JMR Adventures at the World Cup, Lyon, France 2014
US GP rider Taylor Land and GP rider Jessie Drea of Great Britain, have been fast friends since meeting at International Young Riders competitions. Both are also long time friends of Judge My Ride and models for Style My Ride. They are joined in reporting from the FEI World Cup finals in Lyon, by Michael Doherty of Ireland. Here is Taylor's first report upon arrving in Lyon:
Jessie is arriving in Lyon in a few hours, so our 2014 World Cup adventure can officially begin! So far, I have just scoped out Lyon and Saint-Priest, which is where my hotel is located, and embarrassed myself countless times while attempting to buy groceries and use various forms of public transportation. Yesterday I decided to use the local tramway to get to the Equiplex, which is a giant exhibition center where both the show jumping and dressage sections of the World Cup are taking place. The receptionist at the front desk of my Comfort Inn and Suites gave me directions on a map of the area and then pointed me in the direction of the nearest tram stop. Luckily it was literally a hundred feet from the front door of the hotel! My first issue arose when i tried to buy a tram ticket with the automated machine at the station. I tried at least five times but no matter what I did, I just couldn't get the machine to accept the 5 euro bill I was attempting to feed it. When a friendly-looking teenage girl and guy walked up, I desperately asked if they knew how to use the machine! The guy didn't speak any english, but the girl took pity on me and asked if I was from England. When I told her I was American she got very excited and said she dreams of visiting the US one day! The girl, whose name was Sabrine, helped me sort out buying a ticket (turns out I am a little retarded because the machines don't accept euro bills, but I'm not completely retarded because the one I was trying to use actually was broken), and she and her friend (I forgot his name, oops!) got on the tram with me. I learned that Sabrine is eighteen, a senior in high school, and wants to study foreign languages at university after she graduates! It was so much fun to chat and learn about her life here in this quiet suburb of Lyon. Sabrine also saved me from the mean ticket collector lady who got VERY angry when she realized I hadn't scanned my ticket when I got on the tram (apparently this is something you have to do? Live and learn, I suppose... haha I certainly won't make that mistake again, and I will definitely have nightmares of the ticket lady's furious face for years to come!) Sabrine and her friend also gave me their Facebook info and we have plans to get drinks later this weekend! Meeting new people in foreign countries is just the best! After quite an adventure on the tram, I finally made it to the Equiplex. I was able to pick up a pass at the press office, and I went to explore the complex. The Equiplex is absolutely outrageous! It is a giant place and stuffed to the brim with amazing shopping, restaurants, candy stores on every corner (seriously there is so much candy, it's a little weird), spacious warm-up rings for both show jumping and dressage, and a giant competition arena! When I arrived, there was a 2* CSI class going on. However, most of the class was made up of French riders and I didn't know any of them or their horses. The World Cup riders are saving their mounts for today! The first leg of the World Cup, a table C speed class, starts at 8:00 pm tonight. The second round will go tomorrow, then Sunday is a rest day for top 25 horse/rider combinations coming back for the final two rounds on Monday. Sunday will also feature a CSI 3* Grand Prix, so there will be plenty of excitement all weekend! Apparently various means of transportation are trying to cause issues for us this week because Jessie's plane had some mechanical problems this morning! She texted me "our plane is broken" about an hour ago, so I'm praying those lovely British mechanics can work some magic and get my Jessie here safe and sound! We will update you on the speed class later tonight... GO USA!!!