Posted by on Oct 14, 2011 in News | Comments Off on Touching Down in Mexico

Touching Down in Mexico

Anyone who ever said the Pan American Games are “kind of a big deal” made the understatement of the century. It finally hit me that this was a huge deal when I stepped onto the tarmac on Monday after 16 hours of traveling to look up at a HUGE jet only to realize that this jet was the one that would take Ginger and me to the Pan Am games.

Our three superbly hilarious Mexican pilots made the trip more than entertaining. Ursula Lange, my Puerto Rican teammate who will be riding in the dressage, and I got to ride in the cockpit for landing and take off. I was amazed just looking at the coastline of California outlined by thousands of lights and a full moon. Our pilot conducted a mini-photo shoot of us with our horses, us with all of the pilots, us in the cockpit, us in the cargo area, and throughout the plane.

Knowing that we would not get any sleep until Tuesday evening and exhausted from our unplanned photo shoot, Ursula and I made a bed on the floor of the cargo jet out of horse blankets and Puerto Rican duffle bags only to wake up to our landing.

When we landed in Mexico, we were escorted to customs, where the Pan Am staff met us to grab our bags and help us through the customs process quickly. Once we made it to the horses, we drove in a federal police car behind the horses to the venues. First to dressage, to drop of Ursula’s horse, and then finally to the eventing facility called La Hipica Club. Nearly every other billboard while driving for 2½ hours around Guadalajara contained some sort of advertisement for the Games. As we were driving on the freeway, there was a lane designated for only Pan American Games officials and athletes. Wow, this is amazing.

Once I finally arrived at La Hipica…

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