Armageddon is nigh. Today, a squirrel marched up the Mixed Zone while people (I was one) were being interviewed. That is wrong on so many fronts that I had to allow myself an extra large and rather yummy lunch in the IPC / FEI Friends & Family Lounge.
Yes, through dealings that I will not enlarge on here (but essentially the generosity of ParalympicsGB) I have access to the Lounge were the Great & the Good partake in social exchanges. This is located in the Queen’s House which is the architectural gem that forms the backdrop to the glorious Field of Play that is the Greenwich Venue.
Since I last spouted forth, the GBR equestrian team have continued to perform. The second day of competition saw GBR open up a satisfying lead in the Team competition with Sophie Wells and Sophie Christiansen both winning their respective Grades and Deb Criddle just getting pipped in to second by the Germans. These “Team” tests only count towards the Team medal so what is vital is a “clear round” that sets the tone for things to come. The Sophie’s scores of 83.647 (Sophie C) and 75.906 (Sophie W) certainly set the tone for what we hope will come!
Today started with a peel of thunder; thunderous applause as Natasha Baker nailed a Paralympics record of 76.857% in the Individual Grade II test. I must admit I thought ...in the bag; she will be on top of the Podium; but as if to demonstrate, on the Field of Play, what I have been saying for some months, the standards in para-equestrian dressage are rocketing. Britta Napel (GER) 76.048% and Angelika Trabert (GER) 76.000%. I am now off to the Doctors for an ECG cos that was too close for comfort!! Go go Natasha Baker; London 2012 hero.
Lee Pearson in the Grade Ib Individual competition next (following a break for the aforementioned lunch). Lee of course is part of the Team and the Individual Test counts towards the Team score; I know Individual for the Team a bit backside about face! Lee had his work cut out and called on all of his considerable talent and experience to land an excellent score of 75.391%. We all now wait to see how the reminder of the riders go. Perhaps the biggest threat is Pepo Puch (AUT) who was only just behind Lee in the Team Test.
Note to Medal Presenters; turn your mobile phone off when you are presenting medals, as I am a child at heart and it must be distracting to have your phone vibrating in your pocket.......mustn’t it Mr McEwen?