Out on the Course
The Pak is across the pond and the action is officially underway in London. In this blog series, SmartPakers Sarah and Colby will be sharing stories about the people they meet while watching the action live in the stands (and on the XC course) in Greenwich.
Today’s view from the stands is going to be a little bit different. Colby was seated with people she already knew, so she couldn’t really interview them, and I was running from fence 5 to 23 to the start and back, so I never stood next to the same person for more than a minute or two. But I did chat with a few people on my journey. Here’s the highlights:
Standing next to Fence 1, waiting for Karen O’Connor to start. The gentleman next to me is explaining eventing in great detail to his son, outlining how it’s like an equine triathlon, born out of military training, etc, etc.
Me: “Wow, you really know your stuff! Are you a rider?”
Him: “I served in the mounted unit in my police department back home in Italy.”
Me: “Can you tell me, in one word, what riding means to you?”
(It appears they don’t give out proper training when they give out the horses…)
Kneeling at fence 20 next to a very young girl and her patient but weary looking father.
Me: “Are you riders?”
Father: “No, but she’d like to be. She begged for tickets to see Zara and it’s all she’s talked about for a week.”
Me: “That’s fantastic! Here comes a horse now – should be Dirk Schrade.”
Daughter (facing complete opposite direction of jump): “I like this flower.”
Father: “Look, Mary, the horse is coming!”
Daughter: “I wish we had flowers like these at home.”
(Dirk jumps and is gone again)
(Dad looks like he might be regretting the ticket price) (I sheepishly smile and make my exit) The funny thing is, I know the dad doesn’t regret it for a second. Horse dads are great that way.
Standing at the moon jump (#7), waiting for Mary King. I’m about to ask Girl #1 to describe riding in one word.
Girl #2: “I think I just saw Prince William in the queue for the loo!”
Girl #1: “Unlikely.”
Girl #2: “You think he doesn’t have to wait in line?”
Girl #1: “I think he doesn’t pee in a blue plastic box.”
Me: “So, could you give me one word to describe riding?
Girl #2: “I JUST SAW PRINCE WILLIAM!”
Girl #1: Dies of embarrassment.
That’s all for today! Come back tomorrow to see who we met during stadium jumping (and maybe to learn more about Prince William. Who knows?!)