I was not expecting to start my 4th September with - the Jumping horses have all left. Nope, no way, not what we wanted. But it was a bad day at the office yesterday and we did not make the cut (only the top ten Teams jump in the second round of the Nations Cup) and none of our riders are in the top 50, except Scott, so it was also EndEx for the Individual competition.
Scott, in consultation with his Owners, Rob Hoekstra and myself, has made the decision not to continue in the Individual competition; there is a great deal of jumping still to do before the Final 4 (where the medals will be decided) and he is off the pace with some excellent rider / horse combinations ahead of him. We need Scott and Sanctos for the future. We are missing some of our Big Guns here and some of the horses we did have here, whilst super talented, are lacking Championship level experience.
So we have not achieved the much valued Olympic Qualification in Jumping so the Team will have to perform at the Aachen Europeans in 2015. If there are two non European Teams in the top 5 at WEG (only the top five qualify) it is going to be very tough at Aachen and there will be Teams not qualifying for Rio that would have had a realistic medal opportunity.
That's the Bad News. Now the Good News. Family Eccles and Family Phillips are on great form in Vaulting land. Today is Round 3 of 4 (the Technical test); one Freestyle and the Compulsories are in the bank. Going in to this round, Joanne is in pole position so fingers crossed for the rest of the competition!
First of my Awards: The Award for most illogical decision of the Games goes to Captain Lookatyourwatch. This fine member of the Caen constabulary sat and watched as cars parked on the pavement leading up to and around a roundabout that sits at the very heart of the Caen WEG venues. These cars were causing no traffic delay and had been there all day. Fine, give them a ticket if they are parked illegally. But no, the aforementioned Captain let the time tick by and just as rush hour started deployed three trucks to lift these naughty cars, parking two of them on the roundabout and thus reducing it from two lanes to one. Well done......you caused the biggest traffic jam of the Games!
The Para-Equestrian Dressage Venue is now the Driving Venue and the Para Stables and all weather training and competition surfaces have gone. However, there must be a new batch of security guards on duty as where I could go before, I could not now pass, and even the WEG Director of Sport has been awarded a NON. What is a NON you ask... a NON is much used phrase in these parts by Security Guards and is the in depth explanation of why you cannot pass through a certain gate or head in a certain direction. As these Security Guards are trying to confuse anyone observing and looking for ways in, a NON is often deployed where yesterday a OUI was awarded!
Two GBR Drivers complete their dressage today and the third tomorrow. I thought I would go and walk some of the Marathon Obstacles which are dotted around the racecourse (where the Para and Driving venues were / are situated) but unfortunately I won yet another NON!