There was a whole lot of hugging going on today during the Grand Prix Dressage at the Pan American Games, and the recipients were the horses. Sure there were the waves and the punches in the air after all those great rounds but it was the hugs that were what meant so much to so many. Why the hugs? Because lots of times those were NOT the ones scoring the highest marks of the day but for them it was their high mark because they did it. They qualified for these Pan American Games and they went into that arena and they did a test that made them proud. For many it was their first time competing at this level.
To achieve that goal and then to get here and perform a test they could be proud of was what mattered most to them. So, kudos to the underdogs and to the riders who, after they finished their ride today wrapped their arms around their horses and gave them a hug that said, thank you.
Thank you for helping me qualify for these Games.
Thank you for taking me down the centerline from beginning to end.
Thank you for dealing with the newness of traveling to a new country.
Thank you for giving me the chance to fulfill a dream because without you I wouldn’t be here.
So, thank you to the horses that gave the newer riders the chance to feel what it’s like to compete in a Pan American Games.