On Day 1 of eventing dressage, we met a group of British fans at the Alltech Kentucky Bar at the Alltech Games Village. They were watching the dressage on a huge screen set up outside and drinking exactly one beer an hour each as they followed the competition and jokingly critiqued the riders’ top hats (William Fox-Pitts: elegant and proper; one of the Swedes: far too tall, Tim Price: just right.) We caught up with Lucy Allison, her husband Shaun Allison and their daughter Sophie, as well as Sophie’s student, Jacqui Vaughan. They’re all based in Hampshire, England, and had arrived in Caen, France, the day before.
What are you doing here?
Lucy: We have a great interest in the eventing competition, and we’re quite attached to the New Zealand Equestrian Federation. I have a rider, Jock Paget, who rides my horse at home and who’s competing another horse here. I own half of Clifton Lush with Frances Stead, and we’re here to support [the New Zealand] and the British teams.
Have you been to a World Games before?
Lucy: I went to the [1978 World Championships] in Lexington, Ky. We were invited over by a wonderful American who had a stud farm in Kentucky, and we went to watch the British team. Lucinda Greene was riding, and there were a lot of wonderful people.
Sophie: We went to the one at Aachen [Germany], too. My best friend Daisy Dick was on the British team at the time, and my mom went with her mother as her accredited guest. We went to watch and support her, and the British team won team gold.
What’s been the best part of your trip so far?
Lucy: We’ve only been here 24 hours! We had a party with the New Zealand squad last night, and all the riders were handing out canapes for us. There was Mark Todd and Andrew Nicholson carrying plates of food for us.
Shaun: And we also somehow managed to get tickets to the musical freestyle tomorrow night.
Sophie: We spoke to a really lovely guy who worked for Alltech about finding tickets, and he just disappeared for a minute and came back and said, “Here you go,” and gave us tickets.
Jacqui: I would have liked to have seen reining too, but we couldn’t get tickets. But that’s all right, this has been wonderful so far.
There are lots of interesting people here for the Games besides the riders. Check out these Americans who came half for work and half for pleasure, the pony who thinks he’s
a lion and his amazing trainer and find out what it’s like to work at the trade fair during a major competition.
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