There is way too much of the ‘P’ word around these days for my taste – from the provinces to the FEI to Canadian elections – it’s all getting me down. And that was before I found out Donald Trump is running for US President.  My sense of humour has disappeared into my shoes, which is making my sense of irony very lonely. But since that is all I have left, here are this week’s ironies:

1. from the FEI – so Alex McLin resigned very suddenly as Sec.  Gen. (read HRH’s man Friday) of Mission Control. I think he resigned on Friday and by Monday when the press release came out to let us all know, HRH had already hired his replacement, Ingmar de Vos of Belgium. While I was searching the web for a personal email address for Alex (if anyone  reading this has one please send it on – I promise not to tell where it came from), I came across the FEI press release that announced his arrival to the post in 2008. “The appointment follows an extensive consultation period, with the National Federations, and the interviewing of a number of external candidates,” it said. Gosh, do you think HRH fit all that consultation on the hiring of Alex’s replacement into one standard sized weekend? I think it might be safe-ish to suppose that there was a slight lack of extensive consultation this time around, and that there were no longlists or shortlists of candidates, never mind interviews. I guess if anyone thought HRH was betraying anti-Belgian sentiments when she forced Mariette off the throne they can put those suspicions to bed. 

2. from the FEI, but pulling together two threads: FEI and EC vs. the provinces – Today it was announced that a Constitutional Task Force has been created to work on an “optimal Governance Structure” for the FEI. And who might the chair of that task force be? Why none other than our own fearless leader, Akaash Maharaj! Where is the irony you ask? The FEI task force will represent all the FEI members (most of which are National Federations) on communicating what kind of governance structure they want the FEI to have. HRH has chosen a chair who has been, pretty much from his first day on the job, attempting to get ten provinces and one territory to come to an agreement with EC on how it should run, particularly when it comes to relations between the provinces and itself. In other words, Akaash is in the throes of representing the interests of a bigger body (EC vs provinces) while simultaneously representing a smaller body (FEI vs. NFs). It’s like being Jonah and the whale at the same time.






















3. and finally, our Grand Prize winner (tell me you’re surprised), HCBC – last week HCBC sent out a cheerful email to members with all kinds of little news, but one item caught my eye in particular. HCBC proudly announced that there would be $20,000 in recreational funding available in 2011 for trail building and maintenance. Well that’s pretty cool, except that in 2010 the $5 per member EC fee resulted in HCBC getting $25,000 back to use for recreation. The irony prize isn’t due to that though. It’s due to this chirpy little invitation that was issued by HCBC in the same newsletter: 

Just a few dollars from each Horse Council BC member each year can make a huge difference in building and improving BC’s equestrian trails. If you like to explore new trails, or plan to in the future, help make BC the best place on earth to ride by making a donation to the BC Equestrian Trails Fund. Grants will be made available to HCBC member clubs to assist them in building and improving trails and horse-camping sites. For a generous individual donation of $25 or more, you will receive a Leave No Trace Canada handy reference card, and for $50 or more you will receive a 32 page Leave No Trace Horse Use Skills & Ethics booklet.”

So let me get this straight. It was not ok for HCBC members to pay a $10 EC membership fee, one quarter to one third of which would go directly back into HCBC Recreation programs (if HCBC had said ‘yes’ instead of ‘hell no’ in 2011, the equation would have been as follows: 22,000 members x $10 x 0.25 = $55,000 for recreation), but it’s totally awesome to hit up your members for $25 ‘or more’ to help pay for recreation programs. And that is why HCBC wins my Week-of-April-11 irony prize.