Tuesday, 1 April 2014

First and Second Day of Competition

This is a 2 for 1 blog as I've finally had the time to catch up

First day of Competition

Michael accidental bin dismount 
Individual Lance – riders Sarah King, Jenna Copley, Adrian Deane and Michael Smith

Well this didn't go very well for me, as although the practice wasn't bad; my bay got faster and faster, and became very wound up at the beginning. Times were great, as he was running around 6.3sec (per 100m), but this 1.2 sec under the required time, which was great but very difficult to adapt to coming out of the UK winter. So my performance sucked at 2/6 pegs and I was getting pretty depressed about the whole thing.
Speedy photobombing Sally!

To be fair stopping was a bit difficult despite a military Pelham and I’ve taken some pretty hairy corners on the course avoiding the irrigation pipes that are stuck up around 1m into the course.

Rachel testing the club house pool!
The rest of team fared better and GB picked up some good points, but not enough to get into the medals, which were hotly contested with two run offs to determine the gold medal, which was won by Oman.

Lunchtime - we went to the club house for dinner, however together with Rachel I decided the pool looked better, so we stripped off our sweaty gear and headed straight for the newly filled pool. However it was kind of strange tasting and there was plenty of debris floating along with us. However it was heaven.

Following lunch we did the first run of the rings and peg. I had a conflab with Tina, and swapped onto our 5th horse, which had been binned on the practice day, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

Fortunately I was pleasantly surprised and this was much easier than the previous horse, however despite this I managed to blank completely on the first run at rings and peg (my first run on this horse, but I don’t really have a good excuse).

We had a break for the opening ceremony, which looked good, but seemed to take a long time stood in the sun. The ceremony had a large crowd in attendance, and consisted of the stunt riders, camels and horses laying down, parade of teams and the marching band . 

Following more self- flagellation and the pressure of the crowd, GB came back on form just missing one ring. I was back to being happy following getting a full house and it was a good high to end on.
We finished late and were quite pleased to have a free night with dinner at the hotel

Second day of competition
Individual Sword – riders Sarah King, Jenna Copley, Adrian Deane and Jacky Chandler

Chestnut replacement & team
Another early start – Sarah is getting up at 5.30am, but I decided that a banana was a fine breakfast and hid in bed for another 30 mins! I find going to bed late and getting up this early is beginning to take a toll already.

The team headed to the ground, and this time Jacky was on the horse Michael rode, and the other members were on the same horses, so GB was a team of ginger ninjas, since we don’t have names for the horses (or at least ones people could actually remember) we have settled on Pumpkin for Sarah’s, Tango for mine, Orange for Adrian’s and Fanta for Jacky / Michael’s.

So onto the competition and first run looked good for me picking up nicely, but the next 2 runs were a disaster as I must have changed something and was just over the peg.

After 3 runs we stopped and went back to hotel, which was a shame as it was reasonably cool in the morning and was going to get hotter in the afternoon, but of course the afternoon session is very much for the crowd. 

Team water aerobics

Being team GB we went straight to the pool when we got back for a lovely cool down, oddly we were the only team there… which is confusing, although I did find out tonight that Egypt were looking on enviously but a few of their team cannot swim. I did point out the pool was shallow – so we might be giving out swimming lessons later this week!

The only Aussie in the pool 
At 2pm we headed back to the ground to complete the individual sword.
For me this went better, but not perfect with 4,6,4 as I was still a little late and spinning the pegs out. However, at least a vast improvement on this morning!

Disaster then struck as Fanta has gone lame, so we were down a horse. Tina wasn’t prepared to put anyone on the bay (“Speedy Gonzales”) as he would be unlikely to go under the gallows. So we had to run with 3 riders.

Getting some tips from Amer of Pakistan (now training UAE)
Despite lots of practice at home, again I was rather non-pleased with my performance, with just one orange on the first run and an orange and draw on the second peg. 

Everyone did reasonably well and we picked up more points, however not having a 4th rider is going to be disappointing when it comes to looking at the team points table.

We arrived back late at the hotel and had another free night, but we invited the Aussies over for a social evening.

However I have now failed to get the blog done before midnight!

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