Riders arrive, bright lights, BIG city

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Still cannot believe that I am here.... SO AMAZING
The riders got here yesterday around 2pm; tired, but not too weary - very excited to see their horses so well. The grooms had been for their 1 hour morning hand graze and we got the chance to walk them around the main arena. The arena area itself is quite big with the stands far enough away to not make you feel too claustrophobic. Back in the air-conditioned stables, the horses have learned to become very comfortable with the cooler temp (around 68 degrees). We have been trying to get them out walking a few times a day to help get them used to the heat. We have been lucky with the weather so far, and most days feel like a hot day in Virginia in July. So much to learn on the vet side of this trip... so enjoying that.
At night here at the Sha Tin race course, it turns into daylight with every arena lit up for practice and schooling. We had the horses out again last night for a walk in the "dark" to make sure they would be okay with the lights. It is so bright, there are no shadows.
We are walking through the arenas with the best dressage and event horses ever - takes your breath away - and we are all here to do the same thing and hoping for the same result. Yet everyone has respect for each other and doesn't get in each other's way.
We are having fun getting to know the dressage riders, grooms and horses. Love Brentina - she is such a lady, so poised and so sweet. And Ravel has a fabulous pony mane that gives him the character that makes him dance the way he does... We will get to know the jumper crew when they get here on Wednesday -
The US event horses are very well - all had a great hack this am and a quick flat in the main arena with their riders.
Mandiba continues to amaze me - he is the youngest on the team by 5 years and has no real right to be here, except that he has had the best of the best his whole life: he was bred by William Micklem in Ireland - William has found Biko, Custom Made, Giltedge, Jokers Wild, Prince Panache and many others for Karen and David for many years. 5 years ago, Karen called him while we were in England for the summer getting ready for Burghley and Blenheim and told him she had a wonderful owner that really wanted a quality young horse - Mandiba was 4 then and was out in the field due to lack of time on his part to work with him. We got the pictures and sent them to longtime supporter and friend, Joan Goswell - we knew William had never steered them wrong, so she bought him sight unseen - the rest is history. William and Joan have continued to be great pen pals keeping up with Mandiba's achievements, and this is by far the most exciting so far. We are very proud of him to just be here... no more, no less.
The grooms got a night in Hong Kong tonight for dinner with our riders - we walked down the street from the hotel where they are staying - BIG city, many people, very clean and such great energy! Really fun dinner - back for night check and now time for sleep -
More soon....