I'm heading to Wellington this weekend for the Global and the Dressage Masters. Any suggestions for "must-dos" while I am there? any breeders in the area up for a visit by a couple of California girls?
You have to visit the Tackeria of course!!
Saturday night is the Grand Prix Jumping Under the Lights.
Take a drive through Saddle Trail and Grand Prix Village if the gate is down so you can see all the Taj Mahal barns, I want to live in one of the stall haha.
Polo is Sunday at 1 or 2.
If you want to get real crazy, Sunday nights at the Players Club, where you bump elbows with the celebs/rich and famous of the horse show world, and some regular celebs as well.
Go to the showgrounds (the regular ones across from the Tackeria) and browse the many vendors there, some great stuff, even some on sale. Then you have to get a Crepe from the Crepe vendor...so good!!
I'll let you know if I can think of anything else!
There is something about riding down the street on a prancing horse that makes you feel like something, even when you ain't a thing. ~ Will Rogers
True on Saturday nights at the Player's Club! We ended up being sat down next to Carl and Charlotte on Saturday night at the Player's Club when we were down there last year for the WDM. I will fully admit to being totally star struck. We chatted for probably 45 minutes and failed miserably at trying to convince Carl to come to Seattle to clinic at our barn LOL. We also met a Bereiter on the same evening who specializes in horse and rider biomehanics, he was extremely interesting to talk to. As a side note the Player's Club does a FANTASTIC filet mignon!
Tackeria is a must and catch a polo game if you can. It's an absolute blast (and it doesn't hurt that all of the players look like Calvin Klein models)!
If you feel like doing something non-horsey you should check out the big cat sanctuary: http://www.pantherridgesanctuary.org/. We scheduled a tour on our last day there and had a wonderful time.
I had a great time! Doctor Wendell was awesome - congrats to Marydell! The symposium had wonderful lecturers but was impressively disorganized the first day - ran 90 minutes late because of the moderator not the demonstrations. Second day was much better. The Masters only had 7 horses for the Kur. Don Aurelio was phenomenal but it was disappointing to come all that way for so few rides.
Got to hang out with my trainer Heidi Gaian and her mom Pam Nelson. My horse Paradiso is showing next weekend. It will be exciting to see how he does. Went to the jumoing Grand Prix - huge fences on grass. Not enough time to see or do everything. I would love California to start something similar - 12 CDIs in 12 weeks!
We also went down to watch the action and had an awesome time. I agree the Forum was a bit disorganized but I couldn't believe the rudeness of so many people in the crowd, booing and stomping their feet. Here we have some of the top trainers in the world talking about their systems, life experiences, ect ect and half the time people are talking, walking around, booing, shouting ect. It was just ridiculous no matter the reason.
I agree that the forum was fun and informative. As noted, it was not without issues - it started late the first day (partly due to problems getting the crowd inside in a timely manner), and then continually ran overtime because the organizer was determined to have his "talk show host" interviews with the main principals, some of whom gave rather lengthy replies. And the panel question and answer sessions were also too long. Thankfully, the second day ran much smoother and ended at a decent hour.
We were seated in the VIP section, and I chatted a bit here and there with a few folks in that section, as well as with some folks outside (there was a rather lively discussion going on in the ladies restroom at one point!). Many of the comments had to do with the LONG format, but there was also some disappointment in some of the horses and riders in the demos – it seems some people were hoping to see REALLY top international quality horses, and top, top demo riders, but I would not think that very many people with international horses are going to want them used in this type of forum, where the rider is given instruction by a clinician who is not their regular trainer.
Our group particularly enjoyed the in-hand session with Arthur Kottas – what a kind and gentle person he is – but his video took up too much time. We also really liked the long-lining session with Bo Jena (loved it when Bo long-lined the horse over cavaletti – how many people in the dressage world do THAT these days?) Ingrid was a true delight – what an energizer bunny! - and she also made use of the cavaletti. Steffen's session was also good, but it was too long, esp. the interview and question/answer session with the panel. The Zeilinger and Wittig sessions were interesting, but they didn’t engross people the way some of the other sessions did (partly because they were the last sessions of the day and everyone was tired by then, and partly because neither one has a particularly engaging personality).
We also liked some of the lecture sessions, although the breeding lecture may have been too technical for the non-breeders in the crowd (and the breeders most likely already knew much of what was discussed). And I wish Hilary Clayton’s presentation had included some info on current modalities for treating suspensory injuries, instead of just the technical details of how suspensory injuries occur, but I guess she had to keep it short due to the time constraints.
Overall it wasn't a bad first effort, and I would certainly like to see the forum come back next year, but it obviously needs some tweaking here and there.