You know I don’t expect much of our national federation. Maybe I don’t expect anything at all. But I did expect that Equine Canada (proposed renaming – because they love to change their name every few years, presumably to shake stalkers – to Egregious Canada) would not deliberately malign or undermine the efforts of its Olympic athletes. It’s already out there everywhere, but if you haven’t yet seen it, please help yourself to a viewing of the most stupidly transparent effort at sucking up to the FEI I have seen, ever. You might want to grab a sick bag.
I might have thought I was over-reacting to this statement, in which Mike Gallagher, the man we have allowed through our own thoughtless negligence to end up in charge of our national equestrian federation, performs his own version of the Animal House hazing scene depicted below. But my inbox says otherwise.
In the past few hours I’ve been flooded with emails that ask me a simple, yet crazy-making question: why would Mike Gallagher send out a statement in which he lays out in no uncertain terms that he, and by extension all of us members of EC – stand by the FEI, which disqualified Tiffany Foster ? There is only one possible reason for this EC statement, which is superfluous – not to mention self-annihilating – to say the least, since EC and the COC already sent out twin statements on Sunday. FEI not amused by Eric’s comments at press conference. FEI say EC bad. EC say sorry FEI. EC say FEI godlike figure to be worshiped. EC say thank you FEI for disqualifying innocent Canadian athlete.
And now the latest: Eric has made an announcement to the media that he has informed Mike Gallagher he will not participate in any competitions as a Canadian team member until EC issues another statement in support of its rider. That would be Tiffany. Please allow me to point out the obvious: Eric has nothing to gain from taking his position and from being as vocal as he has been. But he believes that a new injustice has been piled on by our own national federation. This is not a matter of Tiffany receiving insufficient support from EC. This latest statement effectively shuns her in favour of the unlikely prospect that HRH will suddenly smile on EC’s Prez in exoneration. A pat on the head, and all is well. WEG 2018 bid still on the table. Because of course that is the most important prize of all, worth sacrificing athletes like so many lambs at the altar.
Over the past seven months – starting with the hair-raisingly unjust departure of EC CEO Akaash Maharaj – I have spared no effort, no adjective, no metaphor in trying to ignite even the faintest flame under you all, the membership of EC. I have been largely ignored, probably not because you don’t believe me, but because you don’t think your voice matters. Or because you didn’t care enough to take an active interest. Well folks, if you don’t start making some noise now and calling to account the truly appalling behaviour against an Olympic athlete that has been carried out by EC’s President, I’m going to hack into the EC database (shouldn’t be hard), get all your home addresses, buy one of those stupid Air Canada passes that gives me unlimited travel to all our cities, and personally visit you to deliver the message that you have apathy issues.