As you know, the CAA offers organized trips to many of the Driving World Championships and to the Royal Windsor Horse Show, and to visit private carriage collections in various parts of the world.

Even though we’re based here in Lexington (so it’s not much of a trip for us) and this one is not terribly difficult to arrange on one’s own, we nonetheless arranged and offered a CAA trip to this year’s World Equestrian Games: hotel (several, as it turns out), tickets to the Driving event, a private party with the drivers, etc.

More than two hundred people signed up! And they’re coming from all over the world.

Jill and Linda Long were locked in our conference room all day yesterday, just divvying up the appropriate number of tickets and shuttle passes into everyone’s packets.

Over the course of the past several months, box after box after box was delivered to our office as a number of people on the trip helped us outfit rather large bags, now full of goodies, for each of the WEG drivers. The bags contain, among many other things: hats, flags, bumper stickers, beer, chocolate, cheese, bandanas, pretzels, more chocolate, etc., etc., etc.

We’ve begun distributing the bags to a few of the drivers as they arrive on the grounds or stop by the office. Without fail, everyone is touched by the thought, amazed at the weight of the bag, and then excited to start digging through to see what’s in it.

Likewise, we here in the office were excited, along with U.S. driver Bill Long, to see everything in his bags full of Team USA gear. He pulled item after item out (from two big paper bags and a garment bag), to a chorus of ooohs and aaaahs from the rest of us.

U.S. driver Bill Long, outside the CAA office, wearing his new Team USA cowboy hat and rain jacket and showing off his new Team USA blazer

In the end, Bill (and all the other U.S. drivers) had amassed quite a collection of Team USA clothing: a cowboy hat, Ariat cowboy boots, blue sneakers with red lining (with smiley faces!), three blue polo shirts, a white button-down shirt, a USA vest, a USA fleece-lined jacket, a USA rain jacket, a baseball cap, a blazer (with the team patch on the pocket), and a backpack. They will all be well outfitted in their team uniform for the next nine days!