What started as a vacation turned into a bit of a work holiday for three members of SAFE’s staff, who traveled to Tryon, North Carolina for the first week of the World Equestrian Games. This was a trip planned a year in advance and made possible by a personal friend who invited us along to share her WEG adventure. We were thrilled by this opportunity to experience a world-class equestrian event and then we realized that we would also have the chance to “promote” our involvement with SAFE on a global scale! So we packed our SAFE logo gear and headed off to North Carolina, barely stopping to consider that we were flying straight towards Hurricane Florence! It turns out that the SAFE logo is a GREAT conversation starter. It allowed us to share our mission with people from all over the globe. So many people were curious about who we were, and we were more than happy to tell them all about the folks back home!
But even better, by spending a week at WEG, we were able to meet with an incredible number of equine professionals, including veterinarians, equine therapists, and manufacturers, to discuss the needs of our horses, learn about new technologies, and set the stage for future transactions, included donated and discounted services. We made some great contacts, and learned a ton in the process.
We also got to see some incredible sport horses and their incredibly talented riders. But true to form, it was moments like the one pictured here between Julio Mendoza of Ecuador and his gelding Chardonnay that brought us to tears… The pirouettes and tempi changes are great, but seeing a rider express such joy and love for his horse…nothing is more beautiful.
Hurricane Florence cut our trip short, and while we worried about being able to get home, it turns out that the worst thing that happened to us personally was a tree that fell across the driveway of the house we were staying in. Fortunately the local fire department came to our rescue within minutes…since ours was the only tree of any significance that had come down in the area (yet) and they didn’t have much to do. We returned home safely, with a renewed appreciation for the mild and inoffensive weather that this area has to offer.