Finally some REAL good news coming our way. It even arrived via the official Canadian channel of DC and not from Dressage-News.com: the appointment of Victoria Winter as the team chef d’equipe for Normandy 2014. Vicki is just perfect for the post, and I expect those who are gunning for a team spot for WEG are happy to know she has accepted the role. Vicki has all the chops: as a past team member (as recently as WEG 2014), as a past chef, as a professional (she’s a lawyer), and perhaps most important of all in the fickle social world of DQs, she plays well with others. Vicki is a really lovely person but it’s not all sugar and spice; she’s also competent and dedicated – her involvement with DC as a volunteer over many years is ample proof of that.
A chef d’equipe is as much an ambassador for the team as she is its logistician and cheerleader. I have not even the tiniest doubt that Vicki will do a terrific job.
In other news this week, we have learned that Bromont now has competition for the right to host WEG 2018; while that’s not necessarily good for Canada’s bid, it’s good for the health of the future of the world’s biggest horse show, though the American and British expressions of interest fall somewhat short of a firm commitment. Especially the UK bid, which fails to mention any city at all. I don’t imagine Stephen Harper has loosened his purse strings to the Bromont committee, and the persistent claim that getting governmental support is ‘a matter of timing’ is starting to get a bit old. It’s only a matter of timing if there is any possibility that the answer will ever be ‘yes’, and so far that has not been the case.
If Bromont is out of the question, then I’m firmly throwing my vote toward the UK. What makes WEG a special event is when it is hosted amid a unique horse culture, and Britain has that by the wheelbarrow-load. They also have the biggest choice when it comes to cross country venues, with two four star courses within a stone’s throw of one another. No other country has that. Besides, why would we all want to subject ourselves to more greasy, overpriced fried chicken in Lexington? Been there done that, only three years ago too. And Welly World? In hurricane season? Unless Michael Stone is a wizard of weather in some way that has been kept secret from us, the same problem butts up against Welly World as the last time they proposed the idea. Well, that and the complete lack of a hill for cross country.
Am I surprised there wasn’t a bid from Dubai? A little bit, but Sheikh Mohammed hasn’t had the most fun of summers, dodging the media and the drug police at every turn as the seizures of illegal substances keep piling up. And with HRH publicly declaring she would not consider taking advantage of a proposed change to the statutes she herself imposed (which limit an FEI Prez’s tenure to two four year terms), the Good Sheikh might not have the degree of control over HQ that he’d like to have if he started throwing tens of millions of dollars at a WEG. If you aren’t up to speed on all that’s been going down, down, down in the world of HRH and her husband’s Endurance doping woes, you might like to take a wander on over to my other blog Low-Down, starting with my post of last week.
On the topic of the Middle East, an odd little story crossed my path via a Google alert yesterday. If you happen to be an unhappily married Saudi woman, just find a friendly horse, take a picture of yourself planting a kiss on its muzzle, get that photo out there on the World Wide Web (maybe send a link to unbeloved hubby), and then sit back and wait for the divorce papers to come rolling in. Easy as pie.