Aug 07, 2008

Soggy but Sensational - an Official's View of the Olympic Cross-Country Course

Marilyn Payne, one of the eventing dressage judges at the Olympics, shares her tale of her experiences so far at the Olympics.

Due to my flight delay I finally arrived at midnight Tuesday night. Wednesday morning I woke up after four hours sleep to a typhoon ( and 8 out of 10 !). So, buses weren’t allowed out and the barns were all "locked down" until six that evening. But, as dedicated officials, we were driven to the cross-country course and walked the entire course with the technical delegate and course designer so it could be approved before the rider briefing at 6pm.

What an adventure! We were given plastic raincoats which kept blowing up but luckily we just had our Olympic drip dry shorts on so we did get soaked, but dried quickly! They nicely gave us a radio to call if we needed help – how comforting! We did manage to see all the fences among the fallen branches and debris. We had over eight inches of rain but the galloping track was fabulous due to the million dollar drainage system.

At one fence under the trees there was a blinding spot light on. We found that it cost $50,000 and was there to help the grass grow!! Next to it was a giant fan to dry the ground. That was turned off since there were already severe winds.

The course was great lots of variety, all with Chinese themes: the Great Wall of China, a panda playground,
chopsticks, dragons and pagodas. Most of the flowers and decorations had been removed due to the typhoon
and the last fence which was a big arch was roped and staked down so it didn’t blow away! It all still looked fabulous, with even in torrential rain and wind! We are going back this morning since the typhoon is only a #3 now .

So we survived our first adventure and got back to the hotel and got to get clean, dry and take a nap,yeah!! At six o’clock we attended the riders briefing followed by a lively chefs meeting. We then watched the riders have a jump school in the Olympic arena under the lights. The riders were concerned about the shadows caused by the lights and the giant TV screen with live action. They all seemed to do fine but unfortunately got soaked in the downpour. I guess they need to get used to that too!

stay tuned….

Apr 23, 2024 Competitions

Grab Your USEA Gear at the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event!

There are so many things to love about the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event and the opportunity to peruse the booths of so many amazing vendors is definitely one of them! Don’t forget to stop by the USEA booth, located just behind the Rolex Stadium next to the large Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event booth, to stock up on all of your favorite USEA apparel.

Apr 23, 2024 Competitions

Modified Match To Be Introduced at 2024 Woodside Spring Horse Trials

After the first competition at Modified was held at The Horse Park at Woodside in California in 2023, the level will be under an even bigger spotlight with the Modified Match that will be offered at the 2024 Woodside Spring Horse Trials that will take place from May 24-26.

Apr 23, 2024 Interscholastic

Meet the 2024 IEL Championship Teams

The inaugural USEA Interscholastic Eventing League (IEL) Championship at Stable View in Aiken, South Carolina, is just over a week away, which means it is time to meet the teams that are set to compete! A total of 43 competitors representing eight IEL Clubs will make up the 11 teams that are set to compete in the 2024 USEA IEL Championship on Saturday, May 4 and Sunday, May 5.

Apr 22, 2024 Competitions

Fast Facts: 2024 Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event

Welcome back to one of the most exciting weeks in eventing in the U.S.—Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event week! The Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, is going to be full to the brim with eventing lovers from all over the world.

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