If the Chinese can use that lovely Swedish word for their buffets, there’s no reason I can’t appropriate it for my blog, right? And by the way, am I the only person who thinks it odd that smorgasbord has been used so universally to describe long tables of slowly wilting chow mein that an entire segment of the Canadian population probably thinks it’s a Chinese word?
The reason I chose today’s title – besides the alliteration which you may have already noted I simply adore and can’t seem to overuse enough – is because this post is an unfocused selection of unrelated bits of fluff I’ve been collecting on my mental lint brush for the past week.
I’ll lead off today’s proceedings with the stunning news that not one of the 14 candidates for the job of Dressage Canada High Performance Technical Leader has been deemed up to the task. I don’t doubt that several of the baker’s dozen + one who applied for the job were not really qualified or quite what the DC Board had in mind – but no one made the grade? Really? I’m going to go out on a limb and speculate that at least one person who wanted the gig has a proboscis out of joint.
Once I’d gotten over the shock of that decision to hire no one at all, my next thought was ‘well, maybe that’s not such a bad move if there was no one really suited to the job.’ Without knowing who the candidates were I can’t begin to commit to an opinion on that, of course. But even without knowing if they passed over someone who would have rocked out at being the King or Queen of Dressage Queens in Canada, I think the decision suggests a degree of forward thinking and enlightenment. And if it’s the right decision for DC’s HP program, it actually indicates that the saviour of Canadian sports-in-need, OTP, may need to shake off some of its rigid notions about dictating how a sport should use its funding.
DC’s new fairy godmother Desi Dillingham was out here on the slacker coast a couple of weeks ago, and I was scheduled to have met her. It’s the only part of my dash to France that gives me cause for regret. I was looking forward to meeting her, and I shall look forward to meeting her even more this coming winter, most likely under the sunny skies of Welly World.
Here’s another bit of news, at least it’s news for the EC M&C Dept: Rebecca Howard is not from Salmon Run, BC. She is from Salmon Arm, a charming little burg named for its location on the arm of Shuswap lake, where the Salmon River empties into it. Dear EC M&C: a salmon run is something that salmon do when they reach sexual maturity: they ‘run’ upstream to spawn and die. They even ‘run’ past Salmon Arm. But Rebecca’s home town is not named after what fish do when they’re horny.
And here’s another thing, EC M&C. The next time someone finishes TWELFTH at one of the biggest events in the world, you might want to mention that in the headline, or at least in the opening paragraph – and not save it like a bit of spinach between your teeth for the last sentence of the third paragraph. I may be interested enough to read it that far through to find out how well she did, but the mass media toward whom you ought to be directing news of such momentous achievements sure aren’t going to get that far before deciding it’s not worth their attention. And I do hope you weren’t directing your press release to the likes of me, because I knew how Rebecca did about three seconds after the last horse jumped the last fence in the show jumping, by following the action on Horse & Hound’s live blog, and not by waiting patiently at my inbox for your press release, which came out three days later. I would actually have preferred to watch Rebecca and Rupert’s actual round on live streaming, but the staid tradition of Burghley House seems to extend to their attitude toward 21st Century technology. Forget live streaming – they couldn’t even keep their live scoreboard going throughout the event.
Another tip to M&C: dressage comes first, followed by cross country, and the show jumping is last. In the press release description and in the way she was quoted, Rebecca’s cross country performance came first, followed by her dressage test, with the show jumping hot on its heels.
Another hint for you literary whizzes: try adding the odd period. This sentence is an abomination: “Howard, who currently lives and trains near Marlborough, GBR, deftly piloted her 2012 Olympic and 2010 World Equestrian Games partner Riddle Master, a 12-year-old Canadian Sport Horse gelding sired by Rodero, owned and bred by Blithe Hill Farm of Orangeville, ON, over the 31 technically taxing, and often times massive obstacles, for a foot perfect cross-country performance earning only 9.2 time penalties, finishing with 60.2, placing them 17th heading into show jumping.”
And one more little suggestion: it’s okay to adjust the syntax in quotes, particularly those you got over the phone. The person you quote will only thank you for not making every one of her utterances contain a comma splice. Or three.
All that aside, it’s a great press release! Let’s face it. Even the literary butchers at EC can’t take away from the fact that this is another four star feather in Rebecca’s and Rupert’s caps. Way to kick it Rebecca! Go BC Eventers!
Onto the next item at the smorg table: the press release announcing Jessie Phoenix’s and Pavarotti’s tenth place finish at Blenheim. Improvements on the Rebecca release include putting her placing in the headline and laying out the narrative of dressage followed by cross followed by show jumping in the correct order. But all the grammatical flaws are there, so they didn’t totally single out Rebecca for special treatment. AND the release came out a full four days after the event. But at any rate, big congrats to Canadian Eventing’s most charming champion and her talented pony.
Casting my eyes beyond the ungrammatical wonton shores of Canada and over toward the sweet and sour pork, there are some new storms a-brewing across the ocean and up the mountain in far off Switzerland, with a direct line of contact to last week’s Open European Endurance Championships in the Czech Republic and way over to the Endurance heartland, the Middle East. It’s getting so interesting (in all the wrong ways of course) I’m seriously contemplating a trip to the shores of Lake Geneva for this year’s FEI GA in November. Keeping the Chinese restaurant metaphor alive, I think it might turn into a food fight.
Oh, and speaking of travel to Ye Olde Countrye, if you are at all interested in the Global Dressage Forum (the real one, not that ersatz imposter that took place in Florida last winter) you might want to check out my most recent post on LowDown, wherein I outlined all the reasons one might have for taking in the GDF next month. Don’t worry. If you can’t squeeze a trip to Holland into your pre-Halloween plans, I’ll be dishing up plenty of noodles as I blog from my front row seat at the GDF. Look out Trond! Here I come and I have lots of questions for you!