Friday, February 4, 2011

Michael and Sam -- A Happy Ending...

The German Federation has announced that they have purchased a majority share of the WEG 2010 Gold medal winning horse La Biosthetique Sam from Sabene Kreuter.  Kreuter has been shopping the top ranking gelding  since before WEG 2010.  Although Sam has resided in rider Michael Jung's barn throughout their collaboration, Sabine Kreuter recently announced plans to move the horse to her own yard, we guess, to facilitate the selling process. This had to be a pretty dismal prospect for the Jungs.

Although Kreuter had made a gift of 40% of Sam to the Jungs, and stated that a condition of sale would be for Jung to keep the ride on the horse, things seemed to be falling apart for Jung.

In December, the German Federation Veterinarians, reportedly unbeknownst to Kreuter, conducted a pre-purchase exam in which they said they detected a slight heart murmur.   Kreuter stated that this was an authorized exam and that the horse was still the best in the world. However, publicly this finding seemed to grind the whole purchase proceedings, at least with the German Federation, to a hault.

However, now it appears that the talks continued under the radar. The German Federation felt it was imperative to their high performance program for the horse to remain in the capable hands of Michael Jung.  On Friday they swallowed the bait and paid up. Now the outstanding pair of Mike and Sam will stay together -- a good result in my opinion.

Congratulations to Michael Jung and the entire German Equestrian community on doing the right thing! In our opinion it rocks!

But what about Peter Adkins and Henny? Will the Australian Federation step in there?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I'm Exhausted...

... And my typing fingers (that would be all ten as I think I still have a full count) are sore from typing and typing.  In recent days, I've launched a new web project called Eventing Day. Actually I've launched two sites. One for Eventing only info, pictures, videos and audio and the other called The Eventing Day Starting Box that is for Eventing fans, competitors, coaches, trainers, organizers and the like to post their info, comments, philosophies, tips, you name it. As long as it's eventing it gets posted for everyone to see and comment about.

But, it takes a ton of time to tie up all the loose strings. I've resorted to taking loads of vitamin D because I haven't seen the light of day in weeks. I'm typing away like a hermit in a cave minus the woodsmoke and hairy shirt. 

I've received lots of great feedback and protestations of excitement about the sites. There are some great sites already out there, but Eventing Day is an opportunity for me to be immersed in Eventing - a sport I've loved and worked in for over 20 years.

So I type and type. I try not to forget about my other sites, all of which need feeding and tlc from time to time, not to mention my husband, my kiddo away at college,  and the cat and dog.  I'm spread pretty thin as you may surmise from the date of the last time I posted on this blog.

But I love equestrian sport and the folks in it so I'll just hunker down and get it done. Thanks to all for their vocal and written support of my new project.

And if you're a Derby Cross fan, check  out Eventing Day for some exciting PRO Derby Cross news and a giveaway to be announced shortly.



Sunday, October 10, 2010

Marathoning Fans

©2010 by Nan Rawlins/Equimage®
Marathon was filled with more than 46,000 fans.  There were folks everywhere.  The cross-country course looked a lot like any given Rolex Kentucky Saturday...

Drinking and Driving....

©Nan Rawlins/Equimage®
It was hot.  I was waiting for the Driving Dressage to start after the lunch break. My friend Rebecca was looking at Marathon carts and harness.  She's majorly into carriage driving - in a big way. Many of we eventer types switch to carriage driving when we're getting a little older and realize that we don't heal from injuries as readily as we did in the past. To our twisted psyches,  any truly great equestrian sport is divided into  multiple elements. Since carriage driving meets this criteria and seems a bit safer alternative to your standard combined training, we often switch disciplines.  Although the way these 4-in hand drivers barrel around the marathon course makes one wonder just how safe an eventing alternative carriage driving really can be.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Bluegrass is Kind of Brown ...

It was pretty brown out there... (Nan Rawlins/Equimage®)

I've been enjoying the Driving competition - the competition but not the grass. It's too bad there's been so little rain in this part of the USA.  The beautiful region of Kentucky known as The Bluegrass is not very blue, or green for that matter. The grass is kind of yellow, brittle, and - well - almost dead.  It doesn't photograph well.  The light bounces off the yellow grass, creating a color cast in the photography.  It tends to fool the eye too.  Makes you thin you have a color cast in your photography when you don't.

Monday, October 4, 2010


I know you've seen this before but it's such fun!  (©Nan Rawlins/Equimage®)
... Know how to party!  Eventing fans turned out in force yesterday to support their national Eventing teams  Maple leaves waving, Germans grinning from ear to ear, Union Jack draped stands shaking from pounding feet.  While there was jubilation and disappointment, the fans and the teams enjoyed the day.

So, I offer you a collection of images:  golf carts,  painted faces  and very happy Eventers. (I wonder if there's a prize for the best decorated golf cart?  I need to ask.)

What a day...

Fans everywhere.  So many nationalities. So much enthusiasm mixed with a healthy dose of national pride.  It's very late and I'm falling asleep.

I do know that drinking single malt Kentucky Whiskey at 10:a.m. (brewed by Alltech owner Pierce Lyons) may have been a strategical error on my part.  Let's just say I've been moving a little slowly ever since. But I took some great images, met some wonderfully enthusiastic folks, and generally had a great time.

My philosophy about eventing has always been pretty simple:  if you're still in the saddle on sunday afternoon, it's been a pretty good weekend. The Brits and Germans, Kiwis, and Canuks have had a pretty good weekend!

I have some wonderful images to share. Lots of color, flags, folks having a great time as they cheered and celebrated their teams to victory. But be sure to check back tomorrow for a look at some great images (and fun ones too) of the 2010 World Equestrian Games.

If I took your picture today, please stop back tomorrow.  I'll have them posted then...

Just who is watching whom?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

It's 5am on Eventing Sunday...

It's always tough to sleep when I'm working a competition.  Exhaustion to the point of not being able to sleep keeps me from sleeping so why bother to try?  It's always been this way. If I take something to help me sleep then I'm too groggy to work the next morning. So again, why try? Just work tired -- that's my motto

Yesterday's cross-country was filled with both spectacular and valiant  rides, and lots and lots of spectators -- more spectators than I've ever seen at KHP (and I've been to a fair number of major competitions in the park over the past 20 years. Maybe it was just because I was near tall the some major parking  areas and all the spectators sort of  funnel into the park. Honestly , the area by the lake was an absolute beehive of folks moving and milling, and pushing in to get a look at The Land Between the Lakes before heading up onto the course. There were more folks than I've ever seen at any Rolex Kentucky 3-Day Event of the last 20 years. At least it seemed so.

We photographers are always stuck in a pen somewhere, perched near a major complex of efforts. Yesterday I was in the pen on the banks of beautiful KHP Lake, better known to eventers out there as The Head of the Lake. If it hadn't been for the hard plastic fencing I think we photogs would have been dog paddling (or at least up to our knees in water. Truth be told, there have been one or two of my ranks I'd  like to push in the water myself.

But the spectators were very considerate and very very tolerant as 25 or 30 of us would lull those poor unsuspecting souls that filled in the slots behind the wobbly white fence that separates us, into a false sense of security.  We tend to sit down until something comes along that requires us to jump up and try to earn a living.  Whenever the whistle blows, we hop up in unison, sort of like Pavlov's Dogs. Just when the newbie batch of spectators behind us gets excited about the horse coming, we thoroughly dash their hopes.

I always feel bad when I block someone's view and make a considerable effort to stay out of folks way. But sometimes it just can't be helped. And, sometimes when these photographer barriers are created, the spectators really let you know their displeasure at your inconsideration. I can safely say that the majority, not all, but the majority of photographers try hard to not get in your way if they can help it -- at least I think they try not to?  Bottom line - we're just trying to do a job in a very competitive industry.

But the WEG group of spectators has been absolutely the best (knock on wood) so far.  Not a complaint, not a gripe in the very large bunch!  Just gracious and happy people.  I think the US spectators have really put their best foot forward this week.  We are a nice, friendly bunch of folks when it comes right down to it -- at least we horse folks. So my thanks to you all who had to stare at my Hawaiian-Shirt, penny covered (I'm number 52 in case you're interested) back just when things were getting exciting.

Thanks for all your tolerance, patience, and good humor when dealing with we journalistic boils on your backside. Please accept this big old shout out thanks to all of you nice spectators who were fun and helped us all pass the time together between hold's on course. I love giving you photography tips and letting you look through my camera or, if you're nice and my friend Tim is around, let you borrow a lens for your own camera! Honestly, you're the best!

Now on to the Stadium...