the USET jumps the other day made me kind of want to throw up).

2.. There are full-size equines everywhere, not just the midgets.

3.  They still have Taco in a Bag.  My taste buds say woo-hoo, my hips, not so much.

4.  I wish I were still shopping for new bows for $10.95 instead of Pikeur breeches for $300 plus.

5.  A golf cart is still a must-have for the Horse Park, although the emergency trips back to the stalls aren’t for a missing garter.

6.  A trail ride through the cross country field is STILL the best way for both horse and rider to unwind after a long day of showing.

7.  Now there’s Wifi at the Rolex Stadium.  Five years ago there was no Rolex Stadium.

8.  It’s still sticky hot and humid, but where are the pony misting stations?

9.  You can walk around on your horse without a back number and a steward won’t stop and reprimand you.

10. No pampering station for the horse show moms, but there was a masseuse at the Claiborne Ring... Only at horse shows can you get a massage at a moment’s notice without an appointment.

11. This is still one of the most fabulous showing venues in the country and I can’t wait to come back next year!

Jen Stiller grew up riding and now her daughter, Jordan, competes in the equitation.  They live in Needham, Mass.