WEG blog: I’ve lucked in with showjumping in the sunshine

  • Some days you luck in, some days you luck out. Today, it looks like I’ve lucked in. While my Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games reporting colleague Sarah Jenkins shivers at the paradressage — I’ve just lent her a fleece — I get to watch showjumping in blazing sunshine.

    After yesterday’s exhaustion, I’ve got my second wind. And I’m loving showjumping today. I had the opportunity to walk the course and wow, those jumps are big. I evented to intermediate level and have walked my fair share of four-star cross-country tracks in the service of H&H, and I thought I knew about bravery and huge fences, but this is something different.

    The other great thing is that the organisation here have made a serious effort with the presentation of their course. Each day, there’s a theme, with the jumps decorated accordingly. Today, it’s Kentucky racing. So fence six is the Tote Board and Winner’s Circle (above left) — “Here the Churchill board displays this year’s Kentucky Derby results” says the helpful explanatory sheet which comes on the reverse side of my course map.

    It’s a good thing they’ve got 5,000 volunteers here, because it took a small army to reassemble the Tote Board (below right) when Kamal Bahamdan, from the Kingdon of Saudi Arabia team (KSA in short, took us a while to work that one out), and Cezanne 30 crashed it down.

    There’s some confusion here in the press office. We thought only the top 10 teams jumped again tomorrow night, but the organisers have now announced another session of jumping tomorrow afternoon for the teams placed below 10th, so everyone gets to jump again — or at least, that’s the current plan, but don’t be surprised if it changes. With individuals thrown into the mix too, it’s tricky to keep up, and the poor press office staff are having a nightmare trying to get us the right information.

    With luck, it won’t affect Britain too much, because if Scott Brash and Michael Whitaker can keep up the great efforts made by Robert Smith and David McPherson this morning, we’ll be jumping in the eventing.

    In an effort to keep up my reputation as “the girl who mostly blogs about what she eats”, I took a picture of my pudding last night (left) in the gorgeous fish restaurant we ate in. It was, as you can see, rather large. I didn’t eat it all, even I have my limitations. But they kindly popped the leftovers in a box for me to take home. Note to Editor: don’t worry, I’m not exceeding my daily food expenses budget. Food is cheap here.

    I’m off to find out the latest on the showjumping tomorrow, but while that kind of change would sometimes throw me, I’m taking it in my stride today. The sun’s shining, Britain’s doing well — and I’ve got half a macadamia nut brownie in the fridge for when I get back to the hotel.

    Log on again for more updates on the showjumping at WEG, full report in H&H out 14 October.

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