Her Royal Highness Princess Benedikte of Sayn-Witt genstein-Berleburg is true royalty, the sister of Queen Margrethe of Denmark and a descendant of many of Europe's noble houses. But here at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, she is a professional horsewoman, horse breeder and mother.
Her daughter, Princess Nathalie of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, is representing Denmark in the dressage segment of the Games, on Digby, a Danish Warmblood she and her mother bred and trained.
"He's the most successful horse we've had," Princess Benedikte said in a brief interview shortly before her daughter rode. "It's lovely that she's able to train them."
She used to get nervous watching Princess Nathalie compete, but "I don't so much anymore because she knows what she's doing."
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This is Princess Benedikte's first visit to Kentucky, although she's attended every World Equestrian Games since they began in 1990. She was driven to Danville on Monday night for the Vienna Philharmonic concert conducted by Gustavo Dudamel.
"It was beautiful, wonderful," she said. "And the drive down to Danville was beautiful. So often, you only see towns."
Kentuckians have been "extremely friendly," and she's looking forward to her weeklong stay, which will allow her to see the "always fun" cross-country event on Saturday.
Princess Benedikte said she is a critical observer of her daughter's rides, but she had little to criticize on Tuesday. Princess Nathalie and Digby scored 73.8, which put her in sixth place overall. Like the winner of the endurance race Sunday, Maria Alvarez Ponton, Princess Nathalie is a new mother, having given birth to a son just two months ago.