Monday, June 21, 2010

Reflections of an Also-Ran: The Purina WEG contest

I'm posting regularly about the Purina WEG blogging contest and the primary reason is to remind you to VOTE FOR SHERI.   Tell your friends, acquaintances, and fellow horse folks to  VOTE.  Best of luck to Sheri for a rich and memorable experience at WEG.

But hey -- what about me?...
Did I want to be selected as a semi-finalist? You bet! The prospect was exciting, I was eager for the chance to prove myself as a writer, and I wanted to blog the Games experience for people who couldn't attend. But if it was exhilarating to think about, it was also scary. The visions of glory were followed by visions of botching up.  I pictured myself standing  dazzled in front of Edward Gal with a microphone and saying "Wow, you guys were just amazing. Really. amazing. Just, like WOW!"

In fact I would never have let that happen. But having not been selected as a semi-finalist, I can tell you there are  reasons to be -- well, if not exactly happy, at least having a sense of humor and a feeling of graceful acceptance.   There is a bright side to not being selected. I can think of  at least three things that worried me about being Purina's WEG blogger:
  1. It ain't an easy  job. Blogging the Games will be high visibility, high stress, and high pressure. Doing it the right way will take lots of work and a ton preparation and research.  I had a mental list of the things I'd need do to prepare if I'd ended up going...
    • practice interviewing people in front of a camera -- over and over and over.
    • memorize the FEI rules for the disciplines covered
    • research competitors and teams
    • prepare questions, develop lists of folks to interview
    • Develop a list of topics/article ideas
  2. Focus, focus! At big horse events I'm like a kid at the circus, flitting from place to place, taking everything in. The Games will have many sights and sounds and  (let's face it) shopping! But if you're blogging WEG you can't be Shiny Object Girl. The WEG blogger will be there to do a job and will miss out on the spectator experience. Of course, the blogger experience will be unique and wondrous unto itself, but it is a tradeoff. While I would have welcomed the chance to blog, I can feel glad to have the possibility of going to WEG as a spectator.
  3. Wardrobe worries. Okay it's a bit of a stretch to find three drawbacks to being Purina's blog-o-spondent--but here's a marginal one. Purina will probably ask the bloggers to wear a uniform of sorts, like a polo  with a Purina logo and a pair of "standard issue" black slacks. Cringe.  This isn't about vanity, it's about Purina's representative at WEG not looking like a dork. I would have to pray that the slacks are not "high-waisters," that they come in a 36" inseam, and that the polo is not a men's or unisex style. In slacks and a unisex polo I'll look just like a guy. My other waking nightmare was interviewing Klaus Balkenhol and having him call me "sir."  
Will I go to the WEG as a spectator? I don't know. I'd have to ask my sister if I can stay with her, and I'd probably just get General Admission tix. I think it all hinges on whether Riley is ready to go to Devon. If he can handle the dressage suitability class (which is a real test of stamina), that's probably where I'll be!


  1. Stacy, I have tix for 3 events and although it seemed expensive when I bought them last fall I'm finding out that hotel + airfare + car rental may end up costing me far more than the tickets themselves. I had some money saved up for it but I ended up using it to buy a horse. :)

  2. I don't think I'd want the job either. I'm not sure I have the stamina for it...or, like you, the attention span. *G*

  3. Good luck to Sheri - I imagine the blogospondent job would be nerve wracking!

    I'll be attending the games as a civilian. The cost put me off at first , but the "once in a lifetime" aspect won me over.

    Super psyched to be seeing the freestyle final among other events... planning to visit several farms, finding time to blog, and then there's shopping :)

  4. I understand, I'm having enough fun hosting Edward Gal for a clinic on September 18th. Blogging about the games seems a bit of overkill.

  5. Yes yes yes you can stay with me. :) IF we don't rent the house out for $1200 a nite!

  6. I think you'd have made a great blog-o-spondant despite your misgivings. You never fail to write interesting well thought out posts and you are knowledgeable. You need to let me know if and when you are going, because even if I don't win the trip I will probably go for at least a few days. World class horse comptetiton is never going to be this accessable again! Well, maybe it will but not in the next year!


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