Michele Mueller’s groom Meghan Bailie gets packing

Pamela Nunn is a freelance FEI groom who went to previous “Games” with Canadian event rider Selena O’Hanlon and this time, will be going to London with team alternate Shandiss Wewiora and her 8-yr-old Irish Sport Horse Rockfield Grant Juan.

In her blog, Pamela shares a “behind the scenes” journey to the London 2012 Olympic Games from a groom’s perspective. 

Packing for the Games!

Imagine packing for a family holiday. Then,  think of all you would need to take if you were bringing your horse. Then, factor in that the horse needs all his equipment to compete in Eventing at the Olympics. You can imagine how much stuff you would need to bring…

Team Canada has wonderful tack trunks with wheels that we used at the 2008 Olympics and the 2010 World Equestrian Games.

Fortunately, we are much less restricted than we were going to Hong Kong. We are able to take more trunks and bags on the plane with the horses.Which is just as well, given that we need to take blankets and rainsheets for the inclement British weather. As well as lighter sheets etc plus a selection of wet weather human clothing and footwear.

As alternate rider who will be staying on in England after the Games (if they don’t get called up,  Shandiss and Juan will most likely compete at Blenheim), I have to pack with that in mind. We do not get an official team trunk but have a selection of smaller ones. I love lists and organising, so I find packing fun. It is also nice to think that we will be in the best country for horse shopping, should some random item be required.

A few photos from Training Camp

It was a poignant moment when I opened the tack trunk that I used at WEG. It still had Colombo’s feed instructions and a “Go Selena and Colombo” message

Shandiss gets artistic

London 2012 Olympic Rings

Peter Barry and Kildoran Abbott

Jessie Phoenix

Hawley and Ginny

Michele Mueller

Riddle Master getting TLC from his groom Dana Cooke

Barns at OCET in Virginia

The riders all received M&Ms with their horse’s name on them, courtesy of Mrs Mars – who owns the farm

A Canada Flag was to welcome us to the dressage show on Canada Day

We are also starting the process of gradually switching the horses over onto the grain we will be using in England. This is being supplied by KER. We have a batch here and some has already been shipped to England. The feed was formulated to closely match the horses current grain. Just one of the very important details that go into planning a successful trip.

On Tuesday morning, the horses all had blood and urine samples taken to ensure that any of the products, supplements or topical treatments will not inadvertently cause problems or infringement of FEI drug rules. We commenced testing the specific gravity of the urine which is an indication of hydration levels. With this information, Canadian Team Vet Dr Christiana Ober can decide whether or not to give the horses IV fluids before they fly. Just as we feel thirsty and dehydrated after a long flight, so do the horses.

The horses are all working well and positively thriving in their luxurious barn with wonderful grass turnout. This will stand them in good stead for the flight to England and their latest competition outing at Gatcombe Park the weekend after we arrive.

As I write, storms are blowing in here again, with many people still without power from the last lot, so I will send this now.

More as the adventure continues.

Pamela