To wrap up our coverage of last week’s FEI World Pony Driving Championships, let’s time-travel back to Sunday’s awards and medals ceremonies and watch the celebrations.

First were the awards ceremonies for the overall ribbon winners in each division. Each of these award ceremonies followed each division’s cones competition. This led to some confusion about the nature and the number of award ceremonies, but for the medal winners, it allowed for multiple celebrations. 

Melanie Becker, the 17-year-old Dutch driver competing as an individual, was ecstatic with her overall first-place finish in the single-pony division; the Dutch fans were rightly proud of her as well

Melanie Becker, the 17-year-old Dutch driver competing in the championships as an individual, was ecstatic with her overall first-place finish in the single-pony division; the Dutch fans were rightly proud of her as well

after finishing his cones course, Germany's Daniel Schneiders (competing in the championships as an individual) knew he had won the gold medal in the pairs division; after the ribbon ceremony, he participated in a radio interview and then was greeted by a number of fans who wanted to shake his hand and by a pack of giggling teenage girls (photo by A.J.)

after finishing his cones course, Germany’s Daniel Schneiders (competing in the championships as an individual) knew he had won the gold medal in the pairs division; after the ribbon ceremony, he participated in a radio interview and then was greeted by a number of fans who wanted to shake his hand and by a pack of giggling teenage girls

Germany's Steffan Brauchle finished in second place (winning the silver medal) in the four-in-hand division; both he and the gold-medal winner (Germany's Tobias Buecker) were enormously popular with the home crowd; Brauchle himself appeared to revel in the attention

Germany’s Steffan Brauchle finished in second place in the four-in-hand division; both he and the gold-medal winner (Germany’s Tobias Buecker) were enormously popular with the home crowd and Brauchle appeared to revel in the attention

After the cones competitions and all of their various awards ceremonies were over, the preparations for the medal ceremonies began. While the crowd waited along the long side of the arena, facing the medal podium, we photographers were herded between the side of the arena and small plastic barriers erected to keep the old cars and the ponies and carriages from running us over. And then the procession began. First came the party bus, with the red-sequined band from the competitors party on top, playing big band music, which blared from speakers on the bus.

the double-decker party bus

the double-decker party bus

And then came the officials and the teams’ chefs d’equipe, coaches, vets, etc. in a parade of old cars. At least one person in every car was carrying a flag, of course.

old cars 1

four of the antique cars in the medal-ceremony parade

a few more of the antique cars

a few more of the antique cars

The cars then all lined up on either side of the podium, facing the crowd, and in came the ponies and carriages of the drivers who had won both individual and team medals. The rest of each nation’s contingent came in on foot and gathered around their drivers or their cars.

The medal ceremonies for the individual winners were held first.

Suzy Stafford has wears her individual bronze medal and watches as Melanie Becker receives her gold medal

Suzy Stafford had received her individual bronze medal and watched as Melanie Becker receives her gold medal

the German fans were shouting and singing in anticipation of the medal ceremony for the pairs division, which was swept by German drivers; those same fans were ecstatic with the enormous flag the organizers produced for their gold-medal winner

the German fans were shouting and singing in anticipation of the medal ceremony for the pairs division, which was swept by German drivers; those same fans were ecstatic with the enormous flag the organizers produced for their gold-medal winner

the Germany gold-medal winner in the four-in-hand division, Tobias Buecker

Germany’s gold-medal winner (four-in-hands), Tobias Buecker

 And then, as you might imagine, the crowd was pleased with the awarding of the team medals:

the German team members (and the fans) all sang along to the German national anthem as the huge flag was raised over the podium

the German team members (and the fans) all sang along to the German national anthem as the huge flag was raised over the podium

"hats off!"

“hats off!”

more of the German team members, grooms, families, etc. ... standing next to the podium and watching the proceedings

more of the German team members, grooms, families, etc. … standing next to the podium and watching the proceedings (the judges are the ones in the front with hats on)

And then, finally, was yet one more lap of honor and a final parade of cars. And then it was time for all of us to say goodbye.Suzy Stafford on the lap of honor for all the medalists