Gearing up for her fourth Rolex aboard off-track Thoroughbred Anthony Patch, top eventer Lainey Ashker enters the four-star this month after a championship season that put her among the top point-getters in USEA points.
“Last season was a hug season for us,” says the two-time Silver and Bronze Medalist. “I started out late in the season last season and gave him the spring off. I brought him back slow, and it worked great!”
Anthony Patch, (Jockey Club name: Alex’s Castledream) is her 15-year-old gelding who she says is a “dream to ride.”
“I’ve been very lucky to be blessed with a horse with great movement. Sometimes I do a good job with that, sometimes I don’t.”
New name: Anthony Patch
Sire: Castle Guard
Dam: Aimee Alexis
Foal date: May 19, 1999Regardless of how she rides in the upcoming Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event April 24-27, Ashker is confident that Anthony Patch will have her back.
“He knows the buttons to push. He knows all the tricks. A good ride is just a matter of us being in sync, and me being on my game,” she says.
Ashker, who skipped last year’s Rolex after deciding to start Anthony Patch later in the season, last rode him in the 2012 Rolex. Though they had a beautiful round, she wound up coming off at a corner jump, which she misjudged, she says.
“That was such a fluke. I think we both might have misjudged that jump a little,” she says, noting that she has every confidence that Anthony Patch will be very competitive at this year’s event.
She has reason to believe.
The duo successfully completed two Preliminaries last summer and Three Advanced. He won his first outing at the Milbrook Horse Trials and placed second at the Richland Advanced. And he capped off his season by winning the USEA American Eventing Championship in Texas.
Though Ashker also competes on other breeds in other disciplines, she says she is trusts her ride at Rolex to her favorite Thoroughbred.
“I truly feel that for Eventing there is no better breed. Because of their endurance, their speed, and something that can’t be detected in a vet check—their heart,” Ashker says. “They have this ability to try harder, even when there’s nothing left—I love the Thoroughbreds!”