Yes, my bloggin friends back home...today, on the final day of competition, disaster struck. Security got beefed up a bit and, opposite of every other day this week, THEY TOOK AWAY MY DIET COKE AT THE SECURITY CHECKPOINT. Can you believe them...I called in and told them the show would not go on......somehow that got lost in the translation, and my cans of lifeblood were taken away.......needless to say,,,,I ,,,,,was......rather,,,,,,decaffeinated.....and.....well.....not able to keep focused.....and.....where was I now again?
The sun came out today for the first time!! We really believed it was just a Chinese sky painting tho, until we actually went outside into it and WHAM!! Folks, let me tell you , no one has experienced humidity until you get here on a hot , sunny day. Whew......you just start dripping going out the door of the hotel. I finally got some pics of a nice day and the arena at night when we actually did the show jumping. The course as you can see was beautifully decorated and looked great. A nice crowd was on hand to watch all the riders. The local (national) riders went first and handled the course pretty well. Couple of rails and one horse had two refusals (and was eliminated). Best was the rider on a very green (inexperienced, for you golf guys) horse who flew around the course and one strided the two -stride in and out!! Didn't have any time faults either!
The international group went last and we started them about 8:30pm...they wanted to go at the same time as the Olympians will next summer. It looks really great under the lights and the horses all took to it well. Our US riders had and up/down kind of night: Buck D had two double clear rounds on his horse , and poor Laine crashed into the first, had a couple of additional rails, but came back in the second round (after getting the honor of walking the course with George Morris (the show jumping guru, for you golf guys) and almost went clear, but dropped only one.
The Germans took the night and the Aussie was third. One of the German riders is in the military and he of course wore his uniform which is really impressive. When the German anthem was played and he is saluting the flag from the podium, well, that's what it is all about, let me tell you. I only wish we had an officer or military rider for the US..it looks terrific. The presentation of the medals was Olympic calibre, with Chinese dancers in beautiful costumes, red carpets laid out everywhere , and the president of the FEI, the Princess Haya , all decked out in a fantastic green dress, which made her really shine. Top level Chinese govt officials, Bejjing dignitaries, and Olympic VIP's really made it special. I think they are all ready and after talking to many of the workers, the experienced FEI olympic staff members, and some of the organizers, I think everyone is very proud of the week here. We are all ready to come home tho...it has been a very long week. Nonetheless, I think next summer will be very special for the Chinese and, being the very proud people they are, they have stepped up to the plate, and have hit a much more important home run here ,than Barry Bonds did in San Fran., and are full of smiles and congratulations.
Just to cap off the week here (Tues 8am): it is raining again..............SO WITH MY COKE LIGHT IN HAND HERE IN THE HOTEL, I will sign off till I get back. It has been fun writing to y'all and I will be home on Wed night. Mr. Morra, my phone number is 703-980-3426....use it! To all my golf buds....I found out that the membership to the Hong Kong Golf course, on which the cross country course is set, starts at $1 million US, and that is just the wait list. Greens fees for guests....$2000.00. I think I will save up and just raise our golf wagers from a $2 nassau to $5...any takers? Bring it on!!!
See y'all soon,