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snoopy
Feb. 12, 2008, 02:49 PM
http://www.dressagedaily.com/

retreadeventer
Feb. 12, 2008, 03:05 PM
Catherine Haddad: want some cheese with that whine? Get a life. Taking six months off your business isn't worth it to get on the team? I'd take six months in JAIL if it guaranteed an Olympic team slot! :0)

Hilary
Feb. 12, 2008, 03:23 PM
I read her letter/ article and thought she actually had good points.

I don't care a lot about upper level dressage politics, (I don't have the TIME to sort them all out!) but from her point of view, an American living and competing in Europe, it DOES seem that this selection process cuts her (and anyone else in her situation) out of the running.

I think you can argue both sides of the how to fly to Hong Kong problem.

Badger
Feb. 12, 2008, 03:41 PM
Catherine Haddad: want some cheese with that whine? Get a life. Taking six months off your business isn't worth it to get on the team? I'd take six months in JAIL if it guaranteed an Olympic team slot! :0)

It's a lot more complicated than that. You aren't "guaranteed" a slot. The finalists on the various teams take a chunk of (very expensive) time away from their homes and business and there is no guarantee involved. It's down to the final trot up at the Olympics or WEG who is actually going to compete. Riders who make the cut to go to Europe for the final training session and who don't go on to the team competition usually have to fly themselves and their horses home on their own dime (and of course, it costs a whole lot more than a dime) and I don't think that even those who actually DO compete get all their expenses covered. These elite competitors are out a lot of time and money trying to please the selector gods and dodge the lameness gods and there is never any guarantee at all.

Clear Blue
Feb. 12, 2008, 06:49 PM
How did Lisa Wilcox qualify for the Olympics w/o coming to the US?

retreadeventer
Feb. 12, 2008, 08:16 PM
These elite competitors are out a lot of time and money trying to please the selector gods and dodge the lameness gods and there is never any guarantee at all.

Good point, Badger! Well life has no guarantees, either. Sometimes you just have to take a chance.

We knew China would be a problem...the event team will go thru the same travel problems...does anyone remember how they did it for the Olympics in s. Korea? That would have been 1988, I think? I think the team was Jane Sleeper, Phyllis Dawson, Bruce Davidson and not sure who the rest were. I know they quarantined in Unionville, PA. and did very little to prepare as it was hot and dry that summer and the footing was like concrete.

Ilex
Feb. 13, 2008, 10:08 AM
How did Lisa Wilcox qualify for the Olympics w/o coming to the US?

Lisa qualified in Europe.....

they 'used' to let them do that. They had to score 2% (I think that was the number) higher then the highest (or maybe lowest???) score at the qualifier here (or maybe is was the median scores???).

Anyway....they don't do that anymore.

And it may be because of the Leslie Morris debacle at WEG last time around.

Clear as mud! Sorry but it's the best I can do.

Ilex
Feb. 13, 2008, 10:20 AM
Also.....interestingly enough.

Someone.....maybe Wofford/Emerson/neither (can not remember who) in the last 6 months wrote an article in the Chronicle regarding the pit falls of using professional athletes for our teams. They cited the professional athlete who has been cultivated who can not compete on teams due to having to stay home and run there business's.

So I think....knee jerk reaction time.....yeah.....if it was me....sure I would do anything to be on the team. But then reality sets in. Hmmmmmm. I have horses to be taken care of. A family to think of. Employees who are depending on me to make good decisions.

I could see why it would be stressful and confusing. And make for agonizing decision making.

JSwan
Feb. 13, 2008, 10:36 AM
Catherine Haddad: want some cheese with that whine? Get a life. Taking six months off your business isn't worth it to get on the team? I'd take six months in JAIL if it guaranteed an Olympic team slot! :0)

THANK YOU. I read her missive in COTH and all I could think of - was geez lady - quit whining. Takes a lot of effort for everyone - and most folks have to make sacrifices. Why should the entire process cater to you just because you can't afford to take time off work? When can anyone "afford" to? I don't know of any big endeavor that does not involve a great deal of sacrifice, dedication and extreme effort.

And then try and suggest that the welfare of the horses is being compromised? Very low blow...and a pretty obvious attempt at manipulation.

She has every right to be disappointed; even angry. I'm sure I'd be very upset if I were in her shoes. But the little temper tantrum and whining - nah - no sympathy.

I appreciated the professionalism of David O'Connor's response.

ponyjumper4
Feb. 13, 2008, 11:08 AM
Not to mention the fact that we have already shipped horses over there for the test runs, I'm sure they went through a similar process that those that make the team will go through.

LisaB
Feb. 13, 2008, 11:41 AM
Is she really in contention? I would think if so, she could petition a bye. I know if eventers were living in europe and kicking butt at Burghley and Badminton, the selection committee would make an exception and have the person do the training sessions in Europe with the final folks. Then make the trek from there. I think she probably is not REALLY in contention and was one they had to drop out in order to have the selections include the most people they could.
Bravo for David. Spoken like a true CEO and sticking by his team.

ridgeback
Feb. 13, 2008, 02:54 PM
THANK YOU. I read her missive in COTH and all I could think of - was geez lady - quit whining. Takes a lot of effort for everyone - and most folks have to make sacrifices. Why should the entire process cater to you just because you can't afford to take time off work? When can anyone "afford" to? I don't know of any big endeavor that does not involve a great deal of sacrifice, dedication and extreme effort.

And then try and suggest that the welfare of the horses is being compromised? Very low blow...and a pretty obvious attempt at manipulation.

She has every right to be disappointed; even angry. I'm sure I'd be very upset if I were in her shoes. But the little temper tantrum and whining - nah - no sympathy.

I appreciated the professionalism of David O'Connor's response.

Where was the whining please point it out..thank you

JSwan
Feb. 13, 2008, 03:00 PM
The original letter she wrote.

Equibrit
Feb. 13, 2008, 03:05 PM
I think I would be a trifle upset if caught in this catch 22. She moved to Europe to better develop her skills, and is now hampered in her attempt to represent her country because she moved.

BAC
Feb. 13, 2008, 03:06 PM
...does anyone remember how they did it for the Olympics in s. Korea? That would have been 1988, I think? I think the team was Jane Sleeper, Phyllis Dawson, Bruce Davidson and not sure who the rest were.

The 1988 team was made up of Bruce Davidson, Karen O'Connor, Phyllis Dawson and Ann Sutton (formerly Hardaway, now married to Nigel Taylor). Jane Sleeper was short listed but don't think she actually rode there.

JSwan
Feb. 13, 2008, 03:14 PM
I think I would be a trifle upset if caught in this catch 22. She moved to Europe to better develop her skills, and is now hampered in her attempt to represent her country because she moved.

Oh - cry me a river.

She took a private dispute public after she didn't get her way and is whining about it.

Other riders have had to make similar decisions. I don't hear them complaining that the rules need to be changed because their boss won't give them time off. So the rest of the American riders are supposed to turn their lives upside down just for her? She isn't the first rider to face this, or a similar, dilemma, and she won't be the last. Sorry - I don't fall for the "poor me" pity party crap.

I have a great deal of empathy for US riders trying to work, have a decent life, and realize their dreams and goals. I have no doubt she is very upset. However, I have no use for people who whine about how life isn't fair.

ponyjumper4
Feb. 13, 2008, 03:18 PM
I believe I read on the dressage forum with the same topic that Peter Wylde had to make that same decision when trying out for WEG I think? He decided to come back to the states, made the team, won a medal.

ridgeback
Feb. 13, 2008, 04:31 PM
Oh - cry me a river.

She took a private dispute public after she didn't get her way and is whining about it.

Other riders have had to make similar decisions. I don't hear them complaining that the rules need to be changed because their boss won't give them time off. So the rest of the American riders are supposed to turn their lives upside down just for her? She isn't the first rider to face this, or a similar, dilemma, and she won't be the last. Sorry - I don't fall for the "poor me" pity party crap.

I have a great deal of empathy for US riders trying to work, have a decent life, and realize their dreams and goals. I have no doubt she is very upset. However, I have no use for people who whine about how life isn't fair.

Wow you are really angry about a subject you no little about. [edit] You clearly do not know Catherine if you think she's sitting around thinking poor me and if that is how you read her letter you clearly have an axe/agenda to grind with her...

Meredith Clark
Feb. 13, 2008, 04:52 PM
Ridgeback... are you Catherine Haddad?

hehehehehe

beeblebrox
Feb. 13, 2008, 05:01 PM
ug

JSwan
Feb. 13, 2008, 05:10 PM
Wow you are really angry about a subject you no little about. Maybe you need to back away from the computer and go outside, by your number of postings you spend to much time here..You clearly do not know Catherine if you think she's sitting around thinking poor me and if that is how you read her letter you clearly have an axe/agenda to grind with her...


Wow. Intelligent response. I strongly suspect you don't know her either.

[edit] put me on your ignore list if you don't like what I write.

I get the feeling we didn't read the same letter.

Moderator 1
Feb. 13, 2008, 05:55 PM
There are clearly strongly differing opinions about this situation, but please keep the personal commentary out of the discussion.

Thanks.

ridgeback
Feb. 13, 2008, 06:17 PM
Ridgeback... are you Catherine Haddad?

hehehehehe


No I'm not Catherine hey I wish I could ride like her though:D If you read the dressage threads you will find that I have been open about the fact that I've been friends with CH for over 20 years. But you aren't the first that asked.. Honestly it would be a tad pathetic if riders at that level really cared about what people on a chat forum think about them especially since eveyone uses an alias.. JMO

retreadeventer
Feb. 13, 2008, 06:49 PM
In fairness...yes, I am sure that these riders who are considering trying out for the team are fantastic riders and probably way better than most of us on this forum. Their horses are worth a fortune, they have a huge amount of time and money invested in their stables and businesses, since very few are wealthy enough to not need life support while riding.

The Olympic team's selection criteria, as I know from firsthand, close up experience (grooming for long and short listed riders, attending many, many trials as a reporter, photographer, groom, friend of owner, and actually a rider - one) are DIFFICULT. They are supposed to be. They are supposed to weed out the riders and horses that won't be ready for the Olympic challenge.

One of the reasons the selection criteria is so carefully thought out in advance is the difficult circumstances of shipping and horse preparation that US riders HAVE ALWAYS HAD TO DEAL WITH. This is nothing new. Not only that, but we don't have the funding for our equestrian teams that other countries do -- the British, the German teams have state funding, for instance. So we need to get the most "bang for the buck" with our selection process, we need to find the right horse and rider combinations, they need to show they can compete at a world class level, then THEY and the TEAM need to be capable of managing the care for their horses such that they can peak them at the right time for Olympic competition.

You know this process isn't rocket science. Everyday, trainers at the racetrack do the exact same process, preparing and managing horses to win races. The stakes are sometimes just as high, sometimes not, but in the end, the trainer with the best management system is going to win the most races.

The trainer doesn't go to the track, and say, I have a horse that needs a pink pillow in order to win and his owner lives in Europe so we need to write a race for him in Germany. The track says what the races are and the trainer either fits the horse into the race and gets all involved (owner, groom, etc.) on the same page -- or they skip it and wait for another race that fits better in the schedule. If there is no other alternative, then they do the best they can to get the horse ready for THAT race. That's training and horsemanship.

You can offer alternatives all day long for the Olympic selection committees to consider, but in the end, the committee has to provide for all team members the same fair opportunity to compete for a short list spot. They have darn good reasons for byes and all bye horses and riders have probably met a very strict and high level criteria. It's obviously in the best interest of the selection committee to have the BEST horses and riders on the team! Otherwise we don't stand a chance against the powerhouse teams of Europe especially in dressage. It appears to me, and I'm an observer of these things and have been for about 25 years (two Olympics as an official) -- that they want the TOP pairs to shake out. If that is the way they want to do it I think the collective experience of those good minds on that committee -- probably have it right. Sure it's not perfect.

But I think one person's opinion, in this case a prospective team candidate, is not the be-all and end-all of the way it should be. To keep pushing as she has done will do nothing to help her and lot not to. After all, it's a TEAM, not a collection of individuals who feel somehow they deserve a special deal because they think they are good enough. So yes, I feel the letter was a whine, and the letter written by David in return was WAY more detailed, conclusive, and courteous than it needed to be in response to a criticism of this magnitude in an Olympic selection year.

ridgeback
Feb. 13, 2008, 07:35 PM
In fairness...yes, I am sure that these riders who are considering trying out for the team are fantastic riders and probably way better than most of us on this forum. Their horses are worth a fortune, they have a huge amount of time and money invested in their stables and businesses, since very few are wealthy enough to not need life support while riding.

The Olympic team's selection criteria, as I know from firsthand, close up experience (grooming for long and short listed riders, attending many, many trials as a reporter, photographer, groom, friend of owner, and actually a rider - one) are DIFFICULT. They are supposed to be. They are supposed to weed out the riders and horses that won't be ready for the Olympic challenge.

One of the reasons the selection criteria is so carefully thought out in advance is the difficult circumstances of shipping and horse preparation that US riders HAVE ALWAYS HAD TO DEAL WITH. This is nothing new. Not only that, but we don't have the funding for our equestrian teams that other countries do -- the British, the German teams have state funding, for instance. So we need to get the most "bang for the buck" with our selection process, we need to find the right horse and rider combinations, they need to show they can compete at a world class level, then THEY and the TEAM need to be capable of managing the care for their horses such that they can peak them at the right time for Olympic competition.

You know this process isn't rocket science. Everyday, trainers at the racetrack do the exact same process, preparing and managing horses to win races. The stakes are sometimes just as high, sometimes not, but in the end, the trainer with the best management system is going to win the most races.

The trainer doesn't go to the track, and say, I have a horse that needs a pink pillow in order to win and his owner lives in Europe so we need to write a race for him in Germany. The track says what the races are and the trainer either fits the horse into the race and gets all involved (owner, groom, etc.) on the same page -- or they skip it and wait for another race that fits better in the schedule. If there is no other alternative, then they do the best they can to get the horse ready for THAT race. That's training and horsemanship.

You can offer alternatives all day long for the Olympic selection committees to consider, but in the end, the committee has to provide for all team members the same fair opportunity to compete for a short list spot. They have darn good reasons for byes and all bye horses and riders have probably met a very strict and high level criteria. It's obviously in the best interest of the selection committee to have the BEST horses and riders on the team! Otherwise we don't stand a chance against the powerhouse teams of Europe especially in dressage. It appears to me, and I'm an observer of these things and have been for about 25 years (two Olympics as an official) -- that they want the TOP pairs to shake out. If that is the way they want to do it I think the collective experience of those good minds on that committee -- probably have it right. Sure it's not perfect.

But I think one person's opinion, in this case a prospective team candidate, is not the be-all and end-all of the way it should be. To keep pushing as she has done will do nothing to help her and lot not to. After all, it's a TEAM, not a collection of individuals who feel somehow they deserve a special deal because they think they are good enough. So yes, I feel the letter was a whine, and the letter written by David in return was WAY more detailed, conclusive, and courteous than it needed to be in response to a criticism of this magnitude in an Olympic selection year.

We are all entitled to our opinion and our perspective and we don't have to agree...I personally think Catherine should just keep riding in Germany because every day she's riding with and against the best in the world...

She can't change the politics in an oganization.. Before you say there isn't any then explain WEG to me..She out placed all the other U.S. riders in Germany(in 2 or 3 shows by several placings) when competing for the last spot on the team. There was not a selection committee member to be found they didn't ask for a video of the competition and they had never seen her ride?? Based on the performance at WEG we know how that turned out...

Do you really think it's fair to have current riders who are competiting for a spot on the team also be on the committee who decides the rules for the selection of the team??

claire
Feb. 13, 2008, 07:35 PM
How did Lisa Wilcox qualify for the Olympics w/o coming to the US?

Lisa Wilcox had to qualify by receiving scores an average of 2% higher than the best 4th placed American at the American Olympic Selection Trails.

In addition, Lisa had to compete with Stephan Peters (the alternate)
in Germany to secure the Fourth place on the team.

You have to respect Lisa W's attitude! :cool:



EuroDressage May 27,2004
"The road to the Olympics is probably the hardest for American dressage rider Lisa Wilcox. Based in Germany as chief rider of the Gestut Vorwerk stallion, Wilcox can not travel to the United States to ride the obligatory selection trials to qualify for the American Dressage Team that will be sent to the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

Instead, Wilcox has to qualify her number one horse Relevant in Europe by scoring an average 2% higher than the best fourth placed American at the American Olympic Selection Trials, which are held in San Juan Capistrona, California, in June.. Furthermore, Wilcox has until June 1, 2004, to collect her scores for an average mark.

The American Equestrian Federation (USEF) is very strict about these qualification rules and will make no exception for Germany's most loved dressage rider, which is a native American. "The regulations in the U.S. are very strict, " Wilcox said, "only that what is written black on white will count. The Federation has already lost so many lawsuits; people in the U.S.run to court really easily."

and



Eurodressage June 24, 2004

The United States Equestrian Federation today announced the Short List for the 2004 Olympic Dressage Team.

According to the selection procedures, Wilcox and Peters will be required to compete head-to-head in designated pre-Olympic European competitions to vie for the fourth spot on the Olympic Dressage Team.
The four horse/rider combinations and two substitutes are as follows:

Debbie McDonald, 49 from Hailey, Idaho/ Brentina, 1991 ch. M. Hanoverian (Brentano II – Liselotte)
Robert Dover, 48 from Wellington, FL/ FBW Kennedy, 1989 ch.g, Baden Wurttemberger, (Tiro – Katy)
Guenter Seidel, 43 from Del Mar, CA/ Aragon, 1992 gr.g. Bavarian (Abydos – La Sabrina)
Guenter Seidel, 43 from Del Mar, CA/ Nikolaus 7, 1989 b.g. Westfalen (Weinberg – Elise)
Lisa Wilcox, 37 from Thousand Oaks, CA/ Relevant, 1991 ch.s. Oldenburg (Rubinstein I – Havanna)Two alternate/substitute combinations have been named:

Steffen Peters, 39 from Solana Beach, CA/ Floriano, 1990 ch.g. Westfalen (Florestan I – Wichita)
Leslie Morse, 42 from Los Angeles, CA/ Kingston, 11, b.s. Dutch Warmblood (Voltaire – Gisnette)The team leaves next week for Europe where they will compete in Germany at Aachen, July 13 - 18 and Lingen. Leslie Morse will go to Europe to train with the other short listed riders as the U.S team. She may also compete at some of the pre-Olympic competitions if an additional invitation can be secured. Morse will be available if another horse/rider combination has to be replaced.

Olympic Dressage riders are only allowed to ride one horse per games. The Selectors and Coach Klaus Balkenhol along with Guenter Seidel, will decide which horse he will take to Athens after the competitions in Europe are completed

ridgeback
Feb. 13, 2008, 07:45 PM
Lisa Wilcox had to qualify by receiving scores an average of 2% higher than the best 4th placed American at the American Olympic Selection Trails.

In addition, Lisa had to compete with Stephan Peters (the alternate)
in Germany to secure the Fourth place on the team.

You have to respect Lisa W's attitude! :cool:



and

I wonder why they changed the rules??

Meredith Clark
Feb. 13, 2008, 07:53 PM
Honestly it would be a tad pathetic if riders at that level really cared about what people on a chat forum think about them especially since eveyone uses an alias.. JMO

hmmm... "Meredith Clark" would be a pretty lame alias.

I promise that when I become a huge famous rider I will still post and read the COTH!

retreadeventer
Feb. 13, 2008, 07:57 PM
Do you really think it's fair to have current riders who are competiting for a spot on the team also be on the committee who decides the rules for the selection of the team??

Who better? Who else would you pick that has the experience, the horsemanship, the past knowledge of how to get the horses to peak at the right time, and want to win a gold medal for the US? Who do you think should decide selection criteria, me and you?

claire
Feb. 13, 2008, 08:21 PM
I wonder why they changed the rules??

Maybe, as Lisa Wilcox opined: to avoid legal issues.

And as David O'Conner stated:


Within all of the Olympic sport disciplines, athletes design their training and competition plans around the requirements of the selection procedures and must endure the challenges and hardships that result from these training programs.
So, all the US riders are expected to deal with whatever challenges to meet the same qualification requirements.

If an athlete feels the challenges are potentially harmful to their horse (or their business) they should decline to participate. As some have.

ridgeback
Feb. 13, 2008, 10:06 PM
Who better? Who else would you pick that has the experience, the horsemanship, the past knowledge of how to get the horses to peak at the right time, and want to win a gold medal for the US? Who do you think should decide selection criteria, me and you?


Gee let me think hmmm are there any riders that maybe aren't riding at that level anymore because of age or something but just might have a clue...Like someone said it's not rocket science so I'm thinking there are plenty of people that could do it..

ridgeback
Feb. 13, 2008, 10:07 PM
hmmm... "Meredith Clark" would be a pretty lame alias.

I promise that when I become a huge famous rider I will still post and read the COTH!

Well Meredith you are the exception:D For all I know you could be a BIG famous rider I don't follow eventing so I wouldn't know...:lol:

JSwan
Feb. 14, 2008, 06:58 AM
Well, since you are friends with this rider, you may wish to let her know that her letter made her appear like she was whining. If she wants the rules changed - then advocate for change. She'll have plenty of time now that she doesn't have to take time off work.

You know, a guy my husband works with got half his guts blown out by a roadside bomb. The guy is barely 40 years old and he's crippled and his intestines are gone.

I've never heard one word out of that man that could be construed as a complaint, self-pity, or blame for being recalled to active duty (by mistake) and being sent to Iraq.

Perhaps if your friend showed the same determination, strength, and resilience, for a matter than is trivial in comparison to this veteran, people would not be so critical. I empathize with people who believe they have been treated unfairly, or have their dreams dashed.

Taking her dispute public like that - nah - it's whining. And if she was my friend, I'd have counseled her to rethink the letter; or write it in a more constructive manner.

Event4Life
Feb. 14, 2008, 07:51 AM
Personally, I don't see it as whining. The article wasn't very well written (didn't someone else write the actual article though?), but she made some fair points about the process of selection, and the points themselves seemed well thought out. I'm not sure I would have made it public, however...but whats done is done.

ridgeback
Feb. 14, 2008, 09:02 AM
Well, since you are friends with this rider, you may wish to let her know that her letter made her appear like she was whining. If she wants the rules changed - then advocate for change. She'll have plenty of time now that she doesn't have to take time off work.

You know, a guy my husband works with got half his guts blown out by a roadside bomb. The guy is barely 40 years old and he's crippled and his intestines are gone.

I've never heard one word out of that man that could be construed as a complaint, self-pity, or blame for being recalled to active duty (by mistake) and being sent to Iraq.

Perhaps if your friend showed the same determination, strength, and resilience, for a matter than is trivial in comparison to this veteran, people would not be so critical. I empathize with people who believe they have been treated unfairly, or have their dreams dashed.

Taking her dispute public like that - nah - it's whining. And if she was my friend, I'd have counseled her to rethink the letter; or write it in a more constructive manner.


You felt it was whining but many do not so I won't bother her with what you think:)This was not an article it was a letter to the editor of the Chronicle. Again it's easy to sit on a board and judge when you don't know all the facts..You are completely entitled to your opinion :winkgrin: I still would love to know why the rules changed from the 2004 olympics..Like I said you can't always change politics in an organization but you sure can shine a light on it!!!!

JSwan
Feb. 14, 2008, 09:24 AM
Yes, I am a loyal subscriber to COTH and read her letter - and kept my mouth shut until threads started about it. I keep my mouth shut about most of the stuff I read in COTH since not many posters on this BB appear to be subscribers. The purpose of a BB is to discuss - it is completely unreasonable to expect that everyone is going to agree. Based upon the information from the letter and the USET response, (and familiarity with the US selection process), I formed an opinion. I see nothing in the BB rules that says my opinion has to conform to yours.

Taking a private dispute public is in poor taste; but the real problem I have is insinuating that the welfare of the horses is not being considered. That's a low blow. Name one high level athlete (or amateur) that does not make sacrifices for their sport. Everyone sacrifices; some more than others, and that includes family members. I'm reminded of the dressage rider (I'm ashamed to say I forgot her name) that competed while suffering from metastatic ovarian cancer - even after barely healed from surgery to remove a cancerous lung.

Now there is a person I would have liked to have met.

No doubt we should always question whether our governing bodies are making the right decisions; particularly with regard to our selection process and animal welfare. If we don't like the outcome of a decision, it's also appropriate to criticize or condemn it. That letter was not constructive; nor did it add anything positive to any discussion about changing our selection process in the future.

I'm as certain of that as I am that David O'Connor did not personally author the USET response. Hope everything works out for the rider - I can't help but think any disruption of her business would have easily been set to right if she brought home a medal. ;)

ridgeback
Feb. 14, 2008, 09:42 AM
Yes, I am a loyal subscriber to COTH and read her letter - and kept my mouth shut until threads started about it. I keep my mouth shut about most of the stuff I read in COTH since not many posters on this BB appear to be subscribers. The purpose of a BB is to discuss - it is completely unreasonable to expect that everyone is going to agree. Based upon the information from the letter and the USET response, (and familiarity with the US selection process), I formed an opinion. I see nothing in the BB rules that says my opinion has to conform to yours.

Taking a private dispute public is in poor taste; but the real problem I have is insinuating that the welfare of the horses is not being considered. That's a low blow. Name one high level athlete (or amateur) that does not make sacrifices for their sport. Everyone sacrifices; some more than others, and that includes family members. I'm reminded of the dressage rider (I'm ashamed to say I forgot her name) that competed while suffering from metastatic ovarian cancer - even after barely healed from surgery to remove a cancerous lung.

Now there is a person I would have liked to have met.

No doubt we should always question whether our governing bodies are making the right decisions; particularly with regard to our selection process and animal welfare. If we don't like the outcome of a decision, it's also appropriate to criticize or condemn it. That letter was not constructive; nor did it add anything positive to any discussion about changing our selection process in the future.

I'm as certain of that as I am that David O'Connor did not personally author the USET response. Hope everything works out for the rider - I can't help but think any disruption of her business would have easily been set to right if she brought home a medal. ;)

I don't have a problem with you having an opinion you have every right to have one I just don't happen to agree with it:winkgrin: I don't agree that the welfare of the horse is always put before the welfare of the bank account..Weren't there many horses that suffered after Syndey?Just look how crazy the jumpers selection trails have been after the federation was sued. They jump those horses legs off then expect them to compete in the olympics..I just don't think the horses can be 100% waiting this long to choose a team and get over to Europe to fly to hong kong...I guess we will have to wait and see..I'm still pulling for the U.S. dressage team regardless who is on it.

Ilex
Feb. 14, 2008, 12:07 PM
I just don't think the horses can be 100% waiting this long to choose a team and get over to Europe to fly to hong kong...I guess we will have to wait and see..I'm still pulling for the U.S. dressage team regardless who is on it.

The horses for the test event last summer did fine. They flew from the US to the UK to Hong Kong.

I think the point of Haddad is that she has to fly from: Germany to US to Germany to Hong Kong.

Debbie McDonald AND Lisa Wilcox did not compete at the selection trials in California for Athens and BOTH of them were on the squad for Athens. Go Figure!

So I think Haddad's complaint is legit (IOW I see her point).......why can she not get a bye? Why the big change in policy?

AGAIN.... I would bring up the subject of the dressage WEG squad in Aachen and the Leslie Morris debacle. Was the criteria changed because of that.

Personally.......I'm for the way they are doing it. You want a spot on the team. Fine compete at the selection trials to get it. BUT I do think that they should have set the criteria for that a minimum of two years ago. So that people know FAR in advance what they are going to have to do. Or maybe they did I just didn't know. And I thought it was a good thing that Haddad wrote the letter to. Good for her for bringing to the public eye and I did not consider it whining and I also did not consider it to be an issue of something that needed to be 'behind closed doors'.

Cheers...Tami

P.S. Also anyone ....... anytime ....... is more than welcome to ask me my full name. Just PM me the question.

ridgeback
Feb. 14, 2008, 12:30 PM
"USEF staff then met via teleconference on September 5 with the USOC to inform them of this decision and to finalize the draft selection procedures. The USOC Team Selection Working Group approved these procedures on September 27."

LisaB
Feb. 14, 2008, 12:40 PM
See what happens Snoopy when you post something about dressage??? :D

JSwan
Feb. 14, 2008, 01:04 PM
Yeah really. Odd that the USEF is charged with being unfair, when the whole idea was to increase fairness by eliminating all these exceptions.

Unfair because of past bye's, and unfair for not giving the rider a bye.

Bye bye, bye.;)

Unfair because of the length of time involved; yet Sylvia Ilke had years to state that she would not take her horse to Hong Kong; yet she was commended for thinking of her horses welfare - while throwing the rest of the team under the bus; as if the site had just been announced. Too much time, not enough time - seems that some folks just can't be pleased.

Politics everywhere. Sour grapes, too. If any of y'all can figure out how to eliminate politics from horse sports you should be nominated for a Nobel Prize.

Whatever. I'm just looking forward to seeing our riders compete.

ec412
Feb. 14, 2008, 01:58 PM
THANK YOU. I read her missive in COTH and all I could think of - was geez lady - quit whining. Takes a lot of effort for everyone - and most folks have to make sacrifices. Why should the entire process cater to you just because you can't afford to take time off work? When can anyone "afford" to? I don't know of any big endeavor that does not involve a great deal of sacrifice, dedication and extreme effort.

And then try and suggest that the welfare of the horses is being compromised? Very low blow...and a pretty obvious attempt at manipulation.

She has every right to be disappointed; even angry. I'm sure I'd be very upset if I were in her shoes. But the little temper tantrum and whining - nah - no sympathy.

I appreciated the professionalism of David O'Connor's response.

Please, David O'connors response was a "legal" one, written by attorneys and not by OConner....

Addressing the questions brought up in her letter would have been more approriate, several points were "conveniently" left out.

As far as whining...I never interpreted it as whining..Good points that had merit and value, particularly since previous years, all sorts of hoops were jumped through to ensure the participation of our European based riders. Look at the scores, look at the rides..get educated..then let us know what you think.

ridgeback
Feb. 14, 2008, 02:27 PM
CH response to O'connor

http://internationaldressage.com/Haddad-s-view-on-the-recent-statement-of-the-USEF.html

JSwan
Feb. 14, 2008, 02:34 PM
Please, David O'connors response was a "legal" one, written by attorneys and not by OConner....

Addressing the questions brought up in her letter would have been more approriate, several points were "conveniently" left out.

As far as whining...I never interpreted it as whining..Good points that had merit and value, particularly since previous years, all sorts of hoops were jumped through to ensure the participation of our European based riders. Look at the scores, look at the rides..get educated..then let us know what you think.

1) Obviously he didn't write the letter. But it's professionally written; unlike CH's letter.

2) I did infer she was whining. Lots of other riders make it work - she could have too. Or maybe she couldn't; and that is indeed a shame. Life goes on.

3) I do look at the scores, I do look at the rides, I am educated, and I arrived at a different conclusion. That her letter is in bad taste and makes her sound like she's whining about how unfair it all is. What I think of our selection process isn't relevant.

If the woman wants to participate - she's gotta follow the rules as they are NOW. If she doesn't like those rules, argues her case, and loses, then complains in a very public way about how unfair it is...... you must accept that not everyone is going to feel sorry for her, and some might actively dislike the language and tone of her letter.

ETA - I just read the link Ridgeback so kindly posted. Oh brother. I don't even know where to start. So when did this lady decide she has enough free time to spend the summer at the beach, but not enough time to conform to the USEF rules?

Never mind. I can think of several riders I'd rather see represent our country and would be better ambassadors for the sport than this lady. Best of luck to her.

snoopy
Feb. 14, 2008, 03:38 PM
See what happens Snoopy when you post something about dressage??? :D


Well I debated starting this thread because the original started on the dressage board with regards to CH's original letter has become a bit "tense". But I guess I was more interested in testing the water with my fellow board members with regards to their feelings on the "travel" debate, but I would assume the eventers will be flying from NY, and I am guessing that CH did not have a problem with horses flying from the east coast, even if she were to return for the selection trials should they be held in NJ. So I guess really MY interest was more of a welfare issue and wondered what others thought of it...I certainly wanted to avoid any mud slinging.:eek:

ec412
Feb. 14, 2008, 05:11 PM
Who better? Who else would you pick that has the experience, the horsemanship, the past knowledge of how to get the horses to peak at the right time, and want to win a gold medal for the US? Who do you think should decide selection criteria, me and you?

I think previous olympic riders should be the ONLY ones determining the criteria, not eligible athletes. It they included eligible athletes than all should have been included. This would have included Catherine Haddad and Heather Blitz.

ec412
Feb. 14, 2008, 05:20 PM
1) Obviously he didn't write the letter. But it's professionally written; unlike CH's letter.

2) I did infer she was whining. Lots of other riders make it work - she could have too. Or maybe she couldn't; and that is indeed a shame. Life goes on.

3) I do look at the scores, I do look at the rides, I am educated, and I arrived at a different conclusion. That her letter is in bad taste and makes her sound like she's whining about how unfair it all is. What I think of our selection process isn't relevant.

If the woman wants to participate - she's gotta follow the rules as they are NOW. If she doesn't like those rules, argues her case, and loses, then complains in a very public way about how unfair it is...... you must accept that not everyone is going to feel sorry for her, and some might actively dislike the language and tone of her letter.

ETA - I just read the link Ridgeback so kindly posted. Oh brother. I don't even know where to start. So when did this lady decide she has enough free time to spend the summer at the beach, but not enough time to conform to the USEF rules?

Never mind. I can think of several riders I'd rather see represent our country and would be better ambassadors for the sport than this lady. Best of luck to her.

I assume that it will be easy to follow the rules when they don't "conveniently" change each year to suit certain riders, or change midstream due to what appears to be the "preselected" riders don't do as well as they expect...which happened this past fall (Oct-November) Scores from Debbie, Courtney in Oldenburg and Stuttgart, & frankfort

ridgeback
Feb. 14, 2008, 05:22 PM
1) Obviously he didn't write the letter. But it's professionally written; unlike CH's letter.

2) I did infer she was whining. Lots of other riders make it work - she could have too. Or maybe she couldn't; and that is indeed a shame. Life goes on.

3) I do look at the scores, I do look at the rides, I am educated, and I arrived at a different conclusion. That her letter is in bad taste and makes her sound like she's whining about how unfair it all is. What I think of our selection process isn't relevant.

If the woman wants to participate - she's gotta follow the rules as they are NOW. If she doesn't like those rules, argues her case, and loses, then complains in a very public way about how unfair it is...... you must accept that not everyone is going to feel sorry for her, and some might actively dislike the language and tone of her letter.

ETA - I just read the link Ridgeback so kindly posted. Oh brother. I don't even know where to start. So when did this lady decide she has enough free time to spend the summer at the beach, but not enough time to conform to the USEF rules?

Never mind. I can think of several riders I'd rather see represent our country and would be better ambassadors for the sport than this lady. Best of luck to her.

What ec412 said...HEE HEE HEE she nailed it again....

buschkn
Feb. 14, 2008, 05:51 PM
I didn't interpret it as whining when I read the original letter/article. I haven't read the two responses yet as I am in a hurry. However, it does seem to be an awful lot to ask of a horse, even one based in the US, to fly back and forth all over the place, and more so for the ones based in Europe. CH is putting herself into competition with the best the world has to offer (let's face it, Europe really is the best in consistent international competition). She is upping the ante and her abilities. I respect that. There should be some concessions made for that, IMO.

And FWIW, I don't know CH at all. I did see her at the World Cup last year and was impressed, and have also been impressed with how much she seems to came about her horse Maximus. She always seems to give him a lot of credit, which not everyone does. I thought her letter raised some good points.

JSwan
Feb. 14, 2008, 09:32 PM
What ec412 said...HEE HEE HEE she nailed it again....

Nailed what. There is no conspiracy to ruin this person.

She seems to be doing a pretty good job of that all by herself. Actually, I think it's kind of creepy that her "friends" are posting on these forums basically acting like trolls. Not a very good PR campaign. The more y'all post, and the more this lady writes, the more I think the US is better off if she does spend her summer at the beach instead of the Olympics.

Geez. At first I had some sympathy for the lady. Now she (and by extension, at least one admitted "friend") are acting like spoiled brats. Is this really the best our nation has to offer in international competition? If she acted this way with the USEF - no wonder they didn't make any exceptions for her. Evidently, since her "I can't afford to take time off work" reasoning didn't work, now she's harping on the welfare of her horse. A valid concern. Concessions can't or won't be made - and the decision has already been reached. She can find a way to come here, a way that ensures her horse's welfare, or she can stay home. Her choice.

retreadeventer
Feb. 14, 2008, 10:27 PM
...
You know, a guy my husband works with got half his guts blown out by a roadside bomb. The guy is barely 40 years old and he's crippled and his intestines are gone.

I've never heard one word out of that man that could be construed as a complaint, self-pity, or blame for being recalled to active duty (by mistake) and being sent to Iraq.

Perhaps if your friend showed the same determination, strength, and resilience, for a matter than is trivial in comparison to this veteran, people would not be so critical. .

That really puts things in perspective, JSwan, thank you -- very true. I will pray for this man. Our little things don't amount to a hill of beans compared to this sacrifice so that we may exercise our First Amendment right on this bulletin board.

retreadeventer
Feb. 14, 2008, 10:34 PM
[QUOTE=ec412;3008724]I think previous olympic riders should be the ONLY ones determining the criteria, not eligible athletes. QUOTE]

That particular problem you must take up with the USOC and the FEI who require that the national federations have Active Athlete committees made up of ***active athletes*** in the discipline, previous athletes are not eligible beyond certain circumstances. Hell, I'm an "eligible" athlete given the right millionaire owner, the right horse and some saddle stick'em!
Sorry! Them there's the rules and not just for equestrian sports either. So let's ALL start tilting at the windmills!

ridgeback
Feb. 15, 2008, 07:56 AM
Nailed what. There is no conspiracy to ruin this person.

She seems to be doing a pretty good job of that all by herself. Actually, I think it's kind of creepy that her "friends" are posting on these forums basically acting like trolls. Not a very good PR campaign. The more y'all post, and the more this lady writes, the more I think the US is better off if she does spend her summer at the beach instead of the Olympics.

Geez. At first I had some sympathy for the lady. Now she (and by extension, at least one admitted "friend") are acting like spoiled brats. Is this really the best our nation has to offer in international competition? If she acted this way with the USEF - no wonder they didn't make any exceptions for her. Evidently, since her "I can't afford to take time off work" reasoning didn't work, now she's harping on the welfare of her horse. A valid concern. Concessions can't or won't be made - and the decision has already been reached. She can find a way to come here, a way that ensures her horse's welfare, or she can stay home. Her choice.

ROTLMAO...thanks for the funny..

buschkn
Feb. 15, 2008, 09:09 AM
I am not sure why you are so adamantly against Catherine Haddad, J Swan. I swear I have never met her and am not her nor a friend of hers, but I really feel like she has been reasonable and not "whiney" throughout.

It really doesn't make sense to ME, for an east coast horse to fly all the way across the country in the wrong direction for the trials, then back across the country, then to Europe, then to HK, then back to the US. Yes, from Europe there is that much more travel, but honestly, it just doesn't seem ideal for anyone other than the few in CA.

I think it sounds like an awful lot to ask of an animal, and it will be hard to expect their best in HK after all of that. Committees and politics don't always come up with the best answers or the ones that make the most sense. If they were flying West to HK from the US, then the trials in CA would make sense. IDK, JMHO. Either way, I hardly think CH has done anything that should be viewed as such a personal affront by expressing her opinions. The malice here seems unjustified, even to an outsider like me.

JSwan
Feb. 15, 2008, 09:26 AM
Actually, I'm not "against" her. I've also never posted anything negative about her riding. I never even commented on the original letter until other folks started a thread about it.

I'm not quite sure why the horse world is supposed to join in a group hug when an international rider complains about something. She's a public figure - suck it up. Amy Tryon did, as have many other riders whose actions are subject to criticism. (though I have no doubt they get upset in private)

The USEF made its decision. She has a choice. She doesn't want to make the choice for various reasons. Fine. Bye bye. Enjoy her summer on the beach. No harm, no foul. I think the choice of the location is a bit odd - but it's rather odd to expect the USEF to change it to Gladstone pretty much just to make travel convenient for ONE person.

There are plenty of US riders to choose from, and I'm sure that all of them, including the USEF, are also concerned about the health and welfare of their horses. Another international level rider isn't going because it's too far for her horse to travel - and the horse doesn't travel well to begin with. Fine. More power to her. I don't see her polishing her halo.

Hopefully David O'Connor will be able to just ignore her latest letter and concentrate on more important things.

Like I said - I felt a lot of sympathy for the lady originally. Now - it's just ridiculous - made more so by the Captain and Tennille groupies that recently joined the BB. Though I don't know the lady personally, we're often judged by the company we keep. In the case of the posts by her "friends", sorry - I'm not getting warm fuzzy feelings. But - I wish the lady success in her business and riding career.

"hee hee hee" :confused: ridgeback - you're really not adding anything positive.



No malice - just a direct writing style.

ridgeback
Feb. 15, 2008, 10:08 AM
Actually, I'm not "against" her. I've also never posted anything negative about her riding. I never even commented on the original letter until other folks started a thread about it.

I'm not quite sure why the horse world is supposed to join in a group hug when an international rider complains about something. She's a public figure - suck it up. Amy Tryon did, as have many other riders whose actions are subject to criticism. (though I have no doubt they get upset in private)

The USEF made its decision. She has a choice. She doesn't want to make the choice for various reasons. Fine. Bye bye. Enjoy her summer on the beach. No harm, no foul. I think the choice of the location is a bit odd - but it's rather odd to expect the USEF to change it to Gladstone pretty much just to make travel convenient for ONE person.

There are plenty of US riders to choose from, and I'm sure that all of them, including the USEF, are also concerned about the health and welfare of their horses. Another international level rider isn't going because it's too far for her horse to travel - and the horse doesn't travel well to begin with. Fine. More power to her. I don't see her polishing her halo.

Hopefully David O'Connor will be able to just ignore her latest letter and concentrate on more important things.

Like I said - I felt a lot of sympathy for the lady originally. Now - it's just ridiculous - made more so by the Captain and Tennille groupies that recently joined the BB. Though I don't know the lady personally, we're often judged by the company we keep. In the case of the posts by her "friends", sorry - I'm not getting warm fuzzy feelings. But - I wish the lady success in her business and riding career.

"hee hee hee" :confused: ridgeback - you're really not adding anything positive.



No malice - just a direct writing style.

I'm not sure why you are comparing Amy Tryon's horse dying and her being brought up on charges to CH complaint about the time table for the selection trials?? I don't think moving the trials east is helping just one rider..You might want to go back and look at the standings because it would help the majority of the riders and most importantly the horses.. As for my hee hee hee post well you are just going to have to get over it...

captain Bob
Feb. 15, 2008, 10:36 AM
Actually, I'm not "against" her. I've also never posted anything negative about her riding. I never even commented on the original letter until other folks started a thread about it.

I'm not quite sure why the horse world is supposed to join in a group hug when an international rider complains about something. She's a public figure - suck it up. Amy Tryon did, as have many other riders whose actions are subject to criticism. (though I have no doubt they get upset in private)

The USEF made its decision. She has a choice. She doesn't want to make the choice for various reasons. Fine. Bye bye. Enjoy her summer on the beach. No harm, no foul. I think the choice of the location is a bit odd - but it's rather odd to expect the USEF to change it to Gladstone pretty much just to make travel convenient for ONE person.

There are plenty of US riders to choose from, and I'm sure that all of them, including the USEF, are also concerned about the health and welfare of their horses. Another international level rider isn't going because it's too far for her horse to travel - and the horse doesn't travel well to begin with. Fine. More power to her. I don't see her polishing her halo.

Hopefully David O'Connor will be able to just ignore her latest letter and concentrate on more important things.

Like I said - I felt a lot of sympathy for the lady originally. Now - it's just ridiculous - made more so by the Captain and Tennille groupies that recently joined the BB. Though I don't know the lady personally, we're often judged by the company we keep. In the case of the posts by her "friends", sorry - I'm not getting warm fuzzy feelings. But - I wish the lady success in her business and riding career.

"hee hee hee" :confused: ridgeback - you're really not adding anything positive.



No malice - just a direct writing style.
I have been a reader/subsciber to the chronicle for 5 years until recently, for reasons that are not important here. I have faithfully followed the folly on the forums, however never felt compelled to delve into the discussions until some of the threads appeared to be get quite personal.

My intent was not to bring harm to Ms. Haddad, just to provide an objective viewpoint of good riding and comparison of what I believe to be a solid contender for the team.

I do not know Catherine Haddad, but have enjoyed watching her ride in Vegas, and her recent success's lent credibility to discussions about the conclusions to hold trials that did not appear to benefit the greater good for the team. Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe we have more than one rider in Europe.

I also felt that by adding some testosterone to what appeared to be an overabundance of estrogen would provide some balance. My mistake. I will go back to my lazy boy, crack a beer, and tune into the ice fishing shows that believe it or not are less chilly.

JSwan
Feb. 15, 2008, 10:51 AM
I'm not sure why you are comparing Amy Tryon's horse dying and her being brought up on charges to CH complaint about the time table for the selection trials?? I don't think moving the trials east is helping just one rider..You might want to go back and look at the standings because it would help the majority of the riders and most importantly the horses.. As for my hee hee hee post well you are just going to have to get over it...



Actually, I don't need to get over anything. CH does. And I hope it's soon.

Obviously the USEF takes more into consideration that your friends standing. Since you are not a disinterested third party, you'll forgive me if I discount your constant posts, and the others of more recent membership, that bring up this rider's virtues. You'll get no argument from me; I'm not a railbird.

Since you can't seem to grasp the point I made - I was stating that public figures are going to have to put up with a certain amount of criticism - deserved or not.

Athletes do, politicians do, and your friend has to put up with it too. Your protestations aside. And I'd respect her statements more if I didn't already know that the initial complaint was prompted by a decision that did not go her way.

Harping on the "welfare of the horses" is plain silly. These animals are treated, housed and cared for like royalty. At home, during transit, and at venues. Every effort is made to ensure their welfare. They get the world's best farriers, vets, grooms, horsemen and women, and millions are spent on bio security, temporary housing, impeccably groomed and designed courses and footing. Millions upon millions upon millions. Eventing, driving, endurance, dressage.... doesn't matter. The health and welfare of our horses is a constant concern. For everyone.

flyingchange
Feb. 15, 2008, 01:19 PM
Somebody here needs to get laid.

ec412
Feb. 15, 2008, 01:29 PM
Somebody here needs to get laid.

Amen!

RAyers
Feb. 15, 2008, 01:54 PM
Oo! Oo! Over here!!! ME! ME! ME! Pick me!!!

Reed

adamsmom
Feb. 15, 2008, 02:06 PM
Oo! Oo! Over here!!! ME! ME! ME! Pick me!!!

Reed

LOL! I was gonna say the same thing!
:lol:

Whisper
Feb. 15, 2008, 02:21 PM
I was giggling about the "6 months in jail to get a spot in the Olympics" comment, and my boyfriend asked what was funny. I explained the situation to him, and he said that in his experience (he isn't horsey) people who want an exception to the rules, especially if they proclaim how good they are, usually choke in the actual competition. He did think the video of her and her horse was cool, especially when they "went sideways." ;)

I have to agree with him, and while I didn't have a problem with the first letter, the 2nd one seemed over the top. Nobody is forcing her to harm her horses - it would be great if they did have an alternate qualifier or more time, but if the logistics don't work, she'll need to wait for 4 years. I'm confused though, why they couldn't have her compete against Steffen Peters along with the other person who is in Europe, and also since Steffen qualified with Floriano, if he's still able to go since Floriano went back to his owners for their son to ride.

fooler
Feb. 15, 2008, 05:47 PM
OK - Guess it is Dressage's turn for the selection drama. Eventing in 1988, show jumping in 1992. Other disciplines, equestrian and non, have faced the same issues.

I do not disagree with many of CH's points. The horse's welfare is first & foremost.

Now in her rebuttal where she is expecting the USEF, and others, to call her to discuss options. Not going to happen - not in her world and not in my world.
My immediate manager expects me to present a problem PLUS possible solutions - NOT just the problem. We discuss the possible solutions and either implement or pass on to the next level. If all I do is state the problem, he/she looses confidence in me very, very quickly.

In the past we have allowed riders to gain scores in Europe that counted toward possible team slots. We have allowed 'byes' based on several years of solid competition. Were it me, I would have presented options for the USEF, or whoever, to allow me to qualify in Europe or possibly qualify earlier in the year in the US. Also I would have spoken to my fellow competitors to encourage them to push for an earlier qualifying time. So everyone's horse would have more time to recoup.

Lesson to learn by CH - going public now will not help her anymore than it did with the competitors in 1988 & 1992. The time to bring this to the public would have been last year when, based on DOC's 'letter', her requests were not accepted.

Finally - there are no 'fair' selection trials, someone is also having to travel more or re-coup from some sort of injury, etc. As the old saying goes, you pays your money and you takes your chances.

ec412
Feb. 15, 2008, 06:34 PM
OK - Guess it is Dressage's turn for the selection drama. Eventing in 1988, show jumping in 1992. Other disciplines, equestrian and non, have faced the same issues.

I do not disagree with many of CH's points. The horse's welfare is first & foremost.

Now in her rebuttal where she is expecting the USEF, and others, to call her to discuss options. Not going to happen - not in her world and not in my world.
My immediate manager expects me to present a problem PLUS possible solutions - NOT just the problem. We discuss the possible solutions and either implement or pass on to the next level. If all I do is state the problem, he/she looses confidence in me very, very quickly.

In the past we have allowed riders to gain scores in Europe that counted toward possible team slots. We have allowed 'byes' based on several years of solid competition. Were it me, I would have presented options for the USEF, or whoever, to allow me to qualify in Europe or possibly qualify earlier in the year in the US. Also I would have spoken to my fellow competitors to encourage them to push for an earlier qualifying time. So everyone's horse would have more time to recoup.

Lesson to learn by CH - going public now will not help her anymore than it did with the competitors in 1988 & 1992. The time to bring this to the public would have been last year when, based on DOC's 'letter', her requests were not accepted.

Finally - there are no 'fair' selection trials, someone is also having to travel more or re-coup from some sort of injury, etc. As the old saying goes, you pays your money and you takes your chances.

This whole issue was discussed, hashed and re-hashed in the Dressage forums. What was interesting on that board was that there was consensus that CH did present three options, not just state there was a problem. Of course there was lots of heated discussion as well whether the solutions presented were reasonable and fair.

The solutions presented were: Move the trials earlier if it has to be CA, move them earlier anywhere, move them to the east coast. My interpretation of the letter, was that yes, it impacted her personally, but it impacted all the east coast riders as well. The west coast riders had less travel, however still short turn arounds, from West coast to Frankfort, to Hong Kong. My conclusion was that it was talking about all the horse/rider combinations, and if we wanted the strongest team possible, the team should have been training in Germany prior to quarantine, as our strongest European teams are doing that.

What I found out from DOC's letter, was that she did go to them in June 2007 when the preliminary criteria came out. The final criteria was not set until the end of September based on the documents on the USEF website, and criteria has been changing since then.

Criteria changed on Dec 5, with a memo allowing drop scores for US riders competing in Europe, allowing them to drop any CDI scores earned in Europe.

All in all, I agree, not much will change now, but I appreciated getting some insight into the inner workings of the USEF and the politics associated with the sport. Silly me, I thought the best rider/horse combinations won!

Picasso
Feb. 17, 2008, 09:55 AM
Oo! Oo! Over here!!! ME! ME! ME! Pick me!!!

Reed

Oh Reed, if I wasn't already married (since I just told my husband last night if I was to do it all over again, it would be with a HORSE PERSON. There was more to the conversation least you think I was being cruel, I wasn't, I swear)

Ok, back to the regular program before we get spanked. Here, at least we can share some popcorn!