Thursday, 30 September 2010

All home....

Just got home after fetching Java from Parkers in Folkstone. Long day though! She is now tucked up in lots of big rugs in her field. I was going to leave her in tonight as it was dark when we got home but she had other ideas. Bless her she was soooo desperate to get outside! Jazz was also very pleased to see her and they had a little chat over the gate!
All personel de Broughton arrived home yesterday after a long flight from Kentucky. Re-united with Jack who I think may have missed us a little!!!!!!!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Leaving on a jet plane.......

Well, that was an experience! I bring my slightly belated posting from Cincinatti airport awaiting our flight to Philidelphia.
What a result! Although we did not get the medal we all worked so hard for we challenged the rest of the world from the onset. At VG 3 we were in bronze medal position by 20 mins and looking good. Haszar leading the british contingent closely followed by Midday, Naz and  then Java at the rear with Winston and Sarah just behind us as the individual. The atmosphere was electric, luckily without the lightening. Starting in the light I feel caused a few problems in the fact that with such an open area it was very difficult to get Java settled and she continued like this for 90km!!!!!! The shouting and cheering and waving flags added drama to the start as the shoot across the start line was fairly narrow, but we got out safe and sound and went on our way. Riding through some amazing properties and studs, locals celebrated our presence with garden and terrace parties drinking bucks fizz and eating lavish food. I attempted on several occassions to acquire these treats but travelling at over 20kph through their gardens made it rather difficult!
The twists and turns and the continuous change of direction paid its toll on little Java by the 4th loop slowing her pace down dramatically but Ros was getting stronger and stronger and climbing up the placings so we became the back up plan. We maintained a pace and continued with fair presentation times and with no worries as far as Java was concerned so we plugged away at the task in hand. However, news came to me as I entered the 5th and final Vet Gate that Naz had been pulled on her re-check prior to leaving onto the final 18km loop. So after a good rest and some nosh Java was taken for her re-check and passing with A's we left the VG with new found aggression and cantered of into the dark. By now it was later than I had anticipated but there was still a race to finish. Java found a new lease of life and sailed around the last loop in 1hr and 20mins picking up and passing horses along the way. Calculating that we would be much longer we took the whole of the supporting TeamGBR and crews by complete surprise who were luckily sat at the finish but had just started a rendition of the 12 days of Christmas counting down the km's. She thundered across the finish line taking my breath away at how she had brought us both home in such a strong way. We presented in a few minutes again with A's across the board.
So now waiting to be transported back to the big bird which will take them and us across the big pond we can all come home with our heads held high. Getting 4 out of 5 horses and riders home, Christine 31st, David 35th, we were 40th and Sarah doing a fantastic job finishing 43rd.
I will continue to write about the events and the whole WEG experience when I get home for you all to read but for the time being Thank You to everyone who helped us get here, supported us and thought about us. I have to leave now, on a jet plane.......... or at least I hope its a jet plane!    

Saturday, 25 September 2010

This is it!!!!!!!

The team is set and ready to go. All horses past vetting today with flying colours and the team of four is:
Me and Java
Ros Jackson and Naz
Chris and Midday
David and Haszar
Sarah and Winston

The weather has finally cooled down today and is supposed to be slightly cooler tomorrow. We have recieved our crewing vehicles curtosy of Land Rover.
So at 12.30pm GMT (25th) we will be underway and you can catch the race on tracker via which I have also put into the links page.
Java is set and ready for the off after a quiet day today. We plan to walk to the start at around 6.45am (11.45GMT) to the warm up area. There is quite a long walk to the start from the stables.
There is not really much more to say other than Thank you for all your messages over the past few days wishing us all Good Luck, and hopefully we can relay some good news tomorrow but you will have to stay up late!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, 24 September 2010

Kick off tomorrow...

...or today by the time most of you read this!
Final preparations are well underway now with the vet gate set up, staking our claim on our piece of Kentucky- low betide anyone who comes near. Our land being protected by a rota of team members throughout the day we maintained our position to the left of the pre-vet area mid-way between the time in gate and the vet in gate. It has been clarified today that we are using the HR monitor system for the first heart rate and sethoscope method for the rideway test HR. The FEI staff are being very strict and have made it very clear that there is no room for unfair play and that if we should do so a yellow card will be issued and will be followed by a red if unfair play continues. This should mean- and I quote- that 'everyone will be on an equal playing field'
Riders will carry GPS tracking devices to allow spectators and home viewers to locate us during the race so tomorrow we will be given the link and I shall place it on here for you.
So vetting will commence at 9am here- 2pm GMT, and the team have to be declared at 1pm here- 6pm GMT. For vetting we shall be wearing our formal Team GBR uniforms, and horses wearing their Team GBR Thermatex, sponsored by Thermatex. Bridles have been sponsored by Zoe Lindopp and all look very smart. Team GBR Range Rovers are being sponsored by Landrover and we will get ours in the morning ready to load up for the crewing out on course.
Mixed emotions have run through the camp today when the hardest thing any rider has to deal with was brought to ahead. We unfortnately had a horse pulled from the team today. Roxanne ridden by Janice Cockley Adams was not quite right this morning and the managment made the very difficult decision to replace her with the Team rider Sarah Rogerson and local horse owned and trained by Stagg and Cheryl Newman. So whilst we all feel for Janice and her crew we welcome Sarah and hers. The main is to keep focused on the job in hand although very difficult.
The rain finally came today and boy we got soaked. After uncovering a natural spring in one of our store stables we decided that hopefully its good luck. Water appeared during the rain shower and made its way like a torrent into the centre of the stables and was redirected by us towards Sweden. The only problem was it kept coming and coming. So after invetigation in Spain, who backs onto us, it was discovered that the water was mysteriously coming up from the ground. I am not sure how the story finishes as I left but last I knew it was still gushing into Sweden and out the other side!
We have now moved into the team hotel down in Gerogetown and remain here until our departure date so are now much closer to the Horse Park, although the shuttle buses are on time and the drivers are very helpful.
The press are now straing to appear with radio interviews today- BBC Radio Nottingham which should be transmitted during Saturday 24th so any of you in Nottinghamshire, keep your ears pealed!!!!!!
So I will retire to my comfy bed and prepare to dress up in the morning. Night Night and keep your eye out for the link to the tracking website being provided by Raddery.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Harvest Moon!

Today is the first full day of the 'Fall' and tonight we watched the harvest moon rise over the Horse Park. The weather has still remained in the mid 90's but the forecast and locals still inform us that it is going to break and by Sunday we shall have showers and highs of mid 70's. I shall not hold my breath though- it has supposed to have been breaking for three days now but no sight of it yet. There are so many forecasts for Sunday from showers and in the 70's to haevy rain for the duration and in the 60's, so who knows- the big man upstairs I guess!!!!!!
I apologise for not updating yesterday but I my computer decided that it did not like any of the networks available here and it wanted to sleep instead but here we are today!
A busy day for Java saw her new go faster tyres fitted (new shoes) so now we have maximum grip on this dry hard going, with provisions for the flooding if it should occur! I was told today by a local that if we have thunder and lightning the race will be stopped immediately- well I shan't argue with that- the reasoning, that so many people have been fatally hit by lightening!!!!! So lets hope we just have showers... Gavin is here also so he set straight to work with the horses too.
Java worked well today, cruising around the training track in the heat of the day, dodging around the Cross Country fences that keep appearing in all sorts of places.
The TV helicopter was also buzzing around most of the day, which makes it all so much more real!

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

All Go.......

The Kentucky Horse Park is a hive of activity, buildings appearing in front of our eyes, trucks coming in and out with supplies, and people buzzing around everywhere playing their part in the set up of this magnificent event. It is the most incredible place and with only a few days to go before the Games open, everyone is busy going about their daily routines whether it be competitors, volunteers or the great workforce preparing the site.
'Lock Down' tomorrow means that security becomes amazingly tight with no access for vehicles unless part of the organising team, so tomorrow is the first day of Team GBR shuttle transport from the hotel.
Rachel and Sarah have now arrived along with other crew members and Rob Jackson, getting here tonight after their long flight from Heathrow. Tomorrow sees Kelvin and Gavin arrive along with Annabelle.
Java is in fine spirits but the temperature is still upto 35 degrees, however tomorrow is supposed to bring thunder storms- I think I may sit in car all day after last years run in with the electricity from the sky and a copper drain pipe!!!!!!!!!!! As the guys back home know- I dont do thunder storms!!!!!!!!!
Everyone here ie the locals are fantasic and can not do enough for us constantly telling us how amazing it is that we have chosen their home town for this world class event.
It is also fantastic being part of TeamGBR. The support we have out here is incredible. Chef de Mission, Will Connell works so hard supported by his team and the Team GBR atmosphere is electric. Every day we are sent an update and sayings for the day, information of who is arriving and a medal tally- hopefully we will be the first to add to that!!!!!!
Stepping up the training pace today meant we did some canter work around the steeplchase course. The training track is fairly limited but adequate.
Anyway must go, I have homework to do!

Monday, 20 September 2010

Riding at last!

The horses have now been with us for 48 hours and are all very well. There are no turn out factilities as it would be logistically impossible but between the riding work and walking out in hand they are out the stables for the majority of the daytime. All the horses are good and being ridden stepping up the pace today and again tomorrow. It is incredibly  hot during the day and drops quite cold at night. In fact I sat outside the stables today and thought that this could be the hottest place I have been to compete, including the desert! It is not an unpleasant heat but boy is it hot. Kentucky has had an unusually dry, hot summer this year but I believe it is due to break over the next day or two and drop to highs of 29 degrees and lows of 17 degrees.
We have a training loop  which is approximately 10kms and a lolly-pop route out through the back of the main area with the ground mainly grass- well we are in Blue Grass country!
The dressage horses are here and training and they are amazing. Mind you when we meet on the track the ginormous , majestic steeds look at our tiny colourful athletes with a look of bemusement- it is quite funny!
So all is well and preparation is coming along. Everyone is in good spirits and the race is now creeping up on us.