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RAyers
Mar. 20, 2008, 01:58 AM
Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? NO! Did we fold when Napoleon attacked Custer at Warterloo? NO!

The FEI has a strangle hold on us and we have forgotten that we are a bunch of drunken American eventers! Good god, when was the last time the US did ANYTHING anybody told us? So why are we giving in now? Where is the classic American "Go screw yourself and the pate that you rode in on attitude?" Where is the "I've been drunk and vomiting for three days. It's XC day! Where's my horse damnit?!" spunk?

I am ashamed of us and our supposed top brass riders and coaches. What a bunch of wusses. "Ew, Reed, I am so afraid to run long format! The FEI doesn't want us to. We have to be like everybody else so we can go to the Olympics." Ooooo, a world class two-f@#king two star horse trial. I thought we were tougher than that. At least the carnage is on TV.

But, Reed, the FEI said the short format and tight twisty courses is good for the horses and TV revenue. Yeah, and blowing out the tires of a car with no brakes will help it stop too. What the HELL has happened when lines in XC have gotten TOUGHER than a GRAND PRIX jumper course!!!!!!!!?????

Of course expecting any change at the top levels of this sport is like trying to power the Titanic with an Evinrude outboard motor if you decide to sit by and watch the pretty horses. Of course even with that motor, having leadership it did still ran it into an iceberg. We all have watched or had friends (human and horse) severely hurt or killed. It's time to stop accepting it a "part of the sport" as those who are supposed to be the gatekeepers keep telling us.

We ALL really do have the power to make good come from all of this so sometimes a little revolution is good.

Reed

P.S. this rant is even better with a John Belushi accent. :D

Sannois
Mar. 20, 2008, 06:44 AM
Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? NO! Did we fold when Napoleon attacked Custer at Warterloo? NO!

The FEI has a strangle hold on us and we have forgotten that we are a bunch of drunken American eventers! Good god, when was the last time the US did ANYTHING anybody told us? So why are we giving in now? Where is the classic American "Go screw yourself and the pate that you rode in on attitude?" Where is the "I've been drunk and vomiting for three days. It's XC day! Where's my horse damnit?!" spunk?

I am ashamed of us and our supposed top brass riders and coaches. What a bunch of wusses. "Ew, Reed, I am so afraid to run long format! The FEI doesn't want us to. We have to be like everybody else so we can go to the Olympics." Ooooo, a world class two-f@#king two star horse trial. I thought we were tougher than that. At least the carnage is on TV.

But, Reed, the FEI said the short format and tight twisty courses is good for the horses and TV revenue. Yeah, and blowing out the tires of a car with no brakes will help it stop too. What the HELL has happened when lines in XC have gotten TOUGHER than a GRAND PRIX jumper course!!!!!!!!?????

Of course expecting any change at the top levels of this sport is like trying to power the Titanic with an Evinrude outboard motor if you decide to sit by and watch the pretty horses. Of course even with that motor, having leadership it did still ran it into an iceberg. We all have watched or had friends (human and horse) severely hurt or killed. It's time to stop accepting it a "part of the sport" as those who are supposed to be the gatekeepers keep telling us.

We ALL really do have the power to make good come from all of this so sometimes a little revolution is good.

Reed

P.S. this rant is even better with a John Belushi accent. :D

You hit it dead on.
It will never change till we all stand up and get mad as hell.
Just going with the flow and hoping it will all be ok will NEVER work.
WHERE are the gate keepers???:confused:
A long time ago when they were just threatening to change the classic format and we had so many threads about it, My husband, who is no horse person, said what the hell is wrong with all of you, just tell the FEI to get stuffed, start your own american version, besides the USEA, Too true.
I was a damn the olympics person then as well.
:no:

Robby Johnson
Mar. 20, 2008, 06:54 AM
Picture it, USEA Convention, San Francisco, 2004.

Amy Tryon, in her whiney voice ...

"But you don't understand. Our horses can become stars if they can get out more."

That was the moment wherein I just stared blankly and thought, "Shit. It's over."

I am horseless at the moment (well riding horse, that is) but I am cooking something. Sure, it will take 4 years before I can sit on it, but if things change as radically over the next 4 years as they have over the past, I am pretty sure I'll be putting something in the hunter ring. Hey, there's something to be said about safety and consistency.

JSwan
Mar. 20, 2008, 06:58 AM
Amen, brother.

I want to get back into eventing - but farm work gets in the way during the summer.

However - I'm wondering if I'm better off on the tractor instead of the xc course. Seems that the sport has become a cariacture of what it once was.

I'd be sad to see 3-Day removed from the Olympics - but it does seem the long format is the fairest and most reasonable test of horse and rider. If that isn't compatible with what the Olympics has become - so be it.

It's a high risk sport even at the lower levels. I think it's possible to keep horses and riders safe to the extent possible - without dumbing the sport down. But this short format funkiness just ain't cutting it.

Good luck, everyone. :no:

Sannois
Mar. 20, 2008, 07:18 AM
is Where are the big old time eventers? The ones I idolized in the late 70s and 80s? When the sport was so awesome and impressive and showed the ultimate test of horse and rider? I know there will be folks that say, Nothing can be done, Well not if you just sit back and wring your hands and say what can we do?
Robbie! You do exist! Yay!
It breaks my heart that eventing has become what it is. The statement you quoted Amy saying is just really pathetic. I cannot believe eventers really all feel that way! But they went with the flow and kept quiet, WHY is it really more important to have your horse be a superstar at that cost?
Explain it to me?? The olympics? Phooey! What? I dont know I am just an old amateur rider who will probably never get past Novice, but I do care about this sport, or the sport that once was!

JSwan
Mar. 20, 2008, 07:21 AM
Robby - it's nice to see you posting. :)

denny
Mar. 20, 2008, 08:09 AM
Many of the current upper level riders are hoping that eventing becomes more and more commercialized, like the hunter/jumper industry.
This is not my conspiracy theory at work, it`s a fact. Many have big client lists, multiple horses, lots of clinics, etc.
They will not get involved in change, I don`t think, unless that change helps their pocketbooks.
We ask, why don`t they speak out? They don`t want to have this a particularly amateur based sport, unless they are teaching/selling horses/boarding, etc, those amateurs.
They are USEF people, not so much USEA people.
For a true revolution to succeed, we may have to cut them loose from the USEA. I never, in the past 47 years of my competing in this sport, have thought I`d say this, but there it is.
Let the USEF have the advanced level, to use and abuse as it sees fit. There are fewer than 200 of them in all of North America.
Let our USEA run everything else, the other 15,000, give or take.
If the few hundred intermediate riders squawk, cut them loose, too.
Why should their needs wreck it for the enormous majority?

LisaB
Mar. 20, 2008, 08:19 AM
Damn, Denny and Reed. You're absolutely right. If the USEA 'splits' and we have nationally more long formats, we have the x-c courses that we want, we gain popularity and numbers, then maybe through example the USEF and FEI will take note. Of course other countries would have to follow suit and do the same thing (notably, the UK). They aren't listening so might as well show them how it's done.
If the USEA is getting strangled by the USEF and FEI and they really really want to do what we want, then yes, cut us loose. How much money do they generate from us? I know I renew my membership just to be in prelim but that's about it. I don't support anything else.

denny
Mar. 20, 2008, 08:20 AM
Back in the golden era of Le Goff and Ayer, the various levels of he sport were mutually supportive.
Never in a million years would Jack have been so stupid as to call lower level riders demeaning names.
Jack moved from France to the United States, became a US citizen. He was involved in ALL aspects and levels, knew riders, organizers, officials, supported our entire infrastructure.
A far cry from the aloof, absentee situation of our present USEF hiararchy, who seem not to care what happens to the lower levels as long as the "top 20" are being served.
Makes me appreciate 1776.

magnolia73
Mar. 20, 2008, 08:26 AM
FEI said the short format and tight twisty courses is good for the horses and TV revenue.

The problem is that their "safer" format is not working so well for them, now is it? And nothing helps ratings and good will in this day and age then reports that one rider is in the hospital and two horses died. Average Joe has no more appreciation for negotiating a skinny complex set on a odd striding then they do for galloping a big old hedge.

There is nothing wrong with making money- but if you keep having bad weekends that include losses of horses, you'll make a lot of people not really want to own and pay for you to event their horse. If the courses keep intimidating riders, they won't want to go compete.

Hunter/jumpers got EASIER to accomodate making money. (or at least lowered the jumps so the "weekend weekend warrior" could participate). Eventing seems to be getting harder. It's interesting to hear that people are considering pulling back from the sport. I know I won't watch at the Fork this year. I don't WANT to see a horse hurt or struggle.

deltawave
Mar. 20, 2008, 08:27 AM
Great thread. :)

Thinking along the lines of what, exactly, us "Smurfs" can do to effect change: let's make a commitment this year to filling out event evaluation forms in detail, with commentary on the cross country courses. If you feel a course is unfair, too technical, etc. SPEAK UP, right then and there, by filling out the form AND (if you're so inclined) talking to the TD. Be specific, be concise, be professional, but SPEAK UP. If you've ridden at Prelim and are only going Novice now, and think the Prelim course is bad, SPEAK UP. If you're going Intermediate but even your experienced students are all rattled by the Training course, SPEAK UP.

Not everyone is or wants to be a "mover and a shaker" but this is something EVERY event rider can do at EVERY event he/she enters. If you could take the 5 minutes to do this, it would be yet another layer of input. If you will not, please don't be one of the people who shows up only to piss and moan about the state of the sport and how nothing ever gets done.

ThirdCharm
Mar. 20, 2008, 08:29 AM
Many of the current upper level riders are hoping that eventing becomes more and more commercialized, like the hunter/jumper industry.
This is not my conspiracy theory at work, it`s a fact. Many have big client lists, multiple horses, lots of clinics, etc.


Fact there!!! There were ULRs putting clients on uber-fancy $20K Novice horses at the event horse sale that I would not have put on a 15h BN packer. GM woulda had a coronary and sent them back to xrails, but that doesn't pay the bills.....

Jennifer

ZEBE
Mar. 20, 2008, 08:35 AM
Another example of an earlier.. maybe the first "cave in"... Go back to 2002 Radnor ** competitors meeting night.... FEI was meeting in November... discussions were held in the tent regarding what riders were going to accept to keep the eventing in the olympics. American representatives were to be attending the FEI meeting in November.... All the "big names" were there.. including current team officials and current International and American 2008 olympic hopefuls. I won't name names here.. but everyone except ONE rider said "we have to do what ever it takes to keep us in the Olympics".. (This was a factor for decisions on the games in China-- Interesting.. because now the horse venue isn't even going to be held at the main venue). One ONE brave Int. rider stood up and said we have to fight this.. we cave in.. and eventing as we know it is over......... he was pretty emotional about it.. but he couldn't rally anyone.....

Funny thing.. is that this is the same event.. that because of days of torrential downpours.. the event was very close to being cancelled after dressage.. we all "approved" .. we All marched like an army of ants down to the grass stadium course, and moved the whole thing in about 2 hours up the big hill to the sand ring.. "We" riders, officials, competitors, family and friends did something and made was was important " happen"...


I don't know what happened to that same energy and spirit from those same people - who wouldnt stand up with that one rider and fight for our sport... this was my husbands' first Radnor ** and ammies and pretty intimidated by all the "big names".. we were afraid/intimidated to say anything

I also remember turning to my husband and saying "it's over for the long format..." rest is history

Fixerupper
Mar. 20, 2008, 08:43 AM
Voting only works if you vote with your feet....walk away if you think the course is dangerous.
However...in the grand old tradition of eventing, if you think it's too difficult...you're a chicken. How do you solve that? (seriously)

Sannois
Mar. 20, 2008, 09:35 AM
Fact there!!! There were ULRs putting clients on uber-fancy $20K Novice horses at the event horse sale that I would not have put on a 15h BN packer. GM woulda had a coronary and sent them back to xrails, but that doesn't pay the bills.....

Jennifer

I never thought I would see eventing become another version of the hunters!
Just wow...:no:

Sannois
Mar. 20, 2008, 09:36 AM
Voting only works if you vote with your feet....walk away if you think the course is dangerous.
However...in the grand old tradition of eventing, if you think it's too difficult...you're a chicken. How do you solve that? (seriously)

to hear Dennys opinion on that. I do not think the old timers had that mind set!

sharri13
Mar. 20, 2008, 09:44 AM
Reed,

You have inspired me. I usally stick to a "no alcohol while competing” mantra, but clearly - I need to start drinking more!! It is more fun when the fences move while galloping toward them? :D

Eventer55
Mar. 20, 2008, 09:53 AM
ERRRRR, flame suit on, can someone explain to me the OP's statement on The Germans attacking Pearl Harbor and Custer vs Napoleon? I think this thread is great, but I don't get the opening remark. . . I'm a little dense.


The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and Napoleon fought The Duke of Wellington at Waterloo. :confused:

foxhavenfarm
Mar. 20, 2008, 09:56 AM
Reed and Denny,

Thank you so much for your EXTREME words of wisdom on this matter!

When I was a pre-teen (a few moons ago :D) I often daydreamed of competing in the Olympics a la "International Velvet". Now I have absolutely NO inclination to try to ever compete above Prelim... Why, well the answer is obvious...I don't have a death wish.

To the powers that be: Please bring back the long format and "true" cross country fences, not impossible Grand Prix twisty immovable horse and rider eating fences!

Jazzy Lady
Mar. 20, 2008, 09:56 AM
Amen Reed!

My coach in Canada who has competed at Rolex CCI**** (long format) and the WEGS is writing a letter in. He is disgusted by what is becoming of this sport. Even us Canadians (although we are USEA members) are going to start voting with our feet. What's the point in us crossing the boarder to walk away after dressage?

RAyers
Mar. 20, 2008, 09:58 AM
Whew, I was afraid my sarcasm was going to get lost. Thank you all for seeing the message. :) (eventer55, reference Animal House 1978)

This sport is one or two lawsuits from entire collapse. On other threads folks suggested suing the CD. Those suggestions woke me up to how far and how bad things are. I can only equate this to the time of the robber barons. So, it sadly has come down to the need for massive change in order to preserve the safety and the overall sport we want and love.

The system, I'm not saying the people, has become corrupt to the point of putting lives at risk. Yes,there are really good people on both sides of the issues. We all have paved the road though.

This task may feel like trying to row a boat to tow a water skier but if enough of us row, we can make it happen.

The safety and growth of this sport is a process. They will never be finished. We have great people who are willing to lead the way (I'm just rowing the boat). I want to encourage you, the masses, to continue to support the USEA, HT organizers, with your membership, with your involvement, with your time. I agree that walking away when you are advocating for your horse is also the right thing to do as well.

While I am not an old timer eventer, I still remember my days in the junior jumpers when my trainer told me "Over, Under, or Through." You weren't a chicken if you tried and were honest about it. It was that attitude that attracted me to eventing in the 1990s as it was lost in the h/j world. Now it is going away even here.

colliemom
Mar. 20, 2008, 10:00 AM
For a true revolution to succeed, we may have to cut them loose from the USEA. I never, in the past 47 years of my competing in this sport, have thought I`d say this, but there it is.
Let the USEF have the advanced level, to use and abuse as it sees fit. There are fewer than 200 of them in all of North America.
Let our USEA run everything else, the other 15,000, give or take.
If the few hundred intermediate riders squawk, cut them loose, too.
Why should their needs wreck it for the enormous majority?


I have thought this since the whole long vs short format debate. Why CAN'T we run things the way we want on a National basis? I'm sure there is a way to build a qualifying bridge from there to the International upper levels to satisfy the FEI for those who want to make that next jump. But for the rest of us? Why CAN'T we have the kinds of events that we want, that were the heart of the sport for decades?

I really hope that this is the outcome. Maybe I need to write a second letter to KB...

texaseventer
Mar. 20, 2008, 10:04 AM
You know, I've been told I need to drink heavily before dressage since I get so tense. I'm glad to hear that I can just keep drinking straight through to the start box in XC!

Seriously though, I'm a BN rider (who has done one Training CT in the past, but nothing above Pre-Training on XC)...

I dreamed of International Velvet too. I wanted to gallop and jump in an open field and all those good things.

Reed, bless you for standing up and speaking your mind (as if there was any doubt you would, but I had to say it ;) As a BN rider, I don't feel like my opinion has as much weight, even though I'm a card-carrying USEA member and pay my dues just like we all do... but I'm so glad to hear some upper level riders taking such a passionate stance on this issue.

I say we drink to that!
Mandy

snoopy
Mar. 20, 2008, 10:05 AM
This system...if left unchecked will be part of the canadian system soon enough...for obvious reasons...there by killing the sport in a country that does not have the deep pockets of those in the US.

3dazey
Mar. 20, 2008, 10:08 AM
Though many were cowed by the opinions of the ULRs on the death of the long format, it appears more and more every day that some of those we held in high esteem have some serious feet of clay. Between them and the young up-and-comers who wanted to a) make it to the top at whatever the cost and b) didn't have much, if any, experience of the long format, it was a long, depressing slog into what we have now. Yuck. :no:

The problem is, trying to explain what is so good about long format to someone who hasn't done it, is, well, impossible. I can wax poetic for hours but the kids just get that glazed expression they normally do when a middle-aged woman starts "going on" about anything. :lol:

I have long been an advocate of the return to the CCN at the * level...that's how we did it back in the day...saves money for the competitor and the organizer...no kickbacks for FEI (so ridiculous at that level anyway). And my GOD, it's so much FUN...oops, almost jumped on my long-format soapbox...

Fantastic idea to turn the advanced level over to the USEF, and intermediate, too, if so deemed necessary. Their goals have so little to do with what the majority of us are trying to accomplish, yet taking care of their needs/issues requires SO MUCH money and time! Let the USEA be for the rest of us and let us have our sport back.

Gnep
Mar. 20, 2008, 10:09 AM
aaaaaah Reed had the breakfast of champions and the Japanese had their Waterloo at Stalingrad. I realy have to check my ancestor bloodlines know, chopsticks anybody.
Denny if you ask for 1776 than you will become stuck with the Hessians, and you already have, you asked for it.
Can the sport survive outside the FEI umbrella, sure, look at reining, the majority of reiners even don't know who the FEI is and their sport is doing very nicely, the FEI competitions are basicly side shows and not very important.

I just wonder how many that are now beating up on the USEF and FEI will do their pilgrimage to Rolex, to watch what they so much hate.

Jazzy Lady
Mar. 20, 2008, 10:09 AM
This system...if left unchecked will be part of the canadian system soon enough...for obvious reasons...there by killing the sport in a country that does not have the deep pockets of those in the US.

Or everyone in the south can just come up and compete up with us Canucks and support our system! ;) :p hahaha. At least you can walk an intermediate and not sense your demise. The only reason that is not happening here yet is because we don't have the money to build wedges of cheese with mouse heads and big enough logs to carve lazy turtles in are hard come by...

Can organizers switch SJ and XC so xc is on Sunday except at FEI? If people want to scratch cross, at least they get a combined test in, and it could help weed some people out before cross. By all means I was ready for my intermediate upgrade, but we found when we got home the pony was ouchie. So he showed me that in SJ and I am grateful he could do that in stadium instead of cross where the pace is faster and the stakes are higher.

GreyDun
Mar. 20, 2008, 10:11 AM
Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? NO! Did we fold when Napoleon attacked Custer at Warterloo? NO!

P.S. this rant is even better with a John Belushi accent. :D

Hehe, I just watched Animal House last night. Your rant did sound pretty sweet with a John Belushi accent. :winkgrin:

Badger
Mar. 20, 2008, 10:14 AM
The system, I'm not saying the people, has become corrupt to the point of putting lives at risk. Yes,there are really good people on both sides of the issues. We all have paved the road though.


I came across a Chinese proverb yesterday that seems really applicable to eventing right now:

"If we don't change the direction we are taking, we will end up where we are headed."

We need to get off the paved road NOW and gallop across that field over there. The paved road is going to end in a brick wall of lawsuits and animal rights outrage that no event horse can get over.

Hony
Mar. 20, 2008, 10:17 AM
Nearly all the courses in Ontario are still nice galloping courses. They still present challenges but are definitely safe and fun to ride. Some would say that we are behind the US in course design (perhaps we are) but I feel confident and safe riding these courses.
It would make a big statement if Americans came up here to ride our courses and made it clear that the reason they were coming was for the courses.

snoopy
Mar. 20, 2008, 10:17 AM
I came across a Chinese proverb yesterday that seems really applicable to eventing right now:

"If we don't change the direction we are taking, we will end up where we are headed."

We need to get off the paved road NOW and gallop across that field over there. The paved road is going to end in a brick wall of lawsuits and animal rights outrage that no event horse can get over.



Yes a life coach told me something similar


If you always do what you've always done....you'll always get what you've always gotten.

Makes sense.

Eventer55
Mar. 20, 2008, 10:19 AM
Sorry, I didn't see animal House, but I knew I was missing something since the rest of the thread was "spot on." As a low level (very low level) eventer I am hoping to bring my now 5 yr old along and maybe do some upper level eventing, but I too so not have a death wish.

My dreams for the future are fading into the hunter ring where I can live out a healthy life with my horse:( I'm writing this because I feel that even though I don't contribute much to eventing, this is my sport and I want to see it improve. At first I thought what can I say or do, but I realize that every voice adds mortar to the building so to speak, so here I am.

I am inclined to think a split with USEF would be a start and being quite ignorant I ask "how would this affect eventing in the olympics or world wide?' I will continue to monitor more educated voices and add support.

I'm off to rent a movie. . . :yes:

Jazzy Lady
Mar. 20, 2008, 10:19 AM
Nearly all the courses in Ontario are still nice galloping courses. They still present challenges but are definitely safe and fun to ride. Some would say that we are behind the US in course design (perhaps we are) but I feel confident and safe riding these courses.
It would make a big statement if Americans came up here to ride our courses and made it clear that the reason they were coming was for the courses.

It's so true. I find even though some of the courses are getting challenging, they are still horse friendly and both horses and riders are smiling and confident at the end. They don't look destroyed and exhausted. I wish Canadian eventing could support having US competitors, but the one day factor and the lack of stabling provides a bit of problems, but the FEI events are good up here!!!

asterix
Mar. 20, 2008, 10:20 AM
I don't want deltawave's idea to get lost -- it is SO simple and SO doable for ALL of us at EVERY level. And I am guilty, too, of carrying around an event eval form for weeks intending to send it in and complain about something specific...but never did.
Although when I was emailed by a new event in our area asking for feedback, I sent them a long and hopefully helpful email -- so perhaps organizers can look into using email as a way of increasing feedback.

But it's true -- did I tell the organizers at my first attempt at prelim that having fence 3 be a single chevron, downhill, light to dark, with water behind it, was unfair? 3 or 4 people had stops there WHILE I was warming up. I never said a word, stuffed my horse over it, patted him, and rode on.

Let's all speak up. If we pack up and go home because we don't like the course, we MUST commit to giving those organizers feedback. How will they know that we didn't all just lose a shoe, get the flu, or feel that the horse was off his game that day???

So let's all promise to SAY SOMETHING if things aren't right -- even if we choose to bail out, we need to send in a note, an email, whatever, and cc our Area Chair.

Hony
Mar. 20, 2008, 10:21 AM
It's a bit of a chicken and egg situation. If entries were willing to pay for temporary stabling then temporary stabling would likely be able to become available, however paying for it to be set up then not getting entries is a real issue.

JER
Mar. 20, 2008, 10:28 AM
I don't want deltawave's idea to get lost -- it is SO simple and SO doable for ALL of us at EVERY level. And I am guilty, too, of carrying around an event eval form for weeks intending to send it in and complain about something specific...but never did.

A word of caution on evaluation forms.

Several years ago, I attended an event that was a total fiasco. The Wicked Witch of the West served as POGJ, the SJ course opened with a max downhill oxer for BN, etc. Very few finishers.

I filled out a very detailed event evaluation form and prepared to send it in. However, I like the organizers of this event and decided to call them before mailing the form.

I read them my comments, they agreed things went awry but they asked me to really think about not sending it to the Area people as would might hurt their event. They'd already complained about the PGOJ, decided never to have her back, same for the SJ designer.

So I didn't send it in. I liked these people and they didn't need the extra headaches.

After that experience, I'd always give direct feedback to the organizer first, especially if you want to encourage them to keep hosting the event.

grayarabpony
Mar. 20, 2008, 10:29 AM
Reed I hope you weren't being too sarcastic because I liked what you said. ;)

TBKate
Mar. 20, 2008, 10:29 AM
I'm only a low level rider, with little competition experience, but I'm a card carrying USEA member. I have wanted to event for as long as I can remember. When long format died, I cried. I wanted to work my way up to that wonderful cross country day with galloping and brush fences and FUN! Now I've effectively cut my goals down to Training because I'm not sure I trust courses past that. I'm in school and selling my uber-talented horse, and he's going to the hunter ring, although he'd make a kick a** upper level eventer. I'm glad he's going hunters, because I know he'll be safe there. He may be bored, but he'll be safe. :sadsmile:

I'd love to pay my dues to a US organization NOT affiliated with FEI. Reed, thank you for stating things so well. I'm happy to help row the boat--somebody hand me an oar! In another few years I'll be making money and able to compete, and I want eventing alive and safe!

bornfreenowexpensive
Mar. 20, 2008, 10:31 AM
I agree with you Reed (and others). I guess, I'm just not sure what I can do to help. I suspect that is the case of many others.

asterix
Mar. 20, 2008, 10:35 AM
JER, that's interesting.

I would love more input about this as to the most effective thing to do. I board at a farm that hosts several big USEA events through Intermediate each year. It's their life's work. I suspect, having been behind the scenes there for years, that if something at an event caused a real problem (a fence, an official, etc.), they would know about it by the end of the day, and be responsive in the next go round. So I see your point about not "busting" well-meaning organizers.

However, and I say this with the greatest affection and respect for my own coach and BO (the organizers of our events), they are very much plugged in to the inner circle of eventing. I imagine this is true for many long time organizers -- it's a small world -- how could they not be? If we are really trying to change the sport, I think we need to be sure that our voices are heard. That may require being louder than we have been in the past.

Not sure what the right answer to this is. Would love to hear others' perspectives. The organizers that I know personally in this area all work incredibly hard and want their events to be the best. But yet not all events are as competitor friendly as they could be. Hmmm.

Gnep
Mar. 20, 2008, 10:43 AM
Eventer 55, because Reed got a history lesson from me and I tell you my Ol' Man lead the cavallery charge at Pearl Harbour on his brave stead Ulan and my Mom told me, when she watched it on the tely that it was just like gone with the wind, just like eventing.

closetoperfectionfarm
Mar. 20, 2008, 10:49 AM
I love our local events too but this is TRUE.....
When I questioned a line in a combination a few years back, I was told by the Organizer.... " Oh, go put your big girl panties on!"
I swear to it!

IFG
Mar. 20, 2008, 10:51 AM
They will not get involved in change, I don`t think, unless that change helps their pocketbooks.

Denny has it exactly, sea change is possible, but economics is what drives it. In the space of a few months this year, as the price of gas became out of sight, my 1986 creaky little Toyota that gets 30 miles per gallon went from being the butt of jokes to receiving appreciative comments. Now if the economy can change the cars that people value and buy, it can certainly change a sport.

It has changed eventing. The way to reverse that change is IMHO to put your money where your mouth is. Support those trainers and events with traditional eventing values. My daughter (and if I can afford it me) will spend some time with Denny this summer.

mbarrett
Mar. 20, 2008, 10:53 AM
Reed, I love it! I'm breaking out the trusty typewriter to write my letters to the yuckyity yucks at he USEA and USEF this weekend.

I'm all for a revolution. I'll saddle up my trusty Tadpole level (think pre-beginner novice) horse and follow you into battle!

FlightCheck
Mar. 20, 2008, 10:53 AM
Reed,

Row, row, row that boat!

Hony
Mar. 20, 2008, 10:58 AM
I love our local events too but this is TRUE.....
When I questioned a line in a combination a few years back, I was told by the Organizer.... " Oh, go put your big girl panties on!"
I swear to it!

And this could have been handled totally differently. At my training upgrade years ago I was concerned about a line and mentioned it to the organizer who confidently told me not to worry because it rode better than it looked. He was right, because he had ridden it. It was my nicest combo on the course!

Shortstroke
Mar. 20, 2008, 11:00 AM
SOS! Save Our Sport!!! I was listening to BBC yesterday and they had a segment on the Gerkahs (sp?) - a Nepalese unit in the British army famous for their fighting skills. One commentator/expert said Gerkahs are "tough, brave, durable and disciplined." That description rang a bell with me because it is so apt for an eventing horse. In fact, it exactly describes both my daughter's and my horses and yet our horses are so dissimilar: she has a NZTB & currently shows Prelim and I have a large pony that I show Novice. Nonetheless they are both "tough, brave, durable and disciplined" and generous, and excel at eventing. So we both have lots of fun and would like to keep it that way. We are also both experienced volunteers and fence judges. My daughter had planned on entering The Fork but switched to Morven Park instead to protest the current trend in course designing. I think Denny's post hit the nail on the head re BNT's wanting to adopt the hunter/jumper model in order to make a better living. I came to eventing from the hunter/jumpers where I worked for nationally acclaimed trainers so my girls could show at that level. Over the years I saw it all and I will never go back. The horses are vehicles and totally expendable. It is only about money and winning. I found Eventing was so refreshing because it is such a completely different model. I would hate to see that change. Horses have so many wonderful qualities - let's develop these qualitites and not take advantage of them! Save Our Sport!

SparklePlenty
Mar. 20, 2008, 11:03 AM
I agree with you Reed (and others). I guess, I'm just not sure what I can do to help. I suspect that is the case of many others.

Second this... i'm only a lower level eventer and never have ambition to compete any higher than novice maybe training down the road. But i read this on COTH all the time about the saftey of the sport and the path it's going down... but what can we do? Protest events? i see people al the time who never ever come on here and dont know that this is even being discussed. If we dont talk about it, it's not really happening sorta thing.

Someone said earlier that eventing is going commerical like hunters.. i hate to tell you, but i feel like it's already there. Atleast at the lower levels, the matchy matchy, bright colors, can only wear specific brands of helmets and use specific brands of horse boots. It's gotten that bad.. i think there was a thread on here a while back about eventers wearing GPA's and someone said REAL Eventers wear CO. Case and point... rant over..:yes:

But back to my orginial point... if there was clear direction of what the normal everyday eventer could do i think more people would stand up and help out. this year i'm volunteering at big events around here and trying to help out.. is this right? I dont know, but atleast i know it's a start.

I dont want to see any more injuries.. my trainer is a good friend of Darren's, and seeing how upset she is since his accident just churns my stomach. :cry:

bornfreenowexpensive
Mar. 20, 2008, 11:09 AM
And this could have been handled totally differently. At my training upgrade years ago I was concerned about a line and mentioned it to the organizer who confidently told me not to worry because it rode better than it looked. He was right, because he had ridden it. It was my nicest combo on the course!


Same thing happened at Plantation. I gave Denis a hard time because he had a full three element coffin type combination of training. He said yeah but it rides very well. He was absolutely right. It was toward the end of the course (a nice gallopy confidence building type of course). The elements were very small and you were heading home. The distances were extremely forgiving and every horse I saw go through it, including my own, did it easily. It was a nice test for the level but a test that was designed for horse and rider to succeed at.

Gryhrs
Mar. 20, 2008, 11:09 AM
We are small but we are mighty.

Sign me up. I knew that one fine day my Irish temper could be used for good and not for evil.

tx3dayeventer
Mar. 20, 2008, 11:11 AM
Ok so after reading all the comments, I have a few ?'s:

Where can I go to advocate this "cutting loose"?

Whom do I need to speak with/write a letter to?

What can we do to really get this off the ground?

The reason I ask theses questions is quite simple. I too, once enjoyed eventing. Hell I had a blast! I was very much looking forward to doing Rolex. I was damn close too (6 months out) I would have competed there in 2004 (the first year of the short format). When I had heard that they were changing it to the short format to *insert whiny voice* "stay in the Olympics", I was crushed! Why the hell would I want to do a **** HT with jogs? Why don't they just change Rolex to a CIC****? Thats pretty much what it is now. Unfortunately my mare got hurt and I did not have to make the decision to run or not. My dream as a little girl was not to ride in the Olympics but to ride around Badminton or Burghley, the TRUE test of horse and rider. I knew then that the Olympics were only a glorified ** (although they clearly state the they are a CCIO****) to create a level playing field for all countries b/c as a true **** only NZ, AUS, GB, USA, CAN, etc would have a chance, not countries like Japan, Bermuda, South Africa, etc.

I understand that democracy is what it is. Those with the gold make the rules, etc etc. But I agree with the poster that said bring back the CCN*-long format. Why not? What is the FEI going to do, kick us out? I think we should let the USEF take the Advanced and Intermediate riders and do whatever they want, such as killing them slowly over extremely difficult and unfriendly XC courses. Let the other 14,800 members decide what is best for them. I WANT to event again but WHY do I want to spend my time and $$$$ developing another *** horse to be shot down by courses that are inappropriate? I think I will stick with the Prelim and under group as they are out to have fun and not out to kill themselves.

Going back to what Gnep said about Reining. I live in a reining rich, eventing poor area. We had a selection trial here in my town. Reining does just fine without the FEI support, they actually could give a sh*t less if Reining is in the Olympics or WEG's!! The NRHA (National Reining Horse Association) has 15,000 members as well. Could we have learned something from the NRHA? Yes! They didnt morph to become an FEI event, they made the FEI morph to their needs. There are now NRHA associations in 15 or 20 countries. The US NRHA & US breeders are making a HUGE profit off the importation of US bred reining horses. Its kind of like Europe or NZ making a HUGE profit of US competitiors in Dressage, SJ, or Eventing. Ok, sorry I got off topic :D Anyways,

I took this directly from the NRHA website www.nrha.com:
NRHA has flourished over the past 10 years. From 1997-2007, NRHA grew over 40% to over 15,000 members and from 265 NRHA approved shows to 700. In 1997, a total of 1.3 million dollars were paid out in NRHA competition and in 2006 NRHA paid out over 10 million dollars in competition purses.

The NRHA Executive Board has aligned with other world wide equine associations to accomplish common goals and to move the sport of Reining into the international arena. Gaining acceptance as the first Western Discipline of the United States Equestrian Team (USET) marked an important milestone in the history of Reining, the western horse, and the NRHA.

Notice they didnt say we "CHANGED" our sport to gain acceptance????!!!?!?!?

I realize that all they need to compete is an arena with dirt but still. Why can't we go back to the format that was intended by the creators of our sport?

Rant over. But seriously I want answers to my questions at the beginning, b/c if I want to get back into eventing I want to make sure it is the sport for me. If not I can just go rein on my QH.

Hony
Mar. 20, 2008, 11:26 AM
Well, with the dressage riders staying out of the olympics perhaps this is a good year for others to do it.

Kairoshorses
Mar. 20, 2008, 11:28 AM
What makes a King out of a slave?

Courage!

What makes the flag on the mast to wave?

Courage!

What makes the elephant charge his tusk in the misty mist, or the dusky dusk?
What makes the muskrat guard his musk?

Courage!

What makes the Sphinx the Seventh Wonder?

Courage!

What makes the dawn come up like thunder?

Courage!

What makes the Hottentot so hot?

What puts the ape in ape-ricot?

What have they got that I ain't got?

Courage!

(You can say that again!)

Ok, I'm a low level person who's wanted to "do" what Bruce Davidson "did" since I was nine (and I'm as old as Denny's been eventing...yikes!). I'm finally doing it, at the BN level, and the three events I can get to from my place seem to be pretty well done--no horrible accidents, deaths, etc. I even helped out at a training 3-day which, again, in my limited scope, seemed to go well.

What can I do? I'm a card carrying member. I volunteer at Rolex every year as a fence judge (purportedly to visit my brother). And I go to all the events w/in 10 hours of where I live.

I guess I need guidance, since I don't always know what's dangerous and what's not (and nothing I've ridden has been dangerous).

I don't normally drink, but the only event I've ever won was when a root canal abcessed and I was on hydrocodeine.....hmmmm. Maybe it's time to start drinking....

RAyers
Mar. 20, 2008, 11:31 AM
... but what can we do?

But back to my orginial point... if there was clear direction of what the normal everyday eventer could do i think more people would stand up and help out. this year i'm volunteering at big events around here and trying to help out.. is this right? I dont know, but atleast i know it's a start.


The first comes from inside of you, trust yourself. I assure you that everyone here has some set of skills and abilities that NO ULR/BNT has. And that set of skills may be what saves you. Become ACTIVE learners. Stop putting the ULRs on pedestals. Just because they can ride a horse 1,000 times better than you or I on a course does not mean they know safety nor does it mean they know you and your horse. If you go on a course walk, ask questions, question their reasoning. Heck do the same with your own trainer! (My trainer hates me for this. ;) )

Along this line, at the recent convention it was amazing to hear the silence when a URL or senior official said something that had major impact on safety. One person may have spoken up but then everyone else glossed over the rest.

Robby's example (glad to see you are still around, Robby!), and the example form Radnor speaks volumes as to how afraid folks are to question the cult of personality that exists around these "icons." They are human, like Denny shows us. Sure, cheer for them, respect them but don't give them power they don't deserve.

Second, TRUST your instincts and experience. If something isn't right to you, speak up. Go to the officials and talk to them. Don't let them off the hook until you are satisfied. Of course this also means you need to do this PROFESSIONALLY and POLITELY. Work with the officials and don't expect them to cater completely to you.

Third, you have it right, Sparkleplenty, work in the system. Learn who does what and how the system works. Change comes more effectively from the inside rather than externally, e.g. Iraq. I have worked as a volunteer, and in paid positions (everything from jump judge, to announcer, to ringmaster). While not everyone can do that, even being involved at a low level enables us to see what it takes to run the sport. This doesn't even apply to HTs, get involved with your local and regional eventing organizations.

Fourth, Don't be afraid to just talk to URLs or trainers if you see them walking by and have a question or comment. Heck even ask them if they need help. This is a sport that as Eric Horgan once told me, "You can't do this alone." This gets you involved at the "upper level" and maybe gets you a sympathetic ear/advocate.

I am not saying this works for everyone, nor will everyone respond kindly. I am saying that do what you think you need to be involved. You don't have to be the one to change everything. As Ghandi once said, "It is not important what you do. It is important that you do it."

Each of us needs to find what works, but if you really have a passion to keep this sport intact, then let that guide you and motivate you to do something.

Posting on COTH also has the ears and eyes of folks who govern the sport. At the same time, I and others, do try to bring your concerns/ideas to those in charge.

The biggest thing to do? Support Kevin and the USEA!

Reed

AM
Mar. 20, 2008, 11:35 AM
I don't compete in eventing any more, but I'm an excellent volunteer and a pretty good spectator. I started my own personal revolution last year. I decided not to volunteer at any event that was catering to the upper level/FEI bound group. I'm giving my volunteer efforts to lower level events with the kinds of courses you all are describing.

3dazey
Mar. 20, 2008, 11:37 AM
Nah, I ain't a-going to Rolex this time. But only because I didn't have it planned out, I must confess. I still like to see the ULR's do their thing, as long as there are horses surviving and sound enough to get around... :cry:

jazzylady, I'm so sorry to hear Canadians are missing out on the rat-infested cheese wedges and carved duckies..how horrible to never have the opportunity to jump such divine items. Apparently some of the horses at Red Hills were Canadian-bred, thus declining the opportunity to scale those particular heights, having never seen the likes of it before...cheese is a FOOD, right? :lol:

RAyers
Mar. 20, 2008, 11:43 AM
Right on, AM.

Food for thought form Arlo Guthrie:

"Just walk in say "Shrink, You can get anything you want, at Alice's restaurant.". And walk out.
You know, if one person, just one person does it they may think he's really sick and they won't take him. And if two people, two people do it, in harmony, they may think they're both faggots and they won't take either of them. And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in singin a bar of Alice's Restaurant and walking out. They may think it's an
organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day, I said
fifty people a day walking in singin a bar of Alice's Restaurant and
walking out. And friends they may think it's a movement."

Reed

RiverBendPol
Mar. 20, 2008, 11:46 AM
So, BN through Intermediate break away from USEA, we have a happy, safe-competing organization which includes Canada and we call it the NACTA (North American Combined Training Association). We gallop over big open courses, we drink too much, dance on the tables, nobody dies, we all have a jolly time and if we happe to make it up the ladder to Advanced, then we have a big decision to make...do we want that 'A' next to our name so badly as to make the leap to FEI/USEA or do we stay contentedly in the NACTA..........

bornfreenowexpensive
Mar. 20, 2008, 11:47 AM
good post Reed. I already do those things (but am lucky in the good education that I've had over the years)....I'm thinking that I need to find the time to volunteer more at the USEA level. But just being a lawyer...my skills are not what is needed most (at least hopefully not needed) right now but it is another body who is rational and not afraid to speak their mind....and who really doesn't put UL riders on pedestals (I may be impressed with their riding.....but they are not Ghandi!).

Who needs a social life anyway.

TBKate
Mar. 20, 2008, 11:49 AM
So, BN through Intermediate break away from USEA, we have a happy, safe-competing organization which includes Canada and we call it the NACTA (North American Combined Training Association). We gallop over big open courses, we drink too much, dance on the tables, nobody dies, we all have a jolly time...

Where do I sign up?? :D

QuillcoteFarm
Mar. 20, 2008, 11:51 AM
Back in the golden era of Le Goff and Ayer, the various levels of he sport were mutually supportive.
Never in a million years would Jack have been so stupid as to call lower level riders demeaning names.
Jack moved from France to the United States, became a US citizen. He was involved in ALL aspects and levels, knew riders, organizers, officials, supported our entire infrastructure.
A far cry from the aloof, absentee situation of our present USEF hiararchy, who seem not to care what happens to the lower levels as long as the "top 20" are being served.
Makes me appreciate 1776.

Ahhhhhh the good ol days :winkgrin: where have they gone :confused:

Lisa Cook
Mar. 20, 2008, 11:52 AM
"Just walk in say "Shrink, You can get anything you want, at Alice's restaurant.". And walk out.
You know, if one person, just one person does it they may think he's really sick and they won't take him. And if two people, two people do it, in harmony, they may think they're both faggots and they won't take either of them. And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in singin a bar of Alice's Restaurant and walking out. They may think it's an
organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day, I said
fifty people a day walking in singin a bar of Alice's Restaurant and
walking out. And friends they may think it's a movement."



Not just any old movement - one that is brought about by those sittin' on the Group W Bench! :)

Seems kinda appropriate, doesn't it?

tx3dayeventer
Mar. 20, 2008, 11:53 AM
So, BN through Intermediate break away from USEA, we have a happy, safe-competing organization which includes Canada and we call it the NACTA (North American Combined Training Association). We gallop over big open courses, we drink too much, dance on the tables, nobody dies, we all have a jolly time and if we happe to make it up the ladder to Advanced, then we have a big decision to make...do we want that 'A' next to our name so badly as to make the leap to FEI/USEA or do we stay contentedly in the NACTA..........

I love it! especially the dancing on tables part. That used to be my forte :D

Where do I sign up?

Mary in Area 1
Mar. 20, 2008, 12:02 PM
Polly, I'll dance on the table with you anytime! I LOVE going to Canada--those events ROCK!

I wish we could somehow join with the current USDF group who are ready to split with the USEF also. Maybe we just need an Amateur Equestrian Federation which could include both dressage and eventing.

P.S. Reed, will you be on my Trivial Pursuit team? You are amazing on boomer cultural literacy!

Larbear
Mar. 20, 2008, 12:11 PM
So, BN through Intermediate break away from USEA, we have a happy, safe-competing organization which includes Canada and we call it the NACTA (North American Combined Training Association). We gallop over big open courses, we drink too much, dance on the tables, nobody dies, we all have a jolly time and if we happe to make it up the ladder to Advanced, then we have a big decision to make...do we want that 'A' next to our name so badly as to make the leap to FEI/USEA or do we stay contentedly in the NACTA..........

That sounds good to me! Sign me up!

Regal Grace
Mar. 20, 2008, 12:22 PM
speak up about the Red Hills course posted on USEventing news:

http://www.eventingnewsusa.com/useventhorse.php?news=20080318A

As a spectator who went to Rolex long format and short format. I can see the change and it's not for the better nor will it get you the kind of positive TV coverage you want no matter how Carr-Hughes packages it especially after this and last year's Rolex

I TRULY APPRECIATE the effort Carr-Hughes has done to promote the sport and bring it to spectators like me. But in the end it's a niche sport that can appeal to and reach more people but it will ever reach NASCAR proportions.

Unfortunately, what has been done to the sport in the hopes of promoting it to a wider audience is killing it and frankly starting to turn me off too. I never thought I would say that : (

What I loved about Eventing was the rider and horse galloping XC and taking a flyer at the big fences. It has become Grand Prix Jumping on a XC but the horse and rider have the added stress of having to navigate twisting turns, going up and down hills unlike the Grand Prix Jumpers who generally have the benefit of manicured, flat footing. Riders have a choice to tackle it but are we being fair to the equine partners in an already high risk sport?

RAYERS and Denny many kudos for your excellent dead on posts in this thread. I know Jimmy Wofford was not thrilled about the long formats demise and would be curious to know his thoughts. Maybe we will see something to come in a future issue of PH. I hope so.

My continued best wishes and speedy recovery to Darren.

snoopy
Mar. 20, 2008, 12:33 PM
http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum/showthread.php?t=105778



Definately worth a revision if not for the OP made by denny in july of 2007. It is interesting to note that this discussion was started here on the BB almost a year ago and that it took another dire incident to bring it to light with the powers that drive the sport.

Risk-Averse Rider
Mar. 20, 2008, 12:49 PM
P.S. this rant is even better with a John Belushi accent. :D

I found the rant top notch even without the accent.

PnkPanthr
Mar. 20, 2008, 01:01 PM
I agree 100%. I appologize, as I didnt read all the posts, but I read most of the the first page. Eventing is becoming too "TV frienddly". While the people of the couch eating popcorn are watching disasters happen, tight, windy XC courses, the competitors and the horses are doing it, and getting hurt, or dying. Personally, Id rather that not ALL of eventing turn into a Thrills and Spills video!

My next thing, what can we do to change it? The USEF and the USEA dont care about the threads do they? Remember that petition Save the Three Day? All of us signed it, and yet no one cared. This isnt supposed to be a slight against us or anything, but seriously, what can we do? And will they listen?

Hopeful Hunter
Mar. 20, 2008, 01:12 PM
Polly, I'll dance on the table with you anytime! I LOVE going to Canada--those events ROCK!

I wish we could somehow join with the current USDF group who are ready to split with the USEF also. Maybe we just need an Amateur Equestrian Federation which could include both dressage and eventing.

P.S. Reed, will you be on my Trivial Pursuit team? You are amazing on boomer cultural literacy!


Oh, please....if you really do this, can the TRULY local hunters - those who don't spend $1000 on a helmet and who are actual amateurs who can only show one day a week, and not every week - join??? The USHJF is NOT the organization for actual grass roots people - not unless you want to shell out big bucks for minimal value - and I think real amateurs of all stripes truly can support each other....Some of us older hunter princesses are up for table dancing, NEED the drinks to go into our safe piddly little rings and, while we may be scared of the eventers, it's just because we know we'd never have the balls to jump stuff like that that doesn't fall down ;-)!

crazy_horse1095
Mar. 20, 2008, 01:14 PM
So, BN through Intermediate break away from USEA, we have a happy, safe-competing organization which includes Canada and we call it the NACTA (North American Combined Training Association). We gallop over big open courses, we drink too much, dance on the tables, nobody dies, we all have a jolly time and if we happe to make it up the ladder to Advanced, then we have a big decision to make...do we want that 'A' next to our name so badly as to make the leap to FEI/USEA or do we stay contentedly in the NACTA..........

Let's do it! I friggin' love this idea. THIS is what I want MY sport to be!

JSwan
Mar. 20, 2008, 01:20 PM
Or just say the hell with all of it and take up foxhunting.

There's lot of dancing on tables, some drinking, and the type of riding that eventing and hunters used to require - big gallops, nice big stone walls and coops, some trappy country and fences, and good people. :)

denny
Mar. 20, 2008, 01:22 PM
Don`t blame the USEA, blame the USEF. They have all the power, make and enforce the rules, license the officials, conduct the drug testing, send teams to the various Games.
There used to be much more cooperation between the old AHSA and the old USCTA, but a group of power hungry USEF people have gradually shoved the USEA more and more to the back burner.
Someone in another thread suggested that the USEA send someone to check out The Fork.
It would accomplish nothing, as USEA is powerless to make changes, unless USEF agrees.
That`s what we mean when we say a small group has an inordinate control over our sport.
NOT USEA people, these are the good guys in this struggle.

SEPowell
Mar. 20, 2008, 01:26 PM
The FEI has a strangle hold on us and we have forgotten that we are a bunch of drunken American eventers! Good god, when was the last time the US did ANYTHING anybody told us? So why are we giving in now? Where is the classic American "Go screw yourself and the pate that you rode in on attitude?" Where is the "I've been drunk and vomiting for three days. It's XC day! Where's my horse damnit?!" spunk?
:D

Are you sure you guys aren't Western NY foxhunters :confused: You sound like you should be :lol:

SEPowell
Mar. 20, 2008, 01:28 PM
Or just say the hell with all of it and take up foxhunting.

There's lot of dancing on tables, some drinking, and the type of riding that eventing and hunters used to require - big gallops, nice big stone walls and coops, some trappy country and fences, and good people. :)

AMEN :lol:

ss3777
Mar. 20, 2008, 01:34 PM
Here is a KOC quote about Teddy before Rolex last year:

"I’m not ever in the business of proving to a horse what he can’t do; only to show him through education what he can do"


It really spoke to me and now it seems that our XC courses may be doing the opposite :(
Yet another underline to the many reasons to revolt

pinkdiamondracing
Mar. 20, 2008, 02:12 PM
So, BN through Intermediate break away from USEA, we have a happy, safe-competing organization which includes Canada and we call it the NACTA (North American Combined Training Association). We gallop over big open courses, we drink too much, dance on the tables, nobody dies, we all have a jolly time

If this were to happen, I do believe I would start eventing, instead of just being a spectator, and relative of an eventer!!:lol::lol:

RAyers
Mar. 20, 2008, 02:21 PM
If the USEA were to take over and be serious about running the real sport, I would gladly do only preliminary and skip I and A if it was left to the USEF.


Reed

WW_Queen
Mar. 20, 2008, 02:22 PM
That sounds good to me! Sign me up!

The NACTA idea is great.....but everyone has to remember that "sign me up" is the wrong response.

You want to catch those 15,000 people and have them say:

"NACTA? Let me get my checkbook"

That'll scare the pants off the "We know everything" groups. :D

tx3dayeventer
Mar. 20, 2008, 02:36 PM
The NACTA idea is great.....but everyone has to remember that "sign me up" is the wrong response.

You want to catch those 15,000 people and have them say:

"NACTA? Let me get my checkbook"

That'll scare the pants off the "We know everything" groups. :D

I would GLADLY skip down to their office checkbook and pony in tow and pay to play with people that like playing and aren't out to "make the team". Let me know who to make the check out to and for how much!

and

to quote Reed (I havent figured out how to quote 2 different people on here :))"If the USEA were to take over and be serious about running the real sport, I would gladly do only preliminary and skip I and A if it was left to the USEF."

I would gladly do the same. Hell, Prelim was FUN! There was no pressure, no 'you better be spot on b/c Capt Phillips & the "Team" is watching your run this weekend before they make a decision for the Pan Ams', just flat out FUN. I miss FUN! Don't get me wrong, I had a blast running Advanced, but there was A LOT of PRESSURE. I want FUN!

bornfreenowexpensive
Mar. 20, 2008, 02:38 PM
The NACTA idea is great.....but everyone has to remember that "sign me up" is the wrong response.

You want to catch those 15,000 people and have them say:

"NACTA? Let me get my checkbook"

That'll scare the pants off the "We know everything" groups. :D


Actually....that is not a bad idea. We could start a group whose mission is to save eventing. Draft a mission statement....easy enough to set up for non-profit status (that is something my lawyer skills can do!). Set a basic membership fee and use the fees collected to help fund/sponsor events aimed at perserving traditional eventing.

Want to encourage Organizers and CDs to develop x-c courses that are gallopy.....want a CCN* held....we need to back those ideas with our pocket books. An organization with that specific aim can raise the funding in a cohesive organized manner. It would be a way to get heard and offer competition to money that might have gone to the USEF (or likely not contributed at all)!

flyingchange
Mar. 20, 2008, 02:39 PM
I really like the idea of USEA taking over through Prelim and let the "Others" go on their merry way drinking their Kool-Aid at USEF-sanctioned I-A events.

Make it so that events have that "family" feel again. Not that "I feel like I'm at HITS??" feel that some of them are starting to have....

Bring back CCN one stars (would this not make life SO much easier for the one star organizers??).

I am VERY into this idea.

snoopy
Mar. 20, 2008, 02:40 PM
Actually....that is not a bad idea. We could start a group whose mission is to save eventing. Draft a mission statement....easy enough to set up for non-profit status (that is something my lawyer skills can do!). Set a basic membership fee and use the fees collected to help fund/sponsor events aimed at perserving traditional eventing.

Want to encourage Organizers and CDs to develop x-c courses that are gallopy.....want a CCN* held....we need to back those ideas with our pocket books. An organization with that specific aim can raise the funding in a cohesive organized manner. It would be a way to get heard and offer competition to money that might have gone to the USEF (or likely not contributed at all)!



:yes::yes::yes::yes::yes:

Jazzy Lady
Mar. 20, 2008, 02:41 PM
cummon. I'll join but bring I with you too!!! Leave the kool-aid to the Advanced!

TBKate
Mar. 20, 2008, 02:46 PM
Or just say the hell with all of it and take up foxhunting.

JSwan, I've seriously considered it...but I haven't managed to figure out how to work it into a graduate student's schedule. :lol: Any suggestions? I like the idea of being able to carry my beverage WITH me on course. ;)

And as to the bring out your checkbooks, Mine's out, my pen is poised--where do I send that check?!

luvmyguinnypiggy
Mar. 20, 2008, 02:56 PM
I will lend my 2 cents of encouragement with.... a change is possible example, of the 90s.

GB[Hideway's Erin Go Bragh] then went on to Intermediate and finished the season winning at Fair Hill, NJ. Moving up to Advanced (the highest level in the sport) in '95 he ended up winning the USCTA (United States Combined Training Association) Advanced Horse of the Year in Zone II while also winning the Intermediate at Middleburg, VA. Reluctant to put her beloved partner at serious and potentially dangerous disadvantage, because of the weights he'd have to carry, Carol was finally convinced (not by his owner) to enter him in the 1996 Radnor Two Star Event. Already Carol had submitted a petition, backed up by veterinarian produced video analysis, to the governing FEI to abolish the 165 lbs. minimum weight requirement born of an age when only male cavalry officers competed in this demanding sport.

Years from now horse people will shake their heads in disbelief when they consider that small horses, like GB, were required to carry upwards of 40 lbs. of lead to compete at the international level. Galloping across an open field at Radnor while carrying close to those 40 extra lbs. of dead weight and after 14 or so miles of roads & tracks, a steeplechase course and 22 of 25 cross-country obstacles, GB stepped in a depression and tore his suspensory ligament. Later the following year the FEI forever banned the weight requirements- too late, however, for this plucky stallion who did come back, after a year's recuperation, to win again and even record the fastest cross-country time of the day!

(taken from Hideaway Farm Website)

LexInVA
Mar. 20, 2008, 03:00 PM
Sounds like we know what direction to go in. Now we need to figure out how to get there.

RAyers
Mar. 20, 2008, 03:06 PM
Remember guys, the USEA is a "white hat" here. Kevin has publicly acknowledged what is happening and ways to find a path back. A mass exodus is good but remember, Moses had to spend 40 years in the desert. "Honey, there's a nice gentile, why don't you ask for directions." "Oye, Ruth, all you do is nag. I know the way."

There are great organizers, CDs, TDs, and venues out there so let's make sure we keep our revolution focused on the real issue. When it comes to safety of our horses and ourselves "Let them eat cake" is not the right answer.

Reed

Debbie
Mar. 20, 2008, 03:11 PM
While I think it's a grand idea for USEA to take back "our" sport, leaving I & A on the current course will ultimately affect us all. As the levels that play out on the most public stage, they have an inordinate amount of influence on the rest of the levels. This will never be a risk-free sport, but the current degree of carnage will not escape notice and action from a larger public forever.

As much as we smurfs may want our own sandbox, we also bear some responsibilty for all levels of the sport -- as long as we call our horses event horses and the elites do as well, we all wear the same cloth.

And to Gnep, no I'm not going to Rolex this year to support "that which we hate." That's a terribly tough decision for me, as has been mentioned on other threads, no one wants to punish the organizers who are at the mercy of the new rules, CDs, FEI, alphabet soup. I have particular respect and fondness for those that produce Rolex -- their hard work over the years has elevated our sport in this country. I feel like the Rolex organization has been as buffeted by these changes as we have. That said, I can't go watch. I used to watch the horses joyfully approach massive but fair combinations with tears in my eyes. Now the tears are still there but the joy is gone.

tx3dayeventer
Mar. 20, 2008, 03:13 PM
Is there a way for the USEA to break away from the USEF/FEI?

How much funding does the USEA receive from the USEF/FEI?

If they receive funding... would we be able to compensate as a member group to validate the USEA walking away from the USEF and Int & Adv?

I am not against the USEA in any way shape or form.

Could WE morph our organization to better suit us as members?

I believe that these are questions we need answered.

LexInVA
Mar. 20, 2008, 03:31 PM
Is there a way for the USEA to break away from the USEF/FEI?

How much funding does the USEA receive from the USEF/FEI?

If they receive funding... would we be able to compensate as a member group to validate the USEA walking away from the USEF and Int & Adv?

I am not against the USEA in any way shape or form.

Could WE morph our organization to better suit us as members?

I believe that these are questions we need answered.

It's possible but there are a lot of things that need to be considered before such an attempt could be undertaken.

I don't think they get anything from the FEI but a great deal of their operational funding comes from the USEF coffers and the membership dues collected from USEA members. One would have to look at the books to really get a clear answer on where the cheese comes from.

It depends on how strong the membership can be in numbers if a splintering occurs. Then there is also the issue of resources. The people pulling the strings of the USEF have a lot of economic clout with venues (because they own them or are financially tied to those who do) and corporate sponsors. Like the days long ago when this country declared it's independence which hinged on the weapons and soldiers they could muster, the organization can only be as strong as it's resources and membership allow it to be.

As things are now, the USEA answers to the USEF. There is no democratic process and the umbrella organizations serve as buffers between the general membership and the USEF's agenda of international success. The organizations can present ideas and make case for change but the power rests with the USEF for the most part. The only thing members have to use against the USEF is the economic power they can withhold from not paying their dues and not participating in USEF recognized/sanctioned events.

Janet
Mar. 20, 2008, 03:41 PM
How much funding does the USEA receive from the USEF/FEI?

I have understood it was the other way round.

tx3dayeventer
Mar. 20, 2008, 03:45 PM
Thank you Lex. I have never really paid any attention to the hierarchy in our very own organization. That is my fault. I am just trying to throw out ideas or suggestions as to what is the next step.


Sidenote: I am VERY good with grassroots movements :yes: just ask me :D

oldbutnotdead
Mar. 20, 2008, 03:50 PM
I have been impressed by Kevin's responses, and I want to give the USEA, under his guidance, a chance to do things better. How does the USEA allocate its revenue? Perhaps we could advocate having the allocations favor the lower level riders, whom, I suspect, provide most of the revenue. It seems as though we would have a greater chance of influencing the USEA as compared to the USEF.

seeuatx
Mar. 20, 2008, 03:53 PM
I don't know if pointing fingers is the best solution. Who do we point fingers at... USEA...USET...USEF...FEI...all the above? But it does no good, if they are also pointing fingers at each other and back at us. The buck has to stop somewhere.

I know it means very little coming from me, since I am not a current competitor. But I want this sport to still be here when I can come back to it.

If I were competing, and I saw a course that I felt was a punishment for my horse, there is no way in H-E-doublehockeystick that I would take him out on it. I know that it would mean next to nothing for me to say to the TD "I'm scratching because that course is crazy." But what if it happened en mass? If even half the competitors were to stand up and say "uh-uh, no way am I going out there.... and this is why".... maybe, just maybe the powers that be would stop and take a good look.

The beauty of that is there is no need for the "but I wanna go to the olympics so I can't rock the boat" group. The PTB cannot continue to cater to the olympians if they lose their base of support in the lower levels.

Dawnd
Mar. 20, 2008, 03:56 PM
Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? NO! Did we fold when Napoleon attacked Custer at Warterloo? NO!

P.S. this rant is even better with a John Belushi accent. :D

You gotta love a good Animal House quote...now "may I have 10,000 marbles, please.":lol:

frugalannie
Mar. 20, 2008, 04:00 PM
Oh my. Reed's baaa-aack! And Robby, too. Denny's been trying to wake us from our complacency for ever, and Pol has come up with a truly revolutionary idea. Lots of good ideas and info here.

Pol, my only concern is that the Canadians won't want us.

bornfreenowexpensive
Mar. 20, 2008, 04:06 PM
Remember guys, the USEA is a "white hat" here. Kevin has publicly acknowledged what is happening and ways to find a path back. A mass exodus is good but remember, Moses had to spend 40 years in the desert. "Honey, there's a nice gentile, why don't you ask for directions." "Oye, Ruth, all you do is nag. I know the way."

There are great organizers, CDs, TDs, and venues out there so let's make sure we keep our revolution focused on the real issue. When it comes to safety of our horses and ourselves "Let them eat cake" is not the right answer.

Reed


What I was proposing wasn't meant to go after the USEA or even be an alternative to the USEA (at least not at first). I was thinking more akin to a "special" interest group. We all know $$ talks.....and more $$ talks louder. So if some of the things that we think we help save eventing are the development of more gallopy course, more research into saftey issues, CCN*.....perhaps fund raising for those limited goals may be better done outside any currently existing organization.....and through a more organized concentrated effort.

I don't know....the alternative is to do more work at raising funds from within the USEA....How may of us contribute to the USEA beyond our membership fees?

LexInVA
Mar. 20, 2008, 04:07 PM
Pol, my only concern is that the Canadians won't want us.

Canadians never turn down beer. Even American beer. ;)

snoopy
Mar. 20, 2008, 04:14 PM
Canadians never turn down beer. Even American beer. ;)



HA!!! Ain't that the truth.

retreadeventer
Mar. 20, 2008, 04:31 PM
.... For a true revolution to succeed, we may have to cut them loose from the USEA. I never, in the past 47 years of my competing in this sport, have thought I`d say this, but there it is.
Let the USEF have the advanced level, to use and abuse as it sees fit. There are fewer than 200 of them in all of North America.
Let our USEA run everything else, the other 15,000, give or take.
If the few hundred intermediate riders squawk, cut them loose, too.
......

A FRICKIN MEN!!!!!! American Amateur Eventing Association. Here we come. Denny for Prez.

JSwan
Mar. 20, 2008, 04:31 PM
JSwan, I've seriously considered it...but I haven't managed to figure out how to work it into a graduate student's schedule. :lol: Any suggestions? I like the idea of being able to carry my beverage WITH me on course. ;)

And as to the bring out your checkbooks, Mine's out, my pen is poised--where do I send that check?!

To the hunt secretary! Plenty of students foxhunt. Sometimes they can only come out 1 or 2 days per week. (which is a lot!)

Sorry to hijack!:)

I know several foxhunters that also event - some of them hunt their event horses. You want a really sure footed careful mount xc - hunt that horse. Best thing in the world for them. We've got 'chasers, racers, event horses - and even a few dressage horses. If your horse can keep up with the hounds - and it doesn't kick horses or hounds- come on out.

TB or not TB?
Mar. 20, 2008, 05:07 PM
A FRICKIN MEN!!!!!! American Amateur Eventing Association. Here we come. Denny for Prez.

I was just going to suggest that!

I CALL VP!!! (just kidding, just kidding :winkgrin:)

LexInVA
Mar. 20, 2008, 05:07 PM
Guess I'd better work on an anthem...

RAyers
Mar. 20, 2008, 05:19 PM
As much as we smurfs may want our own sandbox, we also bear some responsibilty for all levels of the sport -- as long as we call our horses event horses and the elites do as well, we all wear the same cloth.


Debbie,

I can assure you not just smurfs are art of this. There are plenty of former Rolex, Badminton, Olympic and other riders (and not just those who post here) wanting to be involved with what is happening. They to see what you see, we are responsible for this sport, Our Sport. They are just as unhappy with how things have gone over the past few years and want a change too.


I keep having this image of a horse having a heart attack in DOC's office. Where's the chain saw?
"They wrecked the car!" "My advice, start drinking heavily."

Now we just need to have an AEC toga party with Otis Day and the Knights.

Reed

seeuatx
Mar. 20, 2008, 05:26 PM
Can we have a declaration of independence and mail it to the USEF?

"When in the course of human events it becomes necessary to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another.... a decent respect to the values of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."

Hey, look it works for us too. Now we just add open, galloping, horse friendly courses in place of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" :yes:

I'll sign my John Hancock!!!! I'd open my wallet too, but the few pennies I have won't mean much ;)

Eventer55
Mar. 20, 2008, 05:33 PM
:lol::lol:You say you want a revoluuuuuution, we ellll . . . .

John Lennon

Event4Life
Mar. 20, 2008, 05:35 PM
I actually really like the Amateur Event Association idea...could it be BN - Prelim only?

Grasshopper
Mar. 20, 2008, 05:37 PM
I love Pol's idea, and where bornfree is going!
What if we create an organization (within or outside the USEA) that does the following (feel free to add!!):

-acts as an advocate for riders
-hires someone(s) to evaluate courses, or course designers that make a commitment to design courses that fit the mission (I as a lower-level rider can't always tell if a fence is just my own bogeyman or a real safety issue)
-subsidizes/rewards organizers/events with courses that match the organization's mission
-manages a rating system for courses/CDs along the lines of some of the recent suggestions on this board
-...and, first fundraiser could be 'long format or bust!' type Ts! ;)


What I was proposing wasn't meant to go after the USEA or even be an alternative to the USEA (at least not at first). I was thinking more akin to a "special" interest group. We all know $$ talks.....and more $$ talks louder. So if some of the things that we think we help save eventing are the development of more gallopy course, more research into saftey issues, CCN*.....perhaps fund raising for those limited goals may be better done outside any currently existing organization.....and through a more organized concentrated effort.

I don't know....the alternative is to do more work at raising funds from within the USEA....How may of us contribute to the USEA beyond our membership fees?

tx3dayeventer
Mar. 20, 2008, 05:39 PM
:lol::lol:You say you want a revoluuuuuution, we ellll . . . .

John Lennon

You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it's evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don't you know that you can count me out
Don't you know it's gonna be all right

You say you got a real solution
Well, you know
We'd all love to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
Well, you know
We're doing what we can
But when you want money
for people with minds that hate
All I can tell is brother you have to wait
Don't you know it's gonna be all right

You say you'll change the constitution
Well, you know
We all want to change your head
You tell me it's the institution
Well, you know
You better free you mind instead
But if you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao
You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow
Don't you know it's gonna be all right


One of my favorite songs!

ellebeaux
Mar. 20, 2008, 06:02 PM
I love Pol's idea, and where bornfree is going!
What if we create an organization (within or outside the USEA) that does the following (feel free to add!!):

-acts as an advocate for riders
-hires someone(s) to evaluate courses, or course designers that make a commitment to design courses that fit the mission (I as a lower-level rider can't always tell if a fence is just my own bogeyman or a real safety issue)
-subsidizes/rewards organizers/events with courses that match the organization's mission
-manages a rating system for courses/CDs along the lines of some of the recent suggestions on this board
-...and, first fundraiser could be 'long format or bust!' type Ts! ;)

Boy, I wake up and a revolution is at hand!

I still think this is what the USEA can do, if we ask them and make it clear this is one of our needs. Have you written them your thoughts on this?

I don't see a need to start a new organization - there are enough of them already! I'd rather give Kevin B. and the current USEA officers a chance to response to the uproar and recent events first.

seeuatx
Mar. 20, 2008, 06:05 PM
I actually really like the Amateur Event Association idea...could it be BN - Prelim only?

I think it should gear to those of any level that aren't seeking international recognition. I'd love to go Advanced one day (of course, the rate I'm going, I'll be 80 before I get there), but I have no delusions of glory, and would not be attempting to qualify for any special team stuff.

VCT
Mar. 20, 2008, 06:30 PM
A FRICKIN MEN!!!!!! American Amateur Eventing Association. Here we come. Denny for Prez.


As long as you define "amatuer" differently than USEF, thankyouverymuch.
I teach plenty of lessons and start horses for people, etc. I am not interested in going above novice but I'm a pro according to USEF.

Gnep
Mar. 20, 2008, 06:33 PM
That is what the USEA should do and we should strengthen the back of those who want to do this.
I am neither a fan of the USEF ( power grabbing bunch ) neither the USEA gut less till today.
But if the folks in the USEA get the support they might be able to give us our sport back.
Kevin made a statement lets support him, based on the statement and than see if he matches up, if not than we need to do something.

Now we just need to have an AEC toga party with Otis Day and the Knights.

Reed

And I do the belly dance on the table.
Gue

3dazey
Mar. 20, 2008, 07:08 PM
I truly believe the USEA IS us! I watched the people who run OUR organization putting on the 2nd AEC's, and they were WONDERFUL, they cared about the little people and will tell you that they are little people too! Like Gnep says, if we get behind the powers that be in USEA, I believe we can move mountains, if for no other reason than there are just so darn many of us!

The elite competitors can be catered to through USEF, and they probably should since that's the national governing body and responsible for sending teams to international events. That means the team coach can go to the Advanced events and tweak the course to his liking to get his desired result in Olympic and WEG years, and leave the rest of the competitions alone. (Though I think it is terribly unfair to the organizers and course designers to have to cater to this. After you've spent x many dollars to hire a qualified CD, must you also be subjected to the team coach???) But I digress. As usual.

I *heart* the USEA. They are good people doing hard work without a bunch of funding...basically a labor of love. Kind of like the most of us amateurs!

Oh, and Robby Johnson, dear boy...you DO have a dog in this hunt - TWO in fact, as I saw both of them competing at the last Pine Top. It was kinda cool seeing "your" baby horse going Preliminary...whoda thunk it? And Rhodey took very good care of his girl. I loved knowing the back story for both.

foxhavenfarm
Mar. 20, 2008, 07:48 PM
As long as you define "amatuer" differently than USEF, thankyouverymuch.
I teach plenty of lessons and start horses for people, etc. I am not interested in going above novice but I'm a pro according to USEF.

Me too (except for the never going above Novice part...maybe Prelim someday), however I don't make over $1500 a year doing it...pretty sad, huh...:lol:

whoacorwin
Mar. 20, 2008, 07:58 PM
WOW!! I think I am I love with both Reed and Denny!!! I did not renew my membership with the USEA this past November because of all the crap and politics, not to mention the horrible carnange that the sport produces so often.

But sign me up for the new eventing organazation...this thread gives me hope for eventing and a new desire to conquer that One Star dream.

THANK YOU!!!

P.S I will volunteer to do anything needed....

Lori T
Mar. 20, 2008, 08:19 PM
I spoke with our trainer today and thank goodness, she is all for changes..she has been in Rolex, ridden the long format and wants to go back to the galloping courses.
Denny, your comment made me think of a well known BIG trainer in our area who was at Rocking Horse a few months ago. She had no less than 25 students out on the xc course AT THE SAME TIME!! Course, she also dabbles in hunters, has stall curtains at events and is very money hungry. When I saw her with all those students, I was thoroughly disgusted (mind you my daughter was finishing up a clinic with Kyle Carter that had 4 riders).



Many of the current upper level riders are hoping that eventing becomes more and more commercialized, like the hunter/jumper industry.
This is not my conspiracy theory at work, it`s a fact. Many have big client lists, multiple horses, lots of clinics, etc.
They will not get involved in change, I don`t think, unless that change helps their pocketbooks.
We ask, why don`t they speak out? They don`t want to have this a particularly amateur based sport, unless they are teaching/selling horses/boarding, etc, those amateurs.
They are USEF people, not so much USEA people.
For a true revolution to succeed, we may have to cut them loose from the USEA. I never, in the past 47 years of my competing in this sport, have thought I`d say this, but there it is.
Let the USEF have the advanced level, to use and abuse as it sees fit. There are fewer than 200 of them in all of North America.
Let our USEA run everything else, the other 15,000, give or take.
If the few hundred intermediate riders squawk, cut them loose, too.
Why should their needs wreck it for the enormous majority?

J-Lu
Mar. 20, 2008, 08:37 PM
But, Reed, the FEI said the short format and tight twisty courses is good for the horses and TV revenue. Yeah, and blowing out the tires of a car with no brakes will help it stop too. What the HELL has happened when lines in XC have gotten TOUGHER than a GRAND PRIX jumper course!!!!!!!!?????


Speaking of show jumping courses, is it me, or are some X-C courses (especially the televised ones) ever so slightly starting to take on the look of a miniature golf course with color and fence design?

Gnep
Mar. 20, 2008, 09:20 PM
J-Lu,
I love to built jumps, and I love to be creative, not a log here or a log there.
I want to give all of my jumps for every level the utmost creativity, jumps I love to jump myself, they are coulorfull, they have fancy design ideas, unusual, eye pleasing, the logs and lumber worked so they look like furniture, when they leave the shop, please the material that comes into my hands. It is fun, sometimes art and most of them I put out into the field and than get The Women out and we fly over them, don't take that away, lets have jumps that are beautiful, individual, that are fun to look at, a pleasure, but lets position them so they are realy fun to jump, for horse and rider.

I just started on my rattel snake, it is a complicated design to built, but it will be just stunning and me and The Women are going to have at it, before it leaves for its first show.

grayarabpony
Mar. 20, 2008, 09:22 PM
It's nice that everybody's so giddy, but is this revolution/ separation line really going to accomplish anything? (PS. I though RBP was being sarcastic.)

RunForIt
Mar. 20, 2008, 10:09 PM
Reed, guess what my husband named our JRT last year,,,ARLO! For all the right reasons too.

RAyers
Mar. 20, 2008, 10:22 PM
It's nice that everybody's so giddy, but is this revolution/ separation line really going to accomplish anything? (PS. I though RBP was being sarcastic.)

Look at the responses! I never thought this many would respond or even look at this thread! That has to say something that folks want change and are tired of the inaction when it comes to the direction this sport is going.

I believe it might have more effect than you suspect. I know that the safety effort I am working on will continue independently. If you look at Kevin's letter, he suggests that a separation may occur as well. Read some of the post here, even folks at higher levels are rebelling against the lunacy that this sport seems to have slid into.

It will only accomplish anything if folks take this energy and make sure they apply it to forcing change. Remember this thread; don't settle and don't get complacent with the status quo.

Here is a question to you, what would yo like this to accomplish? Maybe it can happen?

Reed

grayarabpony
Mar. 20, 2008, 10:38 PM
I would like for change to happen at ALL levels of the sport. To leave out the upper levels is ridiculous.

As I said earlier, in another thread, I'd like to see the sport as it was in the mid-90's. A rider had to have a decent dressage test to be competitive, the crosscountry had some very technical combinations but still a lot of good galloping fences, and a horse had to be a good show jumper. I think some course designers have lost sight of the fact that these more technical fences are supposed to result in run-outs if there is a problem, not rotational falls.

Will someone please explain to me how these changes were allowed to happen in the first place? I remember one of the first changes was to change the dressage score, supposedly to make eventing more public-friendly and if I remember correctly I believe stadium was weighted less too. Then it changed back, then more radical changes happened when Aachen got the 2006 World Championship. Is there just a lack of leadership all around? It seems as though one country in the FEI says I want to make eventing this, and everyone goes, Oh, OK....

JER
Mar. 20, 2008, 10:47 PM
Well, I'm always up for a revolution.

But then I have roots in the real Waterloo. In my youth, I lived right on Wellington's route to the big showdown, just a short distance from the actual battlefields. (Now my parents live on a famous Revolutionary War battlefield, right at the top of Bunker Hill. We're a rabble-rousing bunch.)

Wellington's victory has some interesting parallels. It was a coalition victory, involving various bands of tough, experienced, dedicated soldiers who used to be in Napoleon's army. Napoleon's officers has gotten lazy, falling out of touch with their armies, giving unclear orders and staying away from the front lines. The rank-and-file soldiers jumped ship, going back to their old regiments in Holland, Prussia, etc., training like crazy, then joining with Wellington for the Belgian campaign.

On the day of the battle, Wellington was up at 3 am sending out communications to his troops, getting everyone into position at dawn. Napoleon slept in, had a big breakfast, and despite news to the contrary, dismissed Wellington's forces as a 'bad army'.

And we all know who won.

blazn
Mar. 20, 2008, 11:08 PM
Maybe there are others like me who stopped paying dues to USEA years ago? I'm glad to hear they are now the good guys, but I don't see that anything is actually changing. So I'd be pleased to send in my membership money to the NACTA, or the Amateur Eventers Association, or the Free the People (and their horses) Rainbow Coalition for dressage, H/J and event riders. I don't care if the new organization has to hold its events in peoples backyards.

Kementari
Mar. 20, 2008, 11:25 PM
As long as you define "amatuer" differently than USEF, thankyouverymuch.
I teach plenty of lessons and start horses for people, etc. I am not interested in going above novice but I'm a pro according to USEF.

Indeed - me too. I make just barely enough to fall outside eventing's more lenient rule, even. But while I like watching the upper levels, I'm under no illusion that I'll ever ride there...

Though I question the idea of omitting pros at all. For pros that are empathetic to "the cause," what sense does it make to tell them they aren't allowed? And while certainly the B-est of the BNTs could, if they chose, make waves with USEF without having to resort to a new organization, that still leaves all the semi-BNTs and below who are often more on board with us civilians than they are with the elite of the sport.

For an inclusive organization that constructively addresses the issues at the forefront of our sport, just tell me where to send the check. But if it's to be an EXclusive organization, I don't see how that's any different, in the end, than what we have now.

Candle
Mar. 20, 2008, 11:28 PM
Can we all prove what we want by collectively organizing an event where dressage and SJ matter less and the XC course is galloping and long? I'd love to see the long format introduced in some form at Novice, if we're taking the sport back. I wanted to be an eventer after I got a videotape of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics in a package of dewormer, and I wanted to do what Andrew Hoy did on Darien Powers. I still do. I haven't made it very far out of H/J land due to lack of horse, then lack of money, then lack of horse, then lack of money, etc., but I have a horse, in three years I will be out of school and earning a good living, and I want to event. Badly. I don't want to die doing it either. I think if we're going to revolutionize the sport, one thing we can do from COTH is to organize the "ideal event" and propose it to Kevin B. and the USEA. Let's hammer out the details of what we'd like to see happen, what fences we'd like there to be, etc. and present it. I personally don't have the eventing experience to help with this part, but I want to ride a long format event one day soon. What can I do to help?

Hony
Mar. 20, 2008, 11:48 PM
Can we all prove what we want by collectively organizing an event where dressage and SJ matter less and the XC course is galloping and long? Let's hammer out the details of what we'd like to see happen, what fences we'd like there to be, etc. and present it.

I think a good start would be to get ride of cheese, squirrels, ducks, turtles, windmills, lighthouses, stuffed animals etc. in favour of natural obstacles made of things you might "actually" find outdoors, like logs, brushes, fence lines, ditches, banks etc.
I also think the reduction in cost of creating these courses could greatly benefit the membership.

Fred
Mar. 21, 2008, 06:22 AM
Oh my. Reed's baaa-aack! And Robby, too. Denny's been trying to wake us from our complacency for ever, and Pol has come up with a truly revolutionary idea. Lots of good ideas and info here.

Pol, my only concern is that the Canadians won't want us.

Worry not, we'd love to have you. And we have beer. And tables.

Fred
Mar. 21, 2008, 06:56 AM
Look at the responses! I never thought this many would respond or even look at this thread! That has to say something that folks want change and are tired of the inaction when it comes to the direction this sport is going.

I believe it might have more effect than you suspect. I know that the safety effort I am working on will continue independently. If you look at Kevin's letter, he suggests that a separation may occur as well. Read some of the post here, even folks at higher levels are rebelling against the lunacy that this sport seems to have slid into.

It will only accomplish anything if folks take this energy and make sure they apply it to forcing change. Remember this thread; don't settle and don't get complacent with the status quo.

Here is a question to you, what would yo like this to accomplish? Maybe it can happen?

Reed


I think this is the crux of this thread. I am an outsider, A Canadian, and we have our own problems.
But I think Reed's comment sums it up. "take this energy and apply it to forcing change".

I haven't been a competitive rider since a fall hang gliding broke my back. But as a breeder I have deep concerns.
I started out breeding racehorses. As a breeder you put so much thought, care, time and money - not to mention love - into getting the mare in foal, watching her every step, every mouthful, through 11 months- and then came the nights, often weeks of sleeplessness - just to get that foal on the ground. After that, watching every mouthful, every step, trying to do everything right to raise a sound, sane, courageous athlete.

And then I'd send that horse to the track.

One day, I decided I had had enough. I couldn't stand what was happening to the horses I bred, and to racehorses in general.
I had joked that even though I thought I was breeding racehorses, that I was actually breeding event horses, since they all seemed to go as event horses eventually.
I have been happy (for the most part) and proud to see the babies I breed go to be eventers.
But after last weekend, talking to another eventer friend, I said I don't know if I want that for them either.

I hope you will unite to make changes for yourselves and for the horses.
The way to make change is to decide what you want, make a plan of action, and go for it.

good luck.

annikak
Mar. 21, 2008, 07:11 AM
Actually, NOT joining USEA is harmful to change as I see it. As Snoopy, Reed. Denny has said...We Have To Support Kevin and USEA. So...those that think that not joining is making a statement, I think that not joining shows disinterest. We need interest that lasts.

My biggest points are this: We know square tables kill people, as they, when jumped incorrectly, cause rotational falls, and we know what rotational falls do.

This sheer fact...and it's known by every CD out there, seems to be ignored. They continue to show up.

And as far as jumping the "animals"...most of them are pretty safe IMHO. No points, and nasty things for riders or horses to hit? Round? Safe- and tests safely bravery of horse and rider and obedience of horse in a safe way.

then, my soapbox point- at least...and I am sure of 3 and suspect 2 more, deaths of horses have been caused in some way, shape or form, by pulmonary or heart issues. This is our job- it's not the fences that are killing them, its something else. We need to support and encourage the research in this area. I have said it so many times, and I am saying it again. It is OUR job to protect those horses. So, lets figure it out and fix it.

We need to look at numbers- WHAT CD/TD's are at events where something has happened. Stats, here we go! Scubed? Going at it?

3dazey
Mar. 21, 2008, 09:14 AM
I really do like the imaginative jumps and think they have their place. What I particularly like is when designers/builders like Gnep have an idea, create it, then take their horses out an give it a "test run". How cool is that? A course builder worth his/her salt is truly an artist and watching someone who loves what they do create a special fence is a wonderful thing. So no, not just logs, rails and more logs, but as Gnep said, all kinds of fences placed in such a way to encourage good jumping, brave jumping, and confident horses. I have been so lucky to ride many courses that may have given me pause on first glance, but my horses sure didn't see a problem. That's the hallmark of good course design/building.

RunForIt
Mar. 21, 2008, 05:05 PM
I really do like the imaginative jumps and think they have their place. What I particularly like is when designers/builders like Gnep have an idea, create it, then take their horses out an give it a "test run". How cool is that? A course builder worth his/her salt is truly an artist and watching someone who loves what they do create a special fence is a wonderful thing. So no, not just logs, rails and more logs, but as Gnep said, all kinds of fences placed in such a way to encourage good jumping, brave jumping, and confident horses. I have been so lucky to ride many courses that may have given me pause on first glance, but my horses sure didn't see a problem. That's the hallmark of good course design/building.

AND safe jumping. If course s are aimed towards a specific standard that that horses are being trained and tested, this fence builder gets to create a question that also shows his/her creative abilities AND tests the horses' training at that level.

If there was some sort of training scale (as in classical dressage) for each of the 3 phases of eventing, there could/should be some sort of "unpacking" of all that an event horse at that level should be able to deal with, show evidence of, for each of those phases. The XC jumps at that level would then test the training. Riders then would have a way to assess the horse themselves, AND THE COURSE if there were published standards.

If standards are to be changed....the changes are published, the people who made the changes explain the reasoning, and the changes still are safe.

frugalannie
Mar. 21, 2008, 05:52 PM
I have to agree that in the current situation, when the president of the USEA has been responsive and articulate about the issues we've raised, that we should give him and the organization the chance to change the sport in the many ways we've identified. And I think it would be completely unfair to expect meaningful change in just a few weeks, or even months.

BUT, if change isn't articulated as a goal within a month or two, and that's not followed by meaningful progress along several different paths, then I'd be thinking about belonging to another organization.

There are so many great, intelligent, horse-loving people involved in this organization, I think it would be wrong not to give them a chance to do exactly was has been asked: to come forward, participate in re-designing our sport, and take ownership and responsibility for the outcome. That is revolutionary, but a velvet revolution.

Maybe then Fred and the Canadians will want to join us without a beer bribe!

RiverBendPol
Mar. 21, 2008, 06:31 PM
It's nice that everybody's so giddy, but is this revolution/ separation line really going to accomplish anything? (PS. I though RBP was being sarcastic.)

I am VERY rarely sarcastic. I try to say what I mean and mean what I say.
I am all for the USEA's people, I agree, they are the best but I fear they were overpowered by the USEF. Years ago, when the sh!t began to hit the fan, USEA could have said they didn't want to play by those rules. I think we need to begin again, from scratch. We have enough wisdom among us, and there are still enough of us alive who do remember the olden days so I think we actually could get the NACTA going. Little Engine That Could and all that.

grayarabpony
Mar. 21, 2008, 06:37 PM
So you think that novice through intermediate should split from advanced? Sorry, but I think it's a dumb idea.

austin
Mar. 21, 2008, 06:46 PM
there are many at the upper levels who do really care about their horses. we should not abandon them and we especially should not abandon their horses.

frugalannie
Mar. 21, 2008, 06:53 PM
This one may be too conservative for some, too process oriented for others, too time consuming for many, but here it is:

I think we should propose to the USEA that several task forces be formed, and that we should identify the members of each task force and define their charges in our letter to the USEA.

I think there should be three or four task forces. One on course design and speed, one on cardiopulmonary incidents in horses, one on rules pertaining to ride and horse qualifications, and probably a few others.

For example, on the course design group I would see Gnep, Reed and other course designers out there who actually jump obstacles in competition with their horses. They would be charged with filtering through all of the input membership provides to the USEA by a given date, and then coming up with recommendations.

Each task force would be staffed by someone from the USEA office to take minutes, organize conference calls and keep the USEA president informed. There would need to be some overlap in force members so that each group could be aware of the direction the others were taking (but in no case would any member sit on more than two). I would see the meetings being held as conference calls or maybe on line.

But the point is that the rank and file of the USEA membership would identify the participants. It wouldn't be the "Usual Suspects". I think there would be terrific diversity and skills available to the USEA this way

Flame suit on: fire away. (Actually, we're going out tonight, so I won't be reading responses til tomorrow anyway.)

denny
Mar. 21, 2008, 07:37 PM
Let me state the inherent problem one more time.
The USEF, through its mandate from the FEI, controls American eventing from preliminary through advanced.
The USEA is only an association that promotes eventing. It has very limited power.
Let`s say the USEA wanted to approve xc courses at, say, The Fork.
The USEF would NOT ALLOW the USEA to do so.
But the USEF has not demonstrated that it is very interested in the fate of the lower levels, except, insofar, as they are sources of revenue.
So if any organization is apt to truly reform this spiral of disinterest, bad xc design,etc, it`s likely to be the USEA, but the USEF won`t permit it.
Herin lies the dilemma. And herin lie the reasons given for a revolution.
The USEA has the skill, the interest and the groundswell of support from its membership to effect positive change, but the USEF is unwilling to let the USEA make reforms, and share the power.
We who know the ins and outs have become very cynical about the USEF`s motives, and I think if the rank and file could ever actually see how the USEF High Performance Committe spends its budget, they would see why.
The salaries, the expense accounts, the trips abroad, the grants, all from member`s dues and gifts to a non profit, by the way.

BarbB
Mar. 21, 2008, 07:59 PM
Wasn't the eventing association created in 1974 or there abouts? USCTA?
Probably had a different name.
ANYWAY....
It's not like this is some sacred organization, steeped in tradition, venerable and untouchable. It's not Stonehenge. For crying out loud, lots of us were around back then, some of us were even adults way back then....IT'S NOT THAT LONG AGO.

So, if it has outlived it's usefulness, then it should be replaced.
It was CREATED in the first place to serve a sport. The documents creating it were not handed down on a mountain top or spoken from a burning bush.
Organizations are created all the time to serve whatever purpose.
If people really want a fresh start for eventing......it can be done.

Of course, it will piss off lots of powerful people in a huge way, there will be dirt throwing and accusations and vendetta's and all the trouble in the world for people to buy into
or
not.

They could just go there own way, with their own sport and never look back.

Edited to add:
Somebody really into snowboarding please refresh my memory. Wasn't there a huge rift in the snowboarding community a few years ago? And didn't a rebel, dissident group go marching off and make their own organization? And weren't they all banned from the "real" sport? And aren't they now THE organization that runs the competitive sport and deals with the IOC?

grayarabpony
Mar. 21, 2008, 08:06 PM
But changes happened in eventing through the FEI in the first place, as I understood it. Do you really believe that if lower-level US eventing changes that international upper level eventing will change too?

I think changing the USEF and merging it and the USEA makes more sense than the USEA breaking away from the USEF, if this is indeed what is being proposed. How does the USEF High Performance Committee spend its money? Why not do an expose, get some people fired?

denny
Mar. 21, 2008, 08:08 PM
The USEA is a splendid organization, 50 years old, that has done an enormous amount of good. It should not be replaced.
It`s problem is that the bigger association, USEF, doesn`t want to share power, doesn`t do the necessary work, but won`t let the USEA run things better.

denny
Mar. 21, 2008, 08:10 PM
If you or anyone thinks you can change the USEF, have at it!

Snapdragon
Mar. 21, 2008, 08:12 PM
We who know the ins and outs have become very cynical about the USEF`s motives, and I think if the rank and file could ever actually see how the USEF High Performance Committe spends its budget, they would see why.
The salaries, the expense accounts, the trips abroad, the grants, all from member`s dues and gifts to a non profit, by the way.[/QUOTE]

So, let me get this straight. Does the USEF High Performance Committee (eventing) get dollars from the USEA?

Sorry if this seems like a stupid question, but even as a USEA member, I just don't know. Even if this isn't the case, I'd be interested in knowing how the dollars are being allocated.

grayarabpony
Mar. 21, 2008, 08:14 PM
Actually it sounds as though the USEA should be replaced, it if supports eventing but has none of the power. It's part of a broken system.

BarbB
Mar. 21, 2008, 08:23 PM
The USEA is a splendid organization, 50 years old, that has done an enormous amount of good. It should not be replaced.
It`s problem is that the bigger association, USEF, doesn`t want to share power, doesn`t do the necessary work, but won`t let the USEA run things better.


If you or anyone thinks you can change the USEF, have at it! .



If the USEA should not be replaced, does not do it's job, is not allowed to do it's job by the USEF which cannot be changed....I'm not sure exactly what it is we are supposed to do.
:confused:
If it can't be changed or replaced then I guess we just suck it up and live with it. :confused:

WldGbl
Mar. 21, 2008, 08:25 PM
Can the membership of the USEA vote to cut its ties to the USEF and take back governance of the sport? As someone pointed out, the reining horse association has been very successful in maintaining their autonomy and governing their sport on the international level.

denny
Mar. 21, 2008, 08:26 PM
Until a few years ago, there were 3 organizations, the AHSA (American Horse Shows Assoc), the USET (US Equestrian Team), and the USCTA, which changed its name to the USEA (US Eventing Assoc)
The USEA promoted eventing, put out the Omnibus, published a magazine, was the promotional, educational arm of eventing.
The AHSA ran the rules.
The USET selected and trained international teams.
Then the AHSA and the USET got in a huge power struggle, and were eventually forced into a shotgun marriage to form the USEF.
Meanwhile the USEA kept doing what it had always done.
But the power was with the USEF, and since many of the former USET people were merged into the USEF, it`s main interest were the high performance divisions, just like in the old USET days.
The USEF hires and pays CMP, for example.
So the USEA, much as it has the desire and the latent ability to improve US eventing, doesn`t have the blessing of USEF to do so, a far cry from when Jim Wofford was AHSA President, Le Goff was USET coach, and Ayer was USCTA president, all 3 organizations got along, and we ruled the international eventing world. The good old days!

Little Valkyrie
Mar. 21, 2008, 08:31 PM
for those of us who are going to rolex this year, what can be done. I know its kinda late notice but bracelets (like the great Ralph Hill ones from last year), bumper stickers, t-shirts, etc. Just a suggestion to get the word out!

crazy_horse1095
Mar. 21, 2008, 08:32 PM
Ok, so let's assume that most of USEA's 15,000 members agree that USEA should seperate from the USEF. How would they go about doing this, and how would they gain control? :confused:
I love the idea, just wondering HOW it would happen

grayarabpony
Mar. 21, 2008, 08:35 PM
Severing the lower levels of the sport from the upper is not going to help the sport.

If the USEA shouldn't be changed and the USEF can't, then we really are stuck. Who and what forms the USEF? Is the USEF financially independent of the USEA?

denny
Mar. 21, 2008, 08:37 PM
My thought is to give Kevin Baumgardner and the USEA Board of Govs a chance to try to work out arrangements with the USEF before we actually think 1776.
That can`t happen overnight, and they should have time, but not forever.
If the USEA gets stonewalled in its efforts to improve xc design, for example, then we can revisit the secession concept.
But not yet, I wouldn`t think.

Snapdragon
Mar. 21, 2008, 08:39 PM
OK, gotcha. So USEA has basically been left flapping in the wind (with most, but the all-important few, left flapping as well). So CMP and others are getting lots of percs via USEF, and the smurfs (the vast majority of USEA), oh well.

Seems like a revolution makes sense.

So, again, I hate to sound so stupid, but our USEA dollars go just to USEA, not to USEF?

BarbB
Mar. 21, 2008, 08:49 PM
Ok, so let's assume that most of USEA's 15,000 members agree that USEA should seperate from the USEF. How would they go about doing this, and how would they gain control? :confused:
I love the idea, just wondering HOW it would happen

On the USEA site, there is a link to the official by-laws. I can't download it, it is a pdf. and I am having a problem with Acrobat.

The By-Laws of any organization should state (among other things) the purpose of the organization, how it is to be run, etc etc., as well as it's official relationship to any other organization(s), the purpose, how those relationships are maintained (dues? fees? mutual accord?) and how those relationships may be severed (violation of agreement, disolution of one of the parties, mutual disenchantment, whatever).

BarnBrat
Mar. 21, 2008, 08:53 PM
Edited - saw denny's reply above.

RunForIt
Mar. 21, 2008, 08:56 PM
I must be missing something somewhere - from these posts - Denny's included, - the USEA is a great group of folks (which includes us) that collects yearly dues from its membership, puts out the Omnibus, a magazine, and has no power. to enact change (thank you, Kevin, for your letter ) WHY AM I PAYING DUES????

Here's my question - bottom line: can Pine Top put on horse trials if the USEA doesn't exist? If not, why not?

BarbB
Mar. 21, 2008, 09:11 PM
Here's my question - bottom line: can Pine Top put on horse trials if the USEA doesn't exist? If not, why not?

Sure they can, but it would be the same as an unrecognized horse trial.
Judges, TD, course designer, insurance etc would all be without the sanction/support/backing/credentials/endorsement of a parent organization which lends credibility and order to any competition.

BarbB
Mar. 21, 2008, 09:15 PM
My thought is to give Kevin Baumgardner and the USEA Board of Govs a chance to try to work out arrangements with the USEF before we actually think 1776.
That can`t happen overnight, and they should have time, but not forever.
If the USEA gets stonewalled in its efforts to improve xc design, for example, then we can revisit the secession concept.
But not yet, I wouldn`t think.

Denny, I am not promoting secession. It would be an enormous undertaking, probably result in several competing organizations and could take many years to shake out. And there certainly is not support for anything like this....at least at this time.
OTOH, we have been down this road of promises before....and here we are again.
I think I hear Show Jumping calling.

Snapdragon
Mar. 21, 2008, 09:23 PM
So, the way I read it now, USEA (or USCTA) never really had any power to begin with (although maybe more was going on behind the scenes). When I did H/J and Eq back in the olden days, you had to be a member of the AHSA. Now, we have lots of USEA members who are not USEF members (me included). No membership, no voice. Not that I think in the trends going on that makes or would have made a lot of difference.

I think what we are looking at is the USEA asserting itself in a new way that it never has before, and if that is the case, I'm 100% behind Kevin Baumgardner. USEA is the base of eventing--we should have a say in what goes on at the HTs where we compete.

I've worked for two professional nonprofs. One was small (like USEA)--let me tell you, the membership really did drive the organization. The other was a lot bigger, with bigger fish to fry, but still, the org. really catered to the members. Just some food for thought.

HuntrJumpr
Mar. 21, 2008, 09:34 PM
...Where is the "I've been drunk and vomiting for three days. It's XC day! Where's my horse damnit?!" spunk...?

Possibly my favorite part of the whole first page (I haven't yet read the next eight)...

sidepasser
Mar. 21, 2008, 10:04 PM
Has anyone done a study to see if the number of dues paying members has decreased over the past few years since the courses have changed? Sometimes that is more telling than anything.

TexasTB
Mar. 21, 2008, 10:09 PM
So the USEA, much as it has the desire and the latent ability to improve US eventing, doesn`t have the blessing of USEF to do so, a far cry from when Jim Wofford was AHSA President, Le Goff was USET coach, and Ayer was USCTA president, all 3 organizations got along, and we ruled the international eventing world. The good old days!

Wait a second, David O'Connor, an eventer, is president of the USEF. So why the hell is the USEF so f***ing hard to deal with as pertains to the USEA?

..oh yeah, I almost forgot. It's because he's WORTHLESS!!

Candle
Mar. 21, 2008, 10:15 PM
Sure they can, but it would be the same as an unrecognized horse trial.
Judges, TD, course designer, insurance etc would all be without the sanction/support/backing/credentials/endorsement of a parent organization which lends credibility and order to any competition.

I thought Denny just said that the above was the job of the USEF.... Can someone explain this to me again? Thanks

HiJumpGrrl
Mar. 21, 2008, 10:16 PM
Just a hypothetical: if USEA seceded, and we had our own little party-tent outside of the jurisdiction of the USEF, why couldn't we run USEA-recognized events, up through Advanced ourselves? And not just HTs, but 3-days recognized by the national organization (But perhaps not internationally)? Given that 90% of us don't ever run above P, I really feel like this is a viable solution.

I have heard tell of things like CCN* (national rather than I for international)--why couldn't we do that? Why couldn't we, as a grass-roots, American organization, re-form the sport of eventing? Possibly re-institute the long format as the rule rather than the exception? Hire the course designers WE want? Run things the way WE see to be safe.

Americans invented Football, and it isn't played anywhere else in the world the way it is played and followed here. Baseball is the "national passtime", and we import athletes from the Caribbean, Latin America, Japan, etc. Why couldn't THREE DAY EVENTING return to its roots and become its own thing in the US, separate from the international "equestrian triatholon" (as they are so fond of calling it... for the TV).

I understand that if we leave the internationally recognized body we lose funding, we lose ability to compete at the international level, etc... but this the 90% who NEVER WILL compete at the international level that we're talking about here!

Maybe some of the mental illness I've seen this evening has rubbed off on me. But I really feel that secession could work. I agree with Denny, that we don't necessarily need to get all Boston Tea Party on the USEF right now. But we certainly need to be making noise about the taxation without representation. And start issuing ultimatums fairly soon. And then be ready for Bunker Hill in the not-too-distant future, if necessary.

We can wait But not for long.

BarbB
Mar. 21, 2008, 10:59 PM
I thought Denny just said that the above was the job of the USEF.... Can someone explain this to me again? Thanks

USEF is the umbrella organization of horse sports. USEA is a member organization. USEA "runs" eventing. There are similar member organizations that "run" H/J, endurance, reining, driving etc.
It is all interconnected. You take it all as a package deal or you don't, but you can't pick and choose what parts you want to work with and what you don't.

RunForIt
Mar. 21, 2008, 11:08 PM
I may be TOTALLY off base, but the way I've been reading these various threads/posts basically puts this at the bottom line - USEA is a group of nice people who have a website, send out event schedules (Omnibus), and a magazine (EVENTING)...

I vote we support Kevin; and also decline to support USEF= no money, no riding in USEF events, creating new ones under some other umbrella...if USEA really has no power, what will be gained in focusing our energies towards supporting Kevin's efforts?

BarbB
Mar. 21, 2008, 11:19 PM
I vote we support Kevin, and leave USEF...if USEA really has no power, what will be gained in focusing our energies towards supporting Kevin's efforts?

Not voting one way or the other but here is another wrinkle....
USEF is the organization that is recognized by FEI.
If you leave USEF you step outside of the umbrella of the FEI.
Not saying this is the wrong choice, but choices need to be made with clear information about what is included in the fallout.

If you are not a member of an organization that is a member of an organization that is a member of FEI, you cannot compete in an international event. period.

The talk about reining being independent is a little misleading. Reiners do have their own organization and they have pretty much had the attitude of 'you do it our way and we will consent to be in your club', but they still have an association that is a member of USEF which leads them to the FEI and international events.

Kementari
Mar. 21, 2008, 11:36 PM
Plenty of horse sports run without being affiliated with USEF; most breed organizations, for example, have their own rules and run themselves - including AQHA, which is hardly suffering for money or participation. USEF is NOT necessary for survival (in fact I know of at least one other group under USEF's umbrella that has a sizable minority who would also like to cut loose).

However, for international competition, we DO have to go with USEF (sez FEI). But, given that many of us think that FEI (with some help from IOC) is who's ultimately responsible for screwing over our sport, I question whether we what our lives run by them, anyway. So I suppose the question becomes whether we could manage to field international teams and individuals at FEI events if they never attended USEF events.

Otherwise, it seems like the best we can do is take back BN & N, and perhaps have two sets of T & P (one under our new group and one under USEF for those trying to qualify to move up to I, A and FEI). Actually, that seems like a pretty decent idea on the face of it...but I do wonder if we have enough competitors particularly at P to fill two "tracks" at that level (I do think we could do it T, which seems to be pretty full at most events, but P starts to get smaller).

Can we think of another discipline that has a separate organization sanctioning its lower levels? Not that someone else has to have done it in order for eventing to do it, but it would be nice to have an example to point to.. :yes:

Gnep
Mar. 21, 2008, 11:42 PM
TB,
ever tried to deal with the USEF, the attitude is, this is what you get, you like it ok, you don't tough break and et lost.
It not the people that work for the USEF, they are nice, friendly, but it is the attitude of the Feds, that piss people off and the direction they take our sport.
Jup, DOC was a eventer, but the word is WAS. Now he is a politician.
Running eventing without a credible sunctioning body, forget it. Trying to establish a new Organisation forget it. Just think about the logistical nightmare, insurance, geting organizers to sign on, it would be a ruines competition and the USEF would win.
I have always stated that I have absolutely no trust into the Organisations, they have failed since they changed their names.
But splitting is not the resulution, it would weaken. I think we got a chance if we preasure the USEA to show some balls, real balls, not just words. We can have FEI competitions for the USEF, and we can have Events for the rest of us, run by the USEA and they can be BN to A and including some old fashioned fun and tough 3Ds.
The USEA has to astablish its own guidelines for X-C design, has to send out its own course designers, has to train it own certified CD and builders. If they do that they will real fast establish them self as a independed Organisation and it should serve their members.
I would like to enter a P or I or A without having to be a member of the DOC -Club and additionaly having to shove over additional fees and than ride courses me and my horse enjoy, knowing that they will be enjoyable and not a test track for future FEI crap

Lady Galadriel
Mar. 22, 2008, 12:59 AM
Florida has the Florida Horse Trials Association: http://www.fhta.addr.com/

They have some venues that never hold USEA recognized competitions, but do hold lower level competitions. Some facilities that have USEA recognized events will occasionally hold schooling competitions which are sanctioned by the FHTA instead. One could get a fair amount of "eventing" in without ever going to a USEA event.

It seems to me that the Georgia Dressage and Combined Training Association is similar. There are "schooling" events which are quite well run and pleasant.

Does every state have an unrecognized event association? I'd guess there are quite a few more, not just the FL and GA groups. Can all of these just band together and voila! there's the lower level eventing association, entirely separate from USEF? They're already in place; many local eventers already know about them, are members, participate in their competitions. Would it be possible to look into these as an alternative?

I would imagine that could be a brainstorm in the wrong direction entirely--I am not great with things like politics and organization, so I may be on the wrong track here. But even if that's the case, such organizations are an existing alternative for the lower levels. I suppose I'm mostly perplexed that I haven't seen any other mention of schooling HT associations--perhaps I just missed it, or perhaps it not at all viable.

I have been so disheartened by the recent trends that I didn't renew my USEA membership this year. If my back problems improve enough to allow me to compete, I'm going to the FHTA, not the USEA. My horses are old enough that they can't do more than Novice or maybe Training anyway, even presuming my back lets me enter HT's at all...I'll re-evaluate when my 2-yr-olds (bred for eventing) are grown enough to compete :) Maybe, if things improve, they will be event horses after all. This has been weighing heavily on my mind for a while now.

Ellie K
Mar. 22, 2008, 02:34 AM
If you are not a member of an organization that is a member of an organization that is a member of FEI, you cannot compete in an international event. period.no, actually if you are not a member of an organisation that is a member of the FEI, you cannot compete in an international event, period.


USEA "runs" eventing. There are similar member organizations that "run" H/J, endurance, reining, driving etc.no, USEF "runs" eventing, and has a legal mandate compelling it to do so. See subchapter II, sec. 220522 of the Olympic and Amateur Sports Act (http://www.usoc.org/12699_12720.htm) (quoted below). USEF "allows" (needs) certain others (officially designated affiliates) to HELP it run things, a/k/a things it chooses to delegate: grassroots levels, results tracking, handing out awards, education and other expensive things USEF historically would prefer not to have to bother with. But USEF has a legal mandate to direct the sport as it sees fit, and no one can change that without either changing federal law or mounting a successful USOC challenge to USEF's NGB status. Not going to happen. If no one is stepping on their toes, they won't play this card. But if you do, they will play it, and they will win; the law and precedent are on their side.


However, for international competition, we DO have to go with USEF (sez FEI)no, says 1) the U.S. Code, 2) the USOC as a result of (1), and 3) the FEI, as a result of (1) and (2), plus reality (unfortunately, it really can't work any other way).


So I suppose the question becomes whether we could manage to field international teams and individuals at FEI events if they never attended USEF events.you cannot "field international teams and individuals at FEI events" except with the permission of USEF.


The USEF, through its mandate from the FEI, controls American eventing from preliminary through advanced.The USEF's mandate is from the USOC, backed by federal law, NOT the FEI which is always secondary to domestic law. And the mandate is not just for prelim-advanced eventing, but for all of equestrian sport at all levels ("sport" as defined in Olympic terms: the sport of "Equestrian" = all disciplines recognised by the IF affiliated to the IOC). The FEI, for all intents and purposes, automatically recognises the national governing body recognised by the respective national Olympic committee (NOC trumps IF because there is always a government-NOC relationship; the IF has no such relationship with any government so effectively has no choice but to defer to whatever government mandate exists in each country).

As for FEI 'mandates,' what's required of the NF is that it is "effectively in control of or is in a position to effectively control at least the Olympic Equestrian Disciplines." (FEI Statutes, Article 5.1). The FEI does not dictate how an NF runs its national levels or what levels it might delegate to an affiliate or whatever (see the British system for an example of fairly extreme decentralisation--entirely kosher for the FEI's purposes, but wouldn't likely fly in the US especially post-USET v. AHSA debacle). It assumes that there is some oversight at all levels; how and to what degree is a national matter for the NF, except for FEI events which have to be run under NF/NGB jurisdiction (and that is in the OASA, not just FEI rules).

Obviously leaving the levels below prelim with USEA makes sense, but USEF still makes the rules, licenses the officials, "endorses" the events, no? They are still in effective control (and can take total control if they so choose), even though USEA administers it, keeping it affordable and bureaucracy to a minimum for the lower levels. But the USEF's mandate is for ALL of it; where they choose to split it, if at all, is a choice (and varies according to discipline so is not set in stone).


36 U.S.C.
§220521. Recognition of amateur sports organizations as national governing bodies
[…]
(c) Recommendation to International Sports Federation.— Within 61 days after recognizing an organization as a national governing body, the corporation shall recommend and support in any appropriate manner the national governing body to the appropriate international sports federation as the representative of the United States for that sport.

§220522. Eligibility requirements
(a) GENERAL.—An amateur sports organization is eligible to be recognized, or to continue to be recognized, as a national governing body only if it—
[…]
(5) demonstrates that it is autonomous in the governance of its sport, in that it—
(A) independently decides and controls all matters central to governance;
(B) does not delegate decision-making and control of matters central to governance; and
(C) is free from outside restraint;

colliemom
Mar. 22, 2008, 09:08 AM
no, USEF "runs" eventing, and has a legal mandate compelling it to do so. See subchapter II, sec. 220522 of the Olympic and Amateur Sports Act (http://www.usoc.org/12699_12720.htm) (quoted below).

The USEF's mandate is from the USOC, backed by federal law, NOT the FEI which is always secondary to domestic law. And the mandate is not just for prelim-advanced eventing, but for all of equestrian sport at all levels ("sport" as defined in Olympic terms: the sport of "Equestrian" = all disciplines recognised by the IF affiliated to the IOC).


So... we get to the bottom line. The entire mess that we are in is because of the Olympics. (And thank you for explaining the NGB piece -- I was trying to figure out how to do it, and then your post appeared! :cool: )

If we say "screw the Olympics" (as a nation, for equestrian sport, for ALL equestrian sport, not just Eventing) this would all go "poof" and we would not longer have to cow-tow to the USOC. Unfortunately, the Equestrian "Arena" sports are pretty popular and have no desire to remove themselves from Olympic Glory. If Eventing gets dropped (which let's face it, is a pretty realistic possibility) NOTHING WILL CHANGE in the governence of our sport. :mad:

At this point, I see no other option than to create two tracks, and have the USEA have control over the non-international track events. Something I was opposed to (and philosophically still am.) And the problem there is, how will those events succeed, if the trainers with 25 students are all going to the International Prep events?

I do not envy Kevin Baumgardner or the BOG one bit.....

chism
Mar. 22, 2008, 10:10 AM
Now we just need to have an AEC toga party with Otis Day and the Knights.

Reed

Makes me wanna shout, throw my hands up & shout!! A little bit louder now! ;)

grayarabpony
Mar. 22, 2008, 10:11 AM
Help. I need a succint summary (if possible) of what these 2 different organizations are, who their members and leaders are, and where their monetary support comes from and goes to.

Hannahsmom
Mar. 22, 2008, 10:35 AM
If we say "screw the Olympics" (as a nation, for equestrian sport, for ALL equestrian sport, not just Eventing) this would all go "poof" and we would not longer have to cow-tow to the USOC. Unfortunately, the Equestrian "Arena" sports are pretty popular and have no desire to remove themselves from Olympic Glory. If Eventing gets dropped (which let's face it, is a pretty realistic possibility) NOTHING WILL CHANGE in the governence of our sport. :mad:

At this point, I see no other option than to create two tracks, and have the USEA have control over the non-international track events. Something I was opposed to (and philosophically still am.) And the problem there is, how will those events succeed, if the trainers with 25 students are all going to the International Prep events?

I agree. I was never a proponent for two tracks but it seems inevitable now. Even if I'm just volunteering these days. I'd like to have the USEA take over the non-international track up thru the Prelim and I'll immediately drop my USEF membership. That's the only reason I join USEF anyway. I get more value from my USEA membership as it is. As far as trainers, they'll go where they need to to support their business. It's up to them financially. My guess is the events will 'succeed' just as the unrecognized ones do today and economics will take over. Just my .02

annikak
Mar. 22, 2008, 10:37 AM
the Two Track idea makes me think of Ammy/Pro. That I do not support.

BUT- our own little world? Yup. I would. I don't care one hoot if my CCwhatever is a N or I. I just wanna do the Three Day Format. I *like* having every aspect of my horsemanship judged. I may be wierd, but having the vets look at my horse and say he looks good- well, I like that a lot.

Yup, I do like my own little world. And in my own little world, eventing goes back to what it was- dancing on the tables to be sure, but also really cool horses doing really cool things with really cool fences to jump by really cool riders. And then, be able to do really cool things later, cuz you had a really cool time out there and your horse thought/knew he was just plain out totally cool.

I would gladly pay TWICE-even more perhaps my membership fee in order to bring that back. BTW- Brian O'C dances on tables really well!

annikak
Mar. 22, 2008, 10:41 AM
I do not envy Kevin Baumgardner or the BOG one bit.....

True words. I can only imagine how horrid it is. I bet that this will be a very tough meeting.

RAyers
Mar. 22, 2008, 11:10 AM
The true definition of a MONOPOLY/MONARCHY, whatever! Even with federal rules. Well, the USEF is failing at its mandate if you haven't been looking at results. The basic mission statement says the welfare of the horse is paramount. Yet, horses are dying. Oh, that's right, "It's part of the sport." I call BS!

You provide the perfect reasons for a revolution. As we have been saying all of of this time, the IOC/FEI/USEF have a stranglehold and are killing horses, riders, er the sport. The same wonderful, caring folks who run the USEF are in major positions in the FEI. Hmmm, "Fox, here is the hen house. Make sure no hens get hurt!"

If the king is killing the kingdom, it is time for a little revolution.

Reed



But USEF has a legal mandate to direct the sport as it sees fit, and no one can change that without either changing federal law or mounting a successful USOC challenge to USEF's NGB status. Not going to happen. If no one is stepping on their toes, they won't play this card. But if you do, they will play it, and they will win; the law and precedent are on their side.

no, says 1) the U.S. Code, 2) the USOC as a result of (1), and 3) the FEI, as a result of (1) and (2), plus reality (unfortunately, it really can't work any other way).

you cannot "field international teams and individuals at FEI events" except with the permission of USEF.

The USEF's mandate is from the USOC, backed by federal law, NOT the FEI which is always secondary to domestic law. And the mandate is not just for prelim-advanced eventing, but for all of equestrian sport at all levels ("sport" as defined in Olympic terms: the sport of "Equestrian" = all disciplines recognised by the IF affiliated to the IOC). The FEI, for all intents and purposes, automatically recognises the national governing body recognised by the respective national Olympic committee (NOC trumps IF because there is always a government-NOC relationship; the IF has no such relationship with any government so effectively has no choice but to defer to whatever government mandate exists in each country).

As for FEI 'mandates,' what's required of the NF is that it is "effectively in control of or is in a position to effectively control at least the Olympic Equestrian Disciplines." (FEI Statutes, Article 5.1). The FEI does not dictate how an NF runs its national levels or what levels it might delegate to an affiliate or whatever (see the British system for an example of fairly extreme decentralisation--entirely kosher for the FEI's purposes, but wouldn't likely fly in the US especially post-USET v. AHSA debacle). It assumes that there is some oversight at all levels; how and to what degree is a national matter for the NF, except for FEI events which have to be run under NF/NGB jurisdiction (and that is in the OASA, not just FEI rules).

Obviously leaving the levels below prelim with USEA makes sense, but USEF still makes the rules, licenses the officials, "endorses" the events, no? They are still in effective control (and can take total control if they so choose), even though USEA administers it, keeping it affordable and bureaucracy to a minimum for the lower levels. But the USEF's mandate is for ALL of it; where they choose to split it, if at all, is a choice (and varies according to discipline so is not set in stone).

Innfilly
Mar. 22, 2008, 12:57 PM
Major lurker here, piping in with my heartfelt thanks to Reed, Denny, and everyone else who has contributed to this EXCELLENT discussion!

As a young rider and as someone who really really wanted to go run around Badminton, hey, even the Olympics, I am so relieved to see there are plenty of folks as upset about the loss of LF as I, and ready to DO something about it. Lately, hearing about how the UL courses were riding, how technical and trappy they were, I was ready to pack up my fancy adv. prospect TB and go learn how to steeplechase so that we could have fun the way we wanted to. I was just on the edge of leaving the sport completely, because I know my horse would not appreciate kick-pull-turn-kick SJ over solid obstacles.

So, as one of the earlier posts said... NACTA? Let me get my checkbook! Actually, I have somewhat restored faith in the USEA at this point, and really do hope they can make a difference. Thank you, Kevin! But if for some reason they can't, I wouldn't hesitate to support an independent eventing association.

This has probably been said, but everyone, lets be sure to get out and support the HTs we like and the few LF CCIs still out there! I know for sure I'll be volunteering at Virginia in a couple months and at Morven this fall.

imapepper
Mar. 22, 2008, 01:07 PM
Many of the current upper level riders are hoping that eventing becomes more and more commercialized, like the hunter/jumper industry.
This is not my conspiracy theory at work, it`s a fact. Many have big client lists, multiple horses, lots of clinics, etc.
They will not get involved in change, I don`t think, unless that change helps their pocketbooks.
We ask, why don`t they speak out? They don`t want to have this a particularly amateur based sport, unless they are teaching/selling horses/boarding, etc, those amateurs.
They are USEF people, not so much USEA people.
For a true revolution to succeed, we may have to cut them loose from the USEA. I never, in the past 47 years of my competing in this sport, have thought I`d say this, but there it is.
Let the USEF have the advanced level, to use and abuse as it sees fit. There are fewer than 200 of them in all of North America.
Let our USEA run everything else, the other 15,000, give or take.
If the few hundred intermediate riders squawk, cut them loose, too.
Why should their needs wreck it for the enormous majority?

Love it :)

imapepper
Mar. 22, 2008, 01:20 PM
I never thought I would see eventing become another version of the hunters!
Just wow...:no:

Kim, it's all like that now. It's not just the hunters/jumpers. Go sit and watch at a dressage show and notice how many people are riding 2nd and 3rd level but they can't sit the trot. And take a look at the big, fancy imports these riders are riding. The trainers have learned that big commissions on sales are what they need to make a living. And they have also learned that if they mount their riders on these fancy horses that the rider can't ride, they have job security. The horse needs to stay in training to fix it from it's owner and when the horse no longer tolerates whatever mistakes the ammie makes, the trainer will make find them another horse and make another commission. The cycle continues and all this time, the ammie rider has never learned to ride. The time and commitment are never stressed. The trainer will not make any money having their client ride the safe grade horse that has been there done that. And the trainers also won't make money because they are missing out on the day fees and training at the shows. So they get them to the shows as quick as possible and just keep buying horses that will tote them around for the moment.

And the b!tch of it is....it's not the ammies or their pocketbooks that are the victums of all this....it's the horses and the quality of horsemanship that suffers. Where are the next GM, Bill Steinkraus or Frank Chapot? They are not out there because our money grubbing system makes it impossible to produce those riders anymore :( It's just sad.

Sorry...rant over :)

RunForIt
Mar. 22, 2008, 01:32 PM
Kim, it's all like that now. It's not just the hunters/jumpers. Go sit and watch at a dressage show and notice how many people are riding 2nd and 3rd level but they can't sit the trot. And take a look at the big, fancy imports these riders are riding. The trainers have learned that big commissions on sales are what they need to make a living. And they have also learned that if they mount their riders on these fancy horses that the rider can't ride, they have job security. The horse needs to stay in training to fix it from it's owner and when the horse no longer tolerates whatever mistakes the ammie makes, the trainer will make find them another horse and make another commission. The cycle continues and all this time, the ammie rider has never learned to ride. The time and commitment are never stressed. The trainer will not make any money having their client ride the safe grade horse that has been there done that. And the trainers also won't make money because they are missing out on the day fees and training at the shows. So they get them to the shows as quick as possible and just keep buying horses that will tote them around for the moment.

And the b!tch of it is....it's not the ammies or their pocketbooks that are the victums of all this....it's the horses and the quality of horsemanship that suffers. Where are the next GM, Bill Steinkraus or Frank Chapot? They are not out there because our money grubbing system makes it impossible to produce those riders anymore :( It's just sad.

Sorry...rant over :)

Every one of us knows this is true, and most immediately thought of specific examples. The trainers aren't the bad guys and girls - they're simply making hay while the sun shines - the system supports them and we do too. Most of the trainers I know are good people - they want to see that their teaching and coaching work - the riders get better and so do the horses. At the same time - boarding horses doesn't make money - its the training, buying, selling, teaching lessons that make money.

The comparison between ammy dressage riders who can't sit the trot showing big moving WBs in a dressage arena gets scary when its eventing ammies leaving the dressage ring and riding in similar fashion over fences that don't fall down. Here's where you've got to be intelligent as a consumer and choose a trainer with ethics. A bit of honesty on the part of the ammy rider in terms of their ability has to happen too. If I was a trainer, I'd RUN away from riders who insist on buying the horse they want to ride rather than the horse they CAN ride!

Hony
Mar. 22, 2008, 01:46 PM
Kim, it's all like that now. It's not just the hunters/jumpers. Go sit and watch at a dressage show and notice how many people are riding 2nd and 3rd level but they can't sit the trot. And take a look at the big, fancy imports these riders are riding. The trainers have learned that big commissions on sales are what they need to make a living. And they have also learned that if they mount their riders on these fancy horses that the rider can't ride, they have job security. The horse needs to stay in training to fix it from it's owner and when the horse no longer tolerates whatever mistakes the ammie makes, the trainer will make find them another horse and make another commission. The cycle continues and all this time, the ammie rider has never learned to ride. The time and commitment are never stressed. The trainer will not make any money having their client ride the safe grade horse that has been there done that. And the trainers also won't make money because they are missing out on the day fees and training at the shows. So they get them to the shows as quick as possible and just keep buying horses that will tote them around for the moment.

And the b!tch of it is....it's not the ammies or their pocketbooks that are the victums of all this....it's the horses and the quality of horsemanship that suffers. Where are the next GM, Bill Steinkraus or Frank Chapot? They are not out there because our money grubbing system makes it impossible to produce those riders anymore :( It's just sad.

Sorry...rant over :)

You must have had a pretty poor experience with a trainer to have said all that.
I think trainers, for the most part, try to pair their riders up with the right horses so that their riders do well. Trainers take personal pride in having winning students and I'm sure no trainer ever wants their student to be in a position where they may be hurt.
I also think that often people will buy too much horse for themselves against their trainer's wishes.
Most riders who take lessons do so regardless of the horse. Lesson's aren't just for fixing horses that take advantage of riders.
There are ammies out there who work their tails off to go further in this game just as there are ammies who ride 3 days a week and get in over their heads.
On the same note, there are pros who put their all into it and pros who don't.

Ellie K
Mar. 22, 2008, 05:43 PM
You provide the perfect reasons for a revolution.I just corrected misinformation. If you want to revolt against something, it helps to know how it works. Know thine enemy, and all that.

The monopoly protections enjoyed by NGBs are extensive. Look at the language used in the recent FL anti-trust case against USEF. It is truly amazing that such protectionism exists in the US. But the USEF retains some of the best sports lawyers in the world, they have the USOC to back them up, and that is what you're potentially up against, if you do not seek a mutually acceptable solution. It is much bigger than the FEI--that is an afterthought. It is US law that is your problem. That is what makes it so difficult.

As for "the king is killing the kingdom," if you mean accidents, do you have a data set you are referencing that refutes the trends shown independently in both BE and FEI data? Are you unaware that 10 riders died worldwide in a 12-month span from 99-00, back when the sport was a fraction of the size it is today? vs. 11 in a 13-month span '06-07 in what is now a much bigger sport? Risk is a ratio, not a raw number. And a decrease in risk tolerance should not be assumed to amount to an increase in actual risk. If there is less acceptance of the risk, and it translates into more being done about a problem that has always existed, then fine, that's a positive thing. But no one will get very far trying to alter status quo in this country if they can't back up incendiary claims with actual evidence and reasoned arguments based on that evidence. A lot of potential support is lost that way.


I call BSon what? Not sure what you mean, BS as in "not true," or BS as in this just totally sucks? :lol: The law speaks for itself. USEF makes ample use of BS in convincing people that they have to do this or that because of the OASA when really it could be more flexible than that and as long as everyone gets along there's really no problem. But the point is that they can make the argument that they want to make as it suits them, and they will tend to get the benefit of the doubt,legally speaking. That's what the mandate means. You can't change the mandate. You can only either change how the mandate is carried out, or try to circumvent it and see if they will let you. which could get very expensive, very fast.

grayarabpony
Mar. 22, 2008, 07:55 PM
I just corrected misinformation. If you want to revolt against something, it helps to know how it works. Know thine enemy, and all that.



But US law isn't how eventing ended up where it is today. I would like to know how these big changes happened -- it seems to me understanding how this happened in the first place would really help in figuring out how to reverse the trends that have changed the sport so much.

RAyers
Mar. 22, 2008, 09:26 PM
As for "the king is killing the kingdom," if you mean accidents, do you have a data set you are referencing that refutes the trends shown independently in both BE and FEI data? Are you unaware that 10 riders died worldwide in a 12-month span from 99-00, back when the sport was a fraction of the size it is today? vs. 11 in a 13-month span '06-07 in what is now a much bigger sport? Risk is a ratio, not a raw number. And a decrease in risk tolerance should not be assumed to amount to an increase in actual risk. If there is less acceptance of the risk, and it translates into more being done about a problem that has always existed, then fine, that's a positive thing. But no one will get very far trying to alter status quo in this country if they can't back up incendiary claims with actual evidence and reasoned arguments based on that evidence. A lot of potential support is lost that way.



Oh come on. The rate you are bringing are solely based on FEI competitions. Heck you even admit on another thread that the data set is incomplete. Yes, the rate has decreased in that set (all of .05%) for only those (FEI) riders. Where are the horse data? Where is the data for BN-A horse trials? Where is the accident data for other incidents at HTs? Hmmm... Prove to me that the FEI data correlates to horse trial data. I hope you realize that you can't because the statistical basis is different. Ask an epdemiologist/statistician if you don't believe me. So, I still call BS.

I also could not care less if the USEF has the world's best lawyers. One frivolous lawsuit with a sympathetic jury against a horse trial, an organizer, a CD by a family who may NOT be so accepting, and this sport is GONE. Period. No official will be willing to subject themselves to that liability.

As for backing up claims. I assure you by the end of the year somebody will have enough peer-reviewed safety data to prove the point. I know of several scientists/engineers who are preparing or conducting studies both in Europe and the US independent of governing bodies.

EllieK, nothing you present proves your point either. You haven't proven your stance other than to recite a source that reflects a cross-section of 10% to the population with an incomplete data set. What is the power of your observation? Confidence interval? Hell, the FEI doesn't even post standard deviations in their data. As a scientific reviewer I would reject this data outright as it is vague enough to be specious were they publishing in a peer-review journal. Read a nice book, "How to Lie with Statistics, 1939."

A reliance on "that is the law" can also be a very false security. I was raised in a family of lawyers. I am able to show them the law was wrong (based on rational, scientific data) just as well as they can argue for the law.

Reed

Gnep
Mar. 22, 2008, 10:25 PM
Ellie K,
What should make any thinking person suspect, that at no point any of the data, statistics and their evaluations produced, have been scrutinized by a outside source, not once.
The results and conclusion are presented, period.

In the real world, science for example, the results and conclusions are open for review, if you want to proof something or think that you have proofed something, than you have to lay the cards on the table and everybody has to get a chance to proof you wrong or right.
Neither the USEF or FEI or the IOC or what ever entity has done that.

I guess there are people around who exactly plan to do that, I will.

The Federal law that empowers the USEF is no base for the USEF to dictate, I think a smart lawyer could brake it up based on the antitrust, that kinde dominance, absolute controll of a market, that is a monopoly, rather dangerous place to be, somebody might get an idea, Mama Bell.

If you find any spelling mistakes keep them, for statistical evaluation.

SmallHerd
Mar. 22, 2008, 10:47 PM
Innfilly, you said exactly what I was thinking. For the longest time I wasn't clear on the issues and who was the enemy (long vs. short, FEI, USEF, USEA, etc.), although I read most of the threads hoping to figure it out. I am a VERY beginner eventer who, in my much younger years, had ideas of granduer. Life happened, and I didn't ride for more than 20 years. Now that I am back in the swing, my goals are much different now. I am quite happy competing at the lower levels. However, something must be done to make this sport as safe as possible, as the risks taken at the higher levels will eventually up the ante at the lower levels.

Kevin's letter provides a bit of hope that SOMEONE out there is listening and is willing to take on the USEF. Now, whether something comes of it remains to be seen, but I will remain cautiously optimistic.

I think the immediate wake up call will be 2-fold - ULRs refusing to ride trappy courses and all of us speaking up to the USEA. We need to let Kevin know we support him. If that doesn't work, then we move to Plan B.

And Hony, IMO, Imapepper is SPOT ON. My daughter rode hunters for years. Her last trainer was the absolute stereotype - kept owners in the dark for the purpose of job security. She hated me because I was an involved owner. The entire experience turned my daughter off so much, that she actually quit riding for more than a year.

RunForIt
Mar. 22, 2008, 10:56 PM
Every one of us knows this is true, and most immediately thought of specific examples. The trainers aren't the bad guys and girls - they're simply making hay while the sun shines - the system supports them and we do too. Most of the trainers I know are good people - they want to see that their teaching and coaching work - the riders get better and so do the horses. At the same time - boarding horses doesn't make money - its the training, buying, selling, teaching lessons that make money.

The comparison between ammy dressage riders who can't sit the trot showing big moving WBs in a dressage arena gets scary when its eventing ammies leaving the dressage ring and riding in similar fashion over fences that don't fall down. Here's where you've got to be intelligent as a consumer and choose a trainer with ethics. A bit of honesty on the part of the ammy rider in terms of their ability has to happen too. If I was a trainer, I'd RUN away from riders who insist on buying the horse they want to ride rather than the horse they CAN ride!

I know for certain that the young advanced rider that helps me and my young horse has emphatically told both her students AND their parents that move-ups were dangerous and out of the question for at least a year. Yes, she buys and sells horses, yes, she gets commissions, but more importantly, there is a two way communication. We don't always agree, but we do agree to be safe. I'm going to ask and offer to pay MB to sit down with me and define what a BN, N, and Training rider should be able to do. Actually, begin with Training, and go backwards thinking: if I want to do this in two years at Training, what will I need to do at Novice 3 months away from that point, 6 months, 12 months out? then plan backwards from novice to BN. Will let y'all know what we come up with.

sidepasser
Mar. 23, 2008, 07:25 AM
Not voting one way or the other but here is another wrinkle....
USEF is the organization that is recognized by FEI.
If you leave USEF you step outside of the umbrella of the FEI.
Not saying this is the wrong choice, but choices need to be made with clear information about what is included in the fallout.

If you are not a member of an organization that is a member of an organization that is a member of FEI, you cannot compete in an international event. period.

The talk about reining being independent is a little misleading. Reiners do have their own organization and they have pretty much had the attitude of 'you do it our way and we will consent to be in your club', but they still have an association that is a member of USEF which leads them to the FEI and international events.

But Barb, as one who has friends who do reining..reiners are NOT dependent on the FEI, the USEF for recognition in the same manner that eventers are. They compete and quite successfully I might add, within their own organization and...win money doing it. If one competes in NRHA, I do believe the majority of the people I know, really think of the FEI as an afterthought (some probably don't even know that the FEI is associated and could care less). They get points through their recognized association, money flows freely within various futurities, etc. It is not quite the same dependence as eventers seem to have..either you compete as a "non recognized and get nothing" or compete in recognized and get noticed..type thing.
The reiners I know personally, it's all about NRHA and not the USEF/FEI. Some also compete within their various breed orgs such as the QH association, but even then, I do believe that is not looked at in the same manner as the NRHA. In my mind, reiners are an independent bunch and if the USEF went south..they wouldn't suffer in the same manner as eventers and would continue to go right on about their business.

cyberbay
Mar. 23, 2008, 09:54 AM
It's a little interesting that there is a famous eventer presiding over the USEF, and has for a few years now, and eventing during this time has slid into a dangerous quagmire.

This is the same eventer who in his Between the Rounds announced that the era of the OTTB is dead, simultaneously while the Young Horse breeding divisions were brought to the fore. This is the same eventer who assisted in driving the stake through the heart of the long format, and did his part in delivering a 'yes' vote for the demise of the long format and the institution of the short format.

Is this leadership, or is this politics and an especially self-serving style of politics to boot?

I think it's worthwhile to have the international level event competitors be taken care of by the USEF (they basically are anyway, so not a big shift). But, am not sure that that new separation will affect the committees that are the rules-making committees. It is THESE COMMITTEE MEMBERS that are affecting the outcome of the sport, b/c the rules are formuled in their committees, and it is the rules that competitors have to live by and therefore determine what will transpire at the events.

It is the COMMITTEE members who must stand strong and not be swayed by the insinuating pressures of high-ranking officials and some competitors.

26 breeds and disiciplines of horses and riding come under the USEF umbrella. Each breed and discipline has its own organization, just like the USEA, that does much of its own promotion and organizing, breed standards of the breed, etc. However, each of these groups refrains from regulating competition and has instead chosen to give its competition regulations to the USEF to regulate. The USEF doesn't create the rules (except general regs) -- rules are formulated by those breeds and disciplines group themselves, and then bring the rules fwd to the USEF to approve. That is the purpose and the main task at that annual USEF convention. Regulating horse shows is very costly in legal terms, financial terms and general resource allocation. These groups make a wise decision to have an independent third party -- the USEF-- take on that responsibility and to mutually benefit from self-regulation, a growing body of legal law and shared resources (it's very expensive to hold yet another wealthy competitor's feet to the fire on yet another rules infraction, so it's nice to have a group that has the experience and money to do this).

This is the relationship that the USEA has with the USEF. An additional layer to that relationship does exist, as it does with the USDF and the show jumping people, because all 3 are olympic disciplines and therefore must submit to additional regulation to meet USOC and IOC requirements. As noted, the USEF is the national federation and the sole conduit for these applications. (You all remember the brouhaha of a few years ago between the then-AHSA and the then-USET about which organization would be the official national federation.)

BarbB
Mar. 23, 2008, 10:25 AM
But Barb, as one who has friends who do reining..reiners are NOT dependent on the FEI, the USEF for recognition in the same manner that eventers are. They compete and quite successfully I might add, within their own organization and...win money doing it. If one competes in NRHA, I do believe the majority of the people I know, really think of the FEI as an afterthought (some probably don't even know that the FEI is associated and could care less). They get points through their recognized association, money flows freely within various futurities, etc. It is not quite the same dependence as eventers seem to have..either you compete as a "non recognized and get nothing" or compete in recognized and get noticed..type thing.
The reiners I know personally, it's all about NRHA and not the USEF/FEI. Some also compete within their various breed orgs such as the QH association, but even then, I do believe that is not looked at in the same manner as the NRHA. In my mind, reiners are an independent bunch and if the USEF went south..they wouldn't suffer in the same manner as eventers and would continue to go right on about their business.

I agree. And that gives them an autonomy (and even power) that eventers as a group lack. However, when it comes to international competition the USEF plays the same role for them as it does for eventing. You have to go thru the USEF.
The big difference is probably the level of interest and the perceived level of importance of international competition.
Eventers, as a whole, seem to live and breathe the upper levels, the team, who is representing the country at the 4* events etc. It is the way the sport has evolved.
For reiners the international events are perhaps icing on the cake, nice to be included, yada yada yada, but not really what the sport is about.
But this is perception and participation. If you want to compete internationally, the process and the structure is the same.
I had the impression that some people had taken the comments about the independence of the reiners to mean that somehow they were fielding an international team without jumping thru all the hoops that eventers and the other disciplines do. Unfortunately, that is not the case, I was just trying to clarify that. :D

BarbB
Mar. 23, 2008, 10:35 AM
And Hony, IMO, Imapepper is SPOT ON. My daughter rode hunters for years. Her last trainer was the absolute stereotype - kept owners in the dark for the purpose of job security. She hated me because I was an involved owner. The entire experience turned my daughter off so much, that she actually quit riding for more than a year.

Unfortunately, I have to agree also. I have been lucky enough to train with hunter trainers who do not act this way, but you can't help meeting the ones who do, and their numbers seem to be growing. It is a mutual agreement, the trainers run the show because the owners let them. Nobody decided to be the 'bad guy' it is mostly a lack of committment from the owners/riders and trainers trying to find a way to make a living.
If you want to see where eventing is heading if we let it turn into a commercial establishment run by trainers...go read the current thread on drugging hunters for the ring and see what sort of behavior is endorsed by the competitors because the trainers say so. http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum/showthread.php?t=139349

ss3777
Mar. 23, 2008, 10:51 AM
Perhaps our USEF president needs to be a recipient of our e-mails, etc. I would like to know his feelings on the false ground lines, plethora of technical, upright complexes and the reexamination of the optimum mpm for the levels. OK, off to write an e-mail. I think I will just redo my Kevin letter, he sure responded quickly.

RunForIt
Mar. 23, 2008, 11:37 AM
Voting only works if you vote with your feet....walk away if you think the course is dangerous.
However...in the grand old tradition of eventing, if you think it's too difficult...you're a chicken. How do you solve that? (seriously)

PLEASE walk away if you think the course is too dangerous for you and/or your horse, BUT - write specifically WHY you made this decision - how can an organizer fix something without REASONS. COMPLETE THOSE EVENT EVALUATIONS.

imapepper
Mar. 23, 2008, 12:40 PM
You must have had a pretty poor experience with a trainer to have said all that.
I think trainers, for the most part, try to pair their riders up with the right horses so that their riders do well. Trainers take personal pride in having winning students and I'm sure no trainer ever wants their student to be in a position where they may be hurt.
I also think that often people will buy too much horse for themselves against their trainer's wishes.
Most riders who take lessons do so regardless of the horse. Lesson's aren't just for fixing horses that take advantage of riders.
There are ammies out there who work their tails off to go further in this game just as there are ammies who ride 3 days a week and get in over their heads.
On the same note, there are pros who put their all into it and pros who don't.

For myself, I went to a barn around here to take a lesson. I had been riding on my own for awhile and really wanted to get some help with my eq. I got on nice school horse and warmed up for a bit. I mentioned to the instructor that he felt off and suggested that maybe we do some flatwork focusing on my position instead of jumping. The instructor said "What am I going to teach you on the flat?" Frankly I have plenty of position flaws that need work. And if really bothers me that instructors can't teach. And that is just my personal experience. It's what I see at shows and what I hear from people that has helped me form my opinion.

I was a pro at one point and still help some folks occasionally. I mostly help people who have gotten scared or sour working with trainers. My goal is to get them and their horses get back to where they can enjoy themselves again. It takes quite a bit of effort to untrain bad habits and restore confidence. I do not think that someone needs a fancy horse to do well at the lower levels. I think that when you teach students to actually ride, plenty of horses are perfectly suitable :)

Kementari
Mar. 23, 2008, 07:01 PM
How long has reining been a USEF discipline? (I know it's a recent FEI addition...)

I'm just wondering if they have more autonomy (at least perceived autonomy) and see themselves as less connected to USEF because they haven't BEEN connected as long as we have...

(But I don't know their history, hence my question. ;))

BarbB
Mar. 23, 2008, 07:39 PM
How long has reining been a USEF discipline? (I know it's a recent FEI addition...)


Reining was a member of the old AHSA and reining on an international level has been around for a while. It became one of the official international equestrian sports at the 2002 WEG with an actual competition instead of a demonstration. Somebody correct me if it was the WEG before that.

One of the differences between reining and eventing is that reining started here. So the base was here, the competitions were here, the whole system was well established before anything went international.

Eventing was organized here in order to join the already full blown, international sport that was taking place in other countries.

Kementari
Mar. 23, 2008, 07:44 PM
That makes a good deal of sense. :yes:

I've been told that one of the problems with USEF-affiliated groups breaking away (even for those who don't have international competitions to worry about) is that the USEF owns the rulebook - so if you want to make a go of it on your own, you essentially have to write the rules over again from scratch... (Again, don't know how true that is, but it does make legal sense.)

sidepasser
Mar. 23, 2008, 08:02 PM
I agree. And that gives them an autonomy (and even power) that eventers as a group lack. However, when it comes to international competition the USEF plays the same role for them as it does for eventing. You have to go thru the USEF.
The big difference is probably the level of interest and the perceived level of importance of international competition.
Eventers, as a whole, seem to live and breathe the upper levels, the team, who is representing the country at the 4* events etc. It is the way the sport has evolved.
For reiners the international events are perhaps icing on the cake, nice to be included, yada yada yada, but not really what the sport is about.
But this is perception and participation. If you want to compete internationally, the process and the structure is the same.
I had the impression that some people had taken the comments about the independence of the reiners to mean that somehow they were fielding an international team without jumping thru all the hoops that eventers and the other disciplines do. Unfortunately, that is not the case, I was just trying to clarify that. :D


You are correct there Barb - IF the reiner wants to go international, they must do the same things as an eventer. However, not many care to as that isn't going to sell a colt in the western world, what sells colts and brings in the cash are the winners of money..MONEY. How many eventers here on this board have won any money competiting other than the BNT or ULR? mmm?

I love cutting horse futurities and reining horse futurities..heck even at our little old charity show for Sunkissed Acres, one could win a pot of 100. enough to pay for the gas to get there.

So why the obsession with the USEF and FEI and world competition if one is NEVER going to go there? Face it, I would never get there, many others I know won't. It's nice to dream, but dreams don't pay the bills, especially the medical bills.

RunForIt
Mar. 23, 2008, 08:06 PM
Making it to the upper levels of eventing would no longer be a dream - IT WOULD BE A NIGHTMARE!

Kementari
Mar. 23, 2008, 08:08 PM
Making it to the upper levels of eventing would no longer be a dream - IT WOULD BE A NIGHTMARE!

I don't know; it kind of seems that's what it's turning into anyway, just for different reasons. :no: