The first event of the European Grand Prix is finished! In the Korean event the results (with Finland absent) were:
EDIT: I think I may have confused things in an earlier post. Points are awarded not for first page in Grunwald, first in Sweden etc but at each stage there are points for placing in the Korean, Hungarian etc. So Poland get 100pts (I think) for winning the Korean and then another 100 for winning the Hungarian (which they will!)
The Polish rule for the Korean event go a long way (some would probably say too far) towards removing the a advantage of fast horses. Whole there are unlimited bonus points for speed (without the IHAA limit at 10m/s), there are bonus points for hitting all the targets on any of the disciplines (double, triple and five shot). In addition, fake to hit 2 targets on the triple shot or 3 targets on the 5 shot means that you score nothing. There were lots of very good people scoring no points because they were going too fast to be able to hit enough targets. On my little Polish horse I didn’t have that problem…
Team GB were consistently good, with no weak link, which had been a fear of mine, not because I thought anybody was likely to do badly but because anybody who did may well feel that they had let the team down. Nobody did.
After the competition we had a lecture about Polish horseback archery and a tour of the Battle of Grunwald museum. We then drive to a nearby palace that has been converted to a hotel, where we had a tour of the stables (extreme horsey luxury, right down to the chandeliers) and the palace. On a slightly surreal note, we we ushered into a small ballroom, asked to sit down and then treated to a piano and tenor recital. This was extremely civilised and quite high on my list of things I had not expected at a horseback archery competition.
We are now back at the centre about to eat Polish sausage cooked on the open fire, followed by a briefing about tomorrow. I am being slightly weak and sitting inside, on account of it’s being absolutely freezing outside.
Finally, I am typing with only one finger because my thumb is taken up with my lovely new thumbring, handmade to fit from deer antler. I’m not brave enough to shoot with it tomorrow but given a bit of practice I think I shall be saying goodbye to tape forever! Photos will follow later on. For now I only one thing to say: sausage time!