My journey to the World Equestrian Games last fall was the trip of a lifetime and it may take me a lifetime to tell all the stories. (Especially since I can't find the day sheets or the cross-country booklet telling all about the jumps and identifying the riders. I really must get organized.) Although our primary focus was dressage, on our last day there, Ruth and I watched the cross-country portion of eventing. Wow!
I am now happily reliving that day through DVDs that finally arrived at the end of the year. It is fun to see the entire ride of Ingrid Klimke, daughter of dressage great Dr. Reiner Klimke. Friend Ruth and I watched Ingrid as she zoomed past us where we were stationed on the course and, even in that short space of time, were impressed with how "on the aids" her horse was, particularly in comparison to some (most) of the others. In the DVD, it is even more apparent that she and her horse were dressage trained. (No photos of Ingrid here, although there is one on my facebook photo page.)
All the horses and riders were pretty amazing, jumping 4 foot high and 5 feet wide jumps, some through water, some across corners, all impossible as far as I was concerned. Yet horses and riders flew around the nearly 4 mile course with very few refusals and even fewer falls.
Someday I will find all the information and be able to write intelligently. Meanwhile, here is a good article on the course: http://www.kentucky.com/2010/10/02/1459838/riders-face-a-demanding-cross.html#more.
Mostly, I took pictures of a horse's tail just after it had landed, or the jump with no horse in sight. But, occasionally, I got lucky. For many more photos than are on this blog, go to my public facebook cross-country photo page. http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2064108&id=1370703779&l=1cec37d591 I had not yet lost my day sheets, etc., when I posted those photos on facebook, so jumps and riders are identified.
As much as I appreciate dressage, I really love to jump and so does my horse, Mr. Smith. Watching this cross-country course at WEG made me want to try a little cross-country myself... maybe half as high and wide as these jumps... but a little more interesting than the white pvc pipe rails I have set up in our arboretum.
I didn't get a good picture of a horse going over these obstacles in the "Solato Wildlife Center" (all the jumps had intriguing names), but get over them they did... first the fish, then that gigantic kingfisher. Now those are interesting jumps!