It’s about 8:30 at Live Oak and things are off to their usual start. (Apparently I was the first one to want breakfast at 8:15 and had to wait while the food people got organized, so I’m still on my first cup of coffee.) Chaos. Frayed nerves. Trying to get things set up for an on-time start is always chaotic. Competitors chomping at the bit to walk the course. Trying to get the tent where the announcer, scorer, judge, scoreboard people organized is difficult. Everyone wants and needs their own space, room for computers, printers, chairs, access to electricity, internet, etc.
It was planned that the course would be open last night before dark, but that didn’t happen. I’m not sure why. So at 7, Ed Young, T.D. came so people could walk before the official 8 o’clock opening. At 8, only competitors properly dressed could walk the course. The course is very pretty with the fences already set for the jumping class this afternoon. They really add a decorative element all on their own.
The forecast isn’t looking good. It’s already starting to sprinkle, and I think something worse is coming. Hopefully Ellen and Bruce Ettenger who are masters at keeping things running efficiently on the cones course will be able to push everyone through as fast as possible. However a long list of special awards have to be presented which adds several more minutes.
Yesterday I said that I thought Randy Cadwell would be a rich girl. I was slightly wrong. She did win $1000 for being fastest in one obstacle, but Paul Maye was fastest in 4!!!
The competitors’ party at Live Oak is always a sold out affair. Very good food, an open bar and a band are normal. This year the mechanical bull was back. People stood on chairs to see Boyd Exell and Larry Poulin get bucked off. I’m sure it got crazier as the night wore on. No one needs to be coaxed onto the dance floor. Young and old, those with rhythm or not, crowded the dance floor and moved to the favorite oldies. I’m not sure how long it lasted. Some years I don’t think the party ever ended! We were all younger then.
Dr. Stanglemeier the FEI vet reported that a lot of horses came in from the marathon with very high temperatures – a few at 107. Today the horses will do their vet check before cones down near the stable so if they have to switch a horse or pony, they are close enough to do it.
The cars are arriving for the car show. I just saw a very old orange ambulance/station wagon pull in. This has been a regular extra activity at Live Oak for many, many years, and I believe they draw their own audience. I don’t think many competitors have time to wander up and down the rows to admire these beauties. They have their own competition and awards, and do their own ‘tailgating.’