Favorite moments

29 Aug


Michael Eilberg on the great gray mare, Half Moon Delphi. What an addition to the British team prospects!



Helen Langehanenberg on the great stallion, Damon Hill; Alydar to Valegro’s Affirmed



Laura Graves and Verdades, shooting stars deluxe, on the Great Adventure which just happened to be WEG, with scores climbing from mid 70’s to the 82+ today in the freestyle!




It is really difficult to take a bad photo of this pair. Team Hester, enjoying The Zone that exists for the great ones.



I’m stopping here  with images only because the internet connection in the media center at WEG has just decided to go south, along with our toilets (no am not kidding).


Some thoughts:

Is the glass half empty, half full, or are we always going to finish up an event by saying ‘the horses were great!’ and let that excuse everything else?

Is WEG just getting too ridiculously unprofitable to run?  Perhaps.

FEI is getting ever fewer bids, even pretending that a single bid has actually been considered carefully —  as opposed to desperately.


But continuing to add disciplines and require more money back from the Organizing  Committee, more proof of public and private $$–all of which seems to always disappear at the last moment—it is getting ridiculous.


The Olympics and World Championships in the various disciplines may prove to be the way to go, plus World Cups.

The venue for dressage, eventing’s show jumping and regular show jumping is all in this soccer stadium, D’Ornano. There are no vendors, toilets that are holes in the ground and defy anyone to move fast enough not to get splashed by back-flush. There is a security force who are one step removed–maybe only half a step– from the notorious Hell’s Angels at Altamont, a generation ago at the Rolling Stones concert that will always be remembered for the thuggery and death ,rather than the music.

It is difficult to build horse sport when someone not already a fan of something has to decide what to go see, and then finds out there is nothing to see.—the parking is execrable and there are no shops, barely a hot dog stand and one over-priced brasserie the size of a postage stamp with huge lines.


I stop to take a photo of the anatomically complete and correct metal rearing horse that looks like Hi-Yo Silver but is supposed to be a Percheron stallion.



We have afternoon break entertainment today! Usually they just lock everyone out of the stadium in order to ensure ticket collection for paid AM and paid PM  performances.

Buying a ticket to a performance at the stadium guarantees the holder a section of the stadium–but not an assigned seat.

When they kick people out of stadium at lunch break, there have been fistfights when people return and find OTHER people screaming they now have those particular seats and to go elsewhere in that section.

But non! Today’s 15 freestyle rides is one ticket.

So we shall have the medal ceremony for endurance.

Individual gold goes to Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum, yes a close relative of Sheikh Mohammed. Hamdan was being investigated (really?????) by FEI for riding a ringer horse at least once in competition and arranging for all data on the horse to be erased from the FEI online database.

Also, Team gold goes to Spain.  The team’s  lead rider, Jaume Punti Dachs, is the head trainer  for  the Maktoum endurance stable in Newmarket,England —where the illegal veterinary drugs came in on the private Dubai plane.

And then, everyone troops back into the stadium,herded by the security, and we watch 7 horses get over 80 per cent.

WEG dressage is over.







One Response to “Favorite moments”

  1. halfpass August 29, 2014 at 7:39 pm #

    I hope a solution is found! I hope, for example, Lexington learned its lesson of having only one key sponsor and then making it impossible fir other vendors to sell their waters. Do I have an answer? Maybe half of one. There are venues in the world, like Aachen and by a lot of accounts, Gothenburg, who know how to host these events. Let them be the hosts and only grant the games out to those venues that can natch their facilities. In North America , we have Lexington and Wellington. I imagine Spruce Meadows knows how to do this too. It’s all very nice to spread the Games around. But there us no point in doing so, when venues don’t know how or haven’t the right set up to host!!! Otoh, all this lovely rides in the eighties!!!! Yum, yum, yum…..who I selling the DVDs?

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