Germany dominate Eventing. Fact. Or is it? Michael Jung has proven himself to be one of the all-time greats of eventing and in Opgun Louvo & Sandra Auffarth the Germans have a rider / horse partnership that only comes around as often as the elusive 100 foot wave for surfers. Of course there are then a group of super talented riders that have delivered time and again in the dressage and jumping and are now delivering on the cross country. But they are not unbeatable and I hope that results in Normandy over the last few days have shown the Brits can keep their heads held high. Yes, there is work to be done but with the right horses the British eventers, under Yogi Breisner’s leadership, are a force to be reckoned with.
So the message is to our existing loyal owners and to owners that might be wondering how they can win an Olympic Medal; support the best British riders and they will bring home the medals.
Sunday started with the Jumping Horse Inspection; riders resplendent in chinos, shirt, tie and blazer. Meanwhile down in Haras du Pin the Eventing fraternity had a lie in….like hell…they were up and at it at 0500 hours for the far too early Horse Inspection and then the move to Caen. The “move” went well but it was interesting to see how the “environment” was difficult to re-create when they arrived in Caen and moved in to stables with no space to relax or set up “home”. Yes, it was a fantastic atmosphere in the Stadium for the jumping and all seats seemed to have been sold but I still feel it is a shame the whole competition could not have taken place in Haras du Pin.
The move also created additional work for Team Staff and Grooms; one of the long serving grafters of the Eventing Team is Brendan Murray, farrier by trade, raconteur extraordinaire, and brother by another mother to our Welsh farrier (Mr Haydn Price).
During the Eventing, our Team were lucky enough (time spent on reconnaissance is never wasted) to stay at the Pavillon de Gouffern (http://www.pavillondegouffern.com/uk/index.php) and were looked after wonderfully by the hardworking team at the Pavillon. They could not have done more to make the Eventers’ stay comfortable; their packed lunches (provided for all the staff, athletes and owners) were legendary. I can highly recommend the Pavillon! Yes, it was super comfortable but it was also only 5 minutes’ drive from the Venue, which I think was a little bit of a coup!
Our Eventing Team may have proven themselves to be talented athletes and hardworking & dedicated grooms but, oh my, was there some discussion as to when they would all be leaving Caen to return to the UK. Anyway after three hours of protracted debate, White Papers, Green Papers, proposals and counter proposals, I think they have all left! William even found his passport, which was in Alice’s handbag, which had been retrieved from a horsebox that left for GBR directly from Haras du Pin.
SITREP. Reining have left, Vaulters have arrived and passed the Horse Inspection. Drivers are inbound. All is well in Caen