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!