It’s raining for the start of Preliminary and Intermediate dressage, but the good news is that it has almost stopped (11 a.m.) and we hope that will be all the rain for the weekend. It is supposed to get windy which will dry up the ground some for tomorrow.
Richard Nicoll took some members of the media (including me!) on a short course walk. He talked about what will stay the same and what will be different for next year. While at first, obstacles seem far away from each other, in reality, 2 are grouped together, as are two others and then the other 4 are in a line kind of behind the dressage/cones arena. Richard said he chose the sites for their geography – many are set so spectators can view them from a hillside. If he had grouped them all together he said, they would all be in a flat area and not as interesting. Each will be totally different in design, construction and decoration to encourage spectators to go to all of them during the day.
Spectators should be prepared to walk a fair distance, even though shuttle service will be available. I understand they have hired the company that moves people around for events like the Super Bowl, so it won’t be an amateur undertaking.
Doing these test events are great as they enable the organizers and course designers to see what works and what needs tweaking. So from their point of view, they don’t mind the rain because they can see what problems it causes that they can fix before next year.
Some of the obstacles will be totally rebuilt but using the materials and elements that are already being used this year.