Gawl danged Europeen varmints! According to an article in the Saudi Gazette over the weekend, Abdullah Sharbatly, one of the two Saudi show jumpers who received  bute-related suspensions and an invitation to skip the Olympics, has declared that he suspects foul play in the positive tests of his horse and that of Khaled Al-Eid. Sharbatly even went so far as to say that he “did not exclude the possibility that a European equestrian team is involved in this plot against the Saudi team”. Oh really? Well let’s just think about this for a minute. Al-Eid’s horse tested positive at a CSI in the UAE, and Sharbatly’s horse tested positive at a CSI on home turf in the Kingdom.  A brief scan of the results for the Saudi event reveals  that there were no Europeans competing. There were a handful at the UAE show, including a couple of Irish, one Dutch and one German rider. But I have to say that on a scale of one to ten for outrageous claims, this one is an eleven. Saudi Arabia is a world leader in several activities, including capital punishment. According to that semi-reliable open source of information Wikipedia, there have been 345 executions between 2007 and 2010, all of which were carried out by public beheading.  I’m having just a wee bit of trouble imagining a European show jumper, or groom, or vet, or mom or dad, infiltrating a Saudi horse show and doping a horse with bute. Come ON Sharbatly. If someone were willing to risk life and lobotomy to dope your horse with white powder, surely they would have slipped him something a little more damning than bute – something like cocaine, perhaps.

In other, more public battles, the war rages on in Welly World. Now it looks like the entire dressage venue of the Global Dressage Fest could come down like a house of cards. Don’t believe me? Here is an article from the Welly Town Crier that outlines the latest anti-developments. I’d also love to send you to the article that was in the May 23rd Palm Beach Post which was  titled “Council’s rejection may spell end of Equestrian Village”, but the article has somehow disappeared – not only from the PB Post’s site but also from all the other news sites that picked it up. Instead, when I click on the link that was sent to me, I get another article titled “Despite setback, Equestrian Village’s developer thinks dressage center can be saved”.  In the article, Signor B is quoted as follows:  “I’m confident we’re going to be able to work collaboratively to find a solution. There’s an outcome here to serve all parties. I don’t believe their intent is to destroy dressage.” You are right, Signor B. Their intent was not to destroy dressage. I think it was to destroy you. I don’t know what water passed under the bridge between the warring factions, and I especially don’t know if that water had received the proper licenses. But the bridge has now been blown up, and it’s starting to look as though someone is seeing so much red he or she or they don’t care who gets caught in the cross fire. They are going  all the way, regardless of the casualties.

I’m the last person to say that Dressage Queens are hand-holding peaceniks who spend their days draping daisy chains around one another’s necks and singing Kumbaya. But this time they are about to become innocent victims in a fight that is going too far.  Tearing down the dressage facility isn’t in anyone’s best interests. And please stop talking about the Jacobs clan trying to clear Pierson Rd. of horse trailers. There is a whole massive equestrian facility with multiple rings, barns and an equine clinic right next door to Deeridge Farms. If they were so filled with hatred for horse trailers, why in the heck would the Jacobs set up camp right up the road from the biggest horse show circuit in North America? Or am I missing something?