This article was originally published in the March/April 2020 issue of Eventing USA magazine.
In 2002, at the age of 15, I was at my Aunt and Uncle’s farm in Maine while Tremaine Cooper was there building some cross-country jumps. I helped him build a trakehner, not realizing that this day would set the course for my future. A few weeks later he called asking if I could help him at Millbrook Horse Trials. From there I helped Tremaine during most of my school vacations and throughout the summers. After graduating high school I kept at it never looking back. I lived the gypsy lifestyle for about six years going from coast to coast and event to event. In 2013 my wife Kathryn and I settled down in Lexington, Kentucky. These days I spend roughly 60-75 percent of my time on the road preparing events or building private schooling areas. I’ve had the privilege of being involved with some really great events around the states and have cultivated many friendships all over the country. In 2019 I was asked to be a part of Team Evans Olympic cross-country building crew. As I write this I am on my third trip to Tokyo. Here’s a day in Tokyo . . .
Breakfast of champions
Walk across the road from my hotel and grab some coffee, snacks, and something for lunch. Not super fancy, but the 7-Eleven has some good grub. There’s a pretty solid language barrier and not much English writing on the food, so buying things can be a bit of an adventure.
At the office
We’ve gotten to the office, made another cup of coffee, and loaded up our buggies with tools for the day.
Hand signals for the win
One of five containers with jumps arrives from Team Evans’ homebase in England. We aren’t allowed to use any equipment on the site, so we have Japanese operators. The language barrier can be an issue at times, but hand signals seem to be pretty universal.
A boring lunch today, usually a crispy salad is my go-to here, but supply chains seem to be a bit unpredictable with the coronavirus going on.
It’s all in the details
At this point most of the jump construction is done, so now it’s focusing on decorations, lots of decorations!
Take a moment to look at Tokyo from the cross-country site. I’m really fortunate to be here and be a part of this crew.
We’ve finished work around 5:30, headed to the hotel for quick showers, and walked to the train station to go explore Tokyo and find a dinner spot.
Looking for a dinner spot. Our normal criteria for a restaurant is no English writing on the sign, on a side street, and seating for less than 20. With approximately half a million restaurants in Tokyo, there are plenty to choose from. Ramen for the win tonight. For most jobs that I do, we stay in and cook the bulk of our meals. But here we typically go out for dinner.
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Have you made plans to attend the 2023 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention in St. Louis, Missouri, from Dec. 7-10? If so, you’ll want to add the Show Jumping Building Seminar to your list of activities.
Registration for the 2023 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention is now open! Join the USEA in St. Louis, Missouri, this Dec. 7-10 for a weekend of mingling with fellow enthusiastic eventers to partake in discussions about the future of the sport. This year’s event will include a keynote address by Dr. Temple Grandin, a world-renowned scientist and author, a celebration of champions at the Annual Awards Dinner, and more! The city of St. Louis also has so many opportunities to sight-see and explore.
The second and final day of competition at the 2023 USEF/USEA Developing Horse Eventing National Championships was all about precision as the 6-year-old CCI2*-S Championship competitors tackled both jumping phases and the 7-year-old CCI3*-S Championship pairs conquered Mogie Bearden-Muller’s cross-country track at Stable View in Aiken, South Carolina.
Equine Network is thrilled to have the support of the United States Eventing Association (USEA) for the third annual Horse Week event brought to you by Boehringer Ingelheim.