One of the fun things about being a journalist at a championship, such as this Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, is that you’re allowed to be a little more biased than normal.
Of course, we all have our favourite riders and horses — we’re only human. But most of the time you have to keep that fairly under wraps in the interests of reporting events in an objective way.
But at championships, patriotism is fine. I was down at the reining this morning — after all my colleague Sarah Jenkins’s raving about it I thought I’d better find out what it’s all about — and it was thrilling to see the Brits take the top two spots in the qualifying competition.
It gives a focus to each day, following the Brits, interviewing them (good result or bad) as well as the leaders (or even better, killing two birds with one stone if they’re topping the leader board).
Around 1,000 journalists are expected at WEG, and we’re as international a bunch as the competitors. Last night German photographer Julia Rau was on our shuttle bus, I’m looking forward to meeting Nancy Jaffer — an American journalist who I’ve communicated with by email for some five years as she regularly reports from Kentucky four-star for H&H — and I wonder if Petra Schlemm, the German St Georg journalist who I met at the Hong Kong test event three years ago, may turn up.
I reckon today’s a good day to be a British journalist. As well as the reining success, we’re currently in silver position after three horses in the team dressage, with the final riders to come this afternoon. I’m in the stands, which are rapidly filling up, and the first competitor is about to come in. So exciting — I can’t wait to see Totilas in the flesh for the first time and the tension when Laura Bechtolsheimer trots into the arena is going to be intense.
One piece of bad news. The tradestand is out of kettle corn. We didn’t eat it all yesterday. I promise. We only had one bag between us. On the plus side, we’ve got caramel corn instead today, and that’s not bad either…
Log on later for an update on the last session of the team dressage. Full report on the dressage and individual reining in next week’s H&H, out 7 October.