Dressage Gets Celebrity Status at the Ryder Cup

The “Rider” (oops Ryder) Cup Experience

The horse complex was a 20 minute walk to the stage. When the horses were on the move to practice we felt like celebrities ! There were several volunteers, security guards and golf carts that escorted us on our way. The horses had priority over any traffic, including spectators and golfers. It was great!

We could have used our passes to watch the golfers practice, but being non-golfers we used our passes to explore the gorgeous golf course and get souvenirs at the pro shop. It was a real shame that our horses were not allowed on the greens!

Thursday was the big day ! A professional braider arrived early to style all the horses manes. They all had baths and were scrubbed until they shined. Tack was cleaned, boots polished, then it was time to get dressed. There was an abundance of volunteers helping to primp the riders and horses, with the horses getting more of the attention.

The Ryder Cup supplied us with matching browbands, white polo wraps, saddle pads with the European flag on them, or the USA flag as well as beautiful neck sashes for the horses with the Ryder Cup emblem in the colors of Europe and the USA.

I know we were all more excited and nervous than any horse show we’ve competed in. We prayed the horses would behave, and yes, I did ride after all ! We couldn’t believe the number of spectators - about 40,000 - all waving an American or European flag.

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