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.”
Some people came prepared.
Others, not so much.
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.
On the bright side, despite these physical and logistical quagmires, spectator team spirit refused to be dampened.
OK, the collective team spirit might be a little soggy. But not ours!
— Horse & Hound (@horseandhound) August 28, 2014
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!