Or should I say, DOA again? I shouldn’t complain about the never-ending source of material, but jeez Louise people! This is lunacy. The ‘who’s out’ teaser from last week refers to the five letters of resignation that DC Board received two weeks ago from High Performance Committee members.  Oh the ironies! Here is just one. The very people who fired last year’s hard working group of volunteers on HPC are now resigning from their Born Again HPC, to which they appointed themselves.  You know the saying ‘If wishes were horses, beggars would ride’? How about this one: If DC ironies were horses, beggars would be four-in-hand combined drivers. 

I can’t say too much more yet, but don’t worry – I have names and soon will have details, to be shared both here and in one of my notorious pieces of investigative journalism in the August issue of Horse Sport – which just happens to be the dressage issue. But I do have something else to share with you today, to tide you over. A friend who shall remain nameless, and whose home town shall also go unmentioned lest he or she be hunted down, told me how much fun he or she had at the recent DC Hall of Fame Gala. I liked the story so much that I asked if I could put it on the blog. The cheerful answer was yes, so here is the tale:

I traveled a

considerable distance to attend the first ever Dressage Canada Gala Dinner held

in Toronto this

past April. The black-tie event had a dual purpose: to honor Inductees into the

Dressage Hall of Fame and raise funds for Canadian Dressage athletes in pursuit

of the 2010 World Equestrian Games.

Upon arrival at the

Eglinton Theatre, we were greeted by a large, rather sour faced woman. Unlike

other National Gala Events, there was not even a flicker of recognition that we

had traveled from afar. This encounter set the stage for the evening.

We were seated at tables

sized for eight, but with ten plates. It was extremely cramped, and the grand

old Eglinton Theatre did not have sufficient ventilation to accommodate the

crowd so the facility grew rapidly hot and stuffy. The tables consisted of

individual groups, each appearing like its own country, possibly at war with

all of the others. Believe me, there seemed no possibility of cross table

chatting, or even walking around to meet and greet!

The dinner, at $200 per

plate was sufficiently poor to prompt us to eat very little and make a dinner

reservation elsewhere.  There are reports

that a number of people came down with food poisoning. Fortunately I was not

one of them. Perhaps the multiple scotches (which I only drink in times of

extreme stress) killed any and all poison, both from the food and the environs.

There were very good

live and silent Auction items. Having made the final round of the Silent

Auction items, I couldn’t help but notice how few bids there were and how low

they were compared to the appraised value. Other than the month’s training with

Robert Dover, the same went for the live Auction. How disappointing for the

donors of some great pieces of rare Canadian art, appraised antique jewellery

etc. On the bright side, there were some very good deals to be had.

The entertainment could

have been very interesting had it been more complete. A movie was put together

which consisted of pictures of many Canadian Dressage Team riders dating back

to the beginning of Canada‘s

International participation in the sport. Some very successful riders were

conspicuous by their absence; I don’t know if this was due to lack of planning,

poor organization or political payback.

There is another DC

Fundraising event in September. Alas, my capacity for enduring another event of

this calibre has been exceeded. One has to wonder why anyone would willingly

attempt to socialize with this dysfunctional group.

One last point. Does

anyone know of a top Reining horse for sale?

Submitted by Canadian Dressage Team Technical Advisor Robert Dover:

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.