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August 24, 2016

Amateurs Like Us: One Last Time

“Let’s take a break tonight and then we’ll teach them how to say goodbye.”

How do you write a blog post to commemorate the end of a 10-year show career with a superfreak of a mare who changed your life? Every fairy tale has its happily ever after, and I wish I could start this off with completing that for everyone by saying that we won our last grand prix.

August 22, 2016

Seeing The Forest, Not The Trees

Just a few weeks ago I found myself standing at the in-gate in my brand-new, never-been-worn, impossibly white pants, trying not to get slobbered on by a pony.

As I evaded his prehensile lips, it washed over me again that minutes earlier I’d just ridden in my first mini-prix. (Woohoo!) I had hopped off Fiona and then hustled over to the short-stirrup ring to coach Boots (our cookie-crazed, mouthy pony) and his child.

August 22, 2016

From Laurie In Rio: Homeward Bound

Well, it's over. The last Australian horses, Valinski and Fedor, left on Sunday afternoon, after I had to say goodbye. Saturday and Sunday morning were spent washing stable laundry, collecting and turning in Aussie federation equipment and packing trunks.

But then, I was gone, away from the horse I have spent three intense weeks with. 

And it was intense. Not in a bad way at all, but in a constantly focused way. I hate making mistakes, and at this level, mistakes rarely happen. I made a few, was mortified, but corrected them quickly and learned and moved on.

August 21, 2016

It Was A Privilege To Watch Nick Skelton's Copacabana Path To Gold

Sometimes we get to observe history and just occasionally if we're really lucky we get to be part of it, even if be it a very small part.

August 18, 2016

Plan B

Well poop…

Those words pretty much sum up my personal competition ambitions at the moment. One moment, I had a fabulously fit horse coming back from a great first run at the Rolex Kentucky CCI****, and the next, not so much. 

I’ve been out of touch for a while, so I will start back at the beginning.

August 14, 2016

From Laurie In Rio: A Visit With The U.S. Team In The Barns

I visited with the U.S. show jumpers yesterday afternoon!

Cortes 'C', or "Tiny," shared a quiet moment with groom Clark Shipley.

Tiny checked out the trash can into which the grooms have to muck out, as Clark picks out his stall.

August 12, 2016

From Laurie In Rio: About Security...

Because of the two incidents involving the equestrian complex, security here is coming under fire and I would just like to add a first-hand perspective to the huge amount of vitriol and misinformation out there. 

The Deodoro Equestrian Complex is part of a very large military installation about a half an hour from the other venues. The terrain is rolling, with some mountains in the background. Our area is inside an already pretty secure area of the base.

August 10, 2016

Cross-Country Day... Done!

So cross-country day and the rest of the eventing for the 2016 Olympics is in the history books. The form books however are in ripped piles of paper on the floor!

The course set by Pierre Michelet certainly threw up some big questions! You can see the COTH reports for the full rundown but USA and my home team GBR well... We can't win them all.

Another crack of dawn start—I'm now well acquainted with 5 a.m. I always thought there was only one 5 o'clock; who knew!???

August 10, 2016

Letters From Rio: One Bronze For Phillip, One Gold For Me

Hello everyone,

It’s been an amazing few days down here at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Eventing’s just wrapped up, which Michael Jung simultaneously both predictably and incredibly won—on the same horse he rode last time he won individual Olympic gold. I’d ask my editors if we can run the 2012 story in the magazine so Lindsay and I can get a bit of much-needed rest, but I’m picturing an icy stare.