Before you start thinking that being a Horse & Style Magazine Intern is all glitz and glamour, you should know a few things. In addition to some pretty awesome assignments, there is real work to be done. When I arrived to the Thomas & Mack Center on Friday morning, I began putting together racks that house the newest edition of the magazine. Then I brought several 40 lb boxes up to the arena to fill them. Horse & Style Editor Erin Gilmore and I made signs that said “Take One” in large letters that required a lot of design discussion to get it just right. Getting it just right is a consistent theme with Erin. She has a very clear vision of this magazine and knows exactly how to brand and shape the perception to the audience.
Around mid-morning, we met up with Rich Fellers for a few minutes to talk about his performance from Round 1 of the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final. What struck me about Rich was how he was so touched by the crowd’s reception of Flexible during the warm up class on Wednesday. He admitted he was a little choked up by it. He even wondered if he would be affected by this emotion during the first class. If he was, he was so focused on his plan that no one would have known. He put in an outstanding performance where he finished in second place. But hearing his direct perspective about the show reminded me that riders are people too. They feel the emotion and excitement from the crowd and are energized by it!
With only a few minutes for lunch, I grabbed a glamorous hot dog from the vendors at the arena. I took the opportunity during the lull between the dressage and show jumping events to check on the magazine racks. As popular magazines like Horse & Style often do, by midday all 200 of the magazines we had set up had been taken. Hooray! I carried 4 more boxes up 2 flights of stairs (see picture at top, yes, those stairs) again. On my fourth trip I must have looked mighty pitiful because the security guard offered to carry my last box to the rack. I was so out of breath that I could only gesture wildly in the general direction of our racks. But, nonetheless, mission accomplished.
Being at the World Cup Final gives spectators an opportunity to watch some of the greatest show jumpers in the world, and going as part of the press corps allowed me not only to watch the course – but walk it as well. As a rider myself, this offered a duel view of the competition, one as an observer of the riders and another as an observer of the course. Course Designer Anthony d’Ambrosio spoke softly as he toured the press corps around the track. He explained what questions he expected the riders to answer throughout the evening, and in predicting that only 6 would make it through to the jump off, he was right on the money. Walking the course in open toed sandals may not have been my best decision, because I ended up with premium footing between my toes, however, wearing sandals with a slight heel did elevate me from the “hazards” that can be found on course.
Heading back to the press table, I set up my devices for the social media blitz I manned for Phase 2 of competition. My tasks were virtually the same as the night before. As a relative newbie to Twitter I think I’m getting the hang of it. Social media is an immediate kind of work. While manning two of Horse & Style’s social media accounts, I was ricocheting between the stream of consciousness that is Twitter and the watermarking and hashtagging of images for Horse & Style’s Instagram feed. Here is where my life as a rider and life as an intern collide. As a rider, I wanted to watch every fence of every round to learn from today’s best show jumpers. As an intern manning social media, I was able to watch just enough of the round to report but not enough to really analyze their technique. Of course, here at World Cup Finals, reporting is my priority, and it’s a mission I happily accept. Catch my handiwork on Horse & Style Magazine’s Twitter and Instagram accounts during the Final rounds on Sunday afternoon!