Jazz Johnson Merton has written a letter to U.S. Equestrian Federation President Bill Moroney in response to the USEF’s investigation into an incident at the Hampton Classic Horse Show (N.Y.).
The Chronicle published a news item on Sept. 19 that contained video of the incident and received a lot of attention with online audiences. Then on Sept. 21, the USEF announced its investigation into the incident.
Merton shared her letter with the Chronicle and agreed to have it published:
“One of the greatest pleasures in my life has been riding and showing horses, and I have enjoyed this hobby since I was a little girl.
“In the recent incident at the Hampton Classic, I had a very inappropriate emotional response to my horse’s behavior, one that I have never had before. I was scared and angry, and reacted very badly. For that I am deeply sorry. My reaction was short lived, and immediately after I realized my mistake, I got back on to jump a schooling fence in order to finish the day on a trusting note with this horse.
“I can assure you that the apology that I gave to the stewards at the time and this plea to you now is genuine. I will never again exhibit this unprofessional display of aggression and poor sportsmanship.
“It pains me to see that I have brought negative attention to our sport, the sport that is most dear to me.
“Please accept my apology. Sincerely, Jazz Merton”