There was a mandatory WEG Four-in-hand competition this weekend at the Carolina Horse Park, just outside Southern Pines, NC.
Four of the American Drivers who hope to make the team were there; Bill Long, Casey Zubeck, Cindy Reilly, and Gary Stover.
Saturday was Dressage, Sunday was Marathon, and today they are finishing up on Cones. On Saturday, each team warmed up then drove the Dressage test as if it were the actual WEG test; horses were braided and equipment sparkling, but otherwise the dress was casual. The times were set up to give each driver about an hour and a half to drive the test, get a critique with the coaches, and a re-test drive. Also all the other drivers were able to watch and listen. Sounds simple, but at a real competition you never get to see the others in your division because you are in the carriage working on your nerves...
Later in the day the group went to the marathon hazards and the coaches asked each driver to walk his/her planned route on foot while others watched and compared. Each driver walked the hazard and got a critique and pointers how to drive it.
I was one of a handful of Dressage spectators. By the course walk in the afternoon sun, I was the sole spectator and was able to ride along on a golf cart with one of the WEG hopefuls and stand side by side with the drivers and coaches, Michael Freund and Peter Tischer. The only hard part was staying quiet and listening. UNBELIEVEABLE DAY!
On Sunday for the marathon, there was a good showing of Moore County Driving Club members cheering. Since 3 of the 4 WEG hopeful drivers live in Southern Pines, it was great to have their neighbors and friends there to cheer them on, and also have time to chat a bit. Cars and golf carts raced from hazard to hazard to follow the action close-up.
Again the timing was set up in 1 1/2 hour intervals so every driver could watch and learn from the others. Michael Freund yelled corrections while drivers were negotiating the hazards. Mostly he yelled "BIG LOOP" to drivers as they were in the hazard making tight turns you would never think 4 horses and a carriage could possibly maneuver.
It's just too bad this event was not well publicized as it was an opportunity to see our drivers close-up. I hope I have not given away too much info by this post.
Official WEG American Team Groupie!
Even though Oct is going to be the month from hell (with the World Perch Congress starting Oct 25 and our big southern draft horse show, which I help put on Oct 15-16, that is hours away from us), I am still fantasizing about driving up to watch the WEG one day between Oct 7-9.
My fav is Cindy Jo, because of her wonderful 4 in hand of Perch crosses and that she is woman (plus, she is a great person)!.
BUT WAIT...!!! What did you write?
"I hope I have not given away too much info by this post."
Inquiring minds want to know, WHAT INFORMATION????