from Wendy Ying:

Another fabulous day in Lipica at the World Pony Championships!

Meghan Benge and I watched the mares and foals being turned out from their yards to pasture. Then we headed down to the barns to help Randy get ready for the jog. Today was the first veterinary inspection, and I was lucky enough to hold one of Laurie’s adorable Welsh ponies leading up the the ring.

We gathered in the arena next to the stadium and went through the tunnel into the main arena, where they had two lanes open to jog. The announcer, Marc Weintein, did an excellent job keeping us all up to speed on who passed and who was put in the holding box, and there were a few tense moments, but at the end of the day only one pony was spun out of more than a hundred. And yes … everyone on Pony Team USA passed!

Then we put the ponies away and went back to walk in the parade of nations for opening ceremonies. There are seventeen nations competing. Team USA has a full team plus an individual. Team Australia has Janelle Marshal showing a single. Janelle currently lives in Aiken, South Carolina, and trains with Muffy Seaton, who owns her Connemara pony, Jack Sparrow.

After the nations parade, many competitors filled the stands to see the quadrille of Lipizzan stallions, followed by a pas de deux of Lipizzan gelding pairs put to dressage carriages, who ended their demo with a chuckwagon-style gallop around the arena.

The teams and pairs walked hazards with Michael Freund, while the singles went out driving after the opening ceremonies and are walking now at about 7 p.m. our time. At 5 p.m., they were all loaded up into giant orange hay wagons pulled by tractors to see the course.

We are just headed out to nations night. Head of the Pony Team USA supporters, Philip Needs and Judy Fryer, are making sliders and have Jack Daniels for everyone. I don’t know what our skit is, but I will have video of the Americans and the Germans, as they are known for a great show.

Let me know, please, in the comments whether the video I’ve linked to above will play for you. I don’t have QuickTime on my computer, so I can’t get it to play.  —  Jennifer