Given the overwhelming evidence (see the dirty laundry list below), I’m tempted to think EC has been watching too much Jon Stewart. But the difference between The Daily Show and the material published by EC’s M&C dept. is that The Daily Show has the facts right – it’s making fun of the world – and EC has the facts wrong, giving folks like me the opportunity to make fun of it. The Daily Show is always up-to-the-minute, while EC is as timely as an Air Canada flight. As usual, I’m torn between mirth and disgust. If you think I’m exaggerating, please acquaint yourself with the examples I have collected here today – from just the past week.
1. The Nations Cup at Spruce, which Canada did not win (see last week’s post if you are confused) – the event took place on Thursday, June 13. Of course, EC didn’t get a press release out about it until 24 hours later, and when I saw the release I understood what the hold up had been. They needed the FEI to issue its release so that EC could get quotes from Canada’s chef d’equipe Mark Laskin for its own press release. Yes, that’s right. The EC release even gives credit at the bottom of the page to the FEI’s Louise Parkes. You know what makes this truly special? Spruce Meadows is IN CANADA. Louise Parkes was not at Spruce. She was either at home in Ireland or somewhere in Europe. But somehow, through some long distance communications miracle, she managed to get quotes from Mark, while EQUINE CANADA could not.
2. A few days after David Marcus won the entire GP division at the CDI3* Angelstone, EC delivered its press release in its standard timeline. It had quotes from David alright – the quotes contained in the Starting Gate Communications release that had come out three days earlier. EC’s M&C clearly feels no shame in not bothering to pick up the phone to talk to athletes or team chefs directly – credit was given once again at the bottom of the release. (Dear EC: if you have lost your little black book and are in need of Mark’s or David’s phone numbers, I’d be happy to send them to you. I have both.)
3. EC M&C sure had a busy week last week. On the 18th they sent out an announcement regarding the Canadian Reining teams heading to NAJYRC in Kentucky. With the Endurance Canada logo and images in the header.
4. This is one I’ve been meaning to talk about ever since the EC Weekend Previews got restarted after their winter hiatus. It’s a great idea, this weekend preview thingy. EC sends it out immediately before or at the start of the weekend as a handy reference of all the national and international competitions that are either in Canada or have Canadians competing. Just one little problem: the preview is of the FOLLOWING weekend. For example, on June 6 they sent out the preview for the weekend of June 12-16. It’s not an isolated case I’m talking about. This is how they do it, week after week. So when I sit down on a Friday and think ‘I wonder what Canadians are competing internationally (or nationally) this weekend that I should keep tabs on’, I have to go back a week in my email folder to the previous week’s preview. And you know what? I can’t be bothered. Now, if I can’t be bothered, you can bet that the Toronto Star sports desk isn’t thinking, “oh, better go check last week’s email from EC to see if there are any Canadians to follow over the weekend at Badminton or Spruce Meadows.” True to form at EC M&C, there is the odd random element thrown into these previews, just to torment us. The above-mentioned preview for June 12-16 included the Luhmuehlen CCI4* – Germany’s equivalent to Badminton – which had no Canadian entries at all.
5. Finally, there is EC’s glorious self-titled print publication, which is now available in an on-line edition for extra speedy delivery of the latest news. Sorry, did I say latest? I meant late. The current issue, which proudly carries the date April/May 2013, arrived in my mailbox while I was in Bromont, which means it arrived some time between June 4 and 12. My first thought was that it’s just a bit ridiculous to be receiving the April/May edition of anything in the month of June. But since the news contained within is from no date later than March and includes the NARG ranking list which was announced in January, the date on the cover is almost too advanced into the calendar for the stories inside.
There are a couple other little items worth mentioning about that issue. In his ‘prez’s message’, Mike Gallagher mentions the heinous FEI proposed change to Olympic dressage qualifications at the Pan Am Games. “Similar changes are being proposed for eventing, which are not as significant,” he writes. Why Mike? Why is the identical proposed change – to reduce the Pan Am qualifications for Rio from the top two to the top one nation – less ‘significant’ for eventing? Is it because Canada didn’t need it in Guadalajara due to the silver medal at WEG 2010, the only time Canada’s eventing team has not needed to qualify for the Olympics through a top two finish at the Pan Ams? I’m not expressing a lack of faith in our eventers – just checking on reality is all.
I wonder who chooses the photos for the EC magazine – it seems to be someone completely disconnected from the actual horse world. On page 18 is a handy and useful guide to making sure your trailer is horse-ready for show season. Safety first! The photo that accompanies the article shows a young woman loading her horse into the trailer – with no lead rope. Nope, this woman of steel is just hanging onto the halter. And even though the article states that you should ‘protect legs by using proper shipping bandages and boots’, the horse being loaded is sporting a pair of bell boots on his front feet, and nothing else.
Continuing along a few more pages to 34 is an article on how to be a better coach. The photo for that article features a nicely turned out rider in her show outfit. Upon her head sits a hunt cap with nary a chin strap holding it on. I would like to make one thing clear: the author of the coaching piece, Victoria Andrew, wrote an excellent article. She is in no way to blame for the photo since she would not have taken part in choosing it. She is probably more horrified about the use of a photo with a rider not wearing an approved helmet than anyone else.
Oh, EC. Where would we be without you? I’ll tell you where: in the present tense.