Thoughts on WEG – part 2

Wow, guys. I got totally derelict about this post. My bad.

Her smile. Her boots. LOVE

Hopefully these thoughts are still relevant- I haven’t been around to see what the interwebs is saying, so please, fill me in!

His face- that squirrel should be scared!

In general, I thought Mark Phillip’s course was a great XC test for modern eventing. Its use of terrain, the balance of technical questions with big galloping fences, and that Heartbreak Hill all were poised to sort the men from the boys without causing any major catastrophies. There were some tumbles, and some very tired horses coming in at the end, but the success rate (in terms of completions) was higher than any previous WEG.

Now, could this be due in part to the downgrade to a 3*? Probably- especially when many of the horses from strong eventing countries are generally 4* veterans. But that is where the fitness test came in- particularly in that the huge upward climb at the end of the course made for many a tired pair who then still had to showjump 2 days later. It was obvious who had done their homework in the cardio area just by judging the horses coming into the arena at the finish line- some were loping, 4 beaty, messy looking- others were full of fire with a lot more gas left in the tank.

From a spectator’s point of view, Tryon delivered. The paths were wide, and there were few obstructions in place around key areas like the water complexes. Somehow, when I took the above photo, I managed to squeeze into a position and chat with a fine lady who turned out to be Z’s owner (and Phillip’s mother in law) – and if that’s not an indication of how good the action was, I don’t know what is!

Admittedly, it would have been nice if there were more food options spread around the course (though that’s generally the case at every event), and even nicer if we would have been allowed to bring more beverages (ahem, mimosas and XC anyone?) into the venue, but alas, you can’t have it all.

What we did get was a great day of sport, cheering on incredible riders from around the world, proving that even with the 3* distinction that WEG was no dressage show.

 

 

 

Thoughts on WEG – part 1

I feel I owe a post on the World Equestrian Games- after all, it happened basically in my backyard, and I was lucky enough to attend at least 2/3 of the eventing competition.

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But a post on WEG is not complete without mentioning Flo.

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The size of this thing cannot be understated.

Before leaving, Hurricane Florence was looking to be the first category 4 hurricane to hit the NC coast in over 60 years. And once it made landfall, it looked like it was making a beeline straight to Raleigh. Now, Raleigh is a couple hours from the coast at best, so we’ve been affected by hurricanes before, but the sheer terror that comes with a Cat 4 storm was on another level. Gas stations were dried up. People were getting into fist fights over packs of water. Schools, universities, and the campus where I work were all shut down in anticipation.

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Actual footage of Raleigh last week

And so, we contemplated not even going to WEG. But our husbands assured us that we were essentially useless in a hurricane situation (in their words, what were we going to do? Try to hold up the walls?), and so we packed our trail mix and our guilt and off we went.

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When we arrived at TIEC, things looked remarkably different than they had on my last visit over a year before. There was a new stadium, the giant indoor was complete, the vendor village was up, and in general the place was bustling.

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The eventing dressage was well executed, and bar a few glitches with the live scores on movements went off without a hitch. To add to the excitement (some sarcasm there), both the eventing and regular dressage has music filling the stadium that matched the tempo of the walk/trot/canter, and often related to the rider’s country of origin. Watching the Swedish rider ride to Abba, and Laura Graves ride to Motown absolutely added to the overall pleasure of watching.

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Laura and Diddy, who in my opinion should have won!

Monday I’ll cover the highlight of eventing- Cross Country Day. We had opted not to walk the course on day 2, given the unusually high temps (PS- in Tryon at this point it was all sunshine, and lots of it, and HOT! Florence Schmorence. In Raleigh it was wet and windy and miserable).

Be prepared for embarrassing stories, woodland creatures, and loose horses. Until next time!