Wednesday, 29 August 2012

It's nearly underway.......

The pressure is beginning to crank up. All horses passed the Horse Inspection and as I “blog” the draws are being done to determine the order of starting. Trays full of ping pong balls were spotted earlier in the week....high tech stuff these draws.  

The Team of four has been announced; Sophie Christiansen, Lee Pearson, Deborah Criddle and Sophie Wells. They will compete for Team and Individual honours and of course Natasha Baker will be aiming to land medals in the Individual competitions. I am sure Natasha would love to be in the Team – there cannot be many countries that can leave a reigning European Champion out of the Team. The Team carry a heavy burden; undefeated since equestrian entered the Paralympic Games in 1996. I wonder what other undefeated Teams there are in the UK; eek that’s pressure!

I thought I would have one last wander around areas I will not be able to access during competition; or perhaps should not access at all!
The BOSS of the Field of Play, Simon Wingnut Garrett

Angie Murray with one of her creations
It is a shame that not all the Para-Equestrian Dressage will be shown live on TV; I guess cost is the driver. The compound that housed all of the broadcast trucks during the Olympics is nearly empty and much of the miles and miles of TV cabling that hung on the fence has now gone.

The Opening Ceremony is tonight; only one athlete going but there is a starring role for a certain member of the equestrian team – I am not sure when this will be loaded on to the web so I am sworn to secrecy.....but watch!

Competition starts tomorrow and I am off to organise a little get together in the hotel for all of us that are not going to the Ceremony. It is difficult to define how I feel; it is very challenging to try to assess what other Nations have in their arsenal – there are not many International Para-Equestrian Dressage competitions and so we do not see all of the Teams together very often. Watching horses training there is certainly a number of very classy horses ready to take to the Field of Play. I am of course aware that there are huge expectations and I suspect the margins between success and disappointment will be very very small. We have an outstanding group of athletes and horses supported by talented and dedicated staff and grooms. I guess....I feel like....let battle begin!

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