Tuesday, September 18, 2018

WEG Day 3 - Course Monitoring and Individual Grand Prix Dressage

This was another long day. I signed up to be the course monitor which was basically a glorified babysitter for the cross country jumps while the public walked the course. We were meant to keep them off the galloping lanes and off of the jumps. Fair enough. 

Sector 3 (pink) and 4 (green) map of the course.

Sector 2 map, upside down

The whole freaking thing, including how it relates to the TIEC location
Before the course opened, I decided to walk the course and get a good idea of what the rest of the jumps looked like. This was really my only opportunity to see the rest of the course until other pictures were available on social media. It was a long, hot walk, but pretty neat. I did not see it all either.
Start Box

Part of the Longines water jump, this closest jump is part of the longer route

The skinnies through the water sprayed water off the sides. Neat!

Jump 1

Bird feeder and squirrels

Bird Feeder

Course Designer Capt. Mark Phillips on the phone while surveying his course last minute

Jump 2

Jump 3

Jump 4

Jump 5

Jump 6

I really liked the variety of the water jumps that were on this course. I thought they were cleverly designed to pull in aspects of North Carolina life.
Jump 7

Jump 8

Butterflies Skinnies combination, Jump 9
I have pictures of 10 from a previous walk on a prior day.
Jump 11

Jump 12

My jump! 13
Once I got to my jump I set up camp for the day. I basically left my camp chair under the jump every night so I wouldn't have to lug back and forth out on course. Worth it. It was hot and humid and a surprising number of spectators walked the course. They were, by and large, worried about water since I was basically at the farthest point from TIEC. I didn't have anything to reassure them. I had no idea.

I had lots of questions about which route riders were likely to take, which I did know, based on what people had been walking. 13 was trickier than it first appeared because you have toadstools forcing a specific line. Plus the tables are so giant that you can't slice them diagonally without creating problems. But the direct bending line was 4 strides and change as walked by everyone. They checked and rechecked the distance.

Around 2:30 Nigel came to retrieve me and bring me back to Volunteer HQ. I was pretty toasted at this point but I definitely wanted to watch the final couple rides of the Individual GP Dressage. I also finished my shopping in vendor village and acquired a new Trauma Void helmet.

I caught the final couple minutes of Carl Hester's ride and sat in a somewhat shaded corner for everyone after him.
Edward Gal - I have been pronouncing his last name incorrectly for a LONG time

That smaller screen in the lower right was showing the test movement but it was usually behind by a couple movements

Wheee, levitating Zonik!

Patrick Kittel

Laura Graves and Verdades

Waving to the roaring crowds

Sonke Rothenberger and Cosmo

Charlotte Dujardin

Also, let's be real. I'm not skilled enough to properly nitpick. I don't have the eye yet for that. Sure the obvious bobbles I can spot, but these riders were top notch. And in general it was just a pleasure to watch some really nice horses be ridden really well. And I didn't have to worry about watching a kid or other folks getting antsy. I could take my time and do what I wanted to do. It was very enjoyable and relaxing.

Big pats for a good job

Isabell Werth

After that, with Isabell Werth doing a damn fine job to snag Gold, I bolted from the stands before the medal ceremony to grab dinner with my meal ticket and then waited forever for the bus to take me back to parking. It was a pretty great day.

And, I was forward thinking! So whoever gets paired with me at the gift exchange will get a couple souvenirs from WEG!

That night I made it back to my campsite and asked if they had a cabin available, which they did. So I grabbed that for the night. I had AC. I had my own shower and bathroom and NO ANTS. (The ants were vicious M-Fers)

It was perfect. I was able to pack up my tent items without them being super wet from the incoming Hurricane Florence and get some good quality sleep before having to be up super early for Cross Country day. I basically drove to my shift ready to be on the road, which was the way to go, ultimately.


  1. Replies
    1. It was GREAT!

      I just have to go through all my media for the actual cross country day for the next post. It's going to take FOREVER.

  2. damn that course is giant tho! i'm kinda surprised they laid it out like that too. like obvi for a 4* course the riders have to cover pretty extensive distances, but venues like Kentucky make this work by including lots of loops so that there are zones where multiple parts of the track are visible from one place, and it's easier for spectators to get around and never be too too far from the central hubs of the venue.

    1. The course was condensed around the lake that you see in the small overall image. I've got a video I'm uploading to youtube that goes over the whole thing. It does loop around and then the final leg is the hill back up to TIEC. I'll let you know when it's available to view.

    2. Here you go!