Many years ago, a good friend, Dot Hamilton, became Area Chair for Area VII. She said, "We need an Adult Rider Coordinator – you do it!" "Ok," I said. "What should adult riders do?" "Let's have a camp," she said! So we did. With only a couple of years missed early on, the Area VII Adult Rider Camp has now become a much-anticipated activity on the calendar. Different locations, times or the year and some changes in staff but the theme constant. Fun, camaraderie, education. Not necessarily in that order!
All these years later, I have learned what works and what people want - early in the year to prep, a good mix of fun activities and educational talks for the evenings. One thing I was adamant about was keeping it affordable. We usually break even or lose money which is made up for with our fundraisers. I do a lot of sweet talking to convince top-name instructors to come out to our little corner of the eventing world and give me a deal! Promises of good food and a very enthusiastic bunch of folks usually does the trick.
With daily lessons in all three phases, the days are a four- to five-ring circus. We do a potluck meet and greet on Thursday evening, the arrival day. Friday has now become a tradition of Pizza and Puppy Steeplechase (you really have to be there!) So much fun with betting that raises money for the local animal shelter. We try to fit in a talk or demo of a more educational bent. Saturday we offer a nice catered dinner with adult beverages flowing. More education, then another tradition, the White Elephant Gift exchange – this gets quite competitive with folks going after some 'interesting' gifts! It is an over 21 activity – I say no more!
I couldn't do this without a team. I have some amazing friends that do catering, social directors, and many other things behind the scenes. Some, like Lou Leslie, have been with me from the start.
The times when I would be thinking about not doing it, I would get a thank you with comments of, "I made some great friends," and "I am now hooked on eventing," and it made me do it again. I have new organizers stepping up for next year – some new ideas and 'young blood' will be good!
And they're off! Eventing kicks off today in Tokyo (Thursday, July 29 – 7:30 p.m. ET), with the first of three Olympic dressage sessions. Competitors from 29 nations will go head to head, vying for a spot on the coveted Olympic podium.
There were a few last-minute dramas at the first horse inspection for the Tokyo Olympics which took place in the main equestrian park at Baji Koen Equestrian Centre at 9:30 a.m. JST today.
It’s the most hotly anticipated few hours of the eventing year - the cross-country from Tokyo 2020. What will Derek di Grazia’s track have in store for the Olympic riders?
We’re nearly there! Olympic mania has taken over the world, and we’re in the final countdown to the Olympic eventing competition in Tokyo, which starts with the first horse inspection on Thursday. Our USA riders are raring to go, but let’s remind ourselves of the history that precedes them. Just how well has the US team done in past Olympics?