The morning hit me hard like a bat to my head. The time change had affected my sleep making it difficult to sleep in the middle of the night. Nevertheless, 7:15 we were on the shuttle and headed for the venue. While waiting for the bus, however, I had a little dose of star quality. As I was in the lobby waiting for the Olympic shuttle, I was approached by two Chinese women, from Beijing, who asked to take pictures of me. After about 10 minutes of photo ops, I had to stop the session short of missing my ride. Needless to say, that made my morning a little easier to bear. When we arrived to the barn, the girls had the horses ready for us and we hopped on a took a half hour long hack, perusing the facility. When we returned to the stable, the horses were given a bath, had their blood taken, and weighed on the scale.
The morning photo session memory was starting to wear off, making room for a persistent head ache. My body was telling me it needed some rest. As a team we made an executive decision to return to the barn at 3:30 to hack the horses once more. As soon as I could, I headed to the hotel and hopped as fast in the sheets and fell asleep I even surprised myself.
At 3:30 I was at the barn and ready to ride having been rejuvenated by my nap. Buck and I took the ponies on a trot hack this time around a half mile bridle trail which was built on the inside if the sha tin race track but also encapsulated a training level xc course that was built as a schooling track for the Olympic horses. After two times around the track we headed to the gigantic and air conditioned indoor arena to cool the horses off. After we returned to the barn, the horses were bathed and put to bed, and the eight of us, who comprised team USA, headed for our hotels to shower and dress up for a night in downtown hong kong. Sara made dinner reservations at a trendy and colorful Chinese restaurant where we enjoyed tasty food and an energetic ambiance. Following dinner, we stopped at a local gelato joint and slurped up some savory ice cream and then decided to head for the staff hotel to close the evening over some drinks at the sky bar at the Sheraton. On the way over to the hotel, brendon (dr furlong, us team vet), decided spontaneously to purchase a digital camera. Alloting me to the task, I stopped in one out of a million electronic retailers and bought him a camera similar to my own. He was very pleased by his new purchase. As the evening came to a close, the team decided that buck and I would mount up tomorrow am again, and then head out as a team to victoria island in hong kong, to view its beauty and use our new digital cameras. Tomorrow should be yet another packed day. Let's hope I can catch up on some much needed sleep!