A few GDF impressions, things that might make you go ‘hm’:

Patrik Kittel: having mentioned many of his past mentors, it wasn’t until an hour and 15 minutes into his presentation that he (briefly) mentioned the name ‘Sjef’ (first name only)

Richard Davison: really did go on and on to Patrik about his internet rap sheet, not holding back with the language either, even daring to say that if you googled ‘Patrik Kittel’ you’d immediately hit a reference to ‘blue tongue’ (I thought Patrik handled Richard’s line of questioning rather elegantly)

Inge Wolframm: had bedhead (sorry, no photo)

Trond’s brilliant performance regarding the Dominican debacle somewhat overshadowed another turd in the bowl from the FEI: that it is going to propose the removal of associate memberships in the FEI at next week’s GA – yes, that means all the riders, trainers, owners and officials clubs, as well as a few more that you can still find listed on page 125 of the FEI Directory. Inasmuch as he ever shows his hand, the Trondster gave an unmistakable impression that he is all over the removal of associate members like flies on you-know-what. Oh, you can’t get rid of all those pesky stakeholders quite that easily, Trond. This new development does reinforce my belief  that the International Alliance of Equestrian Journalists made the right decision not to accept the FEI’s invitation for associate membership four years ago, based on the reasonable fear that becoming associate members would effectively gag us all from criticizing Mission Control – and it would have been revoked again anyway, if things go the FEI’s way in Istanbul (not Constantinople!)

David Stickland seems to have fallen victim to GDF dry mouth at the beginning of his presentation but I can’t blame him. He was given only 18 hours to come up with the material to fill the time that Stephen left empty by being stuck in NY. And for the record, D-Stick is still the world’s most lovable numbers man – not to worry Lyn, I’m happily married!

Dutch people can be SO nationalistic – I’m not talking about the judging, but the media. I just had a minor set-to with Dirk Willem Rosie, whose orange panties are in a right twist that Adelinde won silver and Charlotte gold – and that’s AFTER watching the videos and hearing Wim Ernes (the Dutch judge) explain why it turned out that way

Tristan Tucker not only has an awesome name, he made an awesomer than awesome presentation last night – easily this year’s winner of the GDF Charisma Award – Aussie Aussie Aussie! Oi Oi Oi!

Richard Davison ponies up as a spooky prop for Tristan’s ‘bombproofing’ demo

I guess I didn’t have much to learn from Ingrid about cavaletti after all. She’s always amazing to watch ride, but I’d forgotten how central those old-fashionedy little gymnastic tools were to my early riding education. Heck, I even read her dad’s book about them when I was a preteen

Later that day which is today….

I had to break off blogging to be on the panel for the Helen and Jonny show (Helen is my new favourite rider in the entire world, more on her tomorrow when my nonsexual crush is under control), and guess what! My throat didn’t stick shut! And my tongue didn’t dry out like a block of wood. I gave my water glass to Helen (I gave my water glass to Helen!) so I had to rely on the moisture already in the old bouche – but it was just fine. I’m sorry I don’t have a photo to prove I was sitting up there under the lights with the likes of Laurens van Lieren, but it’s hard to take a self portrait in a situation like that without being just a teensy bit conspicuous.

There’s lots and lots more to share about the past two days, so check back in the next 24 to 48 for more about the ups, downs and in-the-middles of the 2012 GDF. Tot ziens!