Friday, August 10, 2007

Day Nineteen, The Rains Came

Again the rains were coming down on us which made it hard to get motivated to get the day started so early. Mark had planned for us to be on at 8 and 8:30 so Buck and I could get the lessons out of the way and spend another hour walking around the main arena during our alotted time to do so. After going back and forth deciding whether to ride in the rain or the indoor, we decided to "weather" the rain...that is, as buck put it, " it felt like we had ridden xc, fell in the water fence, then slapped a dressage saddle on, and rode around a bit." He wasnt over exaggerating. I watched buck's lesson for about 20 minutes and was completely drenched. I went back to get on al to have my lesson with mark only to find that my pants had turned from sticky to slippery. I felt like I was literally sliding all over the saddle. Needless to say, between the wind and the rain and trying to hear what the heck the captain was telling me to do, my ears, legs and mind got a good work out today!!! Al was very behaved and after about 30 minutes of good work, mark called it a day and I headed to the main ring to walk around a bit to familiarize al to his new surrounding where he will be asked to perform magic! He was surprsingly behaved in the beginning so after a half hour on a long rein, while in the pouring rain, both Al and I simultaneously decided we had had enough with the weather. After both Al and I had dried off, it was time for Buck, Mark, David (O'Connor) and I to head to Beas river to walk and navigate the xc course. Fiona and her boss, president of the IOC (international olympic committee) who overseas every olympic venue and sport, Doug, decided to join us in our wet expedition as well. With that, we were off for another soppy adventure. At least I was dry for five minutes!!! When we finished with a very wet yet adventurous and informative course walk, our driver took all of us back to the hotel where we had lunch and prepared to get ready for the 5:00 trot up. As I was just getting out of the show, Sara knocked on my door to tell me that the typhoon had stalled while it was passing over us and was heading back our direction at a level 8 meaning that almost the eye would pass directly through sha tin, where we are located. This meant that basically everything (transportation, malls, restaurants) shut down to take cover for the storm to come. However, the jog was still on so we decided to hurry up and hop in the car and head to the barn. After a life-threatening car ride over to the venue by our crazy driver, we arrived only to find out that the jogs were cancelled because whenever the typhoon hits level 8, it automatically means that people can leave their jobs without asking to go directly home; so there were no volunteers to help out with the jog. Additionally, we had to hurry to find a ride home as the transportation would be shutting down momentarily. After braiding the horses beautifully, the girls took the braids out, and prepared the horses for bed only to find out that they would be staying overnight with the horses in the case that the "roof should fly off the barn during the storm," as the Hong Kong jockey club stable manager warned us. With that, our girls, along with every other countrie's grooms volunteered to stay with the horses overnight should the roof fly off? Are they serious? While waiting for our bus, the winds did pick up and the rains grew heavier...although nothing too momentous that would be worth shutting down Hong Kong. Unfortunatley, the forecast for the next 5 days took a turn for the worse and looks terrible, full of raining and thunderstorms. The ground jury will have to decide whether to run the event as a horse trials, or just have the international horses trot up before dressage tomorrow. One thing's for sure...we're gonna get wet! Either way, we are ready and will perform with class and style. The horses seem happy and healthy as do us riders. All we want it to let this show begin as we are getting a little agitated with waiting for it to start. Oh well, I guess I will have to remind myself that, "good things come to those who wait." So, now Im headed up to grandparents room to play some cards and wait this storm out...will let you know the outcome asap! Stay tuned for more excitement and WEATHER!