Day 7 - Eventing Dressage and Dressage Musical Freestyles
This morning we didn't have any tickets to the eventing dressage, so we took the morning off and went to Woodford Reserve and got a tour of the bourbon distillery. I love bourbon, and their's is one of the good ones. I'm a bit of a bourbon snot, and people often say to me “Oh you like bourbon? You know what I love? Maker's Mark!” Ugh. Maker's Mark, in my opinion, is not good bourbon. It's harsh and isn't especially flavorful. Woodford is good, and Pogue is even better. There are others that I like too, but I'm pretty selective about my bourbon. Anyway...
Then Cindy and I went to lunch in the small town nearby the distillery with the guy responsible for my bourbon snottiness and his father-in-law (they went on the tour with us too). We had a delightful time, but then it was time to head to WEG and do some shopping.
When we got to the vendor section I was sorry that we had waited so long to shop. It seemed like most of the merchandise had already been picked over, and WEG isn't even half over yet! I hope they bring in some more stuff on site because there isn't going to be much left for everyone who comes for this weekend or next week.
Today was the very first day that I felt that there were just too many people. Every store was packed with people who may or may not have been actually buying things. It was supposed to get very cold for the evening session of dressage freestyles so I was looking for a reasonably priced sweatshirt. But I just couldn't find one that I even somewhat liked and I couldn't bring myself to spend $65 on an item of clothing I didn't even like. Luckily I saw the Kentucky Horse Park tent and they were selling nice large fleecy blankets for $34. Now that was something I could use again and I actually even liked it. Sold!
During our shopping we met up with Kelly Gage, local dressage clinic organizer, and Taya and Lisa, two of our friends from Cleveland. Then we sat on the lawn by the lake behind the main stadium and waited until it was time to go in to see the dressage freestyles.
Nina Ackerly met us over there too, with her $15 burrito. Yes, food prices here at the park are really outrageous. Taya had a terrible bowl of pasta for $12.50. She said if she'd have been in a restaurant she would have sent it back. A bottle of Gatorade was $4.50. And the way the food tent is set up isn't exactly the most efficient way. There are food counters where you order your food, or you can go to one of the refrigerator cases that have “grab-and-go” things like pre-made salads and sandwiches. Then you grab your drink from the coolers and go to the registers. In theory it should work, but the lines bottleneck SO badly at the registers that nothing is grab-and-go. It's all grab-and-wait.
Yes, I realize that thousands of people are attending this thing, and there are going to be crowds. And the prices are going to be high, and the lines are going to be long. I'm just saying that it's much worse than I had thought it would be. And it was mush worse today than it has been, and I'm not sure why that is. Because it's Friday and a lot of people came in today for the cross country tomorrow?
When it was time to get going we were herded into the stadium and Cindy headed to our seats. I decided that I wanted to hit the ladies room before it all started so I wouldn't have to leave during the rides.
Everyone had the same idea that I did. The way the bathrooms are set up in the stadium is there is a large walkway that has a bathroom entrance on either side. There were so many people just milling around and trying to get to their seats that it was hard to tell where the line for the bathroom was. So I was standing where I thought the line was, when this lady further up in the line was rudely told “You are NOT in line! The line is over there, you can't just cut in here!” So the lady says “It looks like a line here.” and the Pee-Pee Police lady said “Well it's not, and these people over here have been waiting!” and the other lady said “Well I've been waiting too!” and then they started to get into it.
The thing is, everyone had to pee. Fine. Fighting about it is not going to make anything better. And I don't know what Pee-Pee Police lady thought she was doing. She wasn't staff, didn't have any official capacity, and didn't seem to be waiting in line. I think most of the time these things work themselves out. Why did she feel the need to stir the pot?
The two ladies in front of me saw all of this going down and decided that line for the bathroom across the walkway looked much less hostile. So we got in that line. When we got closer to the actual entrance to the bathroom we saw that it was one of those deals where there are two doorways that lead into the same bathroom. So there was one line that split into two lines that snaked around into one bathroom with two lines of stalls. At some point people in front of us thought there was only one line and were only going into one side. So a few ladies in front of me went into the empty looking side of the entrance. Me and a few ladies behind me followed. Nobody said anything. Then people stopped following our line.
A few minutes later someone realized that our line was shorter and moving so they tried to follow us. And man, they got REAMED by the other line. We heard “Hey! You can go over there! It's one way! Enter here! You're cutting!” Just plain silly, people. I mean, at that point they were so close that I doubt it would have made that much of a difference as to when they got a stall. So confrontational!
When I finally made it into the actual room with the stalls it really stank like urine. It made me very nostalgic for the trailer potties in the Bourbon Village tent. Ah well. I think I got dirty looks from the hostile line standers while I was washing my hands. Maybe I imagined it. I have to say that tonight was the first night that I encountered any rude or nasty people. Up until now everyone has been really nice and chatty. Now it's all rude and catty. What happened?
I finally made it to our seats and this is what I saw.
Yup. Huge pole right in our line of view to the arena. We paid $140 a seat to watch a pole. Just ridiculous. And supposedly the stadium was sold out, so we wouldn't be able to find a better view. But here is the thing about that. We spoke to a hotel manager about tickets for WEG and he said that when tickets first went on sale that a bunch of travel agencies bought up lots of tickets in the hopes of selling ticket packages. Unfortunately not all of those packages were sold to actual people. So even though the venue had no tickets left and were technically “Sold Out”, there were still tickets that never found their way into any fan's hands. I know there were people who would have loved to have gone to that event. Pretty sad.
I'd have to say that probably 80% of the seats had butts in them. However the ladies next to us decided that they were going to move and not have to deal with Mr. Pole. So they moved down about 12 rows and to one side of the pole. So we followed and it was kind of understood that all of us would move if the real owners of the seats showed up and booted us. There were empty seats scattered throughout that section so we could have easily found other seats. But we never got the boot so we got great seats for the remainder of the performance.
At least we didn't get this seat.
Yep, some lady was sitting there. She paid $140 for that seat. Can you believe it? I can't. That's just wrong.
I did get pictures of all 15 dressage freestyles, and I know video would have been better but I decided to save myself the aggravation. In the end Edward Gal and Totilas from the Netherlands won the gold with a 91.8%
Laura Bechtolsheimer and Mistral Horjris from Great Britain got the silver
and Steffen Peters and Ravel from the USA got the bronze.
We didn't stay for the awards ceremony because I wasn't feeling well. On Wednesday afternoon I was having issues breathing and I thought it was just an asthma thing. But it's slowly developed into a cold-type thing and I was starting to feel really rotten. It got cold during the freestyles and I was really happy to have my Kentucky Horse Park blanket, but sitting in the cold wasn't the best thing for me. Even though we left early and most people stayed for the awards, there was still a sea of people walking to the parking lot.
We decided to walk to the car instead of taking the shuttle because the line for that was longer than I've seen it in the past seven days. We finally found the car and we've now been sitting in the car, in line to leave the lot, for almost an hour. People are having parking lot rage and cutting across the lots, sutting in line, honking, and basically being buttheads. This really sucks because tomorrow is cross country day and it's going to be an early morning. And I don't feel well, so we'll have to see if I can get myself out of bed in time. We may have to miss some of the horse going.
On the plus side, sitting here in the car has given me time to pound out this long-winded blog post. You get to benefit from our aggravation. And the aggravation of thousands of others who just want to get the &%@# out of here and go home!
So today – tons of people, depleted merchandise, expensive eats, and more rudeness than I've seen all week. Tomorrow – Cross country... if I can make it. Nyquil, anyone?
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