Thursday, September 23, 2010

New Zealand: WEGwatch – Tuesday 21 September 2010 - Full Article

22/09/2010 4:27:53 p.m.
It is a cacophony of sight and sound at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington...and the Kiwis are right in the midst of it.
There are accents, languages, signs, flags, vehicles and more as thousands gear up for the World Equestrian Games which get underway on Sunday (25th September). Everyone has a smile on their face and welcoming words. The Kiwis are coming in from all over.
The endurance crews are settled on a farm not far from the Park and will head in to the Games stables over the next day of two. The horses all travelled well and are getting used to their new world. Equine physio Nikki Lourie spent several hours with the endurance horses yesterday and is back out there again this morning.
The endurance riders are settled in a comfy RV right at the farm and the rest of the them are sleeping marae-style in a nearby farm house.
They've become kings and queens of Wallmart, and able to spot a bargain from a mile off. A nearby cowboy boot store has a new appreciation for all things New Zealand after nearly all of them bought at least one pair of boots this week.
And they're pretty sharp at identifying the local wildlife too, with coyotes, skunks, fire flies, raccoons and more all regulars in their patch.
Eventer Clarke Johnstone travelled out with the Aussies and the UK based eventers are set to arrive later this afternoon. Watching the enormous silver trucks – each of which have to carry at least 12 horses – roll in and out of the park is something else. They're so shiny they could be used as mirrors and in a convoy look most impressive.
Showjumper Katie McVean and Dunstan Delphi have made themselves quite at home in a somewhat mobile barn right at the equestrian park. The rest of the showjumping team arrive next week.
The NZ support team have been busy making sure all the important details are seen to – like decorating the stables and ensuring there are cold drinks on hand for riders and grooms...among plenty of other things...

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