- Got my boots shined at the Bit of Britain store with some fabulous Italian shoe polish, the name of which escapes me at the moment—might have to go back and get some.
- Handed out free posters at the Horse Illustrated booth—it’s always so much fun to meet readers! If you’re at WEG, stop by to get a poster while they last and check out screaming subscription deals,
- Entered to win a $100 gift certificate at SmartPak, or a month’s worth of supplements. Hope it’s my lucky day!
- Bought a Breyer—the exclusive Stablemates WEG collection shouldn’t take up that much shelf space. Who can resist those cute plastic ponies—even as a grownup! There are more special WEG edition models from Breyer, including show jumper Laura Kraut’s Cedric, Chester Weber’s driving horse Jamaica and others.
- If you want to buy boots, whether English or Western, this is the place. Saw Ariats, Justins, Tony Llamas and more—stacks of them!
- Saw endurance riders hacking to prep for their big 100-mile ride.
- Met a Chilean visitor who does reining. She said she has Criollo horses. According to my new friend Dina, they are very smart!
- Watched some reining superstars, including Tim McQuay and Craig Schmersal from the USA. Italian Stefano Massignan also impressed me with his ride on Yellow Jersey. (He wound up in the lead at the end of the day, so I guess he impressed the judges too!) And of course I was dying to see Anky go reining. She wound up getting her personal best reining score there, which was cool.
- Also checked out Lyle Lovett’s horse Smart and Shiney, ridden in the competition by Marco Ricotta of Italy. Although I was rooting for Smart and Shiney, it wasn’t a good day for him. The Italians are in the lead at this point though. I am SO looking forward to seeing Lyle perform at the closing ceremonies!
- I knew the opening ceremonies would be incredible, with drill teams, stunt riders and breeds from Arabians to Friesians performing. Still, I got goosebumps listening to Wynona sing my “Old Kentucky Home”; seeing the sun set over the stadium; watching the U.S. athletes march into the stadium.
- FEI President Princess Haya’s opening speech also got me choked up–who knew a princess growing up in Jordan read the Black Stallion books, too? She’s truly a horse lover just like us and perfectly captured the beauty of the Bluegrass, the magic of the games and the spirit of the horse, both in history and in sport. To hear her say “I declare the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian games open” brought all the planning and preparation down to this moment.
- In addition to eight different horse sports to watch, there’s a lot going on at the games. Still on my to-do list: check out some of the breed and clinician demonstrations at the Equine Village, plus more trade fair booths, the Kentucky Experience. So many things to do and see, and only 15 more days! It’s going to go fast, I have a feeling.
As the Princess said, let the games begin!
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