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Message frou USA Chef d'Equipe

From Becky Hart to the USA folks back home-

Just to let you know, all the horses vetted in. Theatric put on a show to let everyone know he was ready to rock and roll. Riders are relaxed and confident and the horses look ready.

Tonight is the big party with falcons, salukis, camels, all in a recreation of a traditional Arab village. Most of us opted out to get a good nights rest. I am bummed that I won't be able to get my hands hennaed before going home. Steve Rojek and Justin, his crew, decided to go to the party just long enough to get dinner. They said they would stay just one hour - what party monsters!

There will be close to 150 horses starting, so that means about 200 vehicles out on the course the first loop. Since its so early in the ride and still cool, we are sending only one vehicle. The ability to get to riders on that loop is limited and the ride has plenty of water on the course.

we have had lots of help from various sources - Mark Dial will be here tomorrow to help crew and bring us serveral items that will come in useful. Sheikha Madiya and Grace Ramsey have arranged to let us use their crew buckets and garbage cans. Her grooms will keep the buckets filled so that wil be one less thing we have to worry about, especially since we are short on crew. We have even been invited to use Sheikha Madiya's chalet if any of the riders want a shower or to lay down. Score!

We are sharing our crew box with New Zealand. Sandy, the rider has no crew, so we will help her out as much as possible. The spirit of competition is alive and well in a very positive way. Our riders are out to do their best, so everyone please send the team your good wishes.

You'll be hearing all about the race from Steph. The press room is directly across from our box so she can get everything first hand from the horse's mouth, so to speak!

The US flag is flying over our crew box and we will do our best to make everyone proud.

Becky Hart