Thanks to the small, articulate group of individuals who weighed in on my last post, in which I asked the question: why is dressage ripening on the vine all around the world, while Canadian dressage shows are withering like raisins? This is a critically important issue for all of us in DQ land, and by extension anyone in the equestrian sport biz – since one discipline’s ills can foretell trouble for another. If I get enough thoughts and ideas from you I will turn your feedback into one of my monthly At Issue columns in Horse Sport. So please keep scratching your heads and tapping your keyboards.
I thought I would take a moment today to remind you that in ten days I will be setting my happy feet upon the lovely soil of Bromont once again for Canada’s one and only CCI3*. Last year was my very first time to Bromont, and I am not exaggerating even a tiny bit to say I am ecstatic to be returning again this year.
We won’t know if Bromont is being handed the thrilling yet daunting task of hosting WEG 2018 until July 1 (the FEI declined to confirm or deny whether they chose that date for the announcement because it’s Canada Day), but I would be very surprised if a few FE-eyes who will be at Bromont fail to notice what an incredible WEG venue it would make. And if the federal government is looking in mattresses and sock drawers for the money needed to support a successful WEG bid, I would like to suggest they start in the bedrooms of Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin.
In addition to Bromont, from which I expect to be blogging daily, I’m working slowly but doggedly with my rusty can opener to get at some fresh worms in DQ land. Word on the street is that a draft of the DC WEG criteria is out for review with the athletes. Ok, I’ll come clean. I’ve seen the draft. I’m still trying to get my eyebrows and jaw to return to their previous distance of five inches from one another. Of course, it would be nothing short of naughty for me to divulge details, since the criteria were leaked to me, and I don’t have permission to share, yet. Let’s just say the word ‘subjective selection’ comes to mind. And we don’t even have a single paid expert to assist in such a selection. There is much more to say about the criteria, but since they are not finalized, and since the riders have been given an opportunity to voice their concerns (I’m trying really, really hard to be optimistic that their concerns will be taken seriously), I’ll keep my cake hole shut. For now.
Finally, one more little tidbit for today. Remember all those Brazilian judges floating around all those Brazilian CDIs in late 2011 and early 2012? You know, the ones that broke the FEI rules for Olympic qualifications but that the FEI declared totally legit? Well, I was most intrigued to see the results from last weekend’s CDI in Sao Paulo. First of all, according to the FEI calendar, the show last weekend was the first CDI of the year in Brazil, and one of only three scheduled for this year. In 2012, there were FIVE CDIs in the period between January and May, and a total of seven for the calendar year. But even more juicy is this little morsel: after all the squawking about needing an exception to the three foreign judges rule last year, there was just ONE Brazilian judge at last week’s show. And no, there weren’t scads of entries to justify all that extra expense to import judges that last year was so impossible for the Brazilians. As a lawyer who has just uncovered a new piece of evidence would say, “I have no further questions”.