I was very lucky to get a ticket (thank you Neil & Janet) to go to see the Cross Country at Greenwich Park yesterday. What a fantastic day we had! The sun shone all day, all trains were on time – all fears of massive hold-ups unfounded, directions clear etc.
We didn’t encounter any crowds until we got to Blackheath and then had to wait to cross over a bridge and then through security checks. Without exception, all staff we met were happy, friendly and helpful – a great advert for GB.
Greenwich Park – what an inspired choice of venue! Beautiful setting in parkland with views over the skyline of London. A small course full of twists and turns, hills and trees – challenging for horse and rider. Even though there were about 50,000 people there, it didn’t feel like that as there was plenty of room to walk around. We walked the whole course, having pit stops for Pimms (or No 1 cup as they had to call it) baguettes and coffee.
People watching par excellence – how we loved watching a very smart chap all dressed up in his chinos, blazer and city shoes go sliding down a hill on his behind – unsuitable shoes –we tutted. Very smart ladies in their tea party shoes( as my gran would say) picking their way delicately across the uneven ground. We, of course were dressed for comfort not style in walking boots, jeans etc. How glad was I at the end of the day to have worn comfortable shoes.
We were able to get close enough to some of the jumps to be able to take photos – some easier than others it has to be said. The arena itself had the stunning backdrop of the Royal Naval College which gave it the appearance of an expensive stage set.
The atmosphere was amazing with the crowd cheering every rider who successfully completed a jump – with the biggest cheers of course for Team GB. A Mexican wave of cheers echoed around the park when the British riders started and then carried on through each jump. When Zara Phillips rode through the arena the noise was incredible with everyone cheering and stamping their feet – royals included.
After an exciting day we made our way home with everyone in good humour and happy to sit and relax on the train back to Somerset.
Olympic Games – logistical nightmare or triumph?
TRIUMPH – we should all be very proud.