By: Susan Stafford-Pooley
Those darn Brazilians (again). And Mexicans. And Americans. They all prevented us from winning a medal today (booo!) but we qualified a team for Tokyo anyway (yay!) seeing as there were three spots available and the US had already qualified. (Phew.)
Friday is the individual final and my early money is on Erynn Ballard and Fellini S, who are on fire at these games without a single rail down in three competitions. Don’t count out Nicole Walker and Falco, either, who have been extremely competitive, and Mario Deslauriers, who may be looking for vengeance after a number of uncharacteristic rails with Amsterdam. As long as those pesky Brazilians and their fabulous horses don’t get in the way…
To read the full report, go here.
There is a lot of falling going on here – and it ain’t just riders from their horses. Many of the people I know have taken a header while bolting from place to place, and some more than once – including me. Of course we are always carrying cameras when it happens and it is like carrying a baby – your first instinct is “Save the baby!” as you’re crashing earthward, so some body part suffers. Lots of left-hand, knee and hip injuries as a result. I fell jumping a ditch on the cross-country course on Saturday (the journalist is eliminated!) but saved the baby and sprained two fingers in the process. When I tripped running up the steps into the mixed zone to do an interview yesterday, I banged up my knee pretty badly, but saved the baby. A couple of sweet Pan Am volunteers rushed to my side and asked if I needed un médico but I told them I would just walk it off. And I thought the dangerous driving here would do me in first.
Speaking of cameras, I am not a very good photographer. Ask anybody. Luckily I am just in charge of producing fun social media pics and not cover images. I am in awe of the pros here who have a practiced eye and good sense of timing and take million-dollar shots with equipment that costs more than my car – and in some cases, my house! At the end of the day I am the one giggling in the corner of the media centre at some of the hellaciously awful photos I have taken. While the real photogs are worrying about filling up their one-terabyte hard drives because they took over a thousand awesome photos in an afternoon, I am sifting through my little assortment and deleting 3/4 of them. I have pics of empty jumps, the backs of people’s heads, riders’ asses going over a jump, people with their eyes closed, my fingers, my feet, riders with no heads, horses with no legs … you name it. I have gathered up a few of the worst which you can enjoy below: