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16 Days in Peru: Blog #8 – Fourth Place, Falling Down, and Craptacular Photos

Those darn Brazilians (again). And Mexicans. And Americans. They all prevented us from winning a medal today (booo!) but we qualified a team

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By: Susan Stafford-Pooley |

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.

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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.

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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: