Perspectives of the World Games with Brian O'Connor



Dressage starts! - Day 1

We arrived to a rainy morning (KY desperately needs it, but why on us?) and had to drive boxes of equipment and radios into the park on our bikes.....no golf cart for yours truly....back and forth at 6:30am in the rain with boxes bungee corded on the back of my bike. I have never had to do that before....anyway, we got set up and got Kathy Connelly going on the headsets and away we went. Kathy was superb as always and we sold a bunch of radios for the public to listen in. If you are one of them.....many thanks.

I got set up in the announcers booth and we were locked and loaded for the first ride.....NOT....the first rider from Norway withdrew in the warm up for lameness. Seemed a shame.......but here we all are ready to start and......radio call: number 437 has withdrawn, Brian and will not go. Great way to start the day!!! So, 9 min later we REALLY got going. The day was great and we had some good, and not so good , rides. Todd Flettrich and Katherine did a great job for us and our team is in the hunt for that bronze medal. Britain came out swinging hard, and their first rider, Fiona Bigwood, rode a lovely test and got a 70%.....Great Britain is going for it. Canada with Victoria Winter on Proton and Belinda on Anton were very good too... of course, the Netherlands (the favorites) came on strong and stayed strong; Hans and the lovely mare, Exquis Nadine put in a lovely test and along with Imke Bartells and Sunrise, took a commanding lead after two rides. The day got wetter and colder and it was not until we played some fun crowd tunes during one of the breaks that everyone warmed up! We had fun, and the competition will only get better and better as we go forward. Tomorrow is Parzival, Totilas, and of course, Calecto and Ravel....should be a record breaking day. We are pumped up for sure.

The Arab Emirates won the gold in the Endurance and from my friends who worked yesterday with those athletes...they said they have never seen such horses and fitness. The horses come in to the rest breaks, cool off, and EAT and DRINK like crazy.. They feed em, water em, and the horses gobble it down, and thirty minutes later they take off, at a full canter. The horses that won were going over 15-18 mph when they got to the final miles (out of 100). Just amazing to watch...very different but still awesome.

Reining back again tomorrow as the top 20 get ready for the individual medals...just a short morning session (same time as Dressage day two). Full swing in the AM and we are now going to crash...

Mantra of day 3: After doing the WEGs, Fair Hill, Rolex, Devon, etc. will be like doing a pony club c-3 rally!!!

See you tomorrow....A.T. (after Totilas)

Brian




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