I left Michigan at 5 a.m. in order to get to Lexington before 1 p.m. to pick up my media credentials. I’m very pleased to report that so far, from my limited perspective, things have gone perfectly. Directions to the media center in Lexington were great, then my hotel (which is unfortunately 30 miles south of Lexington) turned out to be better than expected. I quickly organized myself and got on the shuttle (they run every 30 minutes starting at 6 a.m. and some night until 2 a.m.!) Actually it was quite relaxing to let someone else do the driving. We were let off in the campground entrance. There were people everywhere, hundreds of them in WEG shirts indicating they were either volunteers, staff, or security.
After security checked my camera bag and asked if I was a professional photographer and I showed my media credentials, I entered the world of WEG. Many of us have been to the Kentucky Horse Park many times, but I have to say that it is a little bit disorienting this time with hundreds of tents, and other things that aren’t normally there. It just doesn’t look the same. It is hard to know where you are so you can decide how to get where you want to go. It was my great good fortune that the first friend I saw was Bill Long on a golf cart. Being smart enough to know not to turn down a ride when it is offered, Bill took me to the opposite end of the KHP to the CAA office where Linda has been helping Jill Ryder. After a nice chat, I left to wander, get my bearings and see some of the obstacles.
There are 26 drivers entered from 9 countries. The Horse Inspection is at 10 a.m. Wed., with Presentation (sponsored by the Carriage Association of America) at 2 p.m. 18 drivers have elected to participate. Judges for Presentation will be Jack Pemberton, George Bowman and Steve Holm.
After years of anticipation, sometimes with a slightly critical eye, I have to say so far I am very impressed. One really has the feeling of being at something special. It’s hard to describe, so I’ll post a few photos. I’m afraid that those who stayed home may end up being sorry. WEG is something that should be experienced.
There are many picnic tables set outside very near a huge TV screen showing – at this time – the jumping competition in the main stadium.
There is no doubt that a lot of walking is required to see everything. Unfortunately some of the demonstrations are taking place at the very opposite end from the driving stadium.
In my next post, I’ll post photos of the obstacles.