Revisiting the 2002 World Equestrian Games

I have a confession to make. Something I couldn't bear to admit to the night it happened. The memory card, which had all my opening ceremonies photos had been corrupted, and I thought the images would be lost forever.

We had arrived in Jerez, Spain, a few days early to organize our on-line coverage of the 2002 WEG. A World Equestrian Games veteran journalist and photographer, I was still getting used to my new Canon ID, a digital wonder of a machine, which cost the same amount as a talented young horse, and required opening yet another credit line before our departure.

The day of the opening ceremonies, we had cleared a rather strict security as the King and Queen were attending. Then one of the most amazing and beautiful visual experiences for anyone with a passion for horses and international competition, began. For the athletes, there is nothing like entering a stadium full of cheering fans. They marched in, each country, glowing in the evening magic hour light. Even after the sun turned the images to a soft blue, gray, the camera did it's magic, allowing me to adjust the speed, cranking it up to 1600. I stuck with my 300mm lens, checking the small screen as we went through the night. I couldn't wait to download the results. We ended back in the press center at 1:00 am. Excited, and without my glasses, a small window popped up, and I hit "OK", only to discover I had deleted most of the images on the 1 gig card. It was filled with 350 magical images of Andalusian horses, flamenco dancers, and our American team marching into the stadium. I was sick, saddened, and very quiet about my major mistake. I confided in my husband, Astrid, and Jacques Toffi, the one photographer I knew who would genuinely sympathize with my pain.

Then I tried to get over it. It was just the beginning of 2 weeks, and after all, the competition was what we were here for right? But the lost images haunted me. Thanks to the advise of fellow journalist Diana deRosa, I kept the damaged card carefully put away, in the hopes than when I got home to an English speaking tech, maybe, just maybe the images could be restored.

After calling the 800 number on the card, I was directed by the support at IBM, to a company Action Front Data. Reassuring, and professional, they talked me through the steps to take, and after a $300 recovery fee, I had those moments back again. They came to the rescue later this year, when a computer crash destroyed a hard drive with three weeks of grueling horse show work on it.

With a few days home to work at my desk, I finally created an on line photo album to share with our readers. I prepared them all, about 70, so sit back, enjoy.

Mary Phelps

Opening Ceremonies photo tour

Related Links
Action Front Data Recovery Labs
HorsesDaily 2002 WEG coverage