Thursday was a bit of a slow day again. I accompanied Eventing Team Manager Janette Leask to the airport to pick up some owners and family who were arriving for the Event Team. We had a big Canadian flag with us so that people could spot us easily. Touching down in Hong Kong today were the Davies (owners of Columbo), Samantha Taylor’s family, Selena O’Hanlon’s mom, Kyle Carter’s family and Grit High (High Performance Chair for Eventing). That’s a big contingent! Everyone arrived safely and are excited for the competition to begin. The jog is today (Friday) at 4pm with Canada being the 4th country to go after Belarus, New Zealand and Poland.
Between airport runs, Janette and I found some time to check out the Jade market in Kowloon. I’m not a big shopper, but was interested in checking it out. 1 hour later and I found out how dangerous the place is even for a non-shopper like me! I came away with quite a few bags of stuff after spending $1,000 HK (equivalent to about $133 Canadian). I was also starting to get the hang of bartering and managed to get some swinging deals. Every seller at a stall has a calculator, and when you ask how much for something they type out the price on the calculator. If it looks like you’re balking, then they’ll immediately drop the price. If you start to walk away, then they push the calculator towards you and ask you to type in what you want to pay. The non-shopper in me worked wonders because I had no problem walking away from the majority of things I saw……so the price was always dropping for me 🙂 . I picked up some gifts for back home and a beautiful yellow jade pendant necklace for me. Janette swung a great deal on some jade bracelets and I became the lucky owner of a beautiful purple jade bracelet. Dressage team vet Jennifer Miller and team rider Leslie Reid met us at the market but Janette and I had to leave to be back in time for airport run # 2 which was a good thing because who knew what other things I would have bought! It was a good prep excercise for me for the Ladies’ Market (dubious name, I know!) and the Stanley Market which I hope to do next week.
Although I was able to go to the venue that night, I hear that the place was really hopping. The main competition arena was open again with a dressage ring now set up and the judges’ huts. Dressage chef Ali Buchanan told me that the ring itself was packed with some near collisions. Our dressage riders stuck to riding around the outside of the ring which was likely a good plan given the chaos on the inside. The jumbotron was on, but no cartoon horses this time. The screen didn’t pose a problem to any of the horses.
This afternoon is the Eventing jog followed by a welcome reception to usher in the beginning of the games. After being here for so many days, people are definitely starting to feel the excitement now! Will do my best to grab some snaps and post here later.
The media hotel (where I’m staying) is also starting to get packed. Our jumper team is staying here with Jill, Jonathan and Mac already here. Ian and Torchy arrives later today with Eric coming tomorrow. Then our entire Team Canada will be here! I ran into Jenn Ward and Karen Robinson in the lobby who are both covering the events with a Canadian perspective. I know that Cealy Tetley has arrived as well but haven’t seen her yet.
One last thing…..Marks & Spencers rocks! Just bought some Sweet Thai Chili and Coriander flavoured chips. De-licious.