Horses are all doing well and settling into a routine. As the Captain [Mark Phillips, team coach for the U.S. Eventing Team] reports back from the many meetings, we are all getting into competition frame of mind. Connaught—or Simon for those of you who don't know him—is being a super star. The heat thus far has not been an issue, and from all accounts it has encouraged a much more improved appetite. He has always been a quirky horse about food, and only Simon knows why Hong Kong has bolstered his eating habits!!
Amy, Karen and Becky jumped today whilst Gina and Phillip flatted. It's a bit of a fight for ring time, but with Dougie [Hannum] in charge of securing the ring slots we will prevail! Tomorrow the horses do their final gallop on the racecourse, in the center is Penfold Park. It has a small number of cross-country fences to school, including a water jump for those who wish to do so.
As grooms, the only complaint we have are some of the barn rules on hand grazing. The head steward has been changing the times in which we can walk and hand graze the horses. Hours were varying from noon to 3 p.m. or 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. As most of you know, we want our horses to spend some time in the heat not only to let them get used to it, but also to keep up the routine of regular hand grazing, as we have been doing the past month. Finally after a few “discussions” a suitable time frame has been agreed upon.
We did get off the grounds today to try and combat the train system. After one sticky moment of explaining where we wanted to go, we managed to find our way downtown. Hong Kong is a city like many others with its skyscrapers and crazy busy streets. The people are extremely friendly and helpful, even the local tailor took us to the Olympic shop, which we would not have found in a million years. There are many sites we all would love to see. Fingers crossed the event runs to schedule so we can have a few days to explore this intriguing city.
Right now I'm off to tuck the ponies in for the night so until later......