For those who don’t want to go back and forth
Tryon marked my seventh World Championships and, in my opinion, it was the worst one ever held. We heard stories in the lead-up to WEG and were aware that the facility was far from being ready but no one expected to turn up and find a dirty, unfinished venue that looked more like a construction zone than a sports venue. It was shameful. It looked like the organizing committee had made the least amount of effort possible to achieve the bare minimum that they could get away with.
To me, that’s unacceptable.
The stabling, the warm-up ring, and the show ring were adequate, but not what it should be for a world championship. There were lots of empty seats and no atmosphere. There was no shaded area for the riders to watch the competition from. You had to walk through a construction site to get to the VIP area, and the prices the organizing committee was charging were completely unacceptable for what you received. The VIP was disgraceful compared to any other world championship.
Worst of all, the best show jumping horses in the world were forced to compete during the hottest part of the day THREE DAYS IN A ROW. This was poor horsemanship and not in favour of either the horse or the riders. When we were in Kentucky in 2010, they took the weather into account when planning the schedule and we had night classes which were extremely well-attended. In Tryon, they did not recognize the role the heat would play and did nothing to address it.
To blame the hurricane for all the problems is not a valid excuse. There was a lack of effort, lack of horsemanship, and lack of understanding of what it takes to run a World Championships, and a complete lack of understanding of what makes everyone happy to be there as owners, as riders, as sponsors, and as fans.
Venue aside, I do believe it was great sport on a level playing field. Congratulations to the U.S. on an unbelievable championship win and best of luck to the individuals. Whoever wins the World Championship title really deserves it. All the credit goes to the riders, not the venue.
I want to recognize my teammates and the hard work they put into forming the best team we possibly could. It was our goal to be among the six teams to earn Olympic qualification. We tried our best, so it’s disappointing that we weren’t able to do that. I didn’t ride my best on the first day, unfortunately, but I am so proud of my student, Kara Chad, for putting in a great performance on day two to hold us in contention for one of those Olympic spots. The experience she gained was unbelievable. And Mario’s young horse gained experience that should serve us well in two weeks at the Nations’ Cup Final.
I’m looking forward to representing Canada in Barcelona alongside Kara, Mario, and Lisa Carlsen, who was our reserve rider at WEG and a great team player.