David’s Diary from Tokyo – 27/07/21

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Yesterday the first jumpers horse flight arrived so we are nearly at full capacity. Just one more flight to come in. I got a lovely shot of jumper Ashlee Bond and the gorgeous Donatello 141 (Israel) who arrived on yesterdays flight. This is another horse I love as he has so much presence (Posted with riders permission).

I’m also looking forward to seeing Danielle Waldman (Israel) in real life! Will definitely try and get a selfie with her! Socially distanced of course.

With the venue at near capacity, the monitoring of the stables has become more important as air quality would be expected to be impacted the more horses are in the barns. The good news is we are seeing that the air-conditioning is maintaining temperature and humidity and dust and carbon dioxide levels. I liaise at least 3 times a day with stable manager Patrick as he has the ability to alter the fan speeds and fresh air intake and temperature based on the data I supply.

It’s pretty full-on with 7:00am coach to venue and 22:30pm coach back to the hotel, but there are some quieter times and I took the opportunity to catch up with the FEI footing (surface) team Prof Lars Roepstorff from Uppsala Sweden and Ollie Hoberg from (Germany/Malaysia). This photo shows I need to work on my tan, but Lars and Ollie to be fair have been here 10 days longer than me.

Last night the first of the heavier rain came through between 01:00 and 07:00h. We had around 27mm at EQP (Equestrian Park – the main equestrian venue) but only around half of that on the cross-country course which is only 14km southeast of EQP. And the surfaces team welcome rain as the surfaces are all well-draining and are watered daily in any case. Rain is actually better than watering with tankers as rain distribution is much more even. This morning we have had some intermittent rain and many riders have used the indoor to train in the dry as opposed to keeping out of the heat. And of course, with the rain, the humidity has gone up but the temperature has dropped significantly down to mid-twenties °C and it’s very pleasant.

From 3pm local time I’ll be on “lightning duty” in the judges tower helping to provide the TD and other officials with estimates of risk based on live lightning maps so they can make timely decisions on the evacuation of horses and people from the arena and training areas. Fingers crossed it doesn’t happen. As far as Team GBR riders, Carl is due to go at 6:00pm, Charlotte Fry at 7:30pm and Charlotte D is due to ride second to last, although there is no official time on my sheet yet, but I estimate that will be around 9:00pm without any weather disruption.

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About Author

Dr David Marlin is a physiologist and biochemist who has worked in academia, research and professional sport. He has worked in the equestrian and veterinary world and in human sport, healthcare, medicine and exercise science. In 1989 David obtained his PhD from the UK’s leading sports university, Loughborough University following a four-year study on the responses of Thoroughbred racehorses to exercise and training, undertaken at the renowned Animal Health Trust in Newmarket. You can read David's full biography in the Our Website section.