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….

Feb 01, 2023 Profile

Rescue Horse Runaway Romeo Finds His Calling

Amanda Walker wasn’t sure what she’d gotten herself into when she went to try Runaway Romeo as a potential sales project in 2018. The gelding was a bit bigger than Walker was looking for and was quite pushy coming out of the stall. When she got on, it didn’t get much better.

Jan 31, 2023 Educational Activities

USEA's Tip Tuesday: Cross-Country Positions with Karen O'Connor

For seasoned and novice riders alike, it is always good to revisit the basics. Serving as the foundation for any eventer, the positions used on the cross-country course differ from those in the dressage or show jumping ring. The USEA tuned into five-time Olympian, three-time World Equestrian Games rider, two Pan-American Games rider, and USEA ECP certified coach Karen O'Connor as she walked coaches and students at the USEA ECP Symposium through the basic positions for effective cross-country riding.

Jan 30, 2023

USEF New Phone and Fax Number

The USEF's main phone number and fax number have changed. We wanted to notify you so you continue to get the support you need.

Jan 30, 2023 Instructors

USEA Podcast #327: All About the Eventing Coaches Program

With the recent wrap-up of the 2023 Eventing Coaches Program (ECP) Symposium in Ocala, Florida, USEA Podcast Host Nicole Brown chats with ECP Faculty Members Jennifer Howlett Rousseau and Robin Walker about all things related to the ECP. From the USEA Eventing Handbook by the Levels to the benefits of pursuing certification, selecting the best coach for you, recapping this year's Symposium, and more - this week's USEA podcast is the perfect educational tool for coaches and riders alike!

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