Leslie Wylie
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Final Press Conference: Sandra, Michael & William Discuss Being Awesome

There were more top eventers in the press room than you could shake a jumping bat at following today’s competition. All three medal-winning teams were in attendance to field questions about how they felt the competition shook out.

Gold medalist Sandra Auffarth was all smiles, and while Michael Jung and William Fox-Pitt presented themselves with typical composure and grace you can bet they were silently grinding their teeth a little, William dropping to Bronze after a rail and 2010 WEG champion Michael having to relinquish his crown. World beaters almost have to have a “second place = first loser” sort of mentality, and these guys never let themselves off easy. They’ll be back at the drawing board tomorrow — OK, maybe Tuesday — plotting how to close that 0.3-point (between Sandra and Michael) or 2.3-point (between Saundra and William) gap between Gold and Not Gold.

I made a sincere attempt to transcribe the press conference but Sandra and Michael’s Denglish just didn’t sit right on the page. Instead, I present to you the full video, which is almost as unwieldy thanks to lengthy French translations and my caffeine-shaky hands. For all you diehard WEG followers, have at it!

Go Eventing!

Sunday Video: FEI TV Eventing Show Jumping Recap

It’s been a nail-biting day here at D’Ornano Stadium complete with the sort of surprise ending that makes eventing such an exciting sport — it’s never over until the last jump of the last competitor on the last day. The FEI just posted a quick video recap of today’s grand finale, replete with dramatic music, slow-mo sequences and British accent that (almost!) do justice to the day that was.

In the spirit of the sport, Eventing Nation’s WEG coverage isn’t over until the last security guard kicks us out of the press center. So keep it locked here!

Go Eventing.

WEG Show Jumping: The View from the Stands

When I heard that WEG’s eventing show jumping was being held in a giant soccer, er, “futbol” stadium, I cringed, imagining a sad-looking sea of empty seats. But equestrian sport in Europe is an entirely different beast than it is in the States — less a mysterious niche and more a source of fierce national pride.

The energy in the stadium today was palpable, a electric current that ran through everything. It was manifest in billowing flags and the forward lean of fans in their seats. The announcer’s voice foamed with enthusiasm, rousing the crowd to a fever pitch again and again. There was an earthquake rumble of gasps when rails fell and cheers when they didn’t. Each clear round was rewarded by a voluminous surge of music that almost, but not quite, overwhelmed the boisterous roar of the crowd. My surprise that the horses and riders were able to maintain their composure never did wear off.

As the afternoon wore on the intensity grew, the atmosphere becoming indistinguishable from any other action-packed game in any other stadium on any other continent. Ultimately, sport is sport. Fans are fans. Everyone craves something to root for, a partaking of something shared, the assurance we’re not alone.

Go eventing.

And Our New World Champion Is Sandra Auffarth!

Sandra Auffarth and Opgun Louvo. Photo by Jenni Autry. Sandra Auffarth and Opgun Louvo. Photo by Jenni Autry.

One rail was all it took for Germany’s Sandra Auffarth and Opgun Louvo to steal the lead from Britain’s William Fox-Pitt and secure a place atop eventing’s most prestigious podium. We’ll have a full report coming shortly, but here’s the quick play-by-play.

William dropped to bronze with Chilli Morning and Germany’s Michael Jung moved up to silver with fischerRocana FST. Germany takes team gold, following by Great Britain with silver and the Netherlands with bronze.

For Team USA, Sinead Halpin and Tate had two rails, Boyd Martin — who ultimately finished eighth — pulled one rail. Kim Severson and Fernhill Fearless laid down a double-clear trip to huge cheer from the crowd. Peter Barry and Kilrodan Abbott jumped a clear round for Canada, with Selena O’Hanlon and Foxwood High and Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti both pulled four rails.

Kim Severson and Fernhill Fearless. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Kim Severson and Fernhill Fearless. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

It was a bigger atmosphere that most of these horses have seen — a brighly-lit European soccer stadium full of screaming, flag-waving fans. The announcer had the enthusiasm of a game-show host and every clear round was rewarded with a burst of dramatic music on the loudspeaker. When a French rider entered or exited the ring, the stands practically shook with home team spirit.

The top 15:

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Stay tuned for much more from WEG.

#WEG2014: WebsiteFinal ScoresTeam ResultsSchedule & ResultsEN’s Coverage@eventingnation

 

4 Examples of French Eventing Insanity

What’s red on right, blue on left, white in the middle and insanity all over? French eventing.

The home team is sitting in fourth heading into show jumping and it’s no surprise — their riders turned in some of the most brave, tactful cross-country rides we saw all day. But there is something else about the sport in this country you need to know: It’s insane.

1. French eventing fans are insane.

I’m serious. I’ve never heard so much screaming as I did yesterday when a Frenchie was out on course. These people would press up to the galloping lanes a dozen deep, start cheering and waving flags around before the horse even came into view, politely pause for about three seconds while the horse prepared for liftoff, then lose their minds completely the instant the horse’s feet reconnected with the ground. Also, everyone is totally decked out for the occasion — here are a few photos I snapped while walking around on course.

2. The French horses are insanely cool.

My favorite horse to watch of the day was Cedric Lyard’s Cadeau du Roi, a 12-year-old French-bred thoroughbred who looked like he was having the time of his life from start to finish. He hunted down each jump with pricked ears and the earnest, over-the-moon expression of a kid opening presents on Christmas morning. His expression changed only once, to a look of surprise when he glanced off a skinny, but gamely leaped over it on second attempt and galloped on with a smile — or as close an approximation to a smile as an equine can muster — on his face.

Here’s the full video of his round:

3. The French riders are insanely charming.

No one was working the crowd more shamelessly yesterday than Rodolphe Scherer, an individual competitor for France. Who gallops around a world championship course waving and blowing kisses at fans? This guy. (On yet another cool-looking grey French horse nonetheless.) Rodolphe knows his way around an international caliber course — he represented France at the ’96 Olympics, placed 12th individually and won team silver at the 1998 WEG in Rome with Bambi de Briere, and he nearly won an individual Olympic medal with her at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, placing fourth. Currently sitting in 26th place, Rodolphe may not win a medal this weekend — but he definitely won our hearts.

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4. The top-placed French rider, Maxime Livio, is insanely hot.

I distinctly remember Jenni and Kate coming back from covering Pau CCI4* last year clamoring about this attractive young French rider, Maxime, who had finished third. He’s officially got the world’s attention now, being the top-placed French rider here in Normandy (he’s sitting in 8th heading into show jumping). We’re not encouraging you to stalk Maxime on Facebook, but if you want to, we won’t stand in your way.

Here’s the video of his ride from yesterday:

Go France. Go Eventing.

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Canada Survives Brutal Cross-Country Day

Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti. Photo by Jenni Autry. Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti. Photo by Jenni Autry.

When Peter Barry set out on course at 10:24 a.m. local time on Kilrodan Abbott, he just wanted to make it through the finish flags. Of the six riders who’d gone before him, there were two retirements, one elimination, one 60-faulter and a sole clear round from Australia’s Sam Griffiths and his 2014 Badminton-winning mare Paulank Brockagh. No pressure, Peter.

His objective, he explained when we caught up with him after coming off course, was simply to show his team that it could be done so they could head out of the startbox with confidence. Peter and his big-hearted Irish Sport Horse gelding accomplished what they set out to do, calling upon every ounce of their partnership to pocket just 20 jumping penalties and a chunk of time.

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Peter celebrates his successful go through the third water, which was the end of the road for many riders. Via FEI TV.

At the end of the day their score set them in 49th place but, as less-lucky riders before and after him came to find out, sometimes finishing is an accomplishment in and of itself.

Next out was Jessica Phoenix on Pavarotti, the alternate she subbed in when A Little Romance suffered an injury in her final gallop prior to shipping out to France. Since Jessie withdrew Pavarotti after dressage at Rolex this year, it would be his first attempt at four-star level cross-country. And while of course there are no “move-up” four-star courses, debuting as part of a team on the world stage is perhaps not the most ideal situation — especially considering the additional challenges that today’s course posted. Thankfully, Jessie and her horses have a history of rising to the occasion.

“I think for a horse’s first four-star this was a serious question,” Jessie says. “When we walked it we were thinking this is, like, a four-and-a-half or five-star event. Pavarotti is more the horse that just takes the bit and is like ‘Grrrr, let me at it’ even if it might be a little above his level. I think A Little Romance is more of a lady — she’s a little bit smarter than the boys. So I think given the conditions and the way the course rode, you know, everything happens for a reason. I’m sorry I couldn’t be here on A Little Romance but with Pavarotti as my backup, I’m a lucky, lucky girl.”

A spectator with Canadian pride! Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Canadian pride! Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Jessie and Pavarotti made short work of Pierre Michelet’s course, which she described as “beautiful.” She and Pavarotti had an opportunity to preview the lay of the land last year when they participated in the test event. “It was a forward, galloping, bold, safe … it never felt trappy and it just really rewarded good, forward, positive riding,” she says. “It was so well suited to my horse — I couldn’t have picked a better course for him.”

Thankfully Pavarotti’s fitness proved to be on par with the challenge. They finished with 33.6 time penalties, which was in line with the dozens of time penalties other riders were racking up. Still, she says she was relieved when officials cut out a one-minute loop late in the course to help compensate for the heavy, tiring footing.

“I think that 11-and-a-half minutes would have just exhausted these horses,” she says. “I think it would have been almost unattainable if they had left it in.” At one point, she says Pavarotti’s legs turned to jelly a bit, but that he caught a second wind and took off again with ears pricked.

“I could just cry, that horse is so incredible,” she says, looking a little teary-eyed as she says it. “He is mature beyond his years and, oh man, I’m just so excited for his future.”

Selena O'Hanlon

Selena O’Hanlon and Foxwood High heading to the startbox with Canadian coach Clayton Fredericks. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Jessie and Pavarotti are Team Canada’s top-placed pair heading into the show jumping. Selena O’Hanlon and Foxwood High picked up 20 jumping penalties and 39.6 time for an overnight position of 43rd. Hawley Bennett and Gin & Juice weren’t quite their usual cross-country machine selves.  A sticky moment followed by a lengthy hold on course snowballed into eventual elimination.

Only eight teams remain intact in the wake of today’s cross-country carnage, and Canada is one of them. They’ll head into show jumping placed seventh in the standings.

As Jenni pointed out yesterday, Canada has some serious WEG mojo in its court and a 2010 team silver medal to defend, and here at EN we’ll be flying our #CamericanPride flag high tomorrow at WEG eventing’s grand finale. The jog takes place here at Haras du Pin at 7 a.m. French time (that translates to an ungodly 1 a.m. EST), after which the competition will pack up shop and move to D’Ornano Stadium in Caen.

Keep it locked here for the livest updates in town, er, the world, and Go Evening!

#WEG2014: WebsiteLive Scores, Schedule & ResultsEN’s CoverageEN’s Guide to EventingFEI TVFEI TV’s YouTubeWEG FacebookEN’s InstagramFantasy Eventing@eventingnation

Harry Meade’s Wild Lone Collapses, Dies After Clear Cross Country at WEG

Harry Meade and Wild Lone. Photo by Jenni Autry. Harry Meade and Wild Lone. Photo by Jenni Autry.

We have just learned that Wild Lone collapsed and died after jumping clear cross country this afternoon with Great Britain’s Harry Meade at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Our thoughts are with Harry, Alf’s groom Jess Errington and owner Charlotte Opperman, as well as Team Great Britain at this very sad time.

The following statement has been released:

It is with great sadness that we announce that Wild Lone, ridden by Harry Meade (GBR) and owned by Charlotte Opperman, collapsed and died approximately 16.15 today after completing the Cross Country at Haras du pin (FRA) at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy.

The 13-year-old gelding had completed the Cross Country course clear with 26.4 time penalties to go into 25th place. The rider had just dismounted and shortly afterwards the horse tragically collapsed and died.

As per FEI Veterinary Regulations, a post mortem will be carried out on the horse to establish the cause of death.

Lully Des Aulnes (no 2), ridden by Joris Van Springel (BEL) has been taken to a referral clinic for further investigation after a fall at fence 30, the Rolex Water Trough. An X-ray taken on-site has established there is no fracture, and the referral clinic is now treating wound on the left hind fetlock.

Professor Yves Rossier, the Foreign Veterinary Delegate, reported that horses were finishing the course in good condition.

At every FEI event, the maximum consideration is given to the safety and welfare of horses and athletes.

A press conference is presently being held in concert with the announcement. Check back soon for more details.

Godspeed, Wild Lone.

Willliam Fox-Pitt Leads ‘Badminton 2.0′, Team USA’s Medal Hopes Dashed

William Fox-Pitt and Chilli Morning. Photo by Jenni Autry. William Fox-Pitt and Chilli Morning. Photo by Jenni Autry.

It was survival of the fittest, literally, today on the cross-country course at Haras du Pin. Galloping hooves quickly churned the saturated turf into a muddy pulp, exaggerating the physical toll of an already long and hilly track. Despite yesterday’s removal of a one-minute loop late in the course, the heavy going coupled with a true championship caliber course rewarded grit and punished even the slightest mistake — and no one made the optimum time of 10 minutes, 32 seconds.

As the result of myriad falls, retirements and eliminations, at the end of the day only nine out of 16 teams remained intact: Germany (1st, 177.9), Great Britain (2nd, 186.8), Australia (3rd, 226.8), France (4th, 235.5), Netherlands (5th, 238.8), Ireland (6th, 294.3), Canada (7th, 324.0), Brazil (8th, 347.7) and Spain (9th, 263.8).

While there wasn’t much movement at the top of the leaderboard — William Fox-Pitt/Chilli Morning (GBR) moved from 2nd to 1st, Sandra Auffarth/Opgun Louvo (GER) moved from 1st to 2nd, and Michael Jung/fischerRocana FST (GER) moved from 4th to 3rd — cross-country carnage left the rest of it up for grabs.  Yesterday’s 3rd place finisher, Jonathan Paget and Clifton Promise (NZL) retired on course, and fellow Kiwi Jonelle Price rode Classic Moet all the way up from 26th to 4th after posting the fastest go of the day.

Comparisons to this year’s Badminton Horse Trials, a sloppy mess that claimed several of the sport’s most experienced event riders as victims, began early. Badminton winner Sam Griffiths (AUS), the fourth rider out and the first of the day to turn in a clear round on his tough mudder mare Paulank Brockagh, drew it himself after finishing: “It’s just like riding Badminton again. I threw my watch out and let her pick her pace.”

New Zealand’s Mark Todd, who came unattached from his Leonidas II, said the course rode to plan — he attributed his spill to not to fatigue but to a lack of unresponsive on course — but still cautioned against speed. “You can’t go quick around it,” he said. “You go quickly, you won’t get home.”

Germany’s Michael Jung, who sits in third place heading into the show jumping on fischerRocana FST, added that it was important to have a good feeling heading out on course: If the horse is too fresh, it will wear out; if it’s too slow, it will lack the aggression to get the job done.

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New Zealand’s Tim Price and Wesko preparing to set out on course, where they unfortunately met elimination. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Buck Davidson and Ballynoe Castle RM had the unenviable position of being first out on course, both for the competition and Team USA. As one of the squad’s most experienced horse/rider combinations the placement was a logical choice, but playing guinea pig for a field of 90 has its perils. In this case, no one could have anticipated just how dramatic a drain the course would have on its equine athletes.

The stalwart trailblazers started out strong but Reggie grew visibly tired mid-course. Buck nursed him along until they finally ran out of steam at the third water complex, a technical combination late on the course that had spectators gasping throughout the day as horse after horse scraped its way through — or not. Buck could barely coax Reggie out of a trot on the re-approach, and after two attempts to make it through he called it quits.

“Poor Reggie, he gave me every ounce that he had — he always does,” Buck said. Ever the conscientious horseman, Buck wasn’t willing to push his longtime partner past his limits and risk an accident later on course. “Yes, it’s the World Championships, but he’s still my pet, and he’s still one of the greatest horses I’ve ever ridden, and I would never want anything to happen to him.”

Buck said he doesn’t blame the course and he certainly doesn’t blame Reggie — just mother nature. “I’m really, really proud of him. He jumped perfect, he tried his heart out … I’m disappointed but look, somebody had to go and be first out, and you’re just not really sure what you’ve got.”

All things considered, Buck seemed hopeful: “We’ve got more information for the team, and my horse is healthy and happy.”

Buck Davidson and Ballynoe Castle RM. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Buck Davidson and Ballynoe Castle RM. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Buck’s unhappy result foreshadowed a steady stream of horses and riders who would fall prey to the course, teammates included. Individual rider Sinead Halpin was the next American out of course and while her go wasn’t foot-perfect, she and Tate never gave up and scrapped their way to the finish, collecting one runout along the way. The issue arose at a combination; Sinead says he never got his eye on fence 4.

“The rest was just get-it-done,” Sinead said. Of the course: “You have to fight for everything — you’re on plan B before you know it.” Like Buck before her, Sinead made a smart decision not to be overambitious with regard to speed, giving her horse a strong ride at the fences but letting him set the pace in between.

Game faces: Coach David and Sinead head to the start box. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Game faces: Coach David and Sinead head to the start box. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Hopes were high for veteran Phillip Dutton, the next Team USA rider out, but he and Trading Aces met a premature end as well. He described the course as a test of endurance that was just a bit much for his young horse. “It wasn’t a problem with the fence,” Phillip said. “He’d just had enough of the day.”

Phillip and Trading Aces looked great early in the course...

Phillip and Trading Aces looked terrific through the first water…

Phillip and Oscar looked great early on...

…but hit a wall later on course.

Even with no chance of medaling, Team USA continued forging forward throughout the afternoon. Kim Severson, who is competing in her third WEG, ran into trouble with Fernhill Fearless at the last water, where they collected 20, but got through the finish flags. Lynn Symansky and Donner met their match at #16, the Land Rover water complex, and fence #27, a big brush corner, but made it home with 40 jump penalties.

Lynn Synasky and Donner. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Lynn Synasky and Donner. Photo by Jenni Autry.

On a bright note: Boyd Martin and Shamwari 4 came through in the clutch to do America proud at the end of the day. He said it wasn’t the smoothest round by far, and he wishes he had pushed a bit harder for time because his horse was full of running at the end, but nonetheless his clear round and time of 13.6 moved him from 17th after dressage to ninth heading into show jumping.

Boyd Martin and Shamwari 4. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Boyd Martin and Shamwari 4. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Boyd and Shamwari at #4 and #5.

Boyd and Shamwari at #4 and #5.

Riders who made it through the finish flags, jump penalties or no jump penalties, were treated to a hero’s welcome.

Great Britain's William Fox-Pitt gives Chilli Morning a big pat beyond the finish flags. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Great Britain’s William Fox-Pitt, who is currently in Individual Gold Medal position, gives Chilli Morning a big pat beyond the finish flags. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

The top 15 competitors heading to Caen’s D’Or Stadium tomorrow to face off in WEG eventing’s grand finale:

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As Buck said, walking back to the barn with a happy, healthy horse is worth more than any medal. Our thoughts this weekend are with Great Britain’s Harry Meade, whose Wild Lone collapsed and died after the finish of cross country, and his team.

Go Eventing.

#WEG2014: WebsiteLive ScoresCourse PreviewTeam ResultsCourse MapSchedule & ResultsEN’s CoverageEN’s Guide to Eventing@eventingnation

USA Wins Team Gold in Helmet Wearing at WEG

Phillip Dutton and Trading Aces. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Phillip Dutton and Trading Aces. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Team USA may be in bronze position overall but when it comes to helmets, we’re leading the pack. All six American riders completed their WEG dressage tests in helmets, making an unprecedented statement about where the U.S. eventing stands on the issue of protective headgear.

Helmets are still less popular than top hats in international championship competition but they’re swiftly gaining ground — British dressage world record holder Charlotte Dujardin wore one on her way to multiple WEG Gold Medals on Valegro this week. In 2012 we noted that only two event riders competed in helmets at the London Olympics, which seems meager in comparison to the number of helmets worn by WEG event riders this week:

UntitledPhillip, Boyd, Kim and Buck wore helmets by Charles Owen. This maker of helmets and body protectors has been tremendous in its support of eventing and was named the official helmet of the USEA in 2012. The company has sponsored events ranging from Rolex to the AECs as well as a variety of individual riders.

Boyd Martin and Shamwari 4. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Boyd Martin and Shamwari 4. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Kim Severson and Fernhill Fearless. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Kim Severson and Fernhill Fearless. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Photo courtesy of Phillip Dutton Eventing FB.

Photo courtesy of Phillip Dutton Eventing FB.

Lynn Symansky and Donner. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Lynn Symansky and Donner. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Buck Davidson and Ballynoe Castle RM. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Buck Davidson and Ballynoe Castle RM. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Want the look? Check out the Ayr8 with Piping by Charles Owen. This helmet expertly blends function, comfort and style and is fully customizable. Choose from an exclusive leather look fabric or a more traditional microfiber suede, select a main color, match or contrast it with a mesh color and a paint color, and then accent it with either single or double piping, available in many options including cotton, suede, leather look, stonewash, patent, sparkly and metallic. There are tens of thousands of possible combinations so you can create a truly unique look.

Ayr8 with Piping by Charles Owen

Ayr8 with Piping by Charles Owen.

 

Sinead wore a helmet by her sponsor KEP Italia. This helmet maker prides itself on cutting-edge safety, perfect fit, maximum comfort and top-shelf style. Its products feature an advanced air ventilation system and cutting-edge material innovations.

Sinead Halpin and Manoir de Carneville 2

Sinead Halpin and Manoir de Carneville. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Want the look? Check out the KEP Cromo-T Textile Riding Helmet. Available in three colors, you can choose from a chrome or opaque finish in a matching color lpus a chrome, opaque or metal glossy frame finish.

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KEP Cromo-T Textile by KEP Italia.

Go eventing in a helmet!

The Team: Images from WEG Day 2 Dressage

I stood by the warmup ring for a long time today, watching. I watched grooms giving horses one last scratch, coaches giving riders one final piece of advice, riders giving their best for their country, horses giving their all without question, countrymen giving standing ovations, teammates giving hugs.

Teamwork is such a constant part of our lives that it has a tendency to become invisible, a translucent spiderweb of bonds and transactions. Sometimes, as morning dew and sunlight make apparent the spider’s matrix, these connections seem more opaque.

That’s what is so special about team competitions: They help us remember the overlap of things. Groom, coach, rider, horse, countryman, teammate… we are all companions of a shared experience. No one arrives at their destination alone.

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Go Eventing.

XC Day at Haras du Pin: A Spectator Survival Guide

Are you one of the 50,000 lucky spectators with tickets to WEG’s most exciting sold-out event? That’s awesome, but if you’ve already had a taste of WEG’s decidedly laissez-faire attitude toward logistics you’re probably also freaking out. We’re not about to let it ruin our day, and we don’t think you should, either. Here are some practical tips for enjoying Saturday’s competition in comfort and style.

First a couple basics:

– The start time has been moved up to 10 a.m. from its original time of 10:30.

– The order of go is the same as it was for dressage. The U.S. leads off with Buck and Reggie being the first ones out on course. Order-of-go sheets will be available tomorrow at info booths and not only do they exist — wait for it — they’re free! (As opposed to the 3 Euro they have been charging the straight-dressage spectators.)

– Just in time for people to start panicking WEG has posted an official Cross-Country Spectator Guide. But we’d recommend supplementing it with these bits of advice we’ve picked up the hard way…

Wear mud boots. As we mentioned yesterday, the ground here ranges from squishy grass to space mud to ankle-deep slop. The sun came out today and has dried out the course a bit but if you packed boots you’re gonna want to wear them. If not there’s a Dubarry vendor here, just sayin’.

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Bring something to sit on. This ain’t Rolex, folks. There aren’t grandstands set up around jumps of interest or swanky tailgate parties to crash. This guy looks pretty happy in his folding chair (bonus points for the pocket binoculars) but one of those portable folding stools would be ideal.

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Don’t believe the weather forecast. On paper it looks perfect — 68 degrees with a 20% chance of rain — but if I’ve learned anything about France this week it’s that the weather is beholden to no one. One minute it’s cold and raining, the next it’s blue skies and singing birds. Come prepared for anything.

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Pack sustenance. During dressage the food-to-humans ratio was a bit out of proportion (see photo below). Allegedly there are 20 food and 10 beverage trucks coming tomorrow and it’s also OK to bring in your own stuff, which is more fun anyway. Think adorable French wine and cheese picnic!

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BYOTP. Haras du Pin seems to be fairing pretty well on this front but I have heard WEG bathroom/port-o-potty horror stories that would give you nightmares. Bring toilet paper. It’s just not worth the risk.

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Pack a paper bag to breath into on the way there. There’s no gentle way of saying this: Getting to Haras du Pin is going to be a pain in the bum. Parking will be an even bigger pain in the bum. Your bum will likely be numb from pain by the time you walk through the entrance gate. There is apparently a special parking plan in place for cross-country day and here’s hoping it actually works, but based on the success of WEG’s other “plans” I wouldn’t bet money on it.

It’s been taking us about an hour to drive from our hotel in Caen to Haras du Pin and that’s before spectator traffic starts piling in AND it’s been during dressage — cross-country day is going to be a vastly larger event. Which is to say, it’s going to take you longer than an hour to get here so take that into consideration.

Want directions? (Insert cynical laughter here.) How about an address? (Insert even louder cynical laughter.) According to the Haras du Pin website, it’s Le Haras national du Pin – 61310 Le Pin-au-Haras, France. I know, I know, that’s not even really an address. The WEG website offers comparably useless directions here. After a great deal of pushing buttons on our car GPS, we figured out that the best way to get there was to type in the area code, hit city centre and follow the signs from there. Not very scientific but it worked. The good news is, once you get off the exit from the motorway there is lots of pretty, pastoral scenery to keep you entertained while you’re stuck in traffic. Seriously, it’s the most bucolic drive ever, all quaint villages and secret gardens and random sheep wandering around. Good for the ol’ blood pressure.

So, you finally got here. Good job! But your journey isn’t over yet. According to WEG, the event’s 20,000 parking spots are spread across 60 hectares (148 acres) of meadow. Which translates to, “You’re going to have a hike from your car to the course, and it’s going to be uphill both ways.” #kiddingnotkidding!

Here’s the parking map — the lots open at 6:30 a.m.

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I know what you’re thinking: Screw this! I’m going to take the shuttle. Bad news… shuttle registration is closed. There are, however, two special TERS (local trains) between Caen and Argentan for spectators with cross-country tickets. There are seats remaining — they are 12 Euro for adults and 6 Euro for children and can be booked online here. If you decide to go that route I wish you the best of luck; the website is in French and despite two years of French in college I couldn’t make heads or tails of it.

Hey, maybe it will all work out. Maybe for once WEG will prove us all wrong and knock our socks off with its mad organizational SKILLZ. Here’s hoping!

One way or the other we’ll be there with bells outlandishly patriotic red, white and blue outfits on. Go USA, and Go Eventing!

A Good Day For His Best Test Ever: Brazil’s Ruy Fonseca Breaks Into WEG Top 10

Ruy Fonseca and Tom Bombadill Too have a globetrotting championship resume that includes the 2010 WEG in Lexington, the 2011 Pan Am Games in Guadalajara and the 2012 Olympics in London. But they’ve never had a test that equaled the one they had here today. Their score of 44.2 launched them into the top 10 of an increasingly cutthroat field.

Ruy has a lot of cheerleaders here in the U.S. and spent the beginning of 2014 in Florida preparing for Rolex. On behalf of his American fans (Eventing Nation being among them!) we caught up with Ruy after his test to congratulate him and see about his gameplan for the rest of the weekend:

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Tom Bombadill Too and his groom head back to the barns after a successful dressage test. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Here’s hoping Ruy’s “best test ever” turns into his “best competition ever” with quick, clear jumping rounds this weekend. Go Ruy, and Go Eventing!

 

 

 

Hawley Bennett Over the Moon With Her ‘Pocket Rocket’

Hawley Bennett-Awad and Gin & Juice. Photo by Jenni Autry. Hawley Bennett-Awad and Gin & Juice. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Hawley and supermare Gin & Juice caught a shooting star in the dressage ring today, laying down a top-20 score of 47.8 for Team Canada.

With the sole exception of the Event at Rebecca Farm CIC3* earlier this summer, where they earned a 47.1, today’s score was a personal best in their 9-year history of competing in FEI events. They bested their score at the 2010 WEG, where they helped earn a Team Silver and finished 17th individually, by 4.7 points.

Hawley was all smiles when we caught up with her to talk about her test, tomorrow’s cross-country course and how she thinks it will suit her fiesty little “pocket rocket” mare:

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Looking forward to seeing this pair make short work of cross-country tomorrow! Still to come from the North American contingent this afternoon are Boyd Martin/Shamwari 4 and Selena O’Hanlon/Foxwood High. Go USA! Go Canada! Go Eventing!

Leslie Law’s Sydney Olympic Partner Shear H20 Has Passed Away at Age 24

Leslie Law and Shear H20 at Burghley in 2004. Photo: Gareth Owen/Creative Commons. Leslie Law and Shear H20 at Burghley in 2004. Photo: Gareth Owen/Creative Commons.

Our thoughts are with the many individuals whose lives were touched by Shear H20 (“Solo”), the great grey Irish-bred gelding who was successfully competed by Leslie Law in the 2000 Olympics and beyond.

From Lesley Grant-Law’s Facebook page this afternoon:

Sadly Leslie’s great horse Solo (H2O) had to be put down today. Medalist at Sydney and 2nd and 3rd at Badminton and that is just off top of my head. Leslie adored that horse and often praised him as his most favorite most consistent horse ever. Many thanks to Claire Llewelyn who gave him a lovely life post Leslie and the Jeremy Lawton and Susan Lawton who proudly owned him.

Solo was the first of two similarly striking ISH brothers upon whom Leslie would win Olympic medals for Great Britain — Team Silver on Shear H20 in 2000 and Individual Gold on Shear L’eau in 2004. Leslie and Shear H20 completed Badminton and Burghley twice apiece with no cross-country jump penalties between 2002 and 2004, finishing in the top five all but once. They were also on the Bronze Medal winning team at the 2002 World Equestrian Games in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. The horse was retired in a ceremony at the European Eventing Championships at Blenheim in 2005.

“Solo has realised dreams for me I did not even imagine I had,” said co-owner Jeremy Lawton in this “Horse & Hound” article published on the eve of Solo’s retirement. “For Leslie, he was the horse that finally gave him the success he had worked and strived so long for. If Solo had not been as good as he was we might never have bought Shear L’eau and Leslie might not be Olympic Champion.”

Godspeed Solo, and Go Eventing.

Donner’s Story: All-American OTTB Represents Team USA

Lynn Symansky and Donner. Photo by Jenni Autry. Lynn Symansky and Donner. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Heather Benson of Retired Racehorse Project researches the breeding and racing history of Lynn Symansky’s Donner, one of two American-bred OTTBs competing at WEG.

From Heather:

Not only is Donner the only OTTB on Team USA, he is the only horse that was actually bred in the USA, the rest being European imports. Recently the Retired Racehorse Project took a closer at this pair that is truly representing Team USA through and through!

Donner was foaled on April 18, 2003 in New York. His dam, Smart Jane, was a sound and tough race mare that saw 45 starts, mainly in her home state of Maryland. She etched out three wins and was retired at age six after pulling up in her last race at Pimlico.

Donner’s grandsire, Smarten, at age 17 in 2003. Photo courtesy of finalturngallery.com

Donner’s grandsire, Smarten, at age 17 in 2003. Photo courtesy of finalturngallery.com

Smart Jane relished a long distance — all of her wins came at a mile or more and she ran her best the longer the races went. This is no surprise when you take a closer look at her pedigree. Smart Jane is by the well regarded Maryland stallion Smarten, an extremely tough horse that had both speed and stamina to spare. In his three-year-old season, he had the misfortune to run into a whirlwind named Spectacular Bid but still managed six wins out of 17 starts, including the Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio and American Derbies. His very high in the money (1st, 2nd and 3rd placings) percentage of 81% showed that he was game in every race he started in. Sent to stud in 1980, he would prove a cornerstone of Maryland’s Northview Stallion Station for nearly two decades. Smarten’s best runners include Classy ‘n’ Smart, a Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame inductee and dam of U.S. and Canadian Hall of Fame filly, Dance Smartly; Pennsylvania Derby winner Smart Guy; and the outstanding Kentucky sire Smart Strike.

Going one generation further, Donner’s other ancestors also passed on a huge amount of stamina and class down the line. His second dam, Synclinal, was unraced but sired by one of the best stallions of his generation, Vaguely Noble. Vaguely Noble was an Irish-bred Thoroughbred that was considered one of the top horses in Europe in the late 1960s. He beat the best of his generation, including the Epsom Derby winner Sir Ivor, in the 1968 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and was promptly purchased and syndicated to stand in the U.S. at Gainesway Farm in Kentucky. There he would become a valuable source of stamina for the American market and become both a leading sire and a leading broodmare sire. His best offspring include the great turf mare Dahlia, Epsom Derby winner Empery and the sensational Exceller.

Vaguely Noble-Donner’s great-grandsire and an important source of stamina in pedigrees. Photo courtesy of finalturngallery.com.

Vaguely Noble, Donner’s great-grandsire and an important source of stamina in pedigrees. Photo courtesy of finalturngallery.com.

Donner’s third dam (his great-grandmother on his mother’s side) showed the family’s class in another light. Unlike her granddaughter Smart Jane, Hippodamia (by Hail to Reason) loved to run shorter distances and loved to run them fast. American-bred but racing in France, she took home the most important race for French two-year-old fillies, the Criterium des Pouliches, and earned herself the honor of Champion Two-Year-Old Filly in France for 1973. She would follow that up with a second in the French One Thousand Guineas in the following season. But it was in the breeding shed where she made a lasting mark.

Hippodamia was the dam of eight winners from her 15 foals, all bred in the U.S. Her best was Globe (by Secretariat), winner of the Grade 2 Excelsior Handicap and Grade 3 Grey Lag Handicap. Her filly Hoya was a stakes winner in France and then came back to the U.S. where she set a new course record for 1 1/2 miles at Keeneland. Her daughters proved to be stellar broodmares as well, producing 17 stakes winners in succeeding generations.

Sent to the broodmare barn in 2000 with good expectations considering her solid family and race record, Smart Jane produced a number of foals, including the multiple stakes winner Five Diamonds (by Flatter) and stakes-placed Smart Tori (by Tenpins). But it was her third foal, a 2003 colt by Gorky Park (Fr), that would make history.

Donner’s sire, Gorky Park, deserves some recognition as he may well be the source of Donner’s jumping prowess. A French-bred stallion, but the product of an American sire and dam, he raced but was successful not in the flat races like the rest of Donner’s family but over jumps in hurdle and steeplechase races. Starting his career in his native France, he was eventually imported to the U.S. and into the barn of the great trainer Jonathan Sheppard with whom he would win the Continental Cup Steeplechase Handicap at Great Meadow in 1991. Retired after his next race, he then stood at stud in Virginia and New York, siring both flat winners and several notable jumpers.

Donner’s racing career did not begin until July of his three-year-old year, likely due to his large size (17.1 hands). His first race, a Maiden Special Weight over 1 1/8 miles on the turf at Belmont Park, was probably designed to take advantage of his big frame and distance bloodlines, but he tired quickly and finished last. Started again in a nearly identical race two weeks later, Donner (racing as Smart Gorky) again finished last, nearly 30 lengths behind the winner. A new plan soon formed.

Dropped down to the $15,000 claiming level and switched to dirt, Donner showed more interest in his next start and finished in fourth. His connections dropped him down another claiming level, this time to $8,000, in the hopes of getting a win and some confidence for the youngster. Donner pressed the pace in second for the first time in his career but faltered in the long stretch run at Laurel to finish fourth once more.

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Lynn and Donner at Pau. Photo by Jenni Autry.

One a cold December day, right before Christmas in 2006, Donner’s racing connections tried once more to see if their big, gangly gelding wanted to be a racehorse. They entered him once more for a $8,000 claiming tag at Laurel Park and kept the distance to a mile. A big field went to the post that day, 11 in all. Donner raced in the pack, looking like a horse with every chance, but weakened in the stretch, disinterested or tired. A racehorse he was not to be.

Newly retired and looking for a new career, Donner was re-started and then purchased by upper-level eventer Lynn Symansky in 2008. She describes her first impression of the big young horse in a recent blog post in the “Chronicle of the Horse”:

I definitely didn’t know he’d turn into the horse I have today. He was a good athlete and showed a lot of promise, but he was rather flighty and spooky—Donner is aptly nicknamed ‘the deer.’ Some horses are the type that can fit into several disciplines, but Donner never seemed to fit perfectly into any one mold. He didn’t have the movement to be a dressage horse, he wasn’t scopey enough to be a pure show jumper, he wasn’t classic or relaxed enough to be a hunter, he wasn’t quiet enough to be a hunt horse, and he sure didn’t have the feet to be an endurance horse. But what I did know from the very beginning was that he always showed up for work.

Lynn’s work soon paid off and they moved through the lower levels quickly. By 2011 Lynn and Donner found themselves as part of the Gold Medal winning U.S. Team at the 2011 Pan American Games and in 2013, they were not only the Best Conditioned, Best Turned Out and Highest Placed OTTB at 2013 Rolex Kentucky CCI4*, they placed fifth overall, the highest placing American at the nation’s premier three-day event. They’ve had some ups and down since then but the WEG selectors had faith that, despite a less-than-perfect preparation, Donner would show up when he was needed the most. Tomorrow he and Lynn will have their opportunity to shine on the equestrian world’s most prestigious stage, representing their country on multiple levels at once!

Go Donner, Go Team USA and Go Team OTTB.

Top 5 Must-See Things at the WEG Games Village

I am a total trade fair junkie. I love to wander around and buy/lust over/eat/drink all the things. Here are a few of our favorite 2014 Games Village discoveries:

#1. This swanky gear you can’t afford.

But it never hurts to dream! I’m kind of in love with these Sergio Grasso custom boots, especially the ones with the national flags done up in Swarovski crystal. WANT.

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This super-flash shadbelly by Alessandro Albanese also caught my eye, literally. Made of a glistening wool fabric with oversize sparkly crystal buttons and pink accents, it’s DQ to the max. Whether you aim to impress judges or just blind them, this will get the job done in spades.

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#2. This ridiculous French interpretation of an American diner.

It was kind of adorable, actually. The menu was in French but the decor paid homage to nearly every American cliché in existence from personal firearms to “Happy Days” reruns. The equivalent inverse, an American interpretation of a French cafe, would probably involve mustachioed waiters in berets who delivered baguettes to your table on a bicycle.

We should have known better than to order the “Tacos and Guacamole,” which should have been called “Stale Cool Ranch Doritos and Guacamole.” The French fries, however, were an ironic win.

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Or, as Chinch prefers to call them, “freedom fries.”

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Apparently nobody wants to eat bad American food in France. Who’d have thought?

#3. This FEI selfie booth.

In a belated attempt to be technologically hip, the FEI has been really big on selfies lately. A couple weeks prior to WEG they released an app called “Horsify Me” that takes your own face and, in an unexpected nightmare twist, blends it with the face of a horse. Because that’s not disturbing at all! (I tried it out myself here.)

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Anyway, in addition to a iPad station where you could “Horsify” yourself, the FEI’s Games Village tent included a “Selfie Stable” where people could dress up like horses. Haven’t you always wanted to post a selfie of yourself wearing a creepy horse head mask on Instagram?

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#4. This horse-riding simulator.

Sure, a Racewood Simulator costs over $65,000, but unlike your real horse this one will never go lame, refuse a jump (although you can program it to do so if that’s your jam) or require costly upkeep.

This girl is test-driving the jumping model over a virtual cross-country course; dressage, polo and racing simulators are also available. According to the website, “The body, neck and head move independently and the different jumping actions are as close as you can get to the real thing.” It also includes leg sensors that respond to pressure like a horse and sensors on the bit, saddle and stirrups that will give you feedback on your weight and balance. Um, OK, that’s pretty cool. Does anyone have 65 grand I can borrow?

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Elsewhere in the Village, there was this life-sized version of that carnival horse race game where you throw balls into a hole and it makes “your” horse jump forward. Except in this case the kids do it themselves, rocking back and forth to get ahead while their parents place bets outside the gate: “If my kid beats your kid, you owe me 20 bucks.” Or something like that.

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#5. This boozy tribute to Normandy.

Forget milk and honey — this is the land of cider and cheese. (Fun fact: Unlike many parts of the country, Normandy actually doesn’t produce much wine.) These photos were taken inside a great big Normandy-themed tent that showcased the region’s exports, notably including an apple brandy known as calvados. It’s a common custom during meals to take a pause between courses called a trou normand, or “Norman hole,” in which diners partake of a glass calvados in order “to improve the appetite and make room for the next course.” Hey, whatever you French alkies have to tell yourselves.

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The Normandy tent had other stuff too, I guess.

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Keep it locked here for much, much more live from WEG throughout the week! Go Eventing.

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Starving to Death in a Mud Pit: WEG 2014 Is the Woodstock of Eventing

That is one stressed-out Chinch. That is one stressed-out Chinch.

It’s amazing what eventing enthusiasts will go through to watch the rock stars of their sport perform. Wind, rain, cold… we’ll sit through it all with a smile on our face. Yet WEG 2014, which is on track to become the least spectator-friendly international equestrian event of all time, is pushing the limits of even the most diehard fans.

First and foremost, there’s the mud. It’s everywhere and growing worse with each footstep, becoming so deep in places that it’s difficult to traverse. Jenni, who has been risking her life all day trekking back and forth between the stadium and the media tent, explains, “You just kind of have to slide through it. Also you have to keep a safe distance from other people because if one person goes down, we’re all going down.”

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Some people came prepared.

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Others, not so much.

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Dressage has just ended and, as we speak, hundreds of spectators who just want to get the hell out of here are happening upon a brand new surprise: Their cars are stuck in the mud. There are literally tractors towing them out one by one.

But hey, what’s the rush? It would’ve taken hours to get through the country backroad gridlock anyway. Let’s head back into the trade fair, snack on a crêpe and a glass of wine. Bonne chance! If there is an overabundance of mud, there is a deficit of food. During the lunch break spectators stood in ridiculously lengthy lines to get food from the only two food vendors in attendance.

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On the bright side, despite these physical and logistical quagmires, spectator team spirit refused to be dampened.

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OK, the collective team spirit might be a little soggy. But not ours!

Seriously, though, many thanks to the volunteers and event staffers who are doing their best to make the most of these less-than-ideal circumstances. Go Eventing!

 

Phillip Dutton Recaps His Test, Offers Thoughts on XC & Talks Team USA

Phillip Dutton and Trading Aces. Photo by Jenni Autry. Phillip Dutton and Trading Aces. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Phillip and Trading Aces took off in hot pursuit of morning leader Michael Jung after the lunch break, laying down a top-three score of 43.8. Jenni caught up with the U.S.’s veteran team rider after his test:

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Phillip was the last Team USA rider of the day, with Kim Severson and Boyd Martin still to come tomorrow.

Keep it locked here for all the latest action throughout the afternoon. Go Eventing!

This Video of Haras du Pin Will Give You the Creeps

Standing in the stable courtyard of Haras du Pin this morning, a wave of déjà vu washed over me. I had a chilly feeling about it, like I’d seen this place before — but where? A dream? A nightmare? A Tim Burton movie? Then it came to me: It was the backdrop of a strange sequence from the French avant garde film “Mazeppa,” which won Technical Grand Prize at Cannes in 1993 and was created by the equestrian performance artist Bartabas. This particular sequence features a horse and rider cantering across the courtyard in extreme collection, supposedly taking an hour from start to finish, then retracing their steps — backward.

OK, the sequence is obviously edited but the darky, shadowy weirdness of this place is real. Seriously, look at these photos of the stable and tell me it isn’t haunted:

Totally haunted. And why wouldn’t it be? Super-old places usually have a ghost or two. The Haras du Pin, the French National Stud, was founded in 1715 by decree of King Louis XIV….

Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Image via Wikimedia Commons.

…who happened to be a big fan of dressage. He enjoyed commissioning allegorical horse performances in his courtyard and showing up to them dressed as the sun, literally, in apparent promotion of his image as the center of the French universe. The Haras du Pin became known as “The Palace of Versailles for horses” and has since played an integral role in France’s breeding program. (You can read more about Haras du Pin’s history on its website here.)

Anyway, we’ll be camping out here for the next few days and if we spot any spectral apparitions, you’ll be the first to know. Go Eventing!

 

Sights & Sounds from Wednesday at WEG

Le French Chinch helps himself to a pile of croissants. Le French Chinch helps himself to a pile of croissants.

It’s a quiet day here at Haras du Pin but there’s anticipation in the air and quite a lot going on behind the scenes. We wandered around with a camera, capturing the calm before the storm. Click on any image to view the full photo and caption.

Much, much more coming at you from here in Normandy — keep it locked on Eventing Nation, and Go Eventing!

The WEG Chronicles, Day 2: This Place Is a Cluster (But At Least We Are Drunk)

The sun is setting, and Jenni and I are huddled around a bourbon barrel in the Kentucky Ale bar in the Games Village. We haven’t slept in 33 hours and are on our fifth beer, courtesy of a rowdy bunch of international reining people who keep buying us rounds because USA has won team gold. Do we know anything about reining? Not really. But hey, free beer is free beer. ‘Murica!

Our new friends include reigning double-European reining champion/German team member Alexander Ripper…

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…an off-duty French security guard-gone-wild named Vincent…

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…and a guy who claims to be the actual WEG mascot, Norman.

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Across from us, the Swedish reining team is riding a carousel…

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…and a few tents down, a French lounge singer is massaging our ears with sweet, sweet melodies revolving around the word “l’amour.”

15As random and surreal as all of this sounds, this moment in time actually makes more sense than anything else that has happened to us today.

While WEG’s organizers clearly put a great deal of effort and funding into some aspects of the games — Saturday’s over-the-top opening ceremonies being a prime example — other more practical considerations seem to have been overlooked. The parking situation is ridiculous: We drove around for an hour before giving up, going back to the hotel, and hoofing it to the venue on foot. Shuttles exist but run on “French time” along mysterious, nonsensical routes. Nobody speaks English. Internet is spotty and non-existent in the media hotel. So you can understand why, by the end of the day, heavy drinking seemed like the only logical response.

But hey, today is a brand new day. The sun is shining, there were fresh baguettes and individually wrapped cheeses on the breakfast buffet, and we aren’t even that hungover.

Viva la France!

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The WEG Chronicles: Adventures in Patriotic Packing

I’m a legendarily terrible packer. Seriously. I’ll get somewhere and have 10 shirts but not a single pair of pants, or vice versa. I’ll remember to bring socks or underwear but never, ever both. It’s not for lack of trying — it’s more like I’m always shoving clothes into a suitcase at the last minute and certain basic human necessities get lost in the shuffle.

So when it came time to pack for the World Equestrian Games, this week-long deal taking place on an entirely different continent…

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This time, I decided to go in with a gameplan. A good gameplan? Doubtful. A practical gameplan? Absolutely not. But fun gameplan? Totally.

Basically, this so-called “gameplan” just involved rummaging through my closet and dresser and pulling out anything that looked remotely patriotic. Red, white, blue… star or stripe patterns were a plus. The end result? I was so proud I posted it on my Facebook page:

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But then my WEG travel companion, EN editor Jenni, had to go out and up the ante, scoring some sweet red, white and blue pajama pants at Old Navy. Naturally, I saw her pajama pants and felt compelled to take it to the next level.

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And then she took it one giant step further.

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And then suddenly my suitcase looked like this…

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…and hers looked like this…

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…and the Chinch looked like he was about to run away with a motorcycle gang.

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Well, my flight to Paris s boarding so I’ve gotta run. Until next time, Go Eventing!

WEG By the Numbers: Horse Stats

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Watch out world, EN’s number-crunchin’, math-poppin’, stat-spittin’, digit-droppin’ chinchillas are bringing their calculators to France. Throughout the Games they’ll be taking inventory of the facts and figures that add up to the equestrian world’s most prestigious eventing championships.

Many thanks to Jenni for compiling the this hulking encyclopedia of WEG horses and riders, which doubtlessly saved our team of expert chinchstaticians approximately 10,000 hours of research, and a shout-out to Kate Samuels for her help as well.

Let’s kick off our series with a quantitative look at the field of 2014 WEG horses:

BeFunky_13.jpg234567891011Keep it locked here for much, much more throughout the Games. Go Eventing!