What, you ask? Countdown to Normandy, which is still – according to the Normandy 2014 website – 525 days away? Why of course! Preparing for the second most important championship after the Olympics starts a long, long time before the competition, unless you are a Saudi show jumper. Canada’s WEG hopefuls are already busily training, competing and honing in order to be ready for France next year.

The show jumpers did admirably at the Nations’ Cup in Welly World a couple of weeks ago, finishing second in spite of the fact that they were essentially a three man-and-woman team after Mac Cone’s ride Amour decided he did not aimer the course that day.  Here is a link to EC’s press release about it; I had to go and find it for you on Horse-Canada.com because no one at EC has managed to drag him or herself over to the computer and put the now-two-week-old press release up on EC’s own site. When EC starts falling down on the job with SHOW JUMPING news you know the ‘marketing and communications’ dept has reached a new low.

In dressage news, all kinds of ‘CAN’ abbreviations are turning up beside the names in the results for CDIs in Welly World, but you’ll have to do your own research into those results since EC decided in November to can its weekend previews and weeks in review, according to EC Prez Mike G. because Canadians weren’t doing anything newsworthy over the year end (never mind that we are now most of the way through the busiest show season of the year for dressage, which is Welly and Cali).  I asked El Presidente why these weekly bulletins had dried up with no explanation, so being the diligent fact finder he is, he dug around and found that in fact the stoppage WAS announced in the last week in review – of course it was down at the bottom of the page, and I would bet anyone a few umbrella drinks that more people missed it than saw it. I’d show it to you but the preview-reviews don’t get put up on the EC website and I don’t think I want to give you a link to my email. Anyhoo, you can take it on my word that there are a lot of Canadian names on the GP results in Welly World this week (Eurodressage.com is always a handy resource), though no one is blazing any trails into the 70’s (I’m talking GP, not freestyle) ever since David Marcus has taken a little break from showing.  EC’s lone press release about dressage results these past four months is, not surprisingly, also not on the EC site – but here is a link to it on trusty HorseCanada.com.  I wonder if PR was on the agenda at this past week’s DC Dressage Summit…here is a link to the press release about that event, which of course is not yet up on the EC site.

Now here’s a bit of a shocker: Canadian eventers (who are usually the poor cousin to the other disciplines when it comes to EC PR) had fair to middling results at the Red Hills CIC3*** (and two and one star) last week, which doesn’t seem THAT newsworthy – and yet it not only got  a press release, it went straight up onto the EC site.  Yes, the infallible illogic of EC has determined that winning World Cup qualifiers in dressage and coming second in a Nations’ Cup in show jumping are not worth the PR effort, but results from what is essentially a spring warm up event are. The press release itself is so pockmarked with errors it makes last year’s Olympic team announcement look like a Governor General’s Award winner. I have two questions for the unidentified author of that release: Where is Kinston, Ontario, and what exactly is a Throughbred?  In other eventing news, which you will not find on any Canadian website – don’t be silly – you can read all about what Steph Rhodes-Bosch is up to these days on EventingNation.com, where she is a guest blogger.

And finally, if you are interested in a report about how Canada’s Para-Dressage riders are getting ready for Normandy, wander on over to another non-Canadian source, dressagedaily.com, to read a detailed report (with quotes!) about how our Para stars did this weekend in Welly World.

Maybe I should be a bit less hard on the M&C staff at EC. I mean, for all I know they could all be suffering from a terrible case of restless leg syndrome.

Go Canada.