The Perils Of Show Jumping Sport - 10
So finally we are up and running - thank goodness because a team of professional riders with only one horse to ride every day is like locking a toddler in a room with one toy to play with; they get very bored and restless very quick!!!
The course was an interesting one - not so big as to kill the maybe less experienced nations but with the window dressing of rivers, lakes, flaura and fauna around every fence, it was enough to take the eye of some horses away from the fence and some mishaps and calamities did happen throughout what turned into a marathon if a competition (Scroll down for photos of fences).
For the Egyptians this is a monumental show as it is their first time competition with a team at a World Equestrian Games - so of course everyone was slightly more tense than usual as all wanted to help their team mates as much as possible.
First up Nayel Nassar had a quick round but just had an unlucky two fences - but the good thing with this class being a speed class - under table C rules - meant that this just added time to his score so wasn’t a disaster.
Next up Abdel Said on his stunning big grey stallion just had an early misunderstanding but then had a great recovery to come home with not too bad a time.
Sam was third to go on our beautiful Irish mare Suma’s Zorro. They had a beautiful round clearing the jumps until down the line near the end of the course they just over jumped the preceding Oxer which made the eight strides to the next vertical too short. Zorro tried her best and got her front end over but just couldn’t manage to clear it behind - a tiny rub but the pole fell down. Sam completed the round clean, and with a fast time left the ring in 51st place individually - which out of 153 of the world’s best is not too shabby!!
Last in was the veteran of the championships for Egypt, Karim El Zoghby with his big scopey mare Amelia. Karim set off with determination on a big forward stride - unfortunately he just touched the top of the wall and so came home also with four faults. However his time was very good and so this helped a lot as with the extremely complicated scoring system (I think they came up with it after a big night out partying personally!) it left him 37th individually and out of 33 teams left Egypt in a very respectable 13th place going into the second day.
So, what is my impression of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy so far? Good jumping, fair courses - but organisation in terms of being able to access tickets, food or in fact do anything without having to hike several miles or hijack a car, is poor! I personally have renamed it the “Hunger Games” as so far I have been struggling to find any food.....In fact yesterday I was very tempted by Zorro s Carrots....Hehehe.
Any way things are just getting started and for sure it's going to be an interesting few days to come!!
You can watch all the Egyptian team's round on HT's YouTube Channel >> https://www.youtube.com/user/HorseTimesEgypt/videos