Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Hong Kong Bound

Hey guys!
I am leaving with my horse Alex, aka Anthony Patch, to Hong Kong for the test Olympic trials. Of course I will do my best to keep you all in touch as far as how my progress is going over in China. Here is the low down of what's going on. On Fri I am leaving for Buck's (my coach) farm in New Jersey. What makes this trip so cool is that both Buck and I were selected to represent the US in Hong Kong so I am looking forward to riding alongside my mentor. On Sunday the horses literally get "Fed Ex-ed" to Heathrow airport in England where we will spend a week at our country's Olympic coach's(Captain Mark Phillips) farm, where we will receive instruction and do some gallops. After a week there the horses will fly out of Heathrow into Hong Kong for the test event, which will be another week long. There we will receive instruction from the likes of the best horseman in show jumpers such as George Morris and Laura Kraut and dressage riders such as the infamous German trainer Claus. Basically the test event is held exactly a year before the real olympics and takes on a "mock olympic" feel. Every country qualified will send two riders from every discipline over where they will all compete in a two star level event, and then relay information back to their federations regarding weather, venue, organization, food, difficulty of the course, etc. Following the event in Hong Kong, the horses will fly back to Heathrow, spend a few days there, and then head back to JFK, where they will be quarantined for two there you have it! The coolest thing of it all is that we receive RED COATS (which is a marker for those who have represented the US) Totally Cool!