Mary Kathryn Clark (USA)
Arrived in Abu Dhabi today. All US horses travelled very well and look great.
Kyle Gibbon (USA)
Several members of our team have landed in Abu Dhabi today. My 6 hour layover in Amsterdam turned out to be wonderful.
Melody Blittersdorf and I met up and took a train down town and did some sightseeing. It was very early in the morning and was also a Sunday, so nothing really open yet. I think Melody has a short video to share. We did come across one little bakery that was open and had the ovens running. We sat down and enjoyed a nice Dutch latte and a traditional Christmas pastry called "oliebol".
Our tour was short and dark but we got to see some beautiful architecture iluminated with Christmas lights. Surprisingly, it was still quite dark at 9:00 a.m. After some racing around to locate the right train to get back to the airport in time, and running up escalators going in the opposite direction, we had some good exercise. I must say that most of the Dutch people seem so very tall, but everyone was so helpful and the nicest
Kelly Kimbler and Kelsey Kimbler were also reunited with us in Amsterdam and flew together the final 6.5 hour leg to Abu Dhabi. The Canadian Chef d'Equipe was also with us. A few of Spain's young riders were also on our flight.
At the hotel we had dinner with Cheryl Van Deusen, Mary Katherine Clark, Lori Shifflett, and met up with Emmett and John Crandell as well. The Mafraq hotel is very nice and the food delicious. I ordered the Morrocan Braized chicken with dates and cinnamon sticks.
News is the horses are all looking wonderful. Can't wait to go to the barns in the AM. Barns open up at 8:00 AM and are a brief 20 minute drive away. 12:17 AM here, good night!
Kelly Kimbler (USA)
We are here! This beautiful tile work ceiling greeted us as we got off the airplane. We have checked into our room and the horses are checked into their stalls.
Glen Sinclair (Canada)
Well I got here last night and Summer this morning and hopefully the rest of the team and my luggage will also get here this evening. Nothing like 2 days of travelling followed by a day in the desert without a change of clothes..lets change the subject.
The mare is amazing! We did bloodwork upon arrival and she looks ready to race and the rest of her physical exam is remarkable. I was going to g...ive her "rehydration therapy" supplied by the treatment vet and he said to me that he would not give her fluids as she is obviously adapting and that we might in fact interfere with the process.
That and combined with the fact that our 4 tentmates from the US were about to go for a handwalk leaving her alone changed my plans as we are only allowed in the quarantine area from 8-noon and 2-6 so there was yet another reason to hold off.
After she dragged me around the desert in front of the US horses and handlers she had a good roll in the sand paddock behind the tent and then seemed back to her quiet content self.
Its great sharing the space with the US as they are so quick to offer assistance and materials if we are in need of anything and after a few years of being together at competitions we are becoming friends
Apart from that the driving here is good for the producers of Zantac and I think that I made enough mistakes today that the rest of the stay will benefit from this experience.....so many off ramps and options with so little time to choose especially when driving solo without a GPS or back-seat driver (that will change when Maura gets here) *S*
There are hundreds of camels training in some of the same areas as our training areas are and tonight they were out in throngs...some jogging some camelled(ponied) some with heavy blankets on some with muzzles and often one big one being ridden witha bunch of small ones in tow..I think they must race them young like TBs hope to check out the Camel racetrack as well as a million other things this week.
In any case so far we are in good shape with our equine competitor and after the the other team members get here and get a couple of days to adjust we should be in good shape...unless of course my luggage does not arrive.
Hoping to pass this journalistic baton to somebody else tomorrow and I apologize for any errors as I am too tired to go over it.
Best wishes to all!
Maura Leahy (Canada)
I arrived at 8pm this evening (well last evening) and was picked up along with the others that were expected at the same time - thanks Glenn for paving the way. Met up with Kelly, Kelsey, Kyle and Melodie in the Amsterdam airport, was great to see some familiar faces.
Was unpacking when i got the panicked email from Tara, she couldn't find their visa's - thank goodness for ipads and technology..., she was able to email the visas to the transfer station desk and they were able to print them - problem solved!! Apparently it is a $10,000 fine for the airline for having a passenger without a visa. The first time somebody wanted to see my visa was when i got to Abu Dhabi. Zulu the TD was in the loby when i went downstairs so hitched a ride to the airport - all was well they were abe to print copies and got a story to telleveryone about :)
At the moment only 2 people allowed in the barn at one time, this will apparently changing tommorw and thoes with accreditation will be alllowed into the barn starting tomorrow.
The journey is now in full swing
Ariel MacLeod (Canada)
We are finally in Abu Dhabi. And although it's 2:30 in the morning here Joan mom and I are bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to go see miss summy in a few hours!
Lientjie de Wit (Netherlands)
oooo it's our last night in Dubai.....it was so nice...going to Abu Dhabi 2morrow....and then....it will be horses morning noon and night.....
Further updates will be updated! at
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