Upon returning to Vienna after our vacation, we saw signs all around about “horses in the city”. Horses in Vienna are nothing new, given the large number of fiakers (horse drawn carriages) and the Spanish Riding School, home to the famous Lipizzaner stallions. Turns out, the world class Global Champions Tour of show jumping was coming to Vienna — in particular, to the plaza just in front of the city hall, which is just a few minutes’ walk from our front door.
Each morning of the competition, there are a few lower level competitions, as well as some practice times, that are open to the public. Liam and I stopped by this morning, but he wasn’t interested in doing anything other than running around, so our visit was short-lived. I really didn’t want to miss a chance to see some of the top show jumping riders in the world ride, though, so I bought a ticket for myself and Benjamin to go watch the big competition this evening. At the last minute, B decided he really wasn’t all that interested, so I went by myself.
I really had a fantastic time. Not only did I get a little time out of the house alone, but I got to watch some elite riders compete. I saw three Gold medal Olympians ride tonight. It was fantastic to get to watch some amazing athletes (human and equine) do their thing. (The jumps were high, challenging and stunning to watch, but it’s the way the top riders and horses execute their turns that really impressed me.) I also took a bunch of very blurry pictures.
We’re going to go back on Saturday to watch all together. I explained to B that it’s like a race, with jumps, only they go one at a time. Anything that’s a race is worthwhile to him, so I’m hoping they enjoy it, too.