WEG blog: confessions of a World Equestrian Games journalist

  • So, the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games journey is almost over. Today’s our last day at the Kentucky Horse Park — concluding press conference, driving cones and team vaulting for me.

    I’m not ready to go home. Yes, I’m looking forward to seeing friends and family, having more sleep and, come Saturday, a day off. But this has been an amazing experience and if my stamina could stand it, I could definitely go on. The incredible variety of sports means it would take a long time to get bored.

    Someone worked out that our accreditations, letting us into every session of every sport, are worth about $3,000 (approx £2,000). No wonder they state they won’t replace them if you lose them “under any circumstances”. So what we’ve had isn’t quite a “money can’t buy experience” but almost — and I guess you can’t buy the backstage access to interview riders and so on.

    During the second round of the team showjumping, when Mario Deslauriers jumped out of order and then had two down, I was wondering why he jumped late and why the horse wasn’t on the form of the day before. Then I realised I could go and ask Mario these questions and get the answers. What a privilege.

    As we are the lucky ones who’ve been here, I hope we’ve lived up to the responsibility of conveying what WEG 2010 was like to those back home. I hope you’ve enjoyed our work — don’t forget to buy the magazine next week for the final reports (showjumping, paradressage, vaulting and driving) — and thank you for reading. On that note, it’s goodbye from me, with just a few final thoughts below.

    Horses I most want to take home: showjumpers HBC Tamino (Marc Houtzager) and Chianto (John Pearce).

    Most exciting: end of the team showjumping, eventing cross-country day, vaulting team freestyles.

    I learnt: better appreciation of different types of equestrianism and lots of things about how they work, are scored and so on.

    Useful skill acquired: setting up laptop and locking it to a desk in about 30sec flat.

    Most embarrassing moment: getting confused in a press conference and asking someone how it felt to go last for their team. Turned out they hadn’t…

    It’s silly, but I love: the fact the media village loos have fake marble on the walls and an automatic hand tissue dispenser.

    Written: three magazine reports (plus two to write tonight), two news stories (plus one to write tonight, 15 blogs, 36 web stories (plus two to go).

    Words written: 27,937 so far (approximately, I did word counts on the documents without accounting for late changes to website stories etc…), so topping 30,000 once finished tonight.

    Disciplines seen: 7

    Disciplines reported on: 4.5 and a little bit (endurance, eventing, vaulting and driving in full, team showjumping, plus one reining qualifying competition).

    Best thing eaten/drunk: it’s a toss up, but I think it has to be the shared fish platter in Bonefish.

    Worst thing eaten/drunk: tasting bourbon — I had to, we’re in Kentucky, but sorry, it’s just not for me.

    Weirdest thing eaten/drunk: sweet potato stuffed with caramel and marshmallows alongside a steak.

    Worst diet for a day: doughnut, nachos with plastic cheese, pizza, kettle corn. In my defence, I did wash it down with water…

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