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  • Writer's pictureHelen Reynolds

Lights, cameras, action... time to raise the curtain

Its Opening Ceremony day and the whole Equestrian Park feels like its a little more buzzy today, We've had a fairly continuous stream of volunteers joining around the park, or blue shirts are they seem to be referred to as. Red M&M's and Blue M&M's exist in this world. The training arenas started at 6am this morning, with us seeing the first horses training over the practice XC as well as more horses now booking the gallops.

It was a very busy session for this thermographer and I was delighted to have the assistant of Solange Mikail, Equine Physical Therapist Team Leader. With Solange's help I was able to capture everything I needed. The horses do appear to be handling the heat well and the management of the horse is at the forefront of everyone's mind.

At 9.30am promptly the Dressage horse inspection commenced and it was great that everyone took a little time to sit down and view the stadium from where the spectators would have been sat. It was a good presentation with only one horse withdrawing following being placed in the holding box and a further to be re-presented again tomorrow in order for them to compete. As soon as this was completed it was off to check the stable temps again and the air quality. Something that I promptly now do just before lunch. It's also a great time to say hello to everyone, meet some new faces etc and collect if possible that all important currency "the badge". We even get badges when we check-in at the lunch canteen. Today I was awarded with my Bronze Badge. I was also give 4 great posters which are up in the park courtesy of the JRA ( Japanese Racing Authority)

I genuinely thought that as it was Opening Ceremony day, it was going to be a little more quiet in afternoon training, how wrong could I be! There were dressage horses everywhere... again dressage riders at home would be having kittens. I cannot post too much about the exact work I am doing until the embargo lifts but what I can say is boy oh boy am I busy. The imaging work has become very popular with the team vets, riders and I constantly hear " ah you are the lady with the camera, please come see my horse". Ultimately I am here to help the Chief Steward, Vet Commission and Ground Jury, but it's refreshing for the powers that be, that my work has not only be accepted but with very open arms, if not too much at times. But hey that's better than a door being slammed in your face.

Sadly we cannot attend the Opening Ceremony, only Athletes. but we have a mini celebration running in the Vet Clinic tonight with a few nibbles... Many are disappointed though that the consumption and sale of alcohol during the Games is on ban. Do they not know anything about Equestrians!!!!!!

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