WEG has officially opened! It was an exciting and tiring first day. It started with a long walk from the parking lot carrying a heavy backpack full of camera and computer gear. Then of course I went the wrong way and that added a lot of walking to finding the media center. So after checking in, and grabbing an expensive per inch sandwich, we headed out to the new indoor arena for reining action. After finding a ride back to the media center, I downloaded the cards and decided to walk back to the car to exchange gear for what I’d need to shoot the opening ceremony….well…it helps if you go to the right parking lot. I knew I should have used the find my car app! Finally car was located (easily after I found the right lot), gear exchanged and the long hike back to the venue completed. I thought there would be time to grab a quick sandwich….wrong. The concession line was long and there was only one cash register with a very slow credit card machine via wireless connection. I think they need a cash only line too. I finally got the sandwich but had no time to eat it, had to get to the arena for the opening ceremony.
The stands were packed with many nations well represented. The crowd was enthusiastic and appreciative of this historical first time event, the first time the World Equestrian Games have ever been in the United States. You couldn’t help but get caught up in the enthusiasm. It was so appropriate to have the opening prayer done by our Native Americans in their native dress on horseback. We then were treated to a history of the horse’s importance in our nation’s development.
The parade of athletes was impressive. It’s amazing that we have that many nation’s equestrians all in one place for the next two weeks.
The entertainment for the evening included opera, ballet, drill teams, ropers, bareback exhibitions and my personal favorite the Fresian Train. What an impressive display of precision riding.
Well, have to get the gear packed so the Offical Day 1 can begin!