Saturday, August 25, 2012
Olympics - highs and lows
5:11 pm gmt
What a great experience the Olympics was! A friend who lends me her bombproof mare for my students and I headed off this month
for the final of the Individual Dressage in Greenwich Park. I was lucky to get tickets for this as I recently met a family
who live in London and they applied for four sports and didn't get tickets for any of them.The highs
We got the last double bedroom in the Clarendon hotel overlooking the green in Blackheath with the Equestrian
entrance to Greenwich Park just a quick stroll away across the grass. On the left of the green was a big screen where we watched
other competitions including Cian O'Connor's unexpected bronze in the individual showjumping. We also saw Katie Taylor's gallant
gold for Ireland in boxing. The Clarendon staff were friendly and our room was large considering it was the last
one available. The guests were given a poem written by a permanent resident about the Equestrian Olympics which was a nice
We were both impressed with the organisation, the quick but efficient security check by the army and the
friendliness of the many volunteers both at the event and throughout London. We got lost several times on our visits
to the city centre and were helped and given free maps by the ever cheerful volunteers wearing pink.
itself was wonderful and the top eighteen qualifiers for the individual final were all interesting to watch. When Adelinde's
(from The Netherlands) score came up on the screen, I couldn't see how it would be beaten. I hadn't realised just how relaxed
and easy Charlotte Dujardin makes dressage to music seem. 90%! I had never seen a score like that before. Well done also to
Laura B and Alf and we could all share in the emotional pat she gave her horse as, at the age of 17, he did his very best
to win bronze in his last Olympics. And the lows?
Well, only one low. We had all been warned
about professional pick pockets at the Olympics. On the tube back to Heathrow, somewhere along the way, my handbag went
missing. In it was my passport, my driver's licence and all my bank cards. Even my car keys. What a panic when I discovered
this at Heathrow! It took one and a quarter hours to persuade Aer Lingus to let me on the plane with only a boarding card
and a letter from the Olympics about tickets to prove who I was.
By the time I got to Dublin and cancelled my
bank cards, no one had managed to use them but the one big loss was my new iPhone. The police in Heathrow asked if I had downloaded
the app 'Find My Phone'. Alas no. It'll be the first download if I can ever afford another iPhone!
app which disappeared with my iPhone but which I will be putting on the next one is Horselog. It helps to keep your horses,
competitions and budget organised. Click here for review of Horselog app