Postcard 5: 2008 Developing Rider Tour, Germany

Coach Melanie Smith Taylor describes the scene as she and the riders on the USEF Show Jumping Developing Rider Tour prepare for competition at Aach, Germany.

June 13, 2008 — A quick update: All horses went well last night–jumping fresh and looking ready for this week of competition. The classes the first day don’t have much prize money so we are saving the big efforts for weekend.

We still got out of the show late but all had dinner together in the quaint town of Stein an Rhein, where we are staying in Switzerland. Alexa Lowe’s mom has joined us now. It is always fun to have family and friends, the more the merrier.

The drive back to the hotel is so pleasant as we are in a rural area filled with silos and churches. Corn and other grains are growing and lots of fruit trees line the road. No one checks our passports at the border.

The town where we are staying is so unique in that the buildings are painted on the outside with murals that depict the history of the city. There is even a building under construction that has a painted screen like a facade that is the duplication of the original paintings behind it–so as to keep the beautiful look while under construction–instead of graffiti that we often see!

It is fun to walk around the small town where no cars are allowed. Cute little shops and lots of bakeries tempt us. I found a nice jogging path along the river that weaves through the town. Morning runs are my best way of seeing the cities usually and getting my bearings.

Breakfast at the hotel is wonderful–warm breads fresh from the oven with all sorts of cheeses and meats, the usual yogurts, granolas and mueslis, fresh fruits, boiled eggs on their cute little pedestals, etc. We cleverly make sandwiches for lunch so we can enjoy the buffet into the afternoon. I usually am ready for my packed lunch as soon as I get to the show!

Today is a small tour speed class that Tracy Magness takes Triumph in and the rest of the riders will take both their horses in the grand prix qualifier tonight. Supposedly the class goes under lights at 7:30 with probably 100 in it–another late night!

Temperatures are in the 60s with off and on rain, mostly off. The forecast looks the same for the weekend. Everyone is in good spirits–lots of laughs, camaraderie and good fun continue. The horses are all well.

Until later!

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