This report from Wendy Ying arrived in the middle of our (Eastern Time) night:

The U.S. Team members are as follows: Lisa Stroud with a team of Connemaras, Lori Astagiano with a team of Welsh Section C ponies, Wendy O’Brien witha a pair of German Riding Ponies, Jennifer Matheson with a pair of German Riding Ponies, Randy Cadwell with a German Riding Pony, and Shelley Temple with a Morgan. The alternate [competing as a single] is Suzy Stafford with an Arabian/Morgan pony. Chester Weber is the chef d’equipe, Michael Freund is the coach, and the team veterinarian is Lisa Castenella.

The pony team made it to Slovenia!! We left Germany on the twelve-hour trip across the Austrian Alps during a snowstorm!! Yes, snow! Pictures of the snow to follow. “Burger” Bob was with Koos de Ronde, shipping Lisa Stroud’s ponies, about four hours behind us. We saw light accumulation, but they have pictures of the snowplows !

The pony team settled in well after the long journey. The USEF’s director of driving, Lizzie Staller, met us at the check-in with our credentials and helped us get our paperwork organized. There is plenty of space for warmup, and the barns are huge: 12 by 12 stalls in tent stabling. All the Americans are in one barn next to the main arena. Team coach Michael Freund and team vet Lisa Castenella jogged all the ponies last night, and everyone looks ready to roll. Chef d’equipe Chester Weber is getting us all the info needed from the show office and keeping everyone in the right place at the right time. One of the differences of showing at a championship is that the competitors are not allowed to go to the show office. The chefs d’equipe are the representatives for the team and any individuals, and they attend daily meetings, so they are the liaisons between the officials and the competitors.  All the U.S. drivers will work with Michael this afternoon and then do the official vet check tomorrow.

Lippica Stud is incredible. The barns are from the 1800s. The mare-and-baby barn is a stucco complex with a center courtyard. The stallion barn is also incredible. This is a tourist center, so there are two hotels on the property, one relatively modern with a casino.  The main arena has fantastic footing, sand with felt. You enter the arena though a stone tunnel and arrive into the stadium … very exciting for horses and spectators. The marathon obstacles are all close by each other and the barns, so it will be very easy to catch all the obstacles and follow your favorites. Megs and I will try to get video and photos of all the Americans.

one of the marathon obstacles (photo by Wendy Ying)

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the tunnel from the warm-up arena into the main arena (photo by Wendy Ying)

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the main arena (photo by Wendy Ying)

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one of the old barns at Lipica Stud, from the outside ... (photo by Wendy Ying)

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... and from the inside (photo by Wendy Ying)

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one of the beautiful local residents at Lipica Stud (photo by Wendy Ying)