My crystal ball repairman

If you are wondering why it’s taking me so long to get my 2013 predictions up here, it’s because I just got my crystal ball back from the repair shop. I was getting nothing from it when I sat down and gazed at its opaque surface last week, so I assumed it needed a new battery or perhaps a tune up. Turns out there was nothing wrong with the crystal ball. It’s 2013 that’s the problem. Nothing much is going to happen this year. I don’t mean ABSOLUTELY nothing, but 2013 is a one-in-four year with no major championship for North Americans. No Olympics, no WEG, no Pan Ams. Sure, there are the European Championships,  of course, but they don’t mean very much to us over here.  Nevertheless, there are a few things I can safely put on the ‘going to happen’ list, even if I am reluctant to sign my name beside an actual prediction of the outcome.

The first thing that has to happen or not happen is the Bromont WEG 2018 bid has to be accepted or rejected by the FEI, in the absence of any other candidates now that Vienna dropped out. Vienna hasn’t officially dropped out according to the FEI, who were all atwitter with their Longines press conference (see recent posts on my other blog Low-Down if you aren’t up to speed on that) on Tuesday and too distracted to worry about anything else. But the news has leaked out of enough reliable sources, such as Jump Canada’s Facebook page,  that I’m going to call it semi-official: Canada is the last horseman standing in the bid for the eight ring circus that is WEG. The only thing the Bromont bid committee has to do is extract a multi-million dollar commitment from the Harper government. Without the Feds on board with the cha-ching, the FEI, which does not want to see a repeat of Lexington (they tried and failed to make it viable without federal funding), will be facing the prospect of having to persuade someone to host WEG.  If  WEG 2018 were to take place in Bromont, and IF it got the right governmental and private sponsorship, and IF it hired people more competent than the first and second round of crew for Lexington, it will be a totally awesome thing for Canadian equestrian sport. But my crystal ball can’t penetrate Capital Hill so I’m going to take a pass on calling this one.


Another happening we can look forward to, and soon, is the appointment of EC’s new CEO.  I have limited ability to predict this one, so I’m going to go with a hope: that whoever rides into town on his or her white horse has some experience in the private sector, in sports (needn’t be equestrian) and with making sure the right bums are in the right seats in the office.   A little search and rescue experience might also not be a bad idea for the incoming CEO.

Ok, here’s an actual prediction for 2013: Valegro will not be owned by a Facebook fan club. Actually, if Carl doesn’t get a wiggle on, Valegro be headed out of the UK and out from under Charlotte. And that would be a travesty, along the lines of Totilas and Edward.  Please, no more Dr. Evils buying the world’s greatest horse of today so that the rider who TRAINED the horse to that point has to watch someone else mess up their incredible work.

Here’s another prediction: the Welly Wars will drag on right into 2014. Based on the latest slew of law suits flung back and forth across the trenches (Welly World really does have those – they’re full of crocs and Burmese pythons), the two sides are digging themselves in for the long haul. I’m officially giving up on the investigation into where right and wrong are and who is wearing the white or black hats. It’s 50 shades of grey, without the sex.

One more prediction, a kind of double barreled one: Clayton Fredericks will step into his new role as Canadian Eventing Team TA with aplomb, and Dressage Canada will struggle to find anyone whom at least the majority of the riders will accept as a new TA, that is if they can even find anyone who wants the job. Let’s face it. DQ Canada has not exactly made itself look like something anyone would want to step in while wearing their good boots.  If DC can redefine the role as per the stated desires of the athletes – more of a team manager and less of a coach – maybe they stand a fighting chance. Maybe.

Finally, I predict for myself that 2013 will be a year in which I further probe the orifices of officialdom to the point where I become the most popular ‘love to hate’ blogger in town.  Earlier this week I became acquainted with the journalist Katie Roiphe through an interview with my favourite hot CBC radio show host, Jian Ghomeshi. Katie came across as someone I could really look up to, even though she is annoyingly two years younger (and much fitter) than I am.  The most memorable  quote from the interview is something I plan to write in big black letters and paste to the window frame in my office: “The only journalism worth publishing makes somebody mad. The rest is just public relations.”

I’m looking forward to blogging about all the things I have predicted for 2013 as well as those I haven’t, and I’m sure there are many. Stay tuned!