WEG blog: all set for cross-country day

  • I’ve possibly got the best seat in the house for today’s cross-country at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. I’ve dug in at the photographers’ pen by the water jump, bang in front of the drop. Today, I will mostly be playing rookie snapper for Trevor Meeks. In fact that’s all I’ll be doing. I’ve sharpened my elbows and have been given a photographer’s bib and everything; number 73. A bib and a big camera, and a packed lunch; thank you Land Rover. I’m not going to drink water all day as I can’t possibly leave my patch, these continental snappers show no mercy you know.

    Riders are checking out the course one last time. The crowds have been three deep here for the past hour; and it doesn’t start for one more. They’re expecting fans to be standing 10 deep. There’s country music blasting over the tanoy and though the ground is damp and the air is cool, the sun’s starting to warm my left shoulder.

    The start was delayed an hour to give the sun time to come up and not dazzle the horses (I don’t think the spectators were aware of this, hence they’ve been here since half six. Even I didn’t get here till half seven). Mind you I did leave at midnight, following the press conference for the grand prix kur.

    The kur was incredible. Another silver medal for Britain’s Laura Bechtolsheimer and another superlative performance from wunderhorse Totilas. Rumours still abound that the horse is being sold, but Edward is still insisting there’s no truth in that. Let’s hope he’s right, it would be a huge shame to separate such an outstanding partnership that have done so much to promote the sport.

    They didn’t, however, get the biggest cheer of the night. That went to Spaniard Juan Manuel Munoz Diaz and Fuego, who did their tempi changes down the centerline with one hand and acted like everyone was there for them. And the crowd agreed.

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