Friday, April 8, 2011

Badminton and Rolex: bad news, good news and that darn app

Hannah admiring KOC's Ecogold Air-Cooler ~ photo: Sinead Halpin
In the weeks leading up to Badminton and Rolex Kentucky, it is sheer madness at ECOGOLD HQ. All our sponsored riders want their new saddle pads, horse boots and everything else (please hide that cooler until after Rolex, Max) for those shows, the spring season is about to start "up north", while we are trying to stock up on some inventory to sell... so I tread lightly as I walk by the production floor on the way to my office. As I hear the sewing machines going at a furious pace, the noise of the electric cutting knives and the tape closing boxes in our shipping department, I just try to keep out of everyone's way.

My day normally starts the way it ends, by checking my emails (a lot can happen during the night in various parts of the world). So let me share some news. First, the bad news.

- Kristin Schmolze won't be heading to Badminton :(
    Photo credit: Tim Poulsen
    Cavaldi needs a few weeks off and won't be able to go to Badminton. He'll be back in work in a few weeks and will be back for the fall events. Talk about terrible timing....

    I feel really bad for Kristin. Being able to ride at Badminton is a dream for any young rider, so she must be terribly disappointed. Plus, I was looking forward to seeing her in action (I'm assuming they're IS a live Badminton feed or at least that someone will post videos).

    I've never met Kristin, but from her offer to return the saddle pads (are you kidding me?!), she sounds like an amazing person. So please give her a hug for me if you see her at The Fork.

    - Neither will Emma Ford :(

    And also give a hug to Phillip's groom, Emma. Last year, a volcano kept her from grooming at Badminton (she was really looking forward to it) and unfortunately, they've had to withdraw once again. Urgh. Hopefully, next year will be the one.
    OK, everyone else heading to Badminton, or Rolex for that matter, keep those ponies bubble-wrapped!

    On to the better news...

    - Which means that another ECOGOLD rider, Lucinda Fredericks who is next on the waiting list, will get in.

    I just love the quote Clayton and Lucinda gave me for their profile in our Hall of Champions, so allow me to re-post it, for my viewing pleasure: “We absolutely love riding in the ECOGOLD pads. Whilst being cool and breathable for the horse, the non-slip properties mean they sit brilliantly on the horse and distribute any pressure evenly. I can’t recommend them highly enough!” ~ Clayton and Lucinda Fredericks

    Now, for your viewing pleasure, here's Lucinda riding Prada at Blenheim

    More good news:

    - Our Rolex plans are coming along GREAT!

    I will post all the details next week (don't want to spill too many beans...) but I will just say that we have THE BEST sponsored riders. They are not only generous with their time, but also trust me with blind faith when I come up with some unusual ideas. Also, you might see me hanging out with a bunch of crazy very enthusiastic lower level riders... really looking forward to that.

    - Ecogold has been confirmed as the saddle pad supplier of the Canadian Eventing Team for the 2011 Pan American Games.

    This might not surprise anyone, as the last time the Canadian Team rode in our pads, it turned out pretty well, but becoming an official team supplier is a bit of a process.
    First, we were asked if we would sponsor the team again (of course!), then we had to submit photos of the saddle pads with the embroidery, to make sure the sizes of the flags, logos etc... were within the standards. Even if we've already done saddle pads for riders for the Pan Ams, WEG, Olympics, we have to go through the process every time, as the rules might have changed. So we are finally all good to go with the Pan Am saddle pads and just waiting to hear how many, when and where.

    In the... not sure if it's good or bad news category

    - That Badminton Horse Trials App is fantastic and is taking over my life

    After hearing the news (from Samantha Clark) on Wednesday morning, I downloaded it immediately on my iPhone but couldn't get it to work on the iPad. But after talking to the developer, it seems I didn't have the right update. Today I've finally hooked the iPad to the computer, got the update, got the app and voilà, it works great (thanks Monty!) The buttons are a bit fuzzy on the iPad when you enlarge them, but once you get into the different areas, everything is perfect. I've been oooh-ing and aaaah-ing it.
    They are posting new content every day: cross-country video previews, interviews, they will have live podcasts..even the weather. Just a warning, if you haven't downloaded it yet: it will take over your life, so do it at your own risk. Here's the link: click here to download the most amazing app ever

    If you don't have an iThingie, you have 2 weeks to either get one or become friends with someone who does.

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