I know there are many of you who either can’t make it to WEG or decided you would say ‘no thanks’ to the grossly inflated prices that pass for Kentucky’s tourism philosophy (if you are going to charge what the market will bear, you’d better do some research first and make sure you know what the max load limit is – $400 a night for a ratty mobile home is equivalent to pulling a four horse Sundowner with living quarters using a 1980 Chrysler K-car). Since I can’t bring you to the event, I’ll do my very best to bring the event to you. Consider the following a kind of ‘trailer’ to my WEG coverage, which will begin late next week:

September 23 – Jan (my husband) and I arrive in Cincinnati with considerably less pomp than the horses from Europe

September 24 – we take possession of our hillbilly shack in the moonshine woods, what I have dubbed our rustic accommodations about 50 miles from Lexington, in the peaceful (I hope) natural setting at the edge of the Daniel Boone National Forest – I’ll post photos!

September 25 – if I haven’t blogged already by then, you can expect a post on that day without fail, and daily or bi-daily thereafter.  As when I blogged from previous major events, I will not be giving blow-by-blow event coverage – that’s what the press releases and news websites are for – but I will do my best to convey the moments as I experience them. I know what some of you are wondering, and no, I will not necessarily be going after the dressage judges this time…but I’m not saying I’m not going after them either.

October 3 – darling Jan will fly home to Vancouver, which will probably result in a spike in my blog length and frequency since I’ll be lonely in my hillbilly shack. 

October 10 (or so) – I will post one final blog either on that day or the following day – the 11th – when I fly home and will probably be bored in an airport for a few hours.

What am I especially looking forward to at this, my third, WEG? Everything! This event may be taking place a few time zones west of the cradle of civilization, but I have every faith that our American hosts will put on a show like nothing we have ever seen. Anyone who hires a company called Big Ass Fans for ventilating the venue has to be good, right?  I can’t wait to see the astonished faces of European horse people when they lay eyes on the Tennessee Walker and American Saddle-bred demonstrations.

My WEG predictions: I predict that the dressage scores will soar to new heights; the Canadian eventing team will achieve results we could not have dreamed of before DOC came along; our reiners will just possibly capture team gold for the first time; our show jumping team will have its work cut out for them but the entire field will have their work cut out to challenge Captain L’Amazing and Hickstead in the individual competition; and that the Para event, in its first WEG appearance, will capture hearts, bringing tears of pride and joy to anyone who watches that inspiring competition at the end of week two.

At past major events I have picked up a kind of ‘mascot’ that I referred to in each of my blogs. In Aachen 2006 it was Warsteiner Beer, in Rio 2007 it was the thumbs up sign, and in Hong Kong it was sleeping spectators. If I were to hazard a guess at the mascot of Lexington 2010, I would say it’s likely to have something to do with a certain distilled spirit famous in the area, and which I happen to like (Scottish people just look away). But who knows? You’ll just have to tune in to Straight-Up to find out.

To Kentucky!