The opening ceremonies are finally here! Scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday night, a gala celebration is planned at the Horse Park to welcome all riders, drivers, coaches and support staff. The dressage team will be marching alongside the reining team, vaulting team, show jumping team, para-dressage team, driving team and eventing team. Did I leave anyone out??
The whole dressage team arrived in Lexington safe and sound last weekend. The team is settled in over at the Horse Park, and W is a guest at Reese Koffler-Stanfield’s stable in Georgetown. Reese’s place is fully equipped, professional and an ideal place to train for the week, so I am very happy to be there. Here is a short video clip of Reese’s stable and the Team Processing that took place at the USEF offices at the Horse Park:
It’s show time! The whole team is packing up, and we are set to leave for Kentucky on Saturday night.
Logistically speaking, this part of the journey to the WEG is one of the easiest since the entire dressage team is in one place—Gladstone—and we are all headed to the same location. Horses and grooms will all be shipped together by van to the Horse Park, and all of the riders and support staff will fly into Cincinnati or Lexington.
W and I are still in New Jersey, still at Gladstone and still trying to get our act together for the WEG in Kentucky in a few weeks. Being reserve horse/rider for the team, all our efforts could be wasted for the WEG, but I have every intention of starting at Devon, Sept. 30-Oct. 3, if we do not get a chance to start in Kentucky. So our training is intense, and W is stepping up to the plate.
Training camp at Gladstone is about to begin for our short-listed dressage team: Steffen Peters with Ravel, Todd Flettrich with Otto, Katherine Bateson-Chandler with Nartan, Tina Konyot with Calecto, Pierre St. Jacques with Lucky Tiger and last but not least, yours truly with W. We will train together at U.S. Team Headquarters until the 18th of September when everybody ships out to Kentucky.
Our Selection Trials at Gladstone ended over a week ago, and I just now found the time to sit down and write about them. I’ve been flying and driving around the country to various clinic locations over the past few days.
W came here to win. I’ve tried to explain to him that he is too young, too inexperienced, too under-ranked...but he is not impressed by any of that. He comes out of the box every day, gives me more than I ask for and amazingly, improves in all of his work on a daily basis. I am impressed.
(The part that is hard to put into words is about his HAIR. You have to understand that this horse has a lot of it, and he loves to flip it around. You have to see it to understand it, but he believes he can win because he has the best hair. Seriously.)
The moment is upon us! All the horses have passed the Vet Check at the USEF Festival of Champions, Selection Trials for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky, 2010. The small tour started this afternoon with Kassandra Barteau winning the Prix St. Georges on her 10-year-old Jazz, Toscano.
The starting list for the Grand Prix on Saturday morning has been drawn and looks like this: