Mid-WEG thoughts

Now that I’ve finished watching the eventing XC and showjumping in it’s entirety (ok, mostly, because round after round of stadium makes my eyes bleed), I have a few thoughts about WEG so far.

First, that endurance debacle was just WOW. Watching that unfold on Ahmed al Hammadi’s page was more dramatic than any soap opera you could imagine. It was just a shitshow from start to finish in every single possible way. However, I am a big fan of the meme that’s going around of the Frenchman flipping the officials the bird. It makes me chuckle.

wegmeme

After that whole thing, my hopes were not very high for the eventing. Especially with a hurricane on the way. I am not the biggest Tryon/Bellissimo fan anyway, so I didn’t have a lot of faith. I have to admit though, I think they pulled it off as well as they possibly could have. The footing ended up being excellent – even on Monday after all that rain, the stadium ring looked fantastic. The XC looked better than I thought it would, and I liked that the mistakes generally resulted in runouts and refusals rather than falls. That’s ideal. I still don’t like CMP’s tendency to make everything look like a freaking miniature golf course (bees, squirrels, turtles, waterfalls, fountains mushrooms, cantering under/through construction equipment… kinda makes me gag) but the result was a good one and I can’t begrudge him that.

I was shocked at how many problems the little waterfalls caused. Some really steady horses and veteran riders fell victim to trouble there. Wanna take bets on how many people spent the plane ride home trying to figure out how to finagle their own waterfall bank at home?

The horse that ended up jumping down into the ditch in front of the Weldons Wall – THAT IS MY NIGHTMARE.

And last but not least for the XC stuff: I was really wowed by Ingrid, Astier, and Sam Watson’s rides in particular. They’re all so smooth, so bold, so balanced, and as a result… so fast. They all did an impeccable job of just staying in the middle, keeping their leg on, and not getting in the horse’s way. No yanking, no big changes to the rhythm. It made everything look effortless and easy. I must have watched the full replay of Ingrid’s ride at least 5 times by now. It’s poetry in motion. I have always been a bit of a fangirl when it comes to Ingrid, and she did not disappoint.

Having the last rail in showjumping was a heartbreaker for Ingrid, but I like Ros Canter a lot too, so I’m not sad that she won. Her horse was jumping fantastically on Monday and Ros had ice in her veins.

I’m bummed for the US team, but not super surprised. But CAN WE TALK ABOUT JAPAN?!?!? WOW!

Watching a top level rider epically miss a distance will never stop making me feel a tiny bit better about myself, even if that makes me a bad person.

Also bummed that the dressage freestyle got cancelled, but how could you not be impressed with Isabell Werth and Bella Rose? A chestnut mare, with a French AngloArab for a damsire. How about THAT? The average blood percentage for the dressage horses is somewhere around 35%, but Bella Rose has 49%. And no Donnerhall or Rubenstein. That’s pretty rare these days!

Not to mention their all female podium – two of which were on mares. Suck on that, boys.  We were darn close to an all female podium in eventing too, until Sarah Ennis’ rail. Heh. Heheheheheh.

Image result for who run the world gif

As soon as the Games are totally done I’ll do another post about the breeding of the horses in each of the main 3 sports, along with blood percentages and all that fun stuff. For now… on to the jumping!

27 thoughts on “Mid-WEG thoughts

  1. laughing so hard at miniature golf course IT DID LOOK LIKE THAT! I didn’t watch any of it so far but am glad it went off well as it could be expected (besides endurance) and thank god the Hurricane didn’t effect it all too much and the footing held! I feel so bad for all those towns under water I can’t imagine.

    Can’t wait to read your breeding recap of it all 🙂

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  2. I was worried about XC day too and happened to sit and stream the entire thing because I wasn’t feeling well.. I was pleasantly surprised to be enjoying it the entire time and not sitting with my hands half-covering my eyes like I have for some past 4* events. It was fun to think about about the upcoming riders’ thought processes once word got around that the waterfalls made several horses lose their shit. Otherwise it was a little cutesy but I’m a dork and I liked it, haha.

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  3. Yeah. The XC course was definitely made for pictures rather than horses. BUT I would think that most eventing fans are really happy that WEG was a true eventing competition. Dressage, XC, and SJ all played significant roles in how the leaderboard turned out. The gold medalist really performed in all three phases. Also – trying to get the husband into reining… so far no luck.

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    1. I know! They were so impressive! It’s always great to see hard work pay off. Maybe we should move all our best riders to Europe for a few years and see if it makes us any better, too. 😛

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  4. Oh Ingrid. Who couldn’t have a crush on her? She rode that course like a beast. It was really impressive. And I was heartbroken when the last rail came down. She was too, but she handled it like such a pro which made me crush on her a little more..

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  5. It was great that there weren’t many falls in the XC -did you see the swiss rider..Gondel, I think? His horse went down after a jump and I was sure they’d both fall but the mare must have a few extra feet…
    I was so sad about that last jump for Klimke.. and overall a bit disappointed with everything but the dressage for the rest of the german team. But Japan rocked!!
    I am still sad about the freestyle. Would’ve loved to see Cosmo dance. Bella Rose is amazing (though I am not a fan of her trot..)..her piaffe/passage is to die for.
    Was also really impressed with Dujardin’s new horse. Freestyle went her 6th GP at the games. She will be interesting to see mature for sure!!

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    1. That stumble was at my fence I was judging! We were halfway out of our seats for sure thinking it would be a rider fall. It got the adrenaline racing but the horse worked magic. It was Robin Godel.

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  6. As someone who lives here and has a love for all NC things I LOVED the XC!! I know it looks like a put put course but almost all the jumps had a NC theme and that kinda made me happy 🙂 The honeybee is the state insect, box turtles are EVERYWHERE (can’t even tell you how many I have helped cross the road!), the little Chimney Rock which looked pretty damn close to the real thing, and this part of the state is known for its waterfalls so even that jump paid homage to our lovely little state. Honestly I hope I can get my act together and write a post about all the NC themes out there on the XC course. I was out there watching it person and the atmosphere was electric and everyone was buzzing around with excitement. I don’t love all the things Bellissimo has done to our area and certainly there are plenty of rumors going around about him and his business practices, but it really has been endless fun seeing famous people eating at the same restaurant that you’ve been eating at since you were 10 and walking around your tiny town and staying at friends’ airb&b or inn. This is something the Tryon area will be talking (and laughing) about for years to come!

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    1. Yeah I understood what they were going for with the course, which is cool in a way. I just don’t like designing fences for people (and pictures) and hoping they make sense and read well to the horses, rather than building fences to the horses first and foremost. But that’s the style at a lot of places now, with a lot of designers, so I guess the horses are accustomed to it at this point. My preferred style is just a little more natural looking, back to our roots!

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  7. Literally Lol’d that you hate watching stadium rounds. As a jumper, that’s about all I do. Love watching the dressage, LOVE the cross-country, but I’m a lean, mean, stadium-studying machine.

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  8. Bella Rose gives me so much hope for my TBs in dressage. ❤

    Also, the waterfalls seemed overall like a spooky AF question. The lines of jumps behind them, the proximity of the crowd to the narrow chute around them … just overall not clear to the horses and a hard mental question. That said, I have to say Colleen Loach's ride was so fun to watch. Someone said it made WEG look like a pony club rally ride, and I have to agree 100%. It might not have been the fastest or the most technically correct, but damn if they didn't just look like they were having super confidence-inspiring fun out there.

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  9. It was my understanding that the course was designed to pull in different elements of the state of NC. So beekeeping, mushroom hunting, obviously the skeet shooting/rifle range, whiskey still, bird watching etc. The weldon’s wall had reenactors in garb stationed off to the side who were playing music.

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  10. Totally a putt-putt course… but I kinda like the turtles.
    I haven’t been able to watch cause I’m cheap. But I’ve been following all the drama on the Facebook. I have to agree with you. I know a lot of people are pissed, but given the short amount of time and a freaking hurricane, I think they really did a pretty great job with the venue. (Exception: the initial groom’s housing. That was an atrocity.) It’s hugely disappointing to have things canceled, but sometimes these things happen. People were really upset about the freestyle being canceled rather than moved to Monday, but flights were scheduled and show jumping horses needed the stalls who were also already scheduled for arrival. Things happen. I am a little unclear though, why it would be so hard to move it indoors. I would think it’s pretty quick to build a dressage arena. Unless the footing hasn’t been kept up or something.

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    1. The footing in the indoor was set up for reining, so they would have had to change it out. Which they talked about doing overnight, but several of the riders said they wouldn’t show on it unless they could school on it first, so at that point it really became impossible to schedule.

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  11. There was an event years ago with a waterfall jump. It was a series of 3 pools of water with 2 banks between them and water running down the banks. Horses jumped from water to water up the waterfall banks. I don’t know if it was at the Olympics or Rolex or what; I just remember watching it at Dover one time when they had the TV on playing old eventing footage. It was such a cool idea for a jump and I’ve never seen anything like it since. I’d love to try jumping something like that.

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  12. We were at the WEG for the week of show jumping and walked out to the spot on the xcountry course during driving marathon to see the waterfall jumps in real life (my bestie evented until she was in college). They had an obstacle for driving at the same spot. Those waterfalls were pretty skinny and I think with the crowds to the side of them, the spooky/weird sailboats they had to jump first and then all the jumps after, I can see why they would be distracted and spooked. But damn, that footing was SO GOOD!.

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