Saturday, April 23, 2011

Badminton Catch Up

(Selena O'Hanlon and Colombo, who have got to be one of my favorite pairs out there, looking absolutely joyous)

My deepest apologies for being so quiet of late; it's been a total whirlwind and I've barely been able to get my photos into Emily for the USEA website (if you get a chance, check it out! my photos are over in the blog section on the left-hand side) before I've literally crashed from exhaustion. I've already got hundreds of photos taken that I'm attempting to sort through, so I apologize in advance if I've overlooked some details. Up today: The Jog! Or as they call it here in the UK, the "Trot Up:"

(Nicola Wilson and Opposition Buzz, one of my favorite pairs from WEG last year)

(2010 Burghley champion Lenamore - another one of my all-time faves)

(William Fox-Pitt looking cool and semi-godlike as usual)

Just as a general statement, the horses all looked fresh, fit, and absolutely wonderful, and it was a treat to get to watch all 84 pass with flying colors.

(Mark Kyle's Step in Time has a great face - so cheeky looking!)

(Harry Meade is a good looking man... even if I did catch him at a slightly awkward moment here!)

I though the Americans and Canadians looked amazing and totally up for the challenge. It's been interesting to talk to the other journalists here, who all seem to think of the Americans and Canadians as sort of fun novelty entries, I think some of our riders have a real chance to shine.

(Hawley and Ginny, looking adorable as always)

(Reggie looking awful handsome)

(Buck looked quite professional... though he did wear red and yellow spotted socks!)

(The Good Witch is ├╝ber cute)

(What a great pair they make)

(Stephanie Rhodes-Bosch and Ollie looking cool and professional)

(Karen O'Connor and Mandiba (AKA "The Heartbreaker"), who's not my favorite horse but who, as a good red-blooded American, I'll definitely be cheering for this weekend)

It is definitely sobering to see the sheer number of four star horses in Britain, many of them piloted by riders whose names are totally foreign to (even fairly well-researched) American ears like mine. And then to imagine the dozens of horses that didn't clear the wait list! There truly is nothing like this in the US.

(Portersize Just a Jiff - 15hh and THE CUTEST THING ON THIS PLANET - gimme gimme gimme)

(Lucinda Fredericks and another spitfire mare - though this one's not quite as cute as Headley Britannia)

(Izzy Taylor looking nervous but ready with her classically beautiful Briarlands Matilda)

I though in general the outfits were very tasteful (none of the moth-eaten christmas sweaters that seem to inevitably, inexplicably, show up at most major American jogs), though there were a few girls who definitely flirted with possibly inappropriate hemlines and possibly inappropriate footwear (and one girl who did both!).


The horses were unreal, and I was reminded anew of how beautiful these creatures truly are. Each one glowed with a firey intelligence and exuded the sort of grace, power, and cat-like quickness that makes them such incredible athletes (and some of them did a bit more than exude, showing off some seriously impressive explosions on the return down the lane!).

(Andreas Ostholt looking SEXY in his air force uniform)

(Duarte Seabra and Fernhill Gloster Rebel, yet another fab Carol Gee horse)

(Ashdale Cruise Master looking so sweet)

I was unbelievably tired by the end of the jogs, having spent all morning and day in nonstop, high stress packing and transit to get there (and spending farrrr too much time slinging and unslinging my ridiculously heavy pack on and off my back), and so wandered back to the media centre in a daze, edited a tiny handful of the 500+ photos I took, and then trudged back to my campsite to set up and pass out. I realized as I sat down to prepare dinner that I'd forgotten all forms of cutlery, which made cutting tomatoes and cheese, spreading pesto, and opening the baguette I'd brought significantly more difficult. But, mostly because I have the culinary refinement of a caveman, I made it work.

(Elektron nearly got away from Nick Gauntlett a few times! He rode my favorite horse at Badders last year, a little black mare named Chapel Amble, but I think he sold he on)

Next up, The first day of dressage!!


jenj said...

Fantastic pics, thanks for sharing!

As for the culinary refinements of a caveman... I once opened a bottle of wine with a screwdriver. 'Nuff said. :)

Suzanne said...

LOVE THIS! The Trot Up/Jog is one of my most favorite places to be... beautiful horses and their humans... well turned out... perfect!

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