Boy that didn’t take long. I hadn’t been here 24 hours before I found myself being chased by a security guard at the Global Dressage Festival site, aka the Equestrian Village. Or rather, being chased off.

It was my first day here in Welly World and I thought I should do a little reconnaissance to get in the swing of things. I drove to the Pierson Road entrance of the EV (I don’t want to type out its full name all the time, so that’s my new acronym for it, whether you like it or not) and discovered that it was blocked by barriers with an angry red message ordering me to use the other entrance on Southshore. I headed around the corner to the Southshore entrance, which might actually be a public street – it certainly looks like one. But as soon as I started toward the EV, which is at the end of the one block drive/street, I spotted a man on a golf cart, who simultaneously spotted me. I did not know golf carts could move that fast. I could tell as soon as I saw him that he was a security guard, so I pulled into a little wide spot and began to turn around. By the time I had completed two points of a three-point turn, he was blocking my exit with the cart.

I suppose I could have escaped if I had gunned it as soon as I saw him speeding toward me, but I figured it might be interesting to talk to him, so instead of doing a ‘Starsky and Hutch’ I rolled down the window. He immediately asked me what my name was. I answered by saying I was just turning around and asked my own question about why he would want to know such a thing. Instead of answering, he asked me for my name again, a little more irresistibly this time. I replied ‘Jo’ (actually I was thinking ‘Joe’ when I said it and immediately chastised myself for using a male name and blowing my cover before realizing it’s also a woman’s name without the ‘e’). I then asked him again why he wanted to know.  He told me that ‘we get all visitors’ names’, and I once again said I was just turning around, that I had taken a wrong turn. He got (reluctantly I noted) out of the way and I exited.

I then went immediately back to Pierson Rd, where I pulled over at a yard on the other side of the road from the EV to prepare for my drive-by shoot. Camera out and at the ready, and passenger window open, I drove to the barricaded driveway, pulled into it far enough to be out of the traffic, stopped for maybe two seconds, and snapped the photo at the top of this post. As you can see from the zoomed in crop of the photo below, that golf cart was already on its way over. By the time I had pulled away he had halved the distance between his starting place and my place at the gate. As I pulled up to the red (damn!) light at the corner, I could see him at the gate staring at the back of my very generic white Mitsubishi. He reminded me an awful lot of a guard dog standing at the gate of its property, wishing the pursuit would not end there.

I’m not sure what I expected to find on my ‘recon’ mission to the EV, but an extra aggressive private security guard with a souped up golf cart was definitely not on my mind when I stopped by.

The news of further stalemate between the warring parties is swirling ever faster in a widening debris-filled whirlpool after last night’s Village Council meeting, which lasted a mere 4.5 hours. Here is one news story about it that came out this morning. Welly World War III is looking like an inevitability at this point. You know what I wish? I wish the two sides would stop pointing fingers at each other long enough to explain to the rest of us what they really want and what their motives really are. I know what Team Bellissimo thinks of the Jacobs, and I kind of know what the Jacobs think of Team B – but I have yet to hear a coherent statement from either side that explains what this is all really about at the end of the darkening day. I think I might just care enough about this to pursue it further. It is a terrible shame that the community is being torn asunder by a drama that surely has the potential for a Hollywood ending, at least for the dressage community. Stay tuned!