Hot. That was the forecast, and for once, the weatherman may be right. Unfortunately. However, the Elk Creek team is as experienced as they come, with Lisa Singer in charge of the course, and Diane Trefry (as Lisa says) in charge of “paper.” These two have decades of experience between them.
The show office is a ModSpace trailer parked near the permanent block stalls. A party tent is set up nearby, with the Lilydale catering truck at one end, and Newt Brosius with his new New Heritage Farm Carriages tent set up at the other end. I have a table for Driving Digest next to Newt.
Elk Creek entries are back up to a normal level. Last year’s turnout was disappointingly low, and after a late spring, who knew what this year would bring as far as competitors. Elk Creek takes place at the Fair Hill Natural Resource Center in Elkton, Maryland, the same place as the Fair Hill International in the fall which used to include driving. Elk Creek is a ‘no frills, just fun’ event – a concept that is popular with many competitors. They offer Training through ADS Advanced, and because of the number of people sharing and going twice, 50% of the competitors, the marathon scheduling was a nightmare.
Today, Friday, people are moving in. Lisa Singer conducted a clinic on dressage up at the dressage arena with a focus on accuracy. Richard Pringle held a clinic on course design under the tent.
One thing about Elk Creek that is not ideal is the distance between the stabling area and the dressage, cones and obstacle area. One either has to drive their car out onto 273 about a mile to the next road, or cut through the woods and field with a golf cart or ATV. It’s more than a mile. Because Fair Hill is owned by the State of Maryland, they require that anyone driving or riding on an ATV must wear a helmet. If this rule is violated, Elk Creek may not be allowed to exist anymore!!!!
I hear that the officials have shortened Section E and taken out Obstacle 3 for the marathon. Cones are official, and competitors in spite of the heat are out walking. Someone – I think it was Mary Mott Kocsis, has arranged a HUGE fan for the big tent. Can’t wait for it to start working. I think it is going to provide a little cool mist, which will be much appreciated.
The briefing was held at 5:00 following wine and cheese provided by Newt Brosius and New Heritage Farm Carriages.