Sanne de Jong (NED) and Enjoy. Photo by Shelby Allen.
Chinch is jet-lagged and hungover, but he’s buzzing to be at the 2022 FEI World Equestrian Games in Pratoni. There’s a very laid-back vibe around the park, and if you ignore the still-growing trade fair, you could be fooled into thinking this is any other four-star. Fortunately, that’s just the thing these top athletes need early in the week — time and space to settle in for the challenge ahead.
Antonio Cejudo Caro (ESP) and Duque HSM. Photo by Shelby Allen.
On Tuesday, the main dressage arena was open for schooling. Countries filed in and out throughout the day while grooms took horses for a snack in the grassy surroundings.
The event, which hosts horse trials year-round, has a convenient set up with all the mainstays (media center, food, trade stands) only a quick walk from the arenas. You can even see the cross country start and finish from the grandstand where dressage will take place starting Thursday.
Mai Baum (USA) shows the hacking path from the stables. Photo by Tilly Berendt.
Just up the hill from the main competition zone are the stables, making the venue easily accessible for busy grooms, who have accommodations onsite. Officials gave the cross country course their final nod Tuesday afternoon, and teams swarmed the Pratoni hillside throughout the morning to get their first peek at Saturday’s challenge.
The competition officially gets underway today with the trot up taking off at 1:30 pm local (7:30 am eastern). The official team order was drawn yesterday with Germany assuming pathfinder duties.
The first horse inspection will not be live streamed, but you can follow our live tweeting of all the action here. In the meantime, take a gander around the Pratoni paradise we’re enjoying this week.