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.
So, Sarah and I broke up the band today and sat in different parts of the arena. Probably for the best as after spending so many days together, she likely needed a break. Although it was amusing to see the consistency of our comments on each ride as we live-tweeted from our respective corners.
This also meant that I got to chat up a nice gentleman sitting in what normally would have been Sarah’s seat. And, as chance often plays out, he had a direct connection to one of the major story lines of yesterday’s competition. Turns out, he is here with Canadian rider David Marcus’ sister – either playing the role of boyfriend or husband (I didn’t pry). As a refresher, David is the Canadian competitor who was unfortunately eliminated for resistance yesterday when his horse, Capital, decided he had had ENOUGH of the rain/wind/umbrellas/cameras and wanted out NOW. Much discussion has taken place regarding what exactly set Capital off. David’s best guess is that it was the rain hood on the large camera in the corner which then got him hyper-focused on the many other scary things happening. Apparently, Capital is not a spooky horse so this was very surprising. Per my seat partner, David and his mount have had a meteoric rise through the ranks, both only competing at Grand Prix for a little over 6 months. While I am sure they will be back to fight another day, this has to be so disappointing. And, second-hand, David is most disappointed in his inability to continue given that the ride had started out so strong and he had high hopes for the remainder of the competition.
The gentleman next to me filled-in some additional interesting facts about David. Despite competing for Canada, he was born in Lincoln, Nebraska. And, his whole family made the trip here from the Midwest to watch David compete. Apparently he prepped the family by showing them a video of Totilas from WEG. If that doesn’t set your expectations high for what dressage looks like, I don’t know what does. Attending the Olympics as your first show has much the same effect. Wonder if any of the local competitions back home will have giant red foam fingers…