Images and Thoughts from Alltech World Equestrian Games,Day One.
10 years ago ilse Comments Off on Images and Thoughts from Alltech World Equestrian Games,Day One.
By ILSE SCHWARZ
The day of our arrival in Lexington, Kentucky, was considered triumphant on so many levels. We had a goal to arrive before the 8 pm close of the media accreditation which we achieved with 50 minutes to spare! We still haven’t ascertained the reasoning behind having media accreditation well off the Horse Park and well away from our hotels, kind of in the middle of nowhere but close to a super Wal Mart and a Starbucks (you never know when this sort of information may be handy!). Now, not only did we arrive in good time, but Ken and I survived the 14 hours drive from Wellington, Fl in a small Subaru and we also engaged in lively conversation AND he cheefully put up with my almost non-stop singing. The non-stop singing also helped me in my efforts NOT to be a back seat driver.
Our media welcome kits came complete with BEER, Kentucky Bourbon ale, the OFFICIAL beer of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. I guess they knew it was a long and thirsty drive! Our arrival also coincided with a cool front that pushed out the temperatures of 90F plus down to a very manageable low 80’s, all GREAT omens!
The first official day of WEG dawned sunny, clear and beautiful. The first order of the day was to orientate myself with the new layout of the Kentucky Horse Park. I was last here two years ago and, let me assure you, it is almost impossible to recognize it as the same place. Spectacular new arenas and impressive temporary structures everywhere. It was time to give my walking shoes some action! Upon entry, the sound of chainsaws indicated that construction of the cross country course was still underway. The obstacles we passed on the walk to the media village were quite spectacular, even without the landscaping around them being finished.
Right next to the “Media Village”, as our work place for the next week or so is named, is the Maker’s Mark Bourbon Village. I’m wondering if it is a coincidence that we are next to it!
One of the first impressions of the facility is that it is HUGE. Golf carts are in high demand and being driven by people that I can only hope ride their horses with more control. The decorating of the golf carts with team flags looks like it has developed into a competition, there may also be competition for the most overloaded cart!
After “hiking” around the spectacular facility lugging two large cameras–and no I am NOT exaggerating the immense size of the facility–it is 1.2 miles from the media center to the Indoor Arena the site of reining and vaulting. It t is half a mile in the OPPOSITE direction to the action of the endurance, I had to think to myself: “‘I’m fairly certain that it is ironic that I am in the country with the most obese people in the world and you have to do more walking at this WEG than any other I have attended. Given the grounds are HUGE, good walking shoes and a well planned pre-WEG training program are a must. Perhaps the local gyms could mandate attendance as part of a healthy Kentucky lifestyle!”
So, after a day of strenuous exercise it was time to crack open one of my “gift” beers
I also contemplated attending our neighbours, the Bourbon village, but if I were to do both of these things it is possible I may misplace my car…
and start to see surreal images…..