*Disclaimer: The flippant tone of this blog post is in no way intended to reflect any lack of respect for any of the Canadian dressage riders involved in this “race”. They all have my utmost respect and admiration.
Step right up folks! Here it is: the Great Canadian Dressage Race! It’s a long one folks. Starts January 1st and goes right up to July 14, 2016. It’s all the best dressage riders and horses in the country! Canada didn’t win the gold medal in dressage at the Pan Ams last summer so we can only send two dressage riders to Rio. So come on folks…let’s go to the Race!
Now we don’t really know exactly who is in the Race officially ‘cause Equine Canada is keepin’ that a secret. But heck… we know pretty much who the main contenders are don’t we? Sure we do! Only problem is we don’t know how they’re gonna be selected fer those two spots to Rio ‘cause that’s a secret too. Well that Equine Canada ….heck….they sure love their secrets don’t they? Hey! Look here…..the media are circling. They’re onta this secret stuff like bees to honey. Look here…they’re startin’ an unofficial leaderboard of their own. They’re gonna just base it on scores ‘cause the only info Equine Canada will give out is that the selection’s based on 4 scores. WOW! This is gonna be real excitin’!
They’re in Florida! Under starters orders! And ….they’re off! And it’s Belinda Trussell and her horse Anton takin’ an early lead. Comin’ behind them Megan Lane on Caravella, Karen Pavicic on Don Daiquiri, and hey…here’s Chris von Martels on a new horse Divertimento. Belinda’s out ahead by a length. Megan, Chris and Karen nose to nose behind her. Behind them Jacquie Brooks on her grey “goose” D Niro and Brittany Fraser on All In. No one is givin’ up on this race ‘cause , you know, anythin’ can happen in a horse race folks.
They’re comin’outta the Florida turn and headin’ north. Belinda in the lead by two lengths ; Megan Chris and Karen still comin’ up behind lookin’ for position. Will someone make a move? Yes! It’s Karen she’s movin’ over to the West side.
Chris and Megan still neck and neck as they head into the Ottawa turn. Now Belinda’s pullin’ ahead . Belinda ahead now by four lengths .Chris and Megan still neck and neck.Now Karen’s pullin’ ahead and she’s movin’ into second place behind Belinda. Chris and Megan still runnin’ hard. They’re comin’ round the Cedar Valley turn. And look here….I can see a Canadian judge cheerin’ ’em on from the infield. Megan’s makin’ a move now folks. She’s closin’ the gap on Karen. Megan pulls ahead by a nose. Karen’s ridin’ Don Daiquiri to the outside to see if she can get past Megan. Can she do it? Don Daiquiri is givin’ it his all. No! He’s fallin’ back.
Belinda in first! Megan in second! There you have it folks. There they are …..the winners of the Great Canadian Dressage Race to Rio!
CUE: Brass band playing ‘Oh Canada’! Applause! Cheering! Waving of Maple Leaf flags! Release of Confetti and streamers! Fade to black.
And when the streamers and the confetti have fallen silently to the ground, the crowds have gone home and the announcer is having a pint in the pub what have we learned? I hope we have learned this is not the way to select riders or to select a team. Secret criteria only fuels mainstream media and social media speculation and rumors and in this era of information exchange that is a toxic brew.
I know our Canadian dressage riders and their horses: Belinda and Anton, Megan and Caravella will do Canada proud and we will all cheer them on. I am a member of Equine Canada and Dressage Canada. Oh, I’m sorry, they have just “rebranded” today with a new name and new logo. So now it’s Equestrian Canada. I feel certain that Equestrian Canada is aware of what a debacle this turned into. Let us hope that the next time things will be clear and transparent. If you agree please feel free to give this post a like or a share or a re-blog. Let’s support the horses and riders of jumping, eventing and dressage going to Rio to ride proudly for Canada.