Cones Competition on 10/10/10

icon_50_Driving

3conesIMG_8228LFweb

The final phase of the driving event was the Cones Competition and took place on October 10th, 2010, the final day of the World Equestrian Games.  This “test” was all about the drivers getting their four horses through a twisting course of cones with balls balanced on top and set very close together, sometimes it seemed, with only inches to spare.  They were of course penalized for going off-course, knocking off a ball or exceeding the time allowed on the course.  Then the final placing’s were determined by the team with the lowest number of penalties, throughout all three phases – the dressage (which I wasn’t able to attend), the marathon and the cones.

3cones-walkIMG_8225webeb

Before the competition began the drivers were allowed to walk the course.  They knew what the route was going to be, on paper, but walking it gave them a feel for how wide they needed to turn their horses in order to make it through without knocking those pesky balls off the pylons or “cones”.  They were walking the course to some beautiful music that was playing through speakers dispersed around the stadium area.  Two songs made me think of Todd.  They were songs from our wedding.  More on that later.

3cones-MMIMG_8253webeb

This is the Mike McClennan dude.  An interesting thing I heard about these four horses was that he raised them himself on his ranch in Texas.  Certainly, not the norm.  I do wish I could remember what breed they were.  Why “Quarter Horse-crosses” is stuck in my brain I’m not sure… but maybe they were.  Anyone know?

3cones-IMG_8242webeb

I don’t recall what team this was, not American anyway.  I know, I’m stellar aren’t I?

But really, does it much matter?

Aren’t they all incredible or what?

3cones-cwIMG_8270webeb

Simply Beautiful.

3cones-cwIMG_8274webeb

Simply Impressive.

3cones-AJIMG_8278web

Alex and Joe were slightly impressed too.

Know what else I think was impressive?

3medalcerem.IMG_8287web

The medal ceremony.

3medalcerem2usaIMG_8303web

With its music, all the different country flags (I’m patriotic to the core here)…

3medalceremIMG_8321web

And the way the “Home Team” fans cheered for the Netherlands Team that won the “Overall” gold medal in Combined Driving at these games. 3medalceremIMG_8304web

And the way they cheered for Team Germany who took the bronze.

Of course we were all freaking out that Team USA received the silver.

3medalceremIMG_8318web

Pictured above (I think) on the Jumbo-Tron screen is the Individual Medal ceremony where Boyd Exell of Australia got gold.  Chardon, a Dutchman from the Netherlands received silver and Tucker Johnson of the United States earned the bronze.

Life without Jumbo-Tron is not as impressive as with.

Thank you Jumbo-Tron inventor.

3medalceremIMG_8300web

After the ribbons and medals were awarded everyone took a beautiful victory lap.

3medalvlapIMG_8294web

They were all literally, “Four-in-Hand”, hat in the other as they passed the stands.  Simply GORGEOUS!

Sorry, but oh my gosh.  I still can’t believe I was there.

3medalvlapIMG_8296

The crowd was going crazy and the vibrant, strong classical music coming from the speakers was just incredible…and then…

3medalvlapIMG_8324web

The finale.  The top three U.S. competitors: Tucker Johnson, Chester Weber and James Fairclough, with music enveloping the field, in a nice gallop and three abreast, charged for the out-gate.

Ummm, Goosebumps.

So there it is.  The conclusion of my view at the World Equestrian Games.

3ticketIMG_9170

Even though we didn’t get to use the Opening Ceremony or the Closing Ceremony tickets we left Lexington feeling like it was a complete, glorious and impressive experience.  One of those “Once in a Lifetime” deals and just fantastic, beginning to end.  From our “den mothers”- the Georgetown Fire Department people, to the guy in the parking lot at the hardware store where we sat, taking up the whole parking area with the truck/trailer and studied our map trying to figure out just where we needed to be.  Right down to the parking attendants in the parking field on the grounds.  Such constant smiles and upbeat attitudes from everyone we met.

I have to tell you what was the utmost impressive thing of all:  It was how my husband unselfishly let me go to these World Equestrian Games with my dad when he and I had planned on going for our twentieth wedding anniversary.  Since Todd was home in Michigan and I was there in Kentucky I texted him a lot.  I texted him a lot that day…

“Happy 20 Years…What a wife you’ve got.  Wanna do 20 more?”.

He’d texted back, ”10/10/10…30 More”.

He’s a keeper.  I certainly hope he can tolerate more than thirty.

And a big thanks to my Mom and Dad…

To my Mom for encouraging my dad to go in addition to taking care of horses back home so he could go.

And to my Dad for making every road trip we do together better than the one before.

Love you guys.

~d.

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Cones Competition on 10/10/10

  1. Oh man, your part about the charge out the gate gave me goosebumps too! How cool! And congratulations on 20 years. What a great guy to let you go do that without him :-).

    Like

  2. Dee,
    As I read this post and looked at the pictures my eyes filled with tears. This just had to be such a marvelous experience for you to share with your dad. So happy for both of you. (Was this on your bucket list?)

    Congratulations on 20 years of marriage. (Can’t believe that it has been that long already). I know that Todd is a real keeper and obviously you are for him also. Doesn’t God have wonderful plans for us and what is even more interesting is how he works in our lives to accomplish His will.

    God bless the 3 of you!
    J-

    Like

    1. It really was. And no, it wasn’t on the list but I may have to stick it on just so I can cross it off!
      Thanks, we can’t believe it’s been 20 either. Having it go so fast really puts plenty in perspective!
      I agree with you about His plans and His will…The key for me is to stop kicking and fussing so much and let Him do His job!

      Like

Please note: Your comment might take some time to show up, but should be visible shortly!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s