Ever since I learned there was no Santa at the age of around eight, I find this time of year dreary, and Vancouver’s S.A.D. weather certainly doesn’t help.  I am what you might call a Christmas runaway, always running away somewhere else for the holidays so that I don’t have to put up Christmas lights outside (and then make myself take them down before July so as not to look like my neighbourhood’s white trash element), spend far too much money on Christmas presents and mope around with an empty feeling on Boxing Day.

As luck would have it, my father finally took my advice and got himself out of the backwater town in northern Canada where I grew up and installed himself somewhere civilized for the holidays. And as I have been telling him for years, go somewhere sunny and warm for Christmas and I will spend it with you. Southern California here we come!

Before I start driving (yes, another VW camping adventure. Why fly when you can drive…and drive….and drive) I wanted to at least partially fulfill last week’s promise to introduce K-Rob’s New Rules. I don’t have many examples to share just yet, but here is one that will give you a taste of what my New Rules will be like:

New rule, you can’t resign from a position you never legally occupied. Last week, two more Dressage Queen Canada Board members decided to pack it in before year-end. Renee Young (the great communicator) tendered her resignation as DC B chair effective December 31st, and Liz Steacie tendered hers as chair of HP, effective yesterday.  But Liz was actually never the chair of HP in the first place, as proven by EC’s sleep-inducing multi-page report which came out, coincidentally, yesterday – the same day Liz claimed to be washing her hands of HPC.  I’ll spare you the agony of wading through the document and give you a synopsis. Lorraine Stubbs filed a complaint to EC about her ‘resignation’. EC investigated and discovered all kinds of unsavoury things about DC, some of which we already knew, some of which we suspected, and one that was a complete surprise. Because Lorraine never tendered her ‘resignation’ in writing, her ‘resignation’ was therefore invalid. Appeal or no appeal, she was, is, and remains the Chair of HPC. Which means Liz Steacie never was.  Actually, there could be two New Rules for Liz Steacie: you can’t resign from a committee twice in two years.  If you don’t like the colour of sand in the sand box, don’t keep coming back to play in it.

I’m not going to speculate on what lies in DC’s future for 2012. But I am going to hope that EC finally puts on a Mountie costume and rides into DC Town firing its six shooters in the air and calling some order to the disorderly mess that is our national dressage organization. Dressage Canada is a laughing stock to the other disciplines in this country, and worse, to the international dressage community.

And on that note, I am going to wish you all a Merry Christmas, or a Happy Hogmanay, or a Cheery Winter Solstice, or whatever  rituals you choose to celebrate as 2011 comes to a close and 2012 trudges in on its heels.  I’ll be back in a couple of weeks with my 2011 Wrap Up, in which I will flog DC a bit more, take a swing at the FEI and remind everyone of some really great things that did happen these past twelve months.