I had the great honor of announcing the WEG Para-Dressage last week. For 7 full days I got to see athletes who WILL ride, no matter how hard it is to accomplish this.
It would take me way too long to list everyone who inspired me - from the blind riders who rode beautiful, accurate freestyles to those without legs who can do MUCH better flying changes than I have ever done.
And a large poster of Stinna is going up on the tack room wall where I teach - with the inscription: "When you have to deal with this every day of your life, THEN you get to complain".
Thank YOU for announcing! You did such a fabulous job, offering bits of clarification when necessary and keeping everything on track. There were other aspects of the way the para competition was run that I found disappointing (the massive scoring discrepancies, the wrong-sized arena on the first day of the freestyles) but your announcing was a definite bright spot on the organizational side, and as you say, all of that was overshadowed by the riding. Different things wowed me at different grades -- the Grade IVs proved a good rider doesn't actually need an arm or a leg to do top notch dressage, while some of the GRade Ia riders, like the Japanese rider who Ibelieve won silver in the freestyle, just amazed me with their perseverance.
Three cheers for "adapt and overcome!"
I was one of those grade 1A riders. WEG was a total new experience for me I was determined to finish that freestyle with or without my stirrups. I have never seen so many amazing riders from so many different countries. Not a single one I ever saw complained about any ache or pain. I will totally agree with the scoring. It was so erratic I scored a nine from one charge and on that same move received a score of 1. On the other I received several sevenths and sixes and zero. It was so extremely inconsistent. Overall I'm now one test INA difference from the Lois Judge to the second lowest judge of 13 points. I am definitely looking forward to the Pan Am and the Paralympics. I just need to find a new horse.