On Monday October 3, We headed to downtown Lexington to the International Equestrian Festival for the Secretariat party hosted before the premier of the film held across the street from the Kentucky Convention Center. The real treat of the day was catching up to my long time friend Rex Peterson who worked on the film with TJ the horse who has also appeared in several other motion pictures including Dreamer, The Horse Whisperer and more. Rex and Dressage rider Cari Swanson are partners in swansonpetersonproductions.com, where by combining their talents are bringing a new dimension to training dressage horses. It was no surprise when actress Diane Lane and director Randal Wallace walked along the red carpet and saw Rex there were hugs and a warm greeting.
Peterson who has been at the International Equestrian Festival had been busy all day doing performances and demonstration, but got the chance to greet those he had worked so closely with on the Disney film.
RJ Masterbug was also one of the horses used as the main character in Hildago. I met and bonded with Rex when we worked together in “Sylvester” in 1985 at the Kentucky Horse Park. We saw each other again at the 1996 Olympic Games and have stayed in touch throughout the years. So when Rex needed liability insurance in order to attend the festival and to develop his clinic series he came to us/Markel and we gladly obliged.
The thing about Rex as with all great horsemen I have known is they all come from the same planet. They have a vision and understanding of the horse and all have the same calm easygoing but hardworking demeanor known only to a rare few in this world who take their relationship with the horse to a whole new level. When Rex worked with RJ and even as he hung near his stall the horse never took his eyes ff of him.
With a full day under their belt, we brought Rex and Cari to what has become our second home for the Alltech Games, Spindletop Hall for a long and relaxing dinner and lots of great stories. As we were leaving the German eventing team was celebrating their eventing victory upstairs. Glad to see the Germans took advantage of this awesome location just across the street from the Kentucky Horse Park. Sorry no pictures from the dinner, even this photographer needs a break from the camera once in awhile.