presented by Gaitpost Magazine

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Go Go Go Go Canada!

Looks like Jill’s little circles paid off. She set the time to beat in the first half today, crazy but clear in 79.66 seconds. Eric had a cheap one at the single combo 11, looked over his shoulder to confirm it was really down, and then went to Plan B: hell bent for leather. Hickstead found the next gear, and Eric still managed to post a good time even with the four second penalty for the rail. Captain Canada slithered smoothly over the course and is now sitting second. And so far we are in the lead. Wheee!

I may have nailed the jumpers so far, but sometimes I’m as bad at calling jumpers as I am racehorses. The Peruvian that looked like she might jump one jump and never get her horse to turn to the second, had only one rail today, and it wasn’t too awful. Not like a few of the other Latins, who didn’t get around at all – and this was the small course. The painful one to watch out there today was the one from El Salvador: wonderful generous horse, with the rider hanging onto its face for dear life.

The weather has gone straight downhill, and it’s not likely to get anything but poopier until we leave. Waaah! No more sandals and tank tops. Sugar Loaf looks so sad with its little hat of cloud.

Well now we know what equestrian sport really matters in South America. There are suddently closed circuit monitors in the press tribune, TV cameras everywhere, the course is decorated with some serious effort, the media work room is packed and – get ready for this – there are people in the stands!

Big thumbs down to the souvenirs at these Games. I have taken great mementos back from past Games: posters, polo shirts, even a patio umbrella from Athens. But here it’s all polyester, and very expensive. If you want one of the cute lycra Team Brazil jackets, it’ll set you back a cool 400 Real. That’s more than $200 USD. They have no stickers, no posters (though Jan and I have our eye on a lovely one on the wall in the work room but that will require a little palm greasing since technically we would be stealing it), nothing desirable, especially not the cheesy little key chains with the bloated sunshine mascot that is plastered everywhere. Not even a sticker!

Tomorrow should be very very exciting. Less than two rails separate Canada from fourth placed USA. I really like the Brazilian course designer (he did Vegas this year and in 2005). I’m sure he’ll give us a real nailbiter of a Nation’s Cup!

No comments: