A couple of mornings ago, just before I woke up, I had a dream that I was at the World Cup Final. Yellow was a pervasive colour in the dream (probably the result of a decidedly un-sunny Vancouver spring this year). In my dream Eric won the show jumping Final riding a palomino, on which he later paraded around the streets of Leipzig in western tack. I also dreamed there was an opening ceremony spectacle in which two men dressed like Star Wars Stormtroopers parachuted out of the sky and into a giant yellow funnel that emptied them onto the dirt of the competition arena. You see, my subconscious imagination had to fill in for my absence. It seems some of you missed the unambiguous explanation in the first of two posts titled ‘Guest Blog from Leipzig’ and couldn’t figure out how you missed me in the crowd at the competition. It also seems some of you didn’t even notice the different writing style and narrative voice in the WC blogs. So just to be clear, in case you are still reaching for the plot and grabbing air, I WAS NOT AT THE WORLD CUP FINAL LAST WEEK. Jennifer Anstey, the publisher of this blog, did a GUEST BLOG.
I’m not the only one who missed the World Cup. As Jennifer pointed out in her last post from Leipzig, HRH didn’t manage to pop in, not even once. Puzzled as to why the FEI prez would pass on this historic first-time event that saw four WC titles contested under one roof (and isn’t the WC Final one of the biggest flowers in the FEI’s brand bouquet?), Jennifer sent an email to Mission Control’s communications department, asking if she had somehow missed her. Here is what they replied: “No, you didn’t miss Princess Haya. She very much regretted the fact that she couldn’t be there at the first four FEI World Cups all under one roof, but she was unfortunately unable to attend Leipzig due to other commitments.”
A very small effort at online sleuthing produced the answer to the next question, which would be ‘what other commitments could be more important to the president of the FEI than attending the FEI World Cup Final’? Turns out HRH was with her husband at the 1000 Guineas Classic in Newmarket, where Sheikh Mohammed’s filly Godolphin’s Blue Bunting won her race. There is even a photo of the happy couple dated May 1 on the Sheikh’s website. Family does hold a legitimate first place in the personal value systems of many people, but a day at the races instead of attending the most important event of the year in the sport of which you are the elected boss? She made it to Badminton the week before, so why the cold shoulder to Leipzig? I don’t imagine her friend Reem Acra was very pleased, particularly since this was the first WC dressage final to be sponsored by the designer of outrageously fabulous gowns.
Someone else whose absence has been missed by myself and probably quite a few others is that former source of so much insider wit and acuity, The Carrot. Partway through WEG last fall, he/she/they went to earth, emerging again sometime later in the very unfulfilling forum of Twitter (and no, Carrot, you cannot persuade me to join the tweet brigade, unless of course you tell me who you are – in which case I will grant you three wishes). Some of us at WEG wondered if we had inadvertently chased The Carroteer underground with all our sniffing around in an effort to uncover the Carrot’s identity. Even I was tried on for size one day, when I was greeted with ‘good morning Carrot’ by two colleagues in the Kentucky Horse park stadium. The debate over the Carrot’s sex and nationality continues to this day, though a few hints have been dropped that lead me to suspect this particular root vegetable is female. The Carrot’s recent tweets have revealed more than a passing interest in and understanding of Middle Eastern politics. The Britishisms don’t quite lead us to believe the Carrot is a Brit. Perhaps Australian, or Kiwi, or….wait a minute. What woman in the horse world has intimate and timely knowledge of the workings of the FEI, has a reason to care about the Middle East, and has had a large amount of exposure to British expressions and witticisms, but isn’t actually British? I can think of only one person. Please allow me to present you with HRH Princess Haya, aka The Carrot.