October has come and gone--and just where did it go? I look out my office window to turning leaves, slow, steady rain, and a cool breeze.
Of course, I can really count the days--they've been spent at our Kentucky Cup Driving and Kentucky Cup Endurance test events! These were a dramatic change from our first two test events. We left the comfortable, climate-controlled confines of the Kentucky Horse Park's Indoor Arena used for Kentucky Cup Reining and Vaulting, and were quite literally thrown to the elements!
These outdoor test events proved to be incredible learning experiences for our team and our preparations. For one, you certainly can't control Mother Nature! Kentucky Cup Driving was held with a little rain for Dressage, but a gorgeous Marathon day. However...
For those of you who attended Kentucky Cup Endurance, I must say hands down that you are true supporters of the 2010 Games AND of Equestrian sport. Those athletes are some of the toughest ever as well--even with the race shortened due to the weather. Temperatures plummetted to the low 40's with an onslaught of rain, leaving our entire competition venue--and anyone there--covered in a layer of wet, sticky mud. But the show must go on! We endured Kentucky Cup Endurance, and managed to enjoy some of it! It was definitely a challenge, and our staff took away some prized lessons to add to our planning.
Among some serious discussions, here's some lessons I learned:
1. I must buy new rain boots and keep a rain suit with me at all times in 2010.
2. Lap-top computers are wonderful... until you risk carrying them across a muddy, wet field.
3. Golf carts do not drive well in mud and ruin polo fields at the Kentucky Horse Park.
4. Copies of results cannot be read if they are dropped in the mud first.
5. Rain + mud + a 75-mile race = COLD.
Sensing a theme here?
With our final test events over for the year, our staff is taking a good, hard look at where we are. We're gearing up--we want to hit the beginning of 2010 knowing exactly what we have to accomplish in the final nine months so that everyone has a great experience starting on September 25, 2010.
In the meantime, our Competition Equipment Coordinator, Susan Reynolds will be blogging for us Monday while she is on the Road with our title sponsor Alltech. They are visiting Middleburg, VA and Southern Pines, NC to tell the story of the Games. Come back and find out how their trip goes!