Contrary to the accusation leveled at me last week that I write only negative things about dressage in Canada, let me tell you what I’ll be doing over the next 24 hours. I am watching the Rotterdam CHIO website with great anticipation and interest over the next few days, because our Canadians over there on the Euro Tour are going up against the BIG GUNS tomorrow in the Nations Cup. Regardless of the outcome, the exposure is vital to the Canadians going into WEG, and I think we may see some smile-enhancing scores tomorrow. Fifth to go in the class and first for Canada will be Ashley, though not on Jewel’s Sonnenstern as is incorrectly posted on the start list (yes, even the Dutch make mistakes sometimes) – that talented youngster is doing the small tour at your show, dear organizers. No, it will be Mr. Poppy, the world’s most adorable passage and piaffe machine who will bring the Maple Leaf down centre line for the first time. Ashley will be followed by Belinda, Bonny and Shannon. The class is small by European standards, with only 24 entries – but it’s one of those quality-quantity things. This is quite the hit list: Totilas, Parcival, Sunrise and Nadine representing the Royal Orange. The Germans are still missing Isabell until Aachen when the German team ban lifts, but they have sent a group worth measuring up to: Matthias Rath with Unicef, Hubertus Schmidt with Donnelly, Monica Theodorescu with Whisper and Christoff Koschel with Donnperignon.
If you are as anxious as I am to watch the scores go up, you will be able to find them at this link:
The judges, at a glance, look like a sympathetic lot. This will be a big test for Canada, to see where our prospects really lie for WEG team placing. Thumbs up and fingers crossed! Kick Canuck Butt!
On a less warm and fuzzy note, the FEI yesterday released the news that Marco Kutscher has been disqualified from the 2008 Olympics for giving his horse Lactanase. It took them almost two years to deliver the verdict, which came with no suspension but a whopping 10,000 Swiss Franc fine and an additional five grand to go towards the Tribunal’s costs. No wonder the USEF took it upon themselves to just get ‘er done with Michael Morrissey. We could be waiting a wee while for the FEI’s verdict on the whippy whip incident if the speed of the Kutscher case is anything to go by.