Friday, September 14, 2007

Portugal - Ride Day 2007!!

Merri Melde

Whereas yesterday's atmostphere seemed to me to be somewhat relaxed for what I expected a European Championship to be, today it was intense, especially in the crewing area. Coming into the vet gates, it was like Indy 500 pitstops. Immediately as the horse crossed the line to stop the timer, people swarmed the horse to each do their specific job: one to grab the horse and remove the bridle, two - one on each side - to remove the saddle, one to throw water between the legs, two on each side to sponge the neck, two more on each side to pour buckets of water on the the horse, one to take the pulse, the whole crew and horse moving as one multi-legged organism toward the set-up water buckets for that horse, or moving toward the vet in gate.
Turning the corner for home, Vega and Prince Ahmed kicked into a sprint - but the race was over as soon as it started. The Prince's horse stumbled right away and he fell out of the race-in. However, I think Shaikh Ahmed's horse faked a stumble on purpose so he wouldn't have to race this little Rayito, because he knew there was going to be no catching him.
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