Captain Mark Phillips’ WEG cross-country track is big, bold and beautifully decorated – but how the going will hold out in the forecast torrential rain will be the true test.
As we were walking the track, we had a half hour downpour – even that was enough to make puddles everywhere, and the stream rose by about two feet!
Here’s a fence-by-fence look at the track, although we haven’t included all of the alternatives and there are plenty!
The start box
Fence one, nice and inviting
Fence two has golf balls on the left, multi-coloured cartridge cases (ie used in a gun!) on the right
see, golf balls and old ammo cases!
This is the stream that rose about a foot after half an hour’s rain
Fence three, still easing into it
Fence four, another big but straight-forward obstacle
Fence five is where things get real, you’ll see…
… what we mean
Fence 5 is a combination, with a few options for the B and C elements
Ominous skies above the lake as we walked the course and sure enough, it tipped down for half an hour
Fence 6 is the start of the first water complex
A close up of fence six
Another combination is next at fence 7
There are options here too
A run up the hill to fence 8
Accuracy is the name of the game at the fence 9 combination
We’re back into the water at 10a
From this angle you can see there are options here too
This is the jump out of the water – there are two options to take here and this photo shows the direct route
Here you can see the different options. C is much easier and has more room before you get to D
Then it’s a quick buzz over fence 11 (btw there’s a big ditch underneath)
Fence 12, a beautifully built stone bridge
Detail of fence 12
Some members of the media making a futile attempt at keeping their feet dry after the rain shower flooded the track
Remember that stream we showed you earlier? This is it after half an hour’s rain but further upstream
Fence 13 is a lovely colourful table top combination. The bold will take the ones with the red paint
Fence 14 is a combination with a variety of elements
Team Sweden working out which of the options they will take
Corners and rolltops make up the complex
A little soggy underfoot at this stage but under that fern is a drain
A nice touch, commemorating the previous seven WEGs
Fence 15 seems straight forward enough
Fence 16 is a moonshine still, very creative
Just a good ol’ boy, enjoying him some moonshine. No banjos in sight though.
The combination at fence 17 is on another steep section and looks easy at this point but just wait, this is a tricky one!
It’s a sharp turn to the downhill B-element and the hill is quite extreme. There is a very viable option but does involve one more jumping effort
Riders can jump either side of fence 18a, we’re picking that Jonelle will be heading for the left one!
Which is a substantial spread
And on the other side, the B and C elements are these cute squirrels.
Fence 19 is a massive, airy oxer and then heads straight to the water. Or if you want to go the alternative route you go left after this fence.
At 20, we’re back into water. The jumps squirt out as you go (hopefully) over!
This is the direct route at 20abc
And if you don’t fancy that, here is the land-based option which includes a jump on the bridge over the water – keep scrolling
The complex overall is a footbridge
The B option for the long alternative at the top of the bridge
And the C option
Fence 21 is in bright Swedish flag colours
While 22 is this gorgeous turtle. In the background you can see the exposed soil from all the earthworks, which is taking a punishing with all these downpours
Fence 23 is alongside where the endurance course was running (before it was cancelled) as you can see. There are some fences after this still to be put up
Fence 23 b and c elements. The building behind these fences was a hotel that was hoped to be finished for this event, and was apparently booked out by one of the teams competing in endurance, but unfortunately it didn’t get finished in time!
There are still some fences to be assembled/put up, once the endurance is finished.
On the good news front, this is just in from the Tryon officials: Hurricane Florence Is now expected to make landfall near the North and South Carolina coastal border on Friday evening. The projected weather pattern here at TIEC will be heavy rain on Sunday evening (the eventing finishes on Sunday) into Monday (rest day here) and possibly Tuesday, with winds peaking on Sunday evening at 30mph with gusts of up to 40mph. Thunderstorms today and tomorrow afternoon are not related to Hurricane Florence. Currently there is no change to the arranged flights for competing horses.