I know some of you are thinking that I’m a grouchy old hag for my laundry list of complaints against EC’s fabulous communications department last week, but I’ll take my lumps. I stand by what I said, and in my inbox this morning I found the perfect example of what I was getting at. It was an email from Nancy Olson on behalf of Dressage BC. The purpose of the email was to let everyone on the Dressage B.C. mailing list know about the exciting Symposium that is coming our way in November. Guess what link to the event Nancy used in her email. No, c’mon. Just guess. That’s right. She put a link to Eurodressage’s announcement of two weeks ago, because that is the ONLY place online you can find it without drilling down a few levels into DC’s site – if you even know where to start drilling. What we need is a 21st century version of a water witch – someone who can smell his or her way to the things EC hides in un-obvious places. A News Witch. That’s what we need.
There was a comment from EC Prez Mike Gallagher in response to my last post, which is not surprising since the post was almost entirely dedicated to making a raspberry at the organization he shepherds. What is perhaps a bit surprising is that Mike’s comment was not a defense of the EC communications dept in any way, but of EC’s vocal support of the racing industry. You can file that under ‘things that make you go hm.’
I think one of my criticisms might have been misconstrued by a racing fan or two. I am NOT taking the side of the Ontario politicians who are using racing as a high-stakes pawn in their relentless pursuit of votes. Stories like the one published in the February 29th National Post make it pretty clear that the McGuinty clan isn’t even bothering to put vaseline on the broom stick they plan to insert into racing’s hind quarters. I have ridden many ex-racehorses, and I have been to races from Hastings Park to Hong Kong, as well as the harness races in Sydney, NS don’t you know. I have, for the past three years, supported the Vancouver TB track by taking my dog to the wiener races and entertained the Saturday afternoon crowds with his great speed and agility (I also entertain readers after the fact with photos and video on this very blog). I even like the odd flutter, though I am not known for picking a winner. I always pick the horse that looks like it would be the nicest to ride, and that is usually not the fastest one. I have many friends who own race horses, and others who have worked at the track, including my coach and longtime friend Rebecca Garrard, who used to gallop horses at Hastings Park once upon a time. No, I’m not anti-racing by any means. I just wish EC would post a damned press release about Ashley and Poppy winning the GP at the WEF CDI two weeks ago.
Speaking of Ashley, Poppy and all things high performance in Canadian dressage, I see we now have a team’s worth of qualified horses and riders, though we will lose one of the two best horses since Ashley can ride only one in London. I do hope Ashley has read the criteria carefully. She was quoted in a press release last week as being very pleased to have both of her horses now qualified for London, but Breaking Dawn is still missing a GP Special score before he can be considered qualified. Of course, it’s just possible Ashley was misquoted, since the same writer who quoted her also described Poppy as a ‘big’ horse, and put Ashley’s number of children at three. By the way, Jamie, I can’t access any of your press releases on the GDF site. When I go to where the list of releases should be, there is just a message telling me “There are no GDF Press Releases Types for that Category!” I have to go find them reproduced on, you guessed it, Eurodressage. What ever would we do without Astrid?
Jacquie Brooks must be over the moon that she has cemented her partnership with D Niro as quickly as she has; she sits right there near the top of the qualified list. She even came within a whisper of beating Ashley and Poppy a couple of weeks ago. I saw her mom Mary at the GDF ten days ago and she confirmed that Jacquie is indeed very excited about how swimmingly things are going. It’s also great to see Diane Creech get some more consistent results with the sensitive Devon L. It’s been a bit of a haul but he’s a very special horse, which he has now proven by meeting the London criteria, the toughest criteria for a Canadian Dressage Team in a long time – maybe ever.
If the way I bounce around, with such diverse topics from Welly World politics to wiener dog races, is leaving you hungry for more actual sport coverage, head on over to Canadian Team Leader Kerri McGregor’s new blog, which you can find here. Kerri needs to learn to live on just three hours of sleep so that she has time to post more often, but it’s a great blog and I’m sure it will make for some mighty fine reading, come London.
I leave you today with yet another random and very undressage-y item: a swimming wiener video sent to me by a friend.