By now readers will have figured out that this blog is my own perspective on things as so many others are doing Facebook, YouTube, and the USEF is doing live video. I spent the day photographing the 6th and 7th obstacles for Pics of You, so they will have my cards to upload and I’m not going to have them back for a while. I will try and get some photos up tomorrow.
I’m in the scoring trailer now, staying out of the way while Richard finishes up. I wish more people realized how long it takes to finish up a marathon. (I always find it interesting to hear all the ‘back stories.’ So many little issues – numbers that are hard to read, lost sheets, failure to write on the back-ups, competitors with wrong numbers. And then even after all that is resolved and the scores are posted and official, the scorer has to prepare a schedule for cones. And included in that has to be allowance for special events, awards, etc.
The day was mostly overcast, but started out warmer than the others. The wind is picking up now that the marathon is over, and I think we might be in for some storms later. No accidents, no turnovers that I’m aware of. The repair crew had a little business when Casey Zubek knocked a board off in obstacle 6 and then again in obstacle 7. They did a great job and Chester Weber who was behind wasn’t even held up.
One thing that really worried me was unlike last year, spectators were able to go into the field on the side of the obstacles where the track was. Last year it was roped off and they had to stay on the west side of the obstacles in the field. Several times the obstacle judges had to yell to spectators when drivers were approaching, and if someone had been in the way when a competitor galloped out, I hate to think what might have happened. Also, unlike other years, they didn’t put official flags on the official golf carts and gators, so there were definitely some that didn’t belong cruising around. I heard that it was because so many golf carts were there because of the jumping, etc. that it would be too hard to police.
A couple of people mentioned that the crowd seemed less than in previous years. It seemed that way to me too, but it is really hard to tell.
I will go out on a limb and guess that Randy Cadwell may be a little bit richer after this weekend. I think she may have been the fastest in several of the obstacles and may be going home with the cash. Paul Maye was going like stink also. A couple of other pony drivers I talked to this morning said they were not going to push for it.
By the end of the marathon, the temperatures had risen and the footing in the 6th obstacle was very deep. Good thing we didn’t have 20 more competitors!
Yesterday afternoon after the Operations Meeting for the officials and staff, an informal meeting of the USEF Driving Technical committee convened. Newly elected chair Heather Walker invited any interested person to join and participate. We discussed various topics including ways to encourage and help organizers, ideas to help the sport as a whole survive.
Hopefully if all goes well, the cones course will be open to walk tonight, but will depend on the jumping classes and also the weather.
As I think of other things, I may edit this post later this afternoon.