David’s Diary from Tokyo – 31/07/21


My feet felt a little sore this morning so I decided to take a look at the steps counter on my phone! And then I understood why.  And this is an underestimate as often if I am going to the main office or arena or stables or I am just indoors I don’t take my phone!

This morning I took 10 minutes to sit and watch some dressage with UK Vet Karen Coumbe. Karen will be part of the climate monitoring team with me tomorrow on the cross-country.  This is going to be important as the official predicted WBGT is ~30°C and local conditions on the ground will be higher.  We have three mobile units out on the course and readings are radioed in every 15min or 5min if we reach threshold values.  It’s important that we have accurate readings and so this morning, even though the units were calibrated before the Games, I did some quick inside and outside checks to ensure all units read the same.

Literally within seconds of the last horse finishing in the eventing dressage the arena team were in and dismantling the dressage arena.

After lunch it was time for the eventers to move to their overnight stabling at the cross-country venue at Sea Forest Park, which is also air-conditioned and also have excellent air quality – I know, I’ve checked them 😊

As the first group pulled away there were another 27 boxes lined up waiting.  I learned from one of the JRA vets that they have 100 of these!

After the eventers had gone and with one group of dressage horses gone it seemed a lot quieter.  Although it’s quieter outside every day as horses are not allowed to exercise between 11am and 3pm.

Early start tomorrow. Transport to the cross-country arrives at 4:20 am, but Goran Akerstrom (Head of the FEI Veterinary Department) has promised real coffee and breakfast at the venue.  I’m looking forward to tomorrow but there is always some anxiety.  Success for me tomorrow is very easily defined – all the horses safely back in their stables at EQP tomorrow night and all the riders tucked up in bed.

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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.