Archive for Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games

Thank You WEG!

Posted in Events, Horse Lovers, Horse Park, Kentucky, Rolex, Special Events, Trainers/Clinicians, World Equestrian Games with tags , , on October 12, 2010 by martimu

The outdoor arena waits for its next big event

Are they really over? Has the last competitor really been loaded into a trailer, onto a plane and zoomed far, far away?

Yep. Four years’ worth of personal blog build-up and now it’s over. But I will never, ever forget how these Games touched my soul.

All the planning. All the parties. All the announcements, hoopla and happenstance. Below is a video “Thank You” I composed using the footage I grabbed with my iPhone while on duty and little camera during my free times.

I kept my participation out on the edges and I think it was a truly wonderful vantage point to soak in everything that was so right about the WEG. And while I may have been just a rake and pitchfork wielding extra let me tell you, these duties gained me access to everything I could have hoped to have been a part of and gotten to witness firsthand and so up close I would find the bits of dropped carrots the competitor horses accidentally dropped from their groom’s, rider’s and trainer’s hands as they made their way out of the arena.

This one was painted with a sort of equine topographic map of some of the noteworthy farms of the Bluegrass region.

One of MANY painted ponies in the Alltech pavilion

The final tally had well over 60 countries represented as competitors or visitors to the Commonwealth of Kentucky an honor indeed.

So many participating countries!

Fuego XII enters the practice ring

One of my favorite equine athletes was the Spanish horse Fuego XII who danced and pranced under the worthy guidance of his capable rider, Juan Munoz Diaz. Maybe not as technically accomplished as Edward Gal and his stallion Moorlands Totilas but as accomplished and joyful as any horse and rider ever was.

One of the Entryways

So Now Kentucky — and I — are getting back into our normal routines. We miss everyone who gave of themselves during these amazing Games. We thank the sponsors, the athletes, their retinues, the volunteers, the clinicians, the exhibitors, the breed demonstrators and everyone else who played a role in making these such a memorable, fulfilling and happy experience. Well done to everyone and Thank you WEG!

 

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Eventing Jumps are Wicked Wide + Tall

Posted in Events, Kentucky, Rolex, World Equestrian Games with tags , , , , , on October 5, 2010 by martimu

From the all day vantage point of crowd control at the midway point of the Eventing Cross Country course I was able to sneak some video footage collection in between closing the gallop lanes to onlooker and golf cart traffic. I went back the next day to shoot these same jumps from eye level so you can start to appreciate what these horses are being asked to do. I know I posted some photos – but have a look as my camera sort of ‘takes’ the jumps from about horse whither height or so. They are the “Land Between the Lakes” series.

Ssome reminders. The course:

  • is 3.98 miles long
  • has 28 jumps as deep and as wide as standards allow
  • designed by “Michael Etherington-SmithMaximum Mike
  • said to be a ‘true four star‘ design ****

When you see the pairs negotiate the jumps in this video they are about 2/3 of the way through the course – so an underlying question is “How much horse has the rider got left?” at this point. As it turns out a lot of the riders had a lot of horse left and only one fell suffering a bruised ego and instant elimination. Both horse and rider walked away.

Some say these courses are too tough. There is controversy surrounding this discipline because of that. Lots of different points of view are registered. For me I have a pokey paint and a mini with no aspirations towards flight. Well not purposeful flight anyway. So what do I know? And I have to remind myself that the 14.2 hand Connemara pony, Eventing Champ Theodore O’Connor ridden by Karen O’Connor* successfully jumped jumps just like this throughout his career at the Kentucky Rolex 3 Day Event and WON! So they are doable for the right combo.

* I think Teddie and Karen are related somehow via their common Irish ancestry but the details never seem to be posted exactly what the lineage is.

WEG Info Released!

Posted in Events, Kentucky, World Equestrian Games with tags , , on August 5, 2010 by martimu

The leadership over at the World Equestrian Games (WEG) headquarters have finally let loose with some information for how to negotiate your way around the event as it unfolds at the Kentucky Horse Park for 16 days beginning late September. It’s officially entitled “Spectator Guide”.

I love attending an event where I need a 27 page handbook to help me get to where I’m going, don’t you? I’ve gone through it and have found some highlights:

more cowbellPage 10: “Restricted Items and Activities: (note: they don’t say NO, so if English is your second or third language you may not understand what ‘restricted’ means. They didn’t include the red circle “NO” graphic anywhere on the list either.
Bags larger than 12 x 12 x 18 (No saddle or boot buying will be allowed apparently – or at least no returning them)
Fireworks and pyrotechnics (whew!)
• Frisbees, balls, cowbells, etc (what? No cowbells? Wait a second, this isn’t the World Bovine Games?)

Page 13: “Kentucky Ale, the official beer of the 2010 Games (…) must be consumed in designated areas.”
Don’t even think of not finishing your glass, amigo.

better be vaccinatedPage 14: “It is recommended that visitors become current with all necessary vaccinations prior to your arrival in Kentucky.” So, um, there’s a vaccination needed for visiting Kentucky?  To inoculate against, oh, I don’t know, sloppy English?

Page 20: “There will be no currency conversion in Lexington“. Yep. Uh huh. You betcha. ‘Cause this is really the American Equestrian Games, then, is it? The world can buck up so to speak? No, no, I’m being mean they do say you can exchange your funny money at your international point of arrival – one even being Louisville, but you better be prepared to pronounce that right or we’re only gonna give you improperly rolled quarters.

Page 21: “The United States does not have an official language…”. Hey I never thought of it that way. Seriously? That’s kind of forward thinking of us rednecks isn’t it. Cool.

Page 22: “Most major credit cards are accepted at retailers and vendors throughout Kentucky….”. Except in the WEG parking lot that’s a cash-only deal. Oh no, I don’t see any problems with that. Until  the poor German with nothing but Euros and expensive tickets in his pocket trying to see his equestrian freestyle dressage finals ties up the parking line for a half an hour doing his best to absorb this inconvenient truth.

dirty waterAlso on Page 22: “Kentucky water is considered safe to drink straight from the tap.”. That’s your opinion. And you know what? Folks in Papua New Guinea would say the same about their water. So would Guatemalans, and Tongans, etc.

Page 23: “For a poison control emergency call…..” Wait, what? First of all what is a poison control emergency? Second, is Kentucky Ale that bad? No wait, they mean the tap water.

on Pages 24 and 25 they’ve given us a whole bunch of definitions for dirty rotten scams that dirty rotten scoundrels may try to pull off ostensibly to warn us off of scammers misusing the the 2010 Games for their benefit – except our dear authors don’t really let on that’s what they saying. They just list ’em all and let us connect the dots on this one. Just plain weird. I think they were running out of steam and tired of proofing this crazy thing.

They finish up with a bunch of emergency numbers, bless their thoughtful little hearts.

Oh I know, I’m being mean. But some of this stuff truly is funny. And I hope the word gets out about needing American dinero for parking your rented car on the Horse Park Grounds. That detail is beyond nutty to me.

Click on the link below for your very own copy!

Spectator Guide-final

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