After flying back and forth to Wellington, Florida every other week for the last 6 weeks, I am home (just in time for all this snow)! Many would be exhausted, terrified, or maybe, like me, excited by the idea of so many plane trips. I wracked up quite a bit of TrueBlue points on JetBlue and met some pretty interesting people (sitting in the middle seat for 5 of the 6 flights). Would I do it all over again? Immediately!
The majority of this season at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center was spent at The Stadium covering the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. My only experience with Dressage was watching it once at the 2004 Olympics in Greece (tough place to watch, I know). I was really looking forward to expanding my equestrian discipline knowledge. And boy did I! I was immersed with the best of the best. Former Olympians, World, International and National Champions, as well as some of the best locals on the circuit. Those that won many of the classes were David Marcus of Canada, Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven of Sweeden and Christilot Boylen of Canada. A video of me interviewing Christilot can be seen here .
The last week I spent more in my comfort zone. I was back at the International Arena around the Show Jumpers. While there were many exciting classes the whole week, the highlight was the G & C Farm Nations Cup on March 1. It is the only Nations Cup class held in the United States! Seven countries were represented: United States, Canada, Mexico, Ireland, Columbia, Venezuela, and Germany. See an animated course walk here . The United States won! Being on home turf made it especially exciting.
On Saturday was the retirement ceremony of the Chef d'Equipe (coach), George Morris. George has been the Chef since 2005. His knowledge and coaching is highly regarded.
On Sunday, was the $150,000 Grand Prix class and the winner won by .01 seconds! Not only was he lighting fast, but the top 5 riders were within 1 second of each other. That is quite remarkable!
Tomorrow night at 7pm (March 9) the USEF Network will be live streaming the $300,000 Bainbridge Grand Prix which is the last World Cup qualifier on the East Coast before the World Cup in Gothenburg, Sweden at the end of April. The show promises to be quite exciting! Watch it here . In addition to that, USEF will be live streaming future Grand Prixes on March 16, 23, 24 (1pm) and 30. I strongly urge you to check them out!
I thoroughly enjoyed my time and can't wait to go back next year!