After a couple of days in Tryon, it has been a challenging start, as it ever is at this stage of such a major championships. We have spent a lot of time so far preparing the stables ready for the arrival of our first group of horses as well as Chefs (Chefs D’Equipe) and Grooms to ensure that they have few distractions on their arrival away from looking after the horses. This preparation included sorting out where their kit and feed had been delivered to and, in some cases, moving it to where we needed it. The site is enormous and the distance between the various discipline barns is considerable - which is particularly challenging when we are working in extreme heat.
We had the successful delivery of our first horses today into quarantine in the disciplines of reining and endurance. Dressage arrive tomorrow and eventing on Wednesday. This can be a challenging time for the horses – who have to remain in quarantine for 42 hours and we are working closely with the people who are allowed into quarantine as well as the Organising Committee (OC) and the US Agriculture Department to ensure this is as comfortable an experience as possible.
Yesterday we had our first official Chef De Mission meeting with the OC. It is clear that they are very much getting into operational mode now in order to ensure the smooth arrival of horses, athletes, grooms and supporting staff. These meetings will be held daily now until the competition starts and the Chef D’Equipe meetings get going. The Stable Manager and his team as well as the Chief Steward have very important roles – especially for the welfare of the horses and their smooth transition from quarantine into their appropriate stables and into starting their pre-competition training. There is still much work to do however, we are very fortunate that the stabling barns are excellent and well ventilated providing a restful place for the horses away from training and competition.
The competition venue is located in beautiful surroundings with large wooded areas and rolling hills around the site, making for a stunning backdrop for the competition in the coming weeks.
A lot has been done in the first couple of days but it is all worth it if we can ensure that our horses and athletes are as well prepared as possible for the challenges of their competitions.
(Images: Above Left, our operations team busy prepping the stables for the first arrivals, whilst Right, Set-up continues at the GB grooms and vets accomodation)