Imagine riding in your first four-star, Olympic level eventing competition in front of your father-in-law — who happens to be the governor of Kentucky.
Emily Beshear and her Thoroughbred, former racehorse Here's To You, took the challenge in stride, scoring a respectable 53.8, good for 21st place out of 57 competitors, in Friday's dressage competition.
Beshear said competing in the Rolex Kentucky four-star has been her dream since she rode here as a girl of 14. Now 34 and the mother of 9-year-old Nicholas, she's trying to ride like it's any other contest.
But having a good Rolex Kentucky with her whole family there to cheer her on "would make it very special."
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Beshear is married to Jeff Beshear, an equine vet in Charlottesville, Va., and the son of Gov. Steve and Jane Beshear.
The governor said his fingers were crossed, particularly for Saturday's cross-country jumping phase.
"It's exciting, and nerve-wracking," Beshear said. "It's exciting that she's competing at this level."
Jane Beshear said she was happy to see so many Thoroughbreds in this year's Rolex Kentucky. And she was sure Emily would do well.
"Her confidence has given us all confidence," Jane Beshear said. "This has been her dream."