As exciting and action-packed as I thought this year’s Global Dressage Forum program looked when I decided to hop on a plane to Holland and attend, I was a bit puzzled and yes, disappointed, not to see the name David Stickland among the presenters. If you don’t know David, you really ought to. He’s the cuddliest numbers man you can possibly imagine. I mean, what’s not to adore about a particle physicist who is fond of dressage?
David has brought a new level of objective criticism (and praise when praise is due) to the world’s most moody sport involving four legs, something that was sorely in need four years ago when he first became intrigued by all the haranguing over scores and decided to apply his mathematical genius to the problem. So imagine my delight when my inbox this morning contained the announcement that he has been added to the ticket for the London Olympic presentation with Stephen Clarke (my favourite man who assigns the numbers that David so ably analyzes).
Among his other many and varied numerical achievements, David and his company Global Dressage Analytics recently proved how clever number crunching can be by predicting the Olympic dressage medals almost to the last silver dollar. You can read all about it on Eurodressage. I am very much looking forward to hanging onto David’s every word next week at the GDF.
If you have not been keeping up with activities on my other blog, Straight-Up, please make sure you wander over there in the next week, especially if you are even remotely interested in CAS’ thinly veiled (not really veiled at all, actually) condemnation of the FEI’s handling of the Brazil vs. Dominican Republic Olympic nomination dispute. CAS took forever and a day to issue the details of its decision, but to use a tired old cliché: better late than never. I still believe that the decision was incorrect, but at least CAS came clean enough to finger the real culprit in the story: the FEI’s Legal and Dressage Departments. Hm, you know what? I think I might have a question or three for Trond when I see him at the GDF next week. I know he always loves to see my smiling face bobbing determinedly toward him through the crowd during ‘question corner’.
But perhaps it would be better to ask him my questions during the actual sessions so that everyone can hear his responses, and not just those within ear shot during the lunch break…