After ten years of visiting Welly, I finally saw my first polo match

It’s now a week since I took wing and departed from the Wonderful World of Welly. I continue to love the place a little bit more every time I visit, though I do wish that the topographical relief in south Florida wasn’t due exclusively to bridges and landfills. The WDM Palm Beach was a smashing success, if I do say so myself. Yes, I was part of the media team there and so can’t comment objectively on it. But everyone I talked to had a fine time – they thoroughly enjoyed the competition and the atmosphere. I won’t go on and on about Valegro any more except to say that, in my book, seeing him and Charlotte made the whole thing worthwhile.

A face anyone would love

Another side-benefit of the Masters this year was that the WDM people decided to launch Global Dressage Analytics there, which meant I got to spend a bit of time hanging out with my favourite super-math-brain friend and inadvertent judge provoker David Stickland. I also saw a whole bunch of pals old and new from all over North America at the Masters, but sadly my time with them was reduced to a few text messages and friendly waves across the crowded venue. It was a crazy, busy week and fully worth the sleep deprivation.

I’ll be back in Welly some time in March, possibly to catch part of the US Show Jumping team trials, and definitely to take a peek at the new Global Dressage Festival, which somehow managed to clear the cement trucks for long enough to hold a show last week, an FEI sanctioned one no less. I’m not sure how they pulled off that feat of rabbit-pulling-from-hat, particularly since a USDF delegation  told them two days before that they couldn’t hold a show in the middle of a construction zone.

What the new dressage site looked like ten days before the CDI - I think those pale pink piles are what became the footing

Now Welly town council has ventured down the perilous path that will see the commercial development come to pass in spite of passionate objection from a well-organized group of residents who formed the Wellington Equestrian Preservation Alliance. This battle is far from over, I’m sure.

These were everywhere in Welly during the final days before the Town Council vote

Maybe when I go back to Welly next month I’ll start my own Alliance. I’ll call it the Alliance for People Who Think Wrinkles are OK. Honestly, the anti-aging facial adjustment craze is reaching epidemic proportions and something needs to be done about it. Do strangely plastic looking skin and blurred lip edges really look better than smile lines? If your idea of anti-aging activity includes healthy diet, exercise and a regular dose of anti-oxidants in the form of red wine, I’m with you all the way. But I must confess to being completely baffled by those who believe anti-aging begins in the plastic surgeon’s office. I have wrinkles (and grey hairs), and I embrace them for what they are – part of me.

I’ve been so busy traveling over the past week that I only just this morning caught up on reading the comments on my recent posts. I know Cees will go to his grave believing, like all megalomaniacs worth their salt, that his way is the only true and right way. But at least he has the cojones to put his name to his words. What the hell is wrong with you, Giddy Up? Did your testicles not drop yet? I’m no Thumper, preaching that if you can’t find something nice to say, don’t say anything at all. This blog is proof I don’t subscribe to that line of thinking. But I do find it an appalling display of cowardice that someone can be so nasty while hiding behind a pseudonym. The only reason I don’t take down Giddy Up’s rants about ‘true insiders’  out of disgust for anonymous dribbling is because I believe that Giddy Up is a pretty fair representation of the very ill that threatens to keep Equine Canada permanently in the Dark Ages – and I wish more people would become rightfully outraged in the same way that kilt-wearing Henry is. I am a member of Equine Canada. Do you, Giddy Up, think that as a client of EC I am not entitled to know what is going on within the ranks of those who run the organization? That I should just stick my head wherever the sun don’t shine and let the ‘true insiders’ run the show? That is what you seem to be saying. And I couldn’t disagree more.