The first part of our road to WEG.... Rachel and I drove Panta across the channel (via the ferry of course!) and on to Liege Airport for the first leg of our journey to North Carolina and the World Equestrian Games!! Panta travelled really well just as expected - stabled over night at the airport with the other horses travelling on his flight - and the next morning boarded his plane like a seasoned pro heading to the USA!! The whole procedure took a fair time and we were pleased that he was one of the last few horses to be loaded into the crates for the plane. The groom for his travelling companion was going to be on the flight so I knew he would be especially well looked after. I flew out the next day and made it to the opening ceremony in the nick of time thanks to Clive Milkins and the Canadian team giving me a lift from Charlotte airport to TIEC.... changed in the car and carried the USVI flag proudly at the opening ceremony!! Phew.. we'd made it!!
Once at WEG there was lots to see... we managed to watch top dressage riders vying for medals, the reining "bipolar ponies" (apologies - inside joke...) eventing dressage & cross country, still maintaining our planned training schedule which was kept light in view of the travel etc. Meanwhile the weather was becoming a talking point and we were being kept advised of...a hurricane no less ... by an excruciating alert coming through my phone through the GPS minute by minute!! Ear shattering - and only added to the heightening concern. (Unbelievably I had the same thing here on Saturday morning in Redhill albeit not about a hurricane!!
No one knew exactly how bad it would be so Angela slept in the stable next to Panta which was doubling as our tack/feed room. Many of the grooms did the same, including Canada and GB who shared our barn. The next day was very wet - the fragile, newly laid infrastructure didn't cope entirely but on the whole it was not as bad as everyone expected... the sandbags at the entrance to the barns had helped!
A lot of rain was forecast and the organisers took the decision to cancel the competitions on the Sunday. The eventing show jumping could be moved to the Monday - originally a rest day for all - but sadly the dressage freestyle was cancelled altogether as the horses were flying back to Europe on Monday. I can't imagine how disappointing that was for all concerned especially when the rain in the end was no worse than an average July downpour in England. Still - once they had made the decision it had to stand....