Live from Omaha!

Live from Omaha!
On the scene at the 2017 FEI World Cup Dressage Final

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Scene at the WEG

Today, Thursday, was a rest day for dressage. Not having to race between the dressage and the para-equestrian dressage venues meant that I actually found myself with a bit of time to check out the Games Village at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

The Games Village, located adjacent to the Parc Exposition Center, the reining venue, is the shopping and trade-fair site. Wow! There were a lot of vendors at the 2010 WEG in Kentucky, but Normandy has Lexington beat for opulence, variety, and sheer numbers.

Here, you can browse the spacious Hermes boutique, or perhaps you'd rather have a Rolex. Luxury French retailer Printemps has a store here. There is all manner of high-end equestrian retailers and clothiers. Title sponsor Alltech repeats its Alltech Experience pavilion from Lexington. And the Land Rover Experience -- both kid- and adult-sized versions -- well, you'll just have to see the photos (below) to believe it.

Strolling the aisles, it is plain that horses are more embedded in French culture than they are in the US. There are TV broadcasters and radio stations. French regions promote their equestrian offerings. And there is a striking number of fun and educational displays designed to appeal to kids and families. Large groups of children were streaming in the entrance as I left. Now this is how you get youngsters involved with horses!

Enjoy the photos. I've thrown in a few other shots, as well, to give you a feel for the local couleur here in Caen and the WEG.
Team USA duds on display at Hermes. Photo by Jennifer Bryant.

Hermes merchandise. Photo by Jennifer Bryant.

Price tag at Hermes. That's 690 euros for a pair of ladies' breeches, folks. Photo by Jennifer Bryant.

Greetings from Kentucky! Photo by Jennifer Bryant.

Enjoy a Bourbon Barrel Ale in Caen. Photo by Jennifer Bryant.

Horse-race game. Photo by Jennifer Bryant.

Normandy Horse pavilion. Photo by Jennifer Bryant.

Carousel. Photo by Jennifer Bryant.

Joules clothing boutique. Photo by Jennifer Bryant.
A visitor from Australia pedal-charges her phone in the FEI pavilion. Photo by Jennifer Bryant.

A customer tries out a Stubben saddle using a moving horse simulator. Photo by Jennifer Bryant.

A child takes a miniature Land Rover for a spin on a pint-sized off-road track. Photo by Jennifer Bryant.

Visitors were lined up to ride along on the Land Rover Experience, where drivers showed what the SUVs can do over specially designed "hills." Photo by Jennifer Bryant.

Second half of the Land Rover Experience. "Bridge" descends hydraulically. Photo by Jennifer Bryant.

US Para-Equestrian president Hope Hand (left) watches para-dressage with Team USA competitors Sydney Collier and Roxanne Trunnell. Photo by Jennifer Bryant.

Flamboyant announcer Pedro Cebulka looks every bit the ringmaster at the dressage competition. Photo by Jennifer Bryant.

Sodden FEI TV cameraman during the Grand Prix team competition. Photo by Jennifer Bryant.

Ring-crew member tries to firm up the arena surface after the downpour. Photo by Jennifer Bryant.

During the deluge, dressage judge Isabelle Judet tries to decide whether to venture out of her booth. Photo by Jennifer Bryant.

One who did brave the elements was Dutch judge Francis Verbeek (right), who's smiling in the rain with her scribe. Photo by Jennifer Bryant.

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