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.
Each day Sarah and I have made a point of chatting-up someone in our immediate vicinity to learn a little about their lives and get a fresh perspective on the competition. Today’s view from the stands breaks the rules a bit as it was someone SmartPak knows well, but not someone I expected to run into at an Olympic show jumping competition. Arlene “Tuny” Page has been a Team SmartPak dressage rider since the early days of the company and has been a big supporter as we’ve grown and evolved. Tuny has a beautiful farm down in Wellington that has regularly hosted catalog shoots. As far as riding, Tuny is a long-time fixture at the highest levels of the dressage world and close friends with many of the people here both competing and supporting the US Equestrian effort. It was fun to see Tuny react to some of the more “edge-of-your-seat” rides and comment that this is part of the reason that she sticks to dressage these days. She had a number of favorite pairs here today, but was really rooting hard for Richard Fellers and Flexible, who put in a beautiful round. And, our hearts collectively sunk when Beezie got eliminated. I also detected a soft spot for Mr. Ian Millar…the anchor for Team Canada, who had a great ride.
We talked about many different things, from the benefits of nice “back up” footwear in your bag to swap for more comfortable flip-flops (Florida Wellingtons), to the types of horses we each prefer and how you can tell after a jump or two if a horse is the type you might want to sit-on. Tuny is so knowledgeable about horses and riding, but it was great to hear her ask questions about jumping with genuine interest in learning another sport.