I’ve found a fellow reining convert! Sophie Wells, who is leading the paradressage grade IV individual as I write and was best of the Brits at the young rider Euros last month. She has bought the Stetson and is on the look out for the cowboy boots. “Cowboy dressage!” she said, “I think it could definitely catch on in the UK.” I hope so and will get Skippy in training on my return.
Sophie rode Dr Jackie Walker’s stunning Pinocchio, a huge chestnut with wonderful paces that flashed around the arena in a league of his own. I could swear the commentator introduced the horse as belonging to Dr Jackle (think Hyde) rather than Jackie, but I could have misheard. The commentator yesterday informed the audience that she believed Lee Pearson was more recognisable in Britain than Barack Obama. I’m more thrilled than most about the growing interest in the sport in Britain, and there’s no denying Lee is a class A ambassador for the sport and a hugely entertaining sportsman, but I’m unconvinced about this claim. Otherwise, the leader of the western world might like to get himself a slot on celebrity masterchef…
Last night, I met my all time favourite fast food joint (restaurant) founder and my all time favourite President (no, not Kennedy, my other all time favourite President). That’s right, Colonel Sanders (finger lickin’ good chickin) and Abraham Lincoln.
The Kentuckians, and you will never meet a friendlier, nicer breed of American, laid on a fabulous “Kentucky experience” for us media folk. Bluegrass music, bourbon tasting, it had the works. I even got given a commemorative leather keyring mit plaque with my name and WEG 2010 engraved on it courtesy of locally-base Fennell’s fine leather goods. Thank you kindly.
Being in Kentucky, I have naturally become a bourbon expert. I went to my first tasting on my first day here (no calling AA, I’ve only been to two, the second was last nights’, and it’s practically the law here to attend). At the first, I met Jim Beans’ grandson, and he patiently answered my dumb questions including, “what’s the difference between bourbon and whiskey” and “can I put some diet coke in this one?” It had been a cold rainy day, and the strongest of the offerings numbed my throat and warmed me up nicely. “Of course you’re cold,” one endurance reporter told me, “you don’t have any pants on.” I’d like to reassure everyone that I did have pants on, and since then I’ve ditched the skirts and worn trousers as well…
I digress. So yesterday I was introduced to Makers Mark bourbon. The barman told me that if I bought a Makers Mark limited edition bottle of WEG2010 Bourbon for $25, I could sell it in a year for $200. I wonder if he was on commission. Anyway, I refrained, on account of there not being a 100ml version that I could get through security at the airport next week.
Tonight I’m looking forward to the team showjumping final, Great Britain having squeezed into the top 10, woop! Can’t wait.