It’s been a few years since I’ve been at the Gayla Bluegrass CDE. I was here when Gail Austin and Debbie and Dana Banfield first established the Gayla Driving Center here, and the place just gets more beautiful and established every year. And of course the event is beautifully organized. Some people are born organizers, and Debbie Banfield is one of them.
Like much of the country, rain has plagued those trying to get a marathon course ready, but the Gayla people have had a lot of experience with rain at their events, so everything is ready for the 8:30 a.m. start today. The sun is shining, the temperatures are expected to be in the mid 80s, with possible thunderstorms later.
Being a gardener, I have always loved the daylilies and iris planted in clumps around the dressage arena. I especially love the land bridge near the cones course, and the gazebo for the judges, both planted with colorful shrubbery – the perfect photo op. The land bridge is not part of the cones course, but will be on the marathon track tomorrow.
Fifty-seven competitors are scheduled to start in Training, Preliminary, Intermediate. Dressage and cones will be driven today, with the marathon on Sunday.
A competitor briefing was held yesterday afternoon followed by a course drive. Officials gave the regular announcements, and then President of the Jury Hardy Zantke followed up by reminding all the competitors that they “are the masters of their ship,” reminding them that they and they alone know the limitations of their driving skill and the ability of their horses and ponies. It is impossible for a course to be designed to match the ability of every driver. What is easy for one may be beyond the capability of another. No one should be talked into doing anything they don’t feel comfortable doing. Sound advice!