My Favorite WEG Moment
Well, the World Equestrian Games have finally ended and I've had a chance to watch all the tv coverage and catch up on a few un-televised performances online. There were some bad moments and good, some shocking rides and some inspiring. But more than anything, there were some amazing horses (who are the real athletes here but are too often were overlooked in favor of their "celebrity" riders and trainers.)
So my favorite moment of the entire event had to be this one:
Upon becoming the winner of the showjumping gold through a challenging format in which the top four riders had to ride each of the top four horses with little preparation, Philippe Le Jeune (Belgium) put in an impressive series of rides on all four horses. But even more impressive, to me, was his reaction afterward when he joyfully hugged and kissed the horses who won him the gold.
It's not often you see a rider at that level show any affection or even gratitude toward their horses. Usually they simply hand them off to a groom and walk away. And after the disqualifications for bloody mouths and other shameful displays, there was something about this reaction that just made my day. I don't know anything else about this rider, but he won a bit of respect from me and my congratulations go out to him and all the horses, especially Hickstead for his "Best Horse" award, which he clearly deserved - what an awesome horse!
I'd love to hear about your favorite moments :-)