I promised to post some photos of all the work going into “finishing off” the obstacles for Saturday’s marathon …

To recap: the word was that Mick and his crew needed to “put the moveable elements” into place in the marathon obstacles, once the Eventing riders were finished with the cross-country course. He called me on Sunday to say they were working at the Head of the Lake, putting the “island” in place. But we were busy here in the office (and I wasn’t quite dressed for the sudden cold weather), and I never made it out there to document the proceedings. Then I heard they were at it again yesterday morning. I finally made it out there yesterday (Monday) afternoon, and the island was indeed in place. And several more parts of the obstacle had been built from scratch … posts dug, rails up, the whole bit. The dirt surface of the island was being rolled, the bridge to the island had been built, and all sorts of work was going on around me.

And work was going at a fever pitch at other obstacles as well. Mick’s regular crew of about five people seems to have grown overnight to two or three times that size.

So, without further ado, the current progress … (I am cheating slightly because I didn’t get photos on Sunday or yesterday morning; these photos of the island being put in place are from the test run back in July … you may notice that only one section of temporary grandstands was under construction at that point, and the grass was still green!)

the island is pulled into place on a flatbed trailer

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the big machinery (one on this side and one on the far side) moves into place …

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… and begins to lift the island off its trailer

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while the island is held up, the trailer is pulled out from underneath

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… ooohhhh … levitating …

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… and then adjustments are made

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Once the island’s structure was in place, the footing had to be added and rolled to make it an actual island …

the “before” (this shot is still from back in July)

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… and the “after” (this shot is from yesterday)

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the bridge to the island is new as of, well, yesterday …

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… as is all of this (in case you’re wondering, the grass is so green here because this area was part of the Eventing cross-country track, which had been watered)

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work continued yesterday afternoon

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During the same span of about a day and a half, at the Kentucky Horses obstacle (#1), we’ve gone from this …

snow!? not to worry, it didn’t get THAT cold … this was taken back in January

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… to this …

branches are being stuffed in the allotted spaces and then trimmed to mimic hedges

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and there are one …

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… two … horses as well

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If I manage to get out to the marathon course this afternoon, I have no doubt that I will be amazed (again) by the sheer amount of work completed since yesterday. In passing yesterday, I also saw a small army of decorators doing their thing. I can’t wait to see the finished products … Can you?