From France to Texas – The Horse World takes me around the world!
A trip to France to plan ahead for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy was a home run. For three days a group of journalists who plan to cover this prestigious event uncovered details not just about the Games but about the region of Normandy.
In less than a year Normandy will host a sea of people who will come not only for the horses but to discover what that area has to offer. They’ll visit Mont Saint Michel and witness one of the most delightful historical sites in the world. They’ll savor the flavors of the region from the apple brandy of Calvados to the delectable cheeses and delightful cuisine France is known for.
If history is what the visitors want to learn about, of special note is a visit to the site where the Battle of Normandy took place. It was a battle that covered the land with men who sacrificed their lives in order to help put an end to a tragic and devastating war. The remains of that terrible time are visible in the land that the bombs destroyed. The craters that remain tell a tale of the fight that was fought with determination.
If horses are what they want to see, then they’ve got a tapestry of eight disciplines at the Games to watch the world’s finest equestrians vie for the many coveted championship titles. Those disciplines include Show Jumping, Dressage, Eventing. Driving, Endurance, Vaulting, Reining and Para-Dressage and also added to that will be Polo and Horse Ball exhibitions. Nowhere can you go to witness so much horse talent at one location then at the Games.
But there’s more in the horse world that they can see from the famous stallion breeding farm Haras du Pin to the many local horse farms. France offers a world of horse sports for visitors to uncover.
My memories are many but some of the special moments are very simple times, from the caramel sundae and hot chocolate I had at Mont Saint Michel to my first site of this incredible structure filling the sky with its massive beauty. This is one of many historical buildings that tell a story of a country that has a history that dates back ages. Here is what Wikipedia says about French history.
“Stone tools indicate that early humans were present in France at least 1.57 million years ago. The first modern humans appeared in the area 40,000 years ago. The first written records for the history of France appear in the Iron Age.”
While I loved Mont Saint Michel, I think the most visible memories of the trip to France was the tour we took in some of the same vehicles that were used during the Battle of Normandy. As we bounced around the countryside we were the lucky ones to be able to drive around in an area that is no longer a battlefield. Yet, how can you not reminisce what it must have been like for our soldiers when they were being driven around wondering if it would be their turn next.
Alas from August 23rd to September 7th Normandy will have a chance to share with its visitors the thrill of the Games and the beauty of a region. It’s an event and a chance that many should take advantage of. All the details can be uncovered by visiting their web site at http://www.alltechfeiweg2014-normandy.com/.
And follow both my blog and my Examiner column as I continue to bring you regular updates leading up to the Games.
Texas and the American Horse Publications Was Next!
October is a busy month for me. I returned home just in time to be a part of an acting showcase where 21 actors performed monologues to a standing room only audience. While horses are my world, acting is my newest passion.
The next morning I hopped on a plane headed to San Antonio, Texas for an American Horse Publications board meeting, which took place at the Menger Hotel. This organization is a great opportunity for equine media, companies in the horse world or those who want to connect with the horse world.
The AHP has a web site that is worth a visit at americanhorsepubs.org. Probably what the AHP is best known for is its distribution of press releases. Members can have up to two press releases a month sent out to the AHP membership.
On the educational side, the AHP’s annual seminar has become an event that most of its members have on their annual calendar because of the educational value of its workshops and the chance to be recognized in its awards contest. A special bonus is the chance to network to a group of like-minded people with similar goals.
The board is in constant communication and meets twice a year. Those meetings focus on how to best service its members by offering educational opportunities alongside chances to be recognized.
The AHP has been around since 1970 and has a combined membership of media and businesses that totals over 500. The 2014 annual seminar will take place in June in Charleston, SC with the board now planning ahead for the 2015 seminar to take place in San Antonio, TX.