Since I began writing a blog during the 2006 WEG, I have sometimes wondered if I would ever lose sense of propriety and step over a line. Now I know the answer and I’m not feeling so good on this Friday morning. I could just remove the incriminating evidence and pretend it never happened, but I think that would be cowardly and not in keeping with my ‘straight-up’ personality. In addition to the heartfelt comment posted under yesterday’s blog I have received a large number of emails from people who are extremely unhappy about the anonymous letter I posted yesterday. The blog is not a piece of journalism, and what I write reflects opinions, not research of facts. When I posted the letter criticizing the DC Gala I had not given a thought about the possibility that the letter would insult the people who had worked hard to make the event a success. I had invited a guest blogger to post from the World Cup Jumping Final in Geneva, which I didn’t attend. I got some good feedback on it, and to be honest that was what was in my mind when my friend sent the letter of an unhappy experience at the Gala, which I also did not attend.
As has been pointed out to me in no uncertain terms by several people this morning, there were a large number of volunteers who worked very hard on the Gala, and who apparently paid for their plates in addition to lending their time and effort to the cause. As someone who genuinely loves our sport and has always tried to support our athletes, I am ashamed that I was so thoughtless about posting the letter.
I apologize to every one of you who participated in the the Hall of Fame Gala. I will be personally donating funds in support of the Kentucky Send-Off fundraiser, which I cannot attend; and at this point I would imagine my presence would perhaps not be so welcome.
The following is a note that was sent to me by Team Technical Advisor Robert Dover regarding the Gala. He asked me to post it, so here it is (it has also been posted at his request on yesterday’s post under the anonymous letter):
First, may I say that remaining anonymous while writing and posting a letter of this nature is, to me, no different than scribbling nasty graffiti on a public wall. It is for that reason that I told people from the beginning of my DoversWorld site that I reserved the right to delete anyone’s post who did not sign their name to it.
As for the content of this person’s message, I also will not comment on the HPC resignations; only the subject regarding the Hall of Fame Gala. The two issues have nothing to do with each other.
I flew from West Palm Beach, Florida, to attend the Gala and had a wonderful time. The theater was a lovely and fitting venue for the event which honoured the first ever inductees to the Dressage Canada Hall of Fame. The room was elegant and I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that there was an all evening open bar, which it appears that the writer of the above post made the best of. Good for them, I say!
I enjoyed my dinner very much as well as the chance to see so many friends from Canada I had not encountered in many years. The “old projector style” movie detailing the past great athletes, both two and four-legged, who had represented Canada over many years in Olympic, Pan American and World Games reminded me of how many wonderful combinations there have been. I do agree with the writer that the auctions were very good but would say that I was a bit surprised that more people attending this vital benefit for the Dressage Team going to Kentucky did not dig deeper into their pockets to show their support for their riders and the sport for which, I believed, they were attending the benefit in the first place.
I would like to give kudos to all the amazing volunteers who worked tirelessly to put on a wonderful event and raise much needed money for the Team! My hope is that the Send-off To Kentucky fundraiser September 12th will be equally well attended and show the passion Canadian Dressage enthusiasts have to support their Team and the sport in their country.