The Green Light is on; we have lift off. Well, to be more accurate, downpour. Day 1 of competition saw the heavens opening and 30 mm of rain being dumped on Caen.
This was the sort of day that when you are shooting, your labrador turns to you at about 11 am and says "Dad, I have decided I am a pacifist, my sense of smell has deserted me and I am going home - you go and find your own damn pheasants".
The range of Toggi clothing that we are so lucky to have now came to the fore, with polo shirts, fleeces, light jackets and waterproof jackets to choose from. Most of the venues survived well but reports from Sartilly are that, whilst the stables are staying dry, some of the Car Parks are now well and truly deceased. Everyone battened down and coped; survival in the face of adversity! It was a little wet for some when warming up and some of the horses looked as if they had been hunting for a day.
I was privileged to be present for La Grande Unveiling (please forgive my lack of written French); our female Reiners have had super smart jackets designed and made by the very talented April Salisbury and Monday was the first day they were to be seen in public. Wow! USA might win the Team Gold but GBR most certainly wins the Gold for best dressed in show!
Now some have said that a few more minibuses running between the Venues in Caen would be helpful and the OC are looking in to this. I can help out here.... I have discovered where the minibuses have set up camp - and it is not far from the Reining Venue, so in true classic Western film style, they have formed a ring of steel around their camp fire and they ain't going nowhere for nobody.
Sticking to Reining, myself, Fingers and Doc Sally were watching some athletes competing ahead of Jessica strutting herself. Now Reining is very different to dressage: Dressage = no noise allowed Vs Reining = as much noise as possible. Sitting in front of us was a Canadian lady who was whooping and cheering to the point that her voice gave out: Doc Sally whipped those Strepsils out quicker than the fastest Gun in the West: Whooping and cheering resumed.
Today was a difficult day for the Organising Committee and they did a great job. Continual rain is a bugger to contend with, especially on temporary venues. But then I guess the French do have one advantage; we can always retire to the bar at the end of a difficult day for a glass of damn good red wine!
So to the performances. A competition report appears elsewhere on the Team GBR website but all of our athletes had a good day at the office and the three teams are about where we hoped they would be.
Meanwhile Endurance horses have arrived as have the Eventing horses (was there a navigational disfunction??).
Naked sun dance required from all tomorrow. Enough of the rain.