Monday, 23 July 2012

Day Eight - Has it really been that long?

A date with destiny...0800 hours 22nd July; the London 2012 Greenwich Equestrian Venue opened to the Teams. Consequently we were there at 0748 hours...just to make sure! We were greeted by smiling members of the Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers (yes I will comment sometime) who looked at our accreditation and had to double check we were allowed in; green light given and we were in - they were most welcoming!
Our Royal welcome at St.Mary's Gate, Greenwich
Okay there are still some last minute finishing touches needed.....but wow wow wow the venue looks stunning. Greeted by many familiar faces we exchanged handshakes whilst we waited for the stables to be unlocked (not military but it out).

The aim of today was to get Sarah Armstrong’s lorry unpacked and start setting up the stables. Mr Efficient Henry Bullen had already moved the horsebox down to the stables so we were out of the starting blocks quicker than a bolting Bolt. All hands to the pumps to get the horsebox unloaded (apparently the new trolley or flatbed to give it the title it would have had at the King’s Troop) is called Trevor....why everything has to have a name is beyond me but that is the world I work in! Sarah Armstrong and Brendan Murray (this will be his 6th Olympic Games) continued to set up the stables for most of the day.

Unloading 'Sarah's lorry'
Meanwhile, back at the Ranch, Sophie Thomas set up the office / meeting room and awaited the arrival of the newest member of the White Van Man club...Georgina Harland (yes, she of Modern Pentathlon medal fame in Athens). Georgie is our Sports Engagement Manager (SEM) at the BOA and is the conduit through whom I have all communication with the BOA. Georgie was delivering our “home from home” pressies from the BOA....toothbrushes, sun cream, shower gel, Union flag throw, Team GB mug....a great deal of work goes in to making everyone feel comfortable.
Definition of watering grass in Great July 2012. However, there is a reason; this was turf that had been recently laid to ensure all looked spick and span and that the Park remains in good condition. Apparently this, “lay and play” turf needs watering to help it take as soon as possible.

At the other end of the scale....we were asked to don blue plastic overshoes to enter Devonport keep everything as clean as possible prior to the arrival of the grooms.
Will sporting very fetching blue shoe protectors - heading into Devonport House, the 5* Grooms accomodation requires clean shoes!
So a good day.....apart from the Parking Fine; we had some kit to unload at a private address and had been lent what we were assured was a guest Resident’s Pass...only problem was not “in date” until 27th July.... budget down by £65!
The day concluded with the first Team Leaders’ Meeting; Team Leader is Olympic talk for what we would call a Chef de Mission at a World Equestrian Games – i.e. me for GBR. There is a British Chef de Mission for all sports across Team GB and that is Andy Hunt from the BOA. Technically there is no such term as Chef d’Equipe at the Games, although, being equestrian, we continue to refer to Team Managers (Yogi Breisner / Richard Waygood / Rob Hoekstra) as Chefs d’Equipe...which of cause slightly confuses the non-equestrians!
A great touch by LOCOG – a glass of something after the meeting so everyone could have a good chin-wag. Horses (not GBR) start arriving tomorrow.
Getting sorted in the stables....
View from outside the stables
Platformed training arena
The essentials......
Platform support system - all of the stabling and training arenas are built on platforms to protect the Park
Looking over the training arenas
Ramp up to the training arenas


  1. looks amazing... best of luck 2 u all xxxxx

  2. Go British Dressage Team...I am soooo excited that we actually have real medal contenders....Yeee haaaa

  3. Am astounded at the engineering of the whole thing and love the essentials.. buckets no life without them