Monday, 16 March 2015

Final day of competition India 2015

Today started off grey and cold with rain, not quite what you expect in India, but we took it as a good omen for the British as this is our weather.

First up was Indian file, which we have been training hard for. This is the event where you ride one after another, as close as you can and pick up the correct peg in a single row.

The horses all arrived and the original plan was to put Sarah's horse first, as it was the fastest. However the grooms advised against this as said it wouldn't run straight so we quickly changed the order to me in front, Sarah, Michael and Rachel with the hardest job at the back.

First run with lance was good and we were level pegging in the lead with Sudan and no time penalties.

Second run was with sword, and we knew what Sudan had done and yes we picked up and were elated as we knew we couldn't be beaten by remaining teams, cue lots of celebrating in the GB camp as we had taken the gold.

Team lance followed, and whilst we put quite a few points on with Michael and I hitting 5/6 targets it was not quite enough to put us in the medals and Sudan won in style with multiple full houses.

I would also add that it rained hard at lunchtime and the event was delayed until the rain stopped, and then delayed further by a guy doing a display with a parachute and a fan strapped to his back.... frankly we were surprised the horses didn't panic as he was also dropping, confetti, rose petals and business cards all over the ground.

The overall championship and best rider went to Sudan, who are now a force to be reckoned with in the tentpegging world.

We got back at the hotel at 8pm and the gala dinner was at 8.30pm, however delayed to 9.30pm and we didn't get to eat until past 11pm. There is a strange tradition of presenting all the other teams with gifts for turning up, which is bizarre as you should really be thanking the organisers for hosting.

In all this was a good event for GB, and showed that we can hold our own against profession and government funded countries.

It would be great if the success here can help promote the sport back home in the UK.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Third day of competition - march 14, 2015

So i had a day off from blogging for our rest day. The team explored Delhi and discovered that by using the metro we could travel quicker and cheaper than via vehicle. We visited various shopping places and raced tuk tuks around Delhi and finished with dinner back in the hotel.

Today started with the pairs class, we paired myself and Sarah and Michael and Rachel, matching the speed of the horses.

Unfortunately i muffed up the sword, and only picked up one peg, so our chances were blown. Rachel and Michael got a full house first run, but got too excited and couldn't manage a repeat on the small ones.
India took Gold, Oman Silver and Sudan Bronze in the pairs.

Individual lance followed and it was again a knock out round, requiring 10 points to get into round B. Myself, Rachel and Michael all progressed to round B, which was a good result for the British.

it was the Grand Regency again for lunch, this time we also took carrots from the salad to give to the horses as treats, as polos and apples are refused by the Indian horses, but carrots are good.

Round B was a late start and delayed further due to the timing equipment playing up.  So its been a long day, again the GB team did well, but did not achieve perfection so unfortunately not in the medals today. Sudan dominated taking Gold and Silver with India taking the bronze.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Day 2 of competition India 2015

This morning we have got into a routine of going to breakfast at 7am to be on the bus for 8am.

This morning started with the oranges class. Which was interesting as the hooks of the gallows were the twisted steel that goes into reinforcing concrete, which was interesting as even if on target, chances are that you will hit steel.

Mr India is running well but in the oranges the performance was 50% due to rider error, but the oranges were different heights.

Gold was taken by Sudan, silver to India and bronze to the first timers Russia!

We have been wearing union jack stick on tattoos which seemed like a good idea and did look good.... the downside is the team now have an untanned patch on both arms!

We then started round A of individual sword, however you need 10 points to qualify for round B. Both Sarah and I managed to qualify for round B.

Lunch was at the Regency Hotel as usual, we have now become adept at getting our water supplies at lunch.

After lunch it was Sarah and myself up to run, the break does put you off your rythm , but i was pleased with picking up all small pegs. However with misses was out of the running as both Sudan and Germany managed full houses and won gold and silver respectively - its really nice to see Jenny from Germany winning a medal "girl power"!

Results so far:
Rings & peg: Gold Iraq, Silver Great Britain, Bronze India
Team Sword: Gold Iraq, Silver Sudan, Bronze Oman
Oranges: Gold Sudan, Silver India, Bronze Russia
Individual: Gold Sudan, Silver Germany, Bronze Oman

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Day 1 of competition India 2015

This morning started with a good breakfast at the hotel, i have taken to drinking strawberry milk in the mornings.

The hotel is suffering from power cuts, which is slightly nerve wracking if you are in the lift.

When we got to the ground, all horses were present and correct and we got a 5th horse, but was bigger and looked angrier than Nakul , so I stuck with him.... in hindsight might not have been the smartest move!

We had one practice runs on pegs and Nakul was drifting left severely. So in rings i went one spur on the left, but managed achieve the second fastest time, but no where near the rings....

Second run i added a whip on the left, but failed once more to get anywhere near the gallows, but did slow him to 7.2sec (time allowed 7.5, first run was 6.77secs)

Sarah didn't far much better on Raja got no where near gallows on first run, but managed one ring before she drifted left on the second run.

Michael and Rachel had nice straight horses, and Michael went to town with the South African overarm technique and tied in first place with Osama of Iraq.

Next cam a nail biting run off gold and silver, with Michael taking the first run and did a beautiful run just dropping one ring and square on a 1" peg. However luck was against us and by a nip Osama managed both rings and a nick out of the side of the peg for a 2, so won by the two points!

However we are all still absolutely delighted with a silver medal in the first event of the day.

Next came team sword and I ditched Nakul on safety as didn't to wipe out my team, the Indians came trumps with "Mr India" a chestnut with the most floppy ears I have seen.

I was told he was good but slow, however on first team he turned into a pocket rocket and out raced the others.

I guess it depends on your definition of slow, but the grooms did say the have never seen hime run so fast!

Team sword was lucky for us, although when first faced with a huge crowd of hundreds, GB pulled it out of a bag for a full house, but we couldn't repeat the effort so no more medals today.

Some teams and certain managers are looking very pink after the first day under the Indian sun!

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

March 10, 2015

So first blog from India.

We arrived yesterday lunch time, taking the night flight, where virgin looked after us well, but it was hard to get quality sleep in economy!

We were met at the airport and joined team Kazakhstan on the bus ride to our hotel in Noida.

We were checked into JP hotel, which was comfortable with good hot showers. We did a bit of exploring in the afternoon and due to Elie from Lebanon got sucked into celebrating an indian wedding in the street.

Dinner was in the hotel and other than beer costing 400rps it was good

This morning we needed to change hotels to the one next door, the buildings are twins, but the chaos of moving teams with lots of kit showed. We have dropped all of our kit in one room and heading out, as it was too early to get the rooms sorted out.

Next up was a trip the the univeristy where the competition is being hosted. We went to an auditorium to hear from the organising committee and introduce the teams, the list is as follows:
Great Britian

Once we got through the introductions it was time for lunch. We went to the Grand Regency hotel for a buffet lunch

Horse selection and practiced followed

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Day 27th jan 2015

Today we had an earlier start due to the heat
So headed to the course to start team lance. This was an interesting one as we hadn't had the chance to run this group of horses together, so we needed to work out who goes well.

Michael and peter were out the front with me and Adrian bringing up the rear with Adrians pony being enthusiastic and blotting its copy book with some rearing action.

Again our pegging is patchy, but we were still in with a chance after round A.

We had a long lunch break with plenty of time to chill by the pool, however this does mean my legs are looking a bit red tonight!!

Lunch was a traditional sudanese burger & chips, our diet this week could possibly explain why the GB ponies are getting slower, but was very good nevertheless.

Round B of team lance was a mixed bag for us and we were absolutely gutted to lose bronze to Qatar by 1 point!

Pairs was next and I paired with Peter, whilst Adrian and Michael ran together. Sadly i let the side down with a 2 not 6 on lance, and we were out of the medals again!

So we are so close, but so far, however are all hungry for a win and are out for a fight tomorrow!

Dinner tonight was in the hotel, which was nice to relax, although i am still complaining about being cold due to fierce air con!

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Rest day 26th Jan 2015

Today we are on our rest day, so following a later breakfast at 9am we were off to the market

Lots of interesting things to be bought, but as usual Michael lead the way in the shopping department

Lunch was an egyptian restaurant and we had lots of food, but weren't really sure what it was!!

In the afternoon we headed to the army military academy to watch army and navy cadets pass out. They were both from sudan and Libiya

This evening i've gone to bed early to see if it improves performance!