It is true. Something has changed. Since Monday we have been enjoying a kind of sweets buffet (croissants, little cakes, muffins…) with an apple here and there at the press office. And every hour someone from Alltech arrives offering us a sandwich. At the first day we still couldn’t believe it. But now that we have been benefiting from this service the third day, we start to grasp that this is really happening. But what has happened? Let’s remember the European Championship in Rotterdam. Back then nothing worked out there either during the first days. The stands hadn’t be established completely; no food was available. Instead of this they were checking out whether the fire extinguisher were working well while the tournament was running (Here you have to bear in mind that the water pipe had been established above our seats and our computers in the press center). Only towards the end of the dressage European Championship and thus before the actual CSIO (showjumping show!) the circumstances had changed in such a way that one could call them acceptable. Do they understand sports in the same way here in Normandy? Let the Games begin with showjumping? Maybe it was also the bunch of bad reports from all over the world which annoyed the organizers, wasn’t it? As a matter of fact, it doesn’t really sound favorable if journalists of the equitation sports from all over the world and in addition also riders and officials complain about smelling and blogged toilets, the long queue time for a croissant across the street or grumpy stewards.
The stewards have neither become friendlier nor more comprehensive yet (Peter Hofmann, German head of the committee of show jumping riders, was not allowed to take the same route to reach his car than the one he had taken in the morning. Instead of this he had to go on a half trip around the world). On the contrary, we now have got a mixed zone where there is enough room for everybody. And we even got a third toilet cabin (and yet, yesterday we had reached the maximum point of smell we were able to tolerate).
Instead of this the chaos has now hit the new disciplines driving and vaulting. Whereas at the latter accreditations and drawings had been turned upside down, no one was able to tell us where the vet check for the driving horses would take place. None of the responsibles had a clue. But those people are exchanged on a daily basis anyway. That’s at least our impression.
Yesterday I also found out why the owner of my hotel can speak English that well: She comes from Canada, from Quebec. She told me with a smile that she had just learnt that the next World Equestrian Games are going to take place in Montreal. She was baffled when I said that they would take place in Bromont. “In Bromont? But that’s virtually in the middle of nowhere! “, she answered being obviously irritated. As the saying also goes in the French part of Canada: C’est la vie!