10 Days Away!!!!!

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

There’s a lot of excitement coming up this fall. The United States is hosting the World Equestrian Games. Wow. Just saying that gets me excited, you too, I bet. If you don’t have your tickets, there are some to be found, you can purchase from friends or others who don’t need theirs. Places to look include bulletin boards and social media from what I can see. The ticket rules allow the original purchaser to pass them to another person, so if you didn’t get a ticket and want one it looks like it’s OK to get one previously purchased.

It does look like tickets for Eventing are available, including seats for the show jumping day on Sunday, as of today. (Click here for ticket availability.)

Once we all get there, we are told traffic and parking are going to require patience. Well, we can deal, I guess. There is no ahead-of-time parking passes being sold. You have to pay to park each day and it looks like it will cost $20 per car. I imagine there will be a line to get in to pay and a line to park after you get in. There are supposed to be shuttle buses that pick up the parking lot folks and shuttle them to the event entrances. One hopes this system works if they have enough people to take money, enough buses and they run back and forth regularly — especially on cross-country day, Saturday, Sept. 15. We’ll plan on leaving plenty of time ahead.

I have no idea what or how we’re going to eat and drink. We’re probably at the mercy of the showgrounds. I know there is food there during normal competitions, but many thousands of us will be there and won’t be allowed to bring our own food in, so crossing fingers food doesn’t require huge waits or mortgage payment prices. I can go hungry, I guess until we get to a restaurant somewhere.

The course I am told has a nice hill in the center where you can see a lot of jumps, and the concessions may be located in the middle. I hope this is true. In true intrepid eventer style, I am making sure I wear comfortable shoes for walking. Maybe even boots.

My friends with serious photography habits were a bit worried about the camera rules, then when the revised guidelines came out, were a bit calmed. They hope to be able to get lots of great photos of all the best in the world over the fences and I hope we get to see their pictures afterwards.

Does anyone know what the cell phone service and internet will be like there? It would be wonderful if it’s good and we can contact our friends. Better yet, some suggested we wear items of apparel of some kind — hats, shirts, jackets, etc. — from our Areas or groups so we can recognize and find one another.

I have a feeling it might be hard to find one another if we aren’t already with each other from the parking lot! So I’ll use a little trick someone told me at Kentucky: Find a spot with a recognizable feature, near the attractions, to meet if you get lost and your cell won’t work (we use the Bruce statue there — we’ll have to find something at Tryon.)

We’re all stressing over the clear backpack thing. I’ll find something that works for carrying what I want to bring — mainly a phone, sunglasses, a hat, a credit card, maybe cash, some sunscreen, a bottle of water or an empty container for water, a couple pieces of candy for dry mouth, chapstick, aspirin, and a bandaid or two for blisters or stings. We’ll see whether that will work with the rules but I think so if packaged correctly.

I’d like to carry a waterproof pad to sit down on the ground, but not sure they will allow it; we usually stuff a small one in a backpack for Kentucky cross country day because you find yourself way out on course I always want to sit down, and eat or drink something to fuel up to walk back and the ground can be damp. They are allowing portable chairs but if you have one in a bag it will have to be searched when you enter. That might be a good option if you don’t mind carrying it with you all day; I’m not sure I will want to tote it all day with my back!

I’m debating whether to carry my camera. I have so many great photog friends, their pictures are going to be incredible, and I sure can’t do as well as the pros; but I’d like to be able to video a little bit, so I’m not sure what camera I’ll carry.

It feels like cross country day you have to be prepared, have a plan, pack carefully and strip for action like a military excursion. Having had a little experience with big crowds on cross country day, I am trusting that the venue also has a way to manage all of us spectators comfortably by having enough potties, food, and drink to keep us all happy.

All of you folks with media passes, it’s your job to let us know what to expect because you have access. Don’t forget to go out and check on us and see how we’re doing.

It’s all about the horses, so here’s to a good show and a good ride for everyone and hopeful the horses are all good, too. I hope we can see some great riding and I’m looking forward to giving everyone reports from the cheap seats!

See you there! Go eventing!