I haven’t posted for a few days now, so here’s a quick run-down on what’s been happening on the ground in Tryon….

Para-dressage had a great day in the office on Friday with Team Silver in a very hotly contested competition being pipped to the post by The Netherlands by 0.6 percent! 

Our showjumpers had a nail biting conclusion to the team competition sitting at one stage in sixth place – the top six nations gain qualification places for their nation for Tokyo 2020, a key objective. However it was not to be and we ended in eighth, after some great jumping rounds from our four British combinations. All jumped brilliantly but it was a very strong field with so many nations chasing the first qualification opportunity. For our jumpers now, all planning will be geared towards the European Championships next year.

Saturday started brilliantly with Sophie producing a stellar performance in the Grade V Freestyle to clinch Gold. 

The rest of the day was somewhat challenging: Erin - who was a reserve rider for the grade III freestyle test - was able to run as a result of another rider being eliminated. However when Erin started her test she had technical difficulties with the music. Putting in a fabulous test, she just missed out on a Bronze medal by 0.8%. Natasha exited stage left when Diva took an exception to something/someone; Natasha is thankfully fine, and left the arena with her usual fabulous smile!

The vaulters finished eighth in the team competition on Saturday evening, after another great performance in their second freestyle. With the youngest members of the GBR team in their squad, they have all worked incredibly hard over the last three and a half years to get here and they should be proud of what they have achieved.

Today saw Amanda compete in the individual jumping final on her WEG debut, huge congratulations to the duo for some superb jumping, which saw them finish 17th overall.

The vaulting horse leaves for the UK tomorrow, along with all the para-dressage horses, whilst our jumpers leave Monday. Safe travels to all of our equine athletes.

Last night the packing was completed for the journey home. Huge thanks to ‘the dream team’ Sophie, Sarah, Alex, Ash and Andrew, who have managed between them to pack up the stables, the offices, the houses and the container. Malcolm the container ships out on Tuesday and we’ll see him back in the UK in three weeks’ time.

Throughout our stay in Tryon, we have been hosted by the fabulous Doubletree by Hilton Asheville Biltmore; a huge thank you to the hotel and their staff who have made our championship stay so comfortable.

Another ‘shout-out’ must go to KER, who have been providing a fabulous service to all the National Federations competing at WEG, huge thanks to the team on the ground for their support in the build-up and during the championships. I can now reveal that it was our friends at KER who unintentionally misplaced Buggy McBug Face earlier in the championships – but no hard-feelings!

An important mention in despatches for our amazing bus drivers: Stacey (bus coordinator), Nicole, Greta, Paulakins and Gillian. They have been essential while we’ve been here in ensuring that everyone can get to the venue on time – often working very long hours.

The remainder of the support team and myself fly out from Tryon over the next couple of days. It has been a pleasure to lead the GBR delegation out in Tryon for this year’s World Equestrian Games and I sign-off my Blog with a final note of thanks to all those involved in our 2018 campaign!

DH