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denny
Apr. 25, 2010, 07:07 PM
Kim Severson is clearly one of the 2-3 best event riders in the USA. How is it she isn`t sponsored? How is it the USET is heading into a huge championships, and one of the finest riders in the country is without an equally top horse?

I don`t get it.

Ajierene
Apr. 25, 2010, 07:12 PM
Marketing.

You can be the best there is, if you cannot market yourself or have yourself marketed, then it does not matter.

Eventingjunkie
Apr. 25, 2010, 07:14 PM
So, how do we get Kim a horse?

J-Lu
Apr. 25, 2010, 07:15 PM
Why do you think this is the case? Bad economy so traditional sponsors holding off? Not enough new sponsors coming into the sport? What are your thoughts?

ETA: In dressage it can cost roughtly ~300K to send a horse/rider combo to a huge championship like the WEG (Including qualifying, travel, salaries, etc.). *Roughly* how much would it have cost a sponsor to hire Kim and send her+star horse to the WEG ?

denny
Apr. 25, 2010, 07:19 PM
I was spoiled to have been a part of the USET when Le Goff and De Nemethy were coaching. They didn`t allow things like this to happen.

We lack leadership, I`d say.

asterix
Apr. 25, 2010, 07:25 PM
This is a question asked out of sheer ignorance, but at Rolex we saw several Canadians (including a complete newcomer) with very good showings. The "program" seems to be working there to fill their pipeline and bring their level of play up.
Here we seem somewhat stuck, and riders, even very good ones, without access to a steady incoming stream of horses, cannot have breakthrough performances unless they are sitting on a once-in-a-lifetime horse like Comet or Dan....

How could we change our system within available resources to produce a better pipeline or better nurture international caliber riders?

SevenDogs
Apr. 25, 2010, 07:26 PM
We lack leadership, I`d say.

Understatement of the century!

bornfreenowexpensive
Apr. 25, 2010, 07:27 PM
I was spoiled to have been a part of the USET when Le Goff and De Nemethy were coaching. They didn`t allow things like this to happen.

We lack leadership, I`d say.


you may be right...but that is life today. Riders don't have sponsors....they have owners. And there are many top riders who are struggling with the same issues. Look at Boyd.....also one of our top riders. His top horse Nev....he owns and pays the costs on...and always has.

All the riders out there are stuggling to find owners...and to find ways to finance bringing along what is their next top horse. It isn't an easy business or sport. And bringing along that next top horse takes time, talent and a bit of luck.

And from an owner's perspective....it is a damn expensive sport....and there are not many who can afford to sponsor a horse.

3dazey
Apr. 25, 2010, 07:39 PM
I, too, am sorry to see Kim in this situation. She is too good to be on the sidelines and I hate to see her struggle like this. Especially when I don't hear a peep of complaint coming from her corner.

It is so expensive but maybe sometimes you don't want to sell your soul to the devil? I don't know. I wish I had the kind of money that could really do something for a rider like that.

RunForIt
Apr. 25, 2010, 07:42 PM
So, how do we get Kim a horse?

I don't have much to contribute, but I'll help ANY WAY possible!!! Kim is an exquisitely talented individual who deserves a shot at some top horses...

along the line of thought brought up by asterix, I was thinking about Becky today after Kim's disastrous SJ round, what horse does Becky have coming along to fill the void after Comet? Again, I'm so disappointed for Kim, and wish like hell I had the money to go find her a horse...

VicariousRider
Apr. 25, 2010, 08:35 PM
you may be right...but that is life today. Riders don't have sponsors....they have owners.

And from an owner's perspective....it is a damn expensive sport....and there are not many who can afford to sponsor a horse.

This.

When I saw Denny's first post I initially thought he was talking about CORPORATE sponsorship because that seems to be the place to go to look for support these days.

I also agree that it is TOOO expensive to be an owner. I would love to be an owner someday an to champion a young pro, but I can't imagine how I will be able to afford to do that, have a house, my own horse & live my own life, even assuming that I make good money as a lawyer! It cost approximately $50K per year to support a 3* horse (or at least that is what some pros are asking for) and that doesn't even include BUYING the horse.

Denny, there are lots of "us" out there who want to be supportive, but it is prohibitively costly. And fortunes get divided with each passing generation.

So MY question is: How do we make it FINANCIALLY POSSIBLE to support ULRs?

retreadeventer
Apr. 25, 2010, 08:47 PM
How to afford it?
Partner up. Syndicates and groups. Spread risk, share in good fortunes. The racing industry even has internet ownerships, where like-minded people group together much like this board, and buy into racehorses. Some are very successful and long-lived - it's an idea whose time has come.
The rider/trainer has to be in on this sort of thing and be willing and able to give the group what they want in terms of time and attention.
Breeders - don't you have something four star quality you'd like to see go to the Olympics?

Shrapnel
Apr. 25, 2010, 08:51 PM
We lack leadership, I`d say.

I totally agree.

And unfortunatly, it's really been showing the past several years at the Olympics and WEG. We haven't won a major team medal since 2004, and that was only by sheer luck. If Bettina hadnt gone through the start twice we wouldnt have won a team medal there. I am hoping this will not be the case in 2010.

Maybe in 2012 we can get a coach who can demonstrate leadership.

VicariousRider
Apr. 25, 2010, 09:00 PM
Retread: I hear you.

However, there are a number of big generalized differences between eventing and racing (I have worked in both industries).

Owners in eventing want to be involved with the horse. They have much more of an emotional investment in the horses because they are usually devout lovers of the sport itself.

Racing has a whole 'nother dimesion: MONEY. People play the odds. It's like gambling. Many owners in racing never even get close to the horse before the win picture. Unless there is MAJOR prize money involved, the racing model doesn't seem to apply to eventing as far as I can tell.

Gry2Yng
Apr. 25, 2010, 09:05 PM
I think Allison, Becky and Karen are as talented as Kim and each is also in need of a second top tier horse. When you have three horses like Phillip and Boyd, one mistake does not ruin your weekend.

We have talent in this country that we need to develop, instead of shopping for citizens on the international market. (Not that I don't appreciate Phillip and Boyd, I do.) It is just like saying, no one knows how to make a horse any more. We are not "making" American riders, we are just going out and getting made ones.

pixietrix
Apr. 25, 2010, 09:07 PM
I was spoiled to have been a part of the USET when Le Goff and De Nemethy were coaching. They didn`t allow things like this to happen.

We lack leadership, I`d say.

sorry Denny, but I'm thinking that the direction you took when you veered off into blaming Kim's situation on our "leadership" was a bit unfair & perhaps a little pot-stirring???

As you champion the attention & rights the LLRs deserve from our "leadership", how then would it be received if our national organization took on the task of providing mounts for certain riders deemed worthy?

Sponsorship ( ownership) are part of the business plans that most of our top riders learn to master & most of the riders that are active in their self-promotion and marketing seem to have done a good job gaining owners who provide them with good horses. True, some of the promotion & marketing is a bit offensive to some, but that's life at the top of the heap ( & what keeps these riders pipeline full of talent).

Your insinuation that our sport is responsible for finding the mounts for these riders does not sit well with me, I believe that Kim, as talented as she is, bears some of the responsibility for finding her next 4* horse. If it means having someone step in & market for her, so be it.

I'll be right in line taking shots at the coaching but I don't agree that is where I want the USET to be going now. Breeders, get involved if you have the next Rolex winner. Syndicates work as well, but I can't see a return to the "good old days" where the Team put you on a horse.

Flame suit on.

GotSpots
Apr. 25, 2010, 09:10 PM
This.

When I saw Denny's first post I initially thought he was talking about CORPORATE sponsorship because that seems to be the place to go to look for support these days.

I also agree that it is TOOO expensive to be an owner. I would love to be an owner someday an to champion a young pro, but I can't imagine how I will be able to afford to do that, have a house, my own horse & live my own life, even assuming that I make good money as a lawyer! It cost approximately $50K per year to support a 3* horse (or at least that is what some pros are asking for) and that doesn't even include BUYING the horse.
Two thoughts. First, corporate sponsorship doesn't really make a lot of financial sense: the overwhelming bulk of it is in product, which is great and helps make a pro's barn hum along, but doesn't pay the vet bill or the entry fees. Moreover, corporate sponsorship is (or should be if they want to stay in business) looking for return on investment - unless you are sure to have the kind of advertising pull that makes it worth while (and eventing is a pretty small market to make that seriously viable).

Second, however, there are folks out there who would be willing to pay the costs on a chunk of an upper level horse, if not all of it, if they saw something in return: be it in status, prize money, sale fees, reduced lessons, etc. For example, is the rider charging less than his/her usual "training" fee because they are getting the privilege of riding a super nice horse, or is the price the same if the horse is in the barn to get its attitude adjusted or if it's being owned by someone to take to a three star? Is the rider making a fuss over the owner or is the rider acting like they are doing the owner a favor? When the owner goes to a show, is their name announced? Do we thank owners publicly? Does USEF pay attention to the owners and help make arrangements for them to see their horses compete for the Team? These are little and not so little things, but they go toward thinking of owners as something other than a bottomless check-writing endeavor. It's expensive to own an upper level horse, though I think the 50K number is on the high side. Riders need to think about what the owner and sponsor is getting back in return for their investment at the end of the day, and riders need to be willing to work with owners and sponsors to find a win-win answer.

Equibrit
Apr. 25, 2010, 09:15 PM
In most successful equestrian sport Nations there is funding and education provided by government/public funding. Most have well established routes to the top of the sport and talent spotters who seek out the talented and give them a leg up. None of that exists here. The USA can't even manage to institute a programme to educate and credential trainers and teachers. Why are you surprised ?

GreyDun
Apr. 25, 2010, 09:19 PM
How to afford it?
Partner up. Syndicates and groups. Spread risk, share in good fortunes. The racing industry even has internet ownerships, where like-minded people group together much like this board, and buy into racehorses. Some are very successful and long-lived - it's an idea whose time has come.
The rider/trainer has to be in on this sort of thing and be willing and able to give the group what they want in terms of time and attention.
Breeders - don't you have something four star quality you'd like to see go to the Olympics?

Just to add onto this - the USEF Eventing Owners Task Force has been working to set up this neat website to help riders with syndication. It's an interesting website (still a work in progress, of course), but it seems like they're on the right track.

Oh, and P.S. looks like there is already a syndicate set up for Paddy, amongst other top (and up-and-coming) horses. (http://www.clubequestrian.com/eventingsyndication/listings.aspx)

GreyDun
Apr. 25, 2010, 09:21 PM
The USA can't even manage to institute a programme to educate and credential trainers and teachers. Why are you surprised ?

That's a bit harsh - the ICP program is quite successful: http://useventing.com/education.php?section=instructors

Revelations
Apr. 25, 2010, 09:40 PM
In many Equestrian sports, sponsors still exist at the UL's. There are tons of trainers in many disciplines who teach very little and have barns full of horses to show in the big time. Maybe it's the laid back nature of the sport. Maybe there needs to be some sort of "image overhaul", to generate newfound interest in the sport. I agree with Denny that Team involvement in developing horse/rider combinations has proven quite sucessful in the past and needs to be brought back into practice.

What I do know is that it is a shame to see a vastly talented rider competing at the UL's with a partner who is incapable of pulling it's own weight. There are so many riders who need help in finding and retaining the ride on genuine UL horses. The thing here is to find out why this sport is lacking in sponsors, when even in this economy, so many riders in other disciplines aren't feeling the same pinch.

riderboy
Apr. 25, 2010, 10:06 PM
First of all, I know nothing of how "The System" works. I'm strictly an amateur with a job. I do know that the economy is still terrible. Unemployment is sky high and corporations are responsible to shareholders. I would imagine that equine corporations are also suffering since most equestrian spending by average folks is "optional". With the economy straining, our national debt in the trillions and taxes sure to go up sharply, I would say there may not be all that much corporate sponsor money out there. I agree, it is a shame.

OverandOnward
Apr. 25, 2010, 10:09 PM
Phillip Dutton has more ready and near-ready horses available than he can ride in one 4*, or 3*, or Intermediate. While other riders are un-mounted. Phillip has worked very hard for a very long time to develop that string.

There is a reason the Dutton owners have their horses with Dutton - they do have a choice. It's the owners of the finest horses who decide who rides them. Maybe that is the place to start. Not to undermine anyone's existing string, just to broaden perspectives, encourage development of U.S. riders.

This nation has many times the population of people and horses of the nations that regularly outscore us. The talent, both human and equine, is already here. The reasons the U.S. does not produce the depth of those nations are deep-seated and long-standing. I doubt there is much mystery among the sport insiders.

Are we sure it's a lack of horses? This nation has many fine athletic young horses that could be developed. That's been true every year for ... well, forever. What becomes of these good young horses that leaves our top riders with thin strings? Again I doubt this is a mystery to the sport insiders.

SevenDogs
Apr. 25, 2010, 10:17 PM
sorry Denny, but I'm thinking that the direction you took when you veered off into blaming Kim's situation on our "leadership" was a bit unfair & perhaps a little pot-stirring???



No desire to flame you and I see what you are saying BUT.... team leadership has A LOT of responsibility for setting the tone of the team and right now, I think there are a lot of folks sitting on the side lines waiting for better team leadership. Leadership that values the well-being of the horse and doesn't proudly run horses off their feet making it a "last one standing" process. When a good portion of the winter training list for the Olympics (horse and/or rider) was either dead or severely injured in the lead up to the 2008 games, you've got issues and issues keep people on the sidelines with their checkbooks.

We need Leadership that values the veterans but takes a real interest in developing new talent. Leadership that takes a stand against some of the ways the sport has veered off course (overly technical, trappy courses for example) instead of feeding it (Mark Phillips has been one of the biggest examples of this kind of course design not to mention his job description makes him "responsible for the safety of all upper level fences in North America). Leadership that actually values the horse as a partner and not a tool.

Who on this earth wants to hand a horse over to the current program?

pintopiaffe
Apr. 25, 2010, 10:29 PM
There are a few BIG breeders, and a lot of small breeders.

Some small breeders breed Top Calibre animals... and would even be willing to GIVE the ride to someone talented... but what they cannot do is foot the bill.

To me, that's one of the paradoxes.

I have an Ubertalented small dressage cob that I cannot *give* the ride to a YR. They want me to foot the bill too. I can't. I know that crosses into Eventing and Jumpers.

We don't have the system in place yet (it's getting there) for evaluating and starting young horses... and there's no middle ground between the breeder/owner footing the bill and the rider footing the bill.

VicariousRider
Apr. 25, 2010, 10:35 PM
Phillip Dutton has more ready and near-ready horses available than he can ride in one 4*, or 3*, or Intermediate. While other riders are un-mounted. Phillip has worked very hard for a very long time to develop that string.


This is really true. I think that there are a lot of reasons that he has been so successful at developing that string. To name a few:
1. He lives in the center of a big, diverse horse community with deep pockets.
2. He has hung on to long-time clients (Annie Jones in particular).
3. He has a wife, Evie, who is really helpful in running the business (even just billing, hiring, marketing, etc.).
4. He gets results.

Boyd also spends a lot of time and energy on marketing. While he had 3 at Rolex, one was his OTTB (Neville) who has been a bugger to ride forever and Boyd just stuck it out with him, Rock on Rose belongs to Bruce Davidson (I think he originally got that ride because he lives near Bruce's and Bruce wanted her to stay at her farm) and Remmy belongs to an "actual" owner (Densey Juvonen). But, many people originally said that Remmy wouldn't go above Prelim. Bottom line: hard work, talent, determination (including marketing & networking) & luck.

Badger
Apr. 25, 2010, 10:46 PM
The Canadians showed up and delivered. They have the coach we should sign when the Capt's contract is up after the Olympics. DOC has taken a program without tremendous depth and made a statement about what can be done. (And as a tangent, Christopher Bartle has made a big impact on the German team.)

Is there a good reason team coaches are often foreigners (Wofford, O'Connor, Bartle, Le Goeff)?

But beyond the coach, what is going on in the Canadian program? Is it sponsorships and strings of horses? Or is it really leadership and identifying and nurturing talent and bringing confident players to the game?

Badger
Apr. 25, 2010, 10:49 PM
And going back to Denny's OP, if Kim needs horseflesh, why is Boyd getting the ride in Davidson colors when he already has a deeper string? What is being delivered by the riders with strings that the riders of individual stars aren't delivering...and is that by their choice or by some deficiency?

J-Lu
Apr. 25, 2010, 11:39 PM
Wellllllll,

I think it's not accurate to say that "so and so (canadians, individual names) did well because of (fill in the blank)". Anything can happen at any of the major competitions - dressage, jumping or eventing. The leaderboard can change rather quickly.

Fact is, it's really expensive to send horses to these events (we all know that). Owners often go with riders they have a prior relationship with or want to associate with. Owners want to *get* something specific out of the relationship for their money. It's not to say that they don't "like" other riders, but if they're going to spend huge chunks of $$, they often have someone in mind.

As long as elite horse sports cost so much, it will rely on wealthy people. I think it is more dependent on who they want to fund rather than the leadership of any sport. The elite levels just cost too much these days and most of the owners *I* know (admittedly, in dressage) will not fund people that the USEF/USDF suggest they fund. They fund people they like and who they want to be associated with.

Sure, Kim deserves great horses. She has had a great horse. She will have another great horse. But I don't think any leadership can direct people to fund specific riders. And great horses can go lame or perish for crazy reasons. I think the only hope is for the cost of the sport to come down so that owners/elite riders can have a deep string of horses. personally, I think it is unreasonable to assume that all elite riders should have a string like Phillip Dutton. He's not the norm.

kentuckygirl
Apr. 25, 2010, 11:39 PM
And going back to Denny's OP, if Kim needs horseflesh, why is Boyd getting the ride in Davidson colors when he already has a deeper string? What is being delivered by the riders with strings that the riders of individual stars aren't delivering...and is that by their choice or by some deficiency?

It's up to the owners, who are looking out for themselves and their horses, not a larger team vision. There's nothing wrong that...their horses, their time, their money. Owners pick the rider they think has the most horses, the rider they want to have a partnership with, the rider who treats them best/most professionally, the rider they think best suits their horse, the rider with the riding style/philosophy closest to theirs, the closest rider, or the rider they think can best help them reach their goals. Who gets the horses shouldn't be fair and shouldn't be equal...it's a business. if you have the talent, the charisma, the business model, the marketing,etc. you get the horses. End of story!

JER
Apr. 26, 2010, 12:04 AM
The Canadians showed up and delivered. They have the coach we should sign when the Capt's contract is up after the Olympics. DOC has taken a program without tremendous depth and made a statement about what can be done.

Really? Maybe some Canadians can chime in here...


But beyond the coach, what is going on in the Canadian program? Is it sponsorships and strings of horses? Or is it really leadership and identifying and nurturing talent and bringing confident players to the game?

The successful Canadian riders are mostly one-horse riders and not the product of a national team 'program.' It's actually quite disorganized up above the 49th parallel -- all you need to do is look at recent team results to see that.

JER
Apr. 26, 2010, 12:15 AM
There are a few BIG breeders, and a lot of small breeders.

Some small breeders breed Top Calibre animals... and would even be willing to GIVE the ride to someone talented... but what they cannot do is foot the bill.

IME, campaigning the young horses should be part of a breeder's program. Why is it that a rider should do it for free? Is it really a good idea to put more foals on the ground if you're not willing to demonstrate that your homebreds have what it takes?

Kim's website indicates she has a number of competition horses (8 or so) as well as several sales horses. Granted, Tipperary Liadhnan is her only really UL horse but from the looks of things, she's got her hands full.

Mary in Area 1
Apr. 26, 2010, 12:21 AM
It's up to the owners, who are looking out for themselves and their horses, not a larger team vision. There's nothing wrong that...their horses, their time, their money. Owners pick the rider they think has the most horses, the rider they want to have a partnership with, the rider who treats them best/most professionally, the rider they think best suits their horse, the rider with the riding style/philosophy closest to theirs, the closest rider, or the rider they think can best help them reach their goals. Who gets the horses shouldn't be fair and shouldn't be equal...it's a business. if you have the talent, the charisma, the business model, the marketing,etc. you get the horses. End of story!

THIS is the truth. I've been an owner. I know what it's like. I know why I did it and why I would or wouldn't do it again. Communication and relationship has a HUGE role in this. I'll give you a BIG HINT:

If you call or email Philip, he answers. If you call or email Kim, you get no response. Fact.

BINGO!!!

snoopy
Apr. 26, 2010, 01:07 AM
THIS is the truth. I've been an owner. I know what it's like. I know why I did it and why I would or wouldn't do it again. Communication and relationship has a HUGE role in this. I'll give you a BIG HINT:

If you call or email Philip, he answers. If you call or email Kim, you get no response. Fact.

BINGO!!!


:yes:

snoopy
Apr. 26, 2010, 01:21 AM
Sponsorship ( ownership) are part of the business plans that most of our top riders learn to master & most of the riders that are active in their self-promotion and marketing seem to have done a good job gaining owners who provide them with good horses. True, some of the promotion & marketing is a bit offensive to some, but that's life at the top of the heap ( & what keeps these riders pipeline full of talent).

Your insinuation that our sport is responsible for finding the mounts for these riders does not sit well with me, I believe that Kim, as talented as she is, bears some of the responsibility for finding her next 4* horse. If it means having someone step in & market for her, so be it.

I'll be right in line taking shots at the coaching but I don't agree that is where I want the USET to be going now. Breeders, get involved if you have the next Rolex winner. Syndicates work as well, but I can't see a return to the "good old days" where the Team put you on a horse.

Flame suit on.



agreed!

Equa
Apr. 26, 2010, 02:26 AM
In my part of the world, the ULRs are heavily involved in breeding and producing their own strings of horses. (Which is something also championed by Boyd.)
The cost of keeping a nice horse with a top rider is beyond the reach of most of us (yes, I have been an owner, and very happy with the riders I have paid to train and compete my horses to 1*) - and I suspect it is fraught with hugely sensitive negotiations as the horse gets more and more advanced. I would not want to be a selector or an administrator trying to make demands of owners and matchmake horses with ULRs! That seems totally contrary to the USA's free market principles!

pintopiaffe
Apr. 26, 2010, 05:26 AM
IME, campaigning the young horses should be part of a breeder's program. Why is it that a rider should do it for free? Is it really a good idea to put more foals on the ground if you're not willing to demonstrate that your homebreds have what it takes?

I think you took my post quite differently than I intended. The young fancy horse I've got will probably be my next upper level prospect. But I am *willing* to loan him to a YR who may not be able to afford to buy, or lea$e on top of training/showing/etc. But you quite literally cant find anyone willing to do that.

And no, some of us are good breeders and 'eh' riders. If I'm fat and old and lame, I shouldn't breed great prospects because *I* can't campaign them? I don't think I'll agree with that. Do I get them out and about In-hand, to Inspections etc., yes.

My point was, that Top riders don't *have* to bring along their own, others ARE bringing along very talented horses (right here in the US even!) but can't necessarily afford to foot the bill to send them to the BNTs.

There's a chasm there that seems rather insurmountable.

And there's no return. If it's a gelding, and I don't want to sell, but am willing to give someone the ride on a well bred, competitive horse... what is the return? None. (and I'm using the royal "I", not me personally... ;) ) OK, there's posterity. And advertising for my program--I'll grant you that. But it's a rather big money pit.

I'm just a dressage flunkie and breeder, but this thread caught my attention *as a breeder.* I see some small breeders right nextdoor on the SportHorse forum who I'm SURE would provide some amazing horses--but can't necessarily afford to.

To me, that's a problem that we SHARE.

canterlope
Apr. 26, 2010, 06:01 AM
Ditto what pixietrix, kentuckygirl, and Mary in Area 1 said.

Denny, like you, a part of me longs for the way things were. It was an almost magical time when there really was a team and everyone worked together towards the same goals. You, Jimmy, Bruce, Mike, and your fellow riders of that era put aside your individual aspirations and became a part of an effective team system led by Jack and Bert which produced great team riders and equally great team results. All of this worked because there were benefactors who believed in and supported this system. In essence, it was a three party system where all three parties (leaders, riders, supporters) stepped up to the plate.

In order for this to work again, all three of these parties would have to be willing to go there again. Maybe I'm being incredibly cynical, but I just don't see this happening. I agree that the leadership is lacking, but we're also lacking the other two pieces of the puzzle as well. Instead of benefactors who willingly fork over the cash and ask for little in return, we now have sponsors and owners who want bang for their bucks. Instead of "team" riders who willingly give up themselves, we now have "professional" riders who make their livings off of the sport and put the majority of their focus on their personal "bottom lines."

Now, I'm not saying what we have today is wrong or right, just different from what we had. To expect a rider like Kim who is very much a product of today's system to be treated the way riders were under the old system and blame it solely on a lack of leadership when she doesn't receive this treatment is a bit unfair. Yes, she is a fabulous rider, but do you really put her in the same class as you and Jimmy in terms of what you guys gave for the good of the whole instead of the individual? If what Mary said is true and she won't even return a phone call or email to one of her owners, she certainly isn't showing a willingness to give of herself in a manner that deserves the same treatment that you two received.

denny
Apr. 26, 2010, 07:00 AM
When I say "I don`t get it", I`m talking very specifically about this one particular rider.

I get the lack of sponsorship in general.

But when a country has a superstar, and Kim is one, she shouldn`t be warming the bench just before we host the biggest thing since LA Olympics. I don`t know this girl other than to say "hi", have zero vested interest one way or the other, but if the "Team" wants to win, properly mounted, she`s one of our absolute best, and is therefore more likely to help them do well than almost any other US rider.

What I "don`t get", therefore, is why "the Team" isn`t pulling out all the stops to get her properly mounted. Example--if Beezie didn`t have a horse, would George sit by? I don`t think so. Do you?

findeight
Apr. 26, 2010, 07:09 AM
This caught my eye as well. especially the sponser part.

Don't know about your sandbox but over in Showjumping? major corporate sponsership for the mega European ULRs is quite visable.

But watch out what you wish for. That comes with enormous pressure to win, sometimes not in the best interest of the horse...and can influence the big money behind them to tinker with the rules to suit the sponsered rider. I don't think you want to follow SJ down that path.

I don't think that's your answer. Never going to go back to the days when generous, individual benefactors donated horses and allowed the team to match them with the best rider. The entire business has changed drastically in that regard.

From an outsiders perspective, you do have a leadership problem. And you also have, like we do, too many "eh" level riders dumping the big bucks in and riding their own trying to convince themselves they can make it to the elite level. Kind of blame that on the whole I'm OK, you are OK, everybody wins and everybody is good syndrome...some of these people need to take a good look in the mirror-or their videos. You probably have enough quality horses, just not in the hands of quality riders.

Complicated issues with no single solution.

judybigredpony
Apr. 26, 2010, 07:49 AM
Never going to go back to the days when generous, individual benefactors donated horses and allowed the team to match them with the best rider. The entire business has changed drastically in that regard.



I really have no business making a comment since I do not own or compete UL horses although I have been around and involoved on some level since the likes of Bruce,Denny, Jimmy were up and comings.
The crux is this is a "BUSINESS" it is not longer a SPORT supported by the Elite. I clearly remember back in the day standing and watching "Jack" approach an aspiring rider with a superstar horse after an awesome run at a selection trial ask her for her horse...but not her. That went down like a rock.
And I remember the days when "Jack" n "Bert" would come out to the owners farms and watch us put groups of horses thru their paces, hand selecting those they took back to match and compete with "THE TEAM".
Now its an every man for himself attitude with those with the largest string and best financed backers rising to the top as more and more hop on the "Winners" bus.
Oh and lets not forget the inner workings of the "Politics" that are the real wheels of any organization.

Has anyone just picked up the phone and flat out asked "Kim". Perhaps she has life plans none of us know about or a longer goal in mind past 2012.

Apoligizing since I really don't know anything about this obviously.

Gryhrs
Apr. 26, 2010, 07:49 AM
I'll give you a BIG HINT:

If you call or email Philip, he answers. If you call or email Kim, you get no response. Fact.

BINGO!!!

I would like to suggest we have some of our top riders take a course in etiquette.
Expressing gratitude and showing respect to those who make even the smallest donations would go a long way. Little sponsors could become big sponsors with enough nuturing and encouragement.

retreadeventer
Apr. 26, 2010, 08:12 AM
When I say "I don`t get it", I`m talking very specifically about this one particular rider.

I get the lack of sponsorship in general.

But when a country has a superstar, and Kim is one, she shouldn`t be warming the bench just before we host the biggest thing since LA Olympics. I don`t know this girl other than to say "hi", have zero vested interest one way or the other, but if the "Team" wants to win, properly mounted, she`s one of our absolute best, and is therefore more likely to help them do well than almost any other US rider.

What I "don`t get", therefore, is why "the Team" isn`t pulling out all the stops to get her properly mounted. Example--if Beezie didn`t have a horse, would George sit by? I don`t think so. Do you?

Denny is right. Coaches do point owners and horses in direction of riders. Capt. Phillips did this for Amy Tryon in the purchase and syndication of Le Samurai, I believe.

Denny, Kim really needs to partner with her horses. I don't think she relishes catch riding. It would be really hard to get her a horse between now and WEG, wouldn't it? So it's sort of moot at this point, as Canterlope said.

Also Denny: did you look at the talent pool at Rolex -- and compare US to all other countries. Were our best there, first of all. If they were, what did they look like compared to those competing? What about Europe, which didn't seem to be represented quite as well -- many saving that US ship for later in the year -- I think we had better take a good long look at Luhmuhlen and other preps. We need talented horses. Woodburn and Comet look like our best and they were admittedly beaten by a British 2nd stringer. We need the animals FIRST.

findeight
Apr. 26, 2010, 08:16 AM
I dunno. Bigger operators have staff to help and keep those BNR/Ts on track as far as messages go. Blackberry or not, smaller operators are busy and don't have the help...or don't care to text or by tied to that cell phone/PDA

I, somehow, doubt that is why she is not getting the elite mounts.

No, the problem exsists across the board in all disciplines-getting elite horses to true elite level riders. It's far deeper then poor message etiquette.

riderboy
Apr. 26, 2010, 08:25 AM
I dunno. Bigger operators have staff to help and keep those BNR/Ts on track as far as messages go. Blackberry or not, smaller operators are busy and don't have the help...or don't care to text or by tied to that cell phone/PDA

I, somehow, doubt that is why she is not getting the elite mounts.

No, the problem exsists across the board in all disciplines-getting elite horses to true elite level riders. It's far deeper then poor message etiquette.
You might be right. However, not having the political smarts to return calls and messages to people who might want to give you money and horses just doesn't seem real bright to me. I'm busy at work and I always, always return phone calls and messages promptly. Not to do so sends a message, in my opinion, that I am really not worth your time and I will move on. My favorite quote from Phillip Dutton is "Be nice to people on your way up because you will have to be nice to them on your way down."

horsecents
Apr. 26, 2010, 08:27 AM
What about the American Horse Trials Foundation? I would think support could be made through it and earmarked towards certain riders. http://www.ahtf3day.org/

DLee
Apr. 26, 2010, 08:29 AM
I dunno. Bigger operators have staff to help and keep those BNR/Ts on track as far as messages go. Blackberry or not, smaller operators are busy and don't have the help...or don't care to text or by tied to that cell phone/PDA

I, somehow, doubt that is why she is not getting the elite mounts.

No, the problem exsists across the board in all disciplines-getting elite horses to true elite level riders. It's far deeper then poor message etiquette.

I'm sure it is deeper than that, but I do think that is part of the equation.
Whether it's me, taking lessons, or friends of mine, with racehorses in training spending lots of money, if one consistantly doesn't hear back from a trainer I think you're more likely to go elsewhere. Communication is so important, feeling like that trainer is remotely glad you are spending money with them and trusting you or your horse to them, is important.
I have no idea what Kim is like, but I have run into a little of the non-communication thing myself (and I'm not talking obsessive amounts here), and I have ended up making decisions because of it.

annikak
Apr. 26, 2010, 08:46 AM
which kind of brings us back to PD calling Jan-while a rule infraction, he was keeping the owner right in the middle of the loop at every possible second.

I remember PWynn talking about her problems with communication (in general at events) when Teddy first came on the scene. By keeping rider/owners in the loop, you create (I believe) a bond that keeps the owners involved. They certainly deserve to be involved.

Communication is KEY. And bad communication is awful. Good communication is gold.

I don't know KS other than in passing. She has always seemed quite shy, reserved. Her people skills might not be the best. God Knows mine might not be either. But, that might be an issue for her. I was sad when her partnership with her owners ended. It seemed to work from the outside.

From every indication (check out the vet box video on the other thread) KS is very involved in her horses care, and has always seemed like a terrific horsewoman....

Gryhrs
Apr. 26, 2010, 09:01 AM
Sponsors are busy too. Most individual sponsors are working or have worked extremely hard to be in a position to be charitable to a sport or rider. Corporate sponsors have very limited charitable dollars and may be even less tolerant of a lack of appreciation. My point is that a rider who does not acknowledge donations with a sincere thank you or who does not return phone calls runs the risk of appearing indifferent. Indifference makes the sponsor, individual or corporate, resentful and unappreciated.

If some top riders don't have the social skills to cultivate new owners, sponsors, etc. perhaps we do need someone who does to play the middleman. Find someone who can market to sponsors and be a matchmaker for rider and horse or rider and $. Someone who knows how to make the sponsors feel important and can coach the riders through the sordid talk of coin.

Nomoreusernames
Apr. 26, 2010, 09:16 AM
Some riders are better salesmen than riders.

wildlifer
Apr. 26, 2010, 09:41 AM
Also Denny: did you look at the talent pool at Rolex -- and compare US to all other countries. Were our best there, first of all.


Remember that a lot of the top horses (like My Boy Bobby, Connaught, etc) got scratched because they were given a bye to rest until WEG.

HunttoLive
Apr. 26, 2010, 09:53 AM
First thing, the idea of "The Team" is kind of outdated. Its not a team, its a collection of individual people who were selected to represent the country at one event.

Second, people that compete at these levels are working in their chosen profession. Its a career. Its a business. Whether we want to think about it or not, part of getting to the top these days is managing the business end. To get that string of horses you have to be good at marketing, sales, communication and customer relationships.

So we can bemoan how a talented rider doesn't have the horses to ride but it just means that they haven't developed all the skills they need.

bornfreenowexpensive
Apr. 26, 2010, 09:59 AM
And going back to Denny's OP, if Kim needs horseflesh, why is Boyd getting the ride in Davidson colors when he already has a deeper string? What is being delivered by the riders with strings that the riders of individual stars aren't delivering...and is that by their choice or by some deficiency?

Because that mare is a DAMN hard ride and Bruce picked the best rider for her. Boyd also lives in the same town. Look. Bruce could have ridden the mare himself or had Buck ride her. He pick the best match for a tough horse and Boyd has done a fantastic job with her.

Boyd doesn't have a string of top horses handed to him. Neither does Phillip. They both are developing those horses. Kim I believe also has several nice young prospects. It takes time to develop horses to this level and sometimes riders will have a gap.

magnolia73
Apr. 26, 2010, 09:59 AM
Just from seeing the results- she pulled 5 rails and had a stop in stadium. She may well be a fabulous rider. But I imagine sponsors give money to people who win and enhance their brand. I've also heard she is a little quiet and reserved from people who have ridden with her.

She probably is someone who could use a good word from the powers that be. Unfortunately, a sponsor does not necessarily know if the talent and skills are there. They only know wins and personality in many cases.

I think a lot of the best horsepeople are quiet and humble and quiet and humble is no way to market yourself, unfortunately.

CANTEREOIN
Apr. 26, 2010, 10:02 AM
First thing, the idea of "The Team" is kind of outdated. Its not a team, its a collection of individual people who were selected to represent the country at one event.

Second, people that compete at these levels are working in their chosen profession. Its a career. Its a business. Whether we want to think about it or not, part of getting to the top these days is managing the business end. To get that string of horses you have to be good at marketing, sales, communication and customer relationships.

So we can bemoan how a talented rider doesn't have the horses to ride but it just means that they haven't developed all the skills they need.

Lots of good points in this entire thread... just a reminder "Back in the day"... in order to compete in the Olympics, you had to be an amateur... even if that was cleverly disguised by the machines that supported the athletes.

Gry2Yng
Apr. 26, 2010, 10:11 AM
THIS is the truth. I've been an owner. I know what it's like. I know why I did it and why I would or wouldn't do it again. Communication and relationship has a HUGE role in this. I'll give you a BIG HINT:

If you call or email Philip, he answers. If you call or email Kim, you get no response. Fact.

BINGO!!!

OMG! As I was reading this thread, I had the EXACT same thought.

ETA: I think it also speaks volumes that Karen, Jan and Bruce all sent their horses to Phillip/Boyd when they couldn't ride.

canyonoak
Apr. 26, 2010, 10:13 AM
I am old enough to remember the Great Days of the US eventing program--and therefore old enough to remember when all the riders demanded that Jack LeGoff step down because he treated them like babies and did not allow them to make their own decisions.

WHich is what happened.

ANd so, the US eventing program went into the toilet.

And then Mark Phillips came along, having won the trust and confidence of the O'Connors (you know--the man many of you here want to have as next coach) and built a new program.

Which has been quite successful.

If KS has several horses at home, someone is paying those bills. Perhaps there is a new Dan among them.

Perhaps not.

Not everyone who is a great rider gets to have success,let alone repeat success. Wasn't that the discussion a few months ago, all about the old days when money/marriage/elite closed world = eventing, vs. now, when riders have to find a business model AND scramble AND have talent/ambition/luck...?

flame suit on.

SparklePlenty
Apr. 26, 2010, 10:15 AM
Kim I believe also has several nice young prospects. It takes time to develop horses to this level and sometimes riders will have a gap.

this is on point and i feel lies true for MANY riders. Look at Sharon White for example.. she's got a string of horses she's bringing along, but it just takes time to get to the top.

merrygoround
Apr. 26, 2010, 10:22 AM
I was spoiled to have been a part of the USET when Le Goff and De Nemethy were coaching. They didn`t allow things like this to happen.

We lack leadership, I`d say.

We lack too, the coaches with the stature that stood up and told the riders, I have a system and you will follow and learn from that system. And I will fight for you. ( and with you too, if you don't shape up :lol:)
Around then too.

SEPowell
Apr. 26, 2010, 10:50 AM
Speaking from the outside looking in...

It seems to me that on the East coast steeplechasing, eventing and showing are all competing for the same source of limited funds. Watch a video of the Maryland Hunt Cup and one of this year's Rolex and then ask yourself where you'd put your good horse or your money. FWIW, I think upper level eventing might be suffering from an image problem

Badger
Apr. 26, 2010, 10:56 AM
ETA: I think it also speaks volumes that Karen, Jan and Bruce all sent their horses to Phillip/Boyd when they couldn't ride.

Exactly. Owners are going to send the horses to the place where the horse's and owner's needs are best met.

crittertwitter
Apr. 26, 2010, 11:05 AM
I think it's a mistake to dismiss Tipperary Liadhnan as a top competitor.

That sexy beast skipped around the xc course beautifully and had a lovely dressage score (didn't see the test!). He's had his sj issues the past year or so. They'll work it out.

mcw
Apr. 26, 2010, 11:19 AM
I agree with crittertwitter that Paddy will be a great horse for her. Kim said herself that he might not be there (ready to win) yet in an interview this weekend, but that she had alot of faith in him.

At the same time, I agree with Denny. She is hands down one of our best riders, and if we wanted to win WEG, someone should have found a horse on the scale of Reggie, Bobby, Woodburn, etc. for her 3 years ago, I don't care how shy she is.

purplnurpl
Apr. 26, 2010, 11:55 AM
owners put their money into the sports that win cash.

This thread goes along with the lengthy discussion we had a few months back on what do you really get of life if you are an UL rider.

What is the % possibility that in it's lifetime an individual horse will be well raised/trained, backed with money, have owners that will seek out the appropriate UL rider, and stay sound through a long enough career to make it to the top?
I'd say the possibilities are in the negatives.

So what you need to have is an owner with unlimited funds that is just in it for the love of the game. Because there are no returns.

and no, I'm not really as grouchy as I sound. lol.
It's just honest truth.

What the US needs is a conveyor belt type of line.
There are certain riders (purp raises hand) that are spectacular at making kids and who personally have no desire to run above Prelim.

BNR/ULRs (Team riders) do not have the time to devote to taking 4-7 year olds out to countless schoolings to put on the needed mileage.

There are also people (purp raises hand) who do not have the money to purchase a bad a$$ bred horse. I would be more than happy to have a rotating stable with one or two kids for X amount of months. Put on the dressage, SJ, XC basics [have some entity pay for all shows and some clinics--I will happily train for free in return for riding an amazing horse] and then hand the horse off to the Team when he/she is ready for Prelim or Intermediate--or be returned and sold as a lower level packer if they did not show the potential needed.

The horses could then be sorted according to personality and the type rider they need/prefer.
The horse I'm riding now would enjoy having Kim on board. :winkgrin:

I am actually working on a cute blog piece about this subject. Sorry I spilled it on the board but it seemed like it fit in this thread.
Titeled: "Insert UL Rider Name" Stole My Lunch Money.
LMAO.

Robby Johnson
Apr. 26, 2010, 12:12 PM
I agree with crittertwitter that Paddy will be a great horse for her. Kim said herself that he might not be there (ready to win) yet in an interview this weekend, but that she had alot of faith in him.

At the same time, I agree with Denny. She is hands down one of our best riders, and if we wanted to win WEG, someone should have found a horse on the scale of Reggie, Bobby, Woodburn, etc. for her 3 years ago, I don't care how shy she is.

Thank you. She does what she does well, VERY well.

Finding the horse isn't the problem. Paying for it is. We've all collectively raised lots of money for many deserving individuals through a variety of online fund raising efforts.

I think it could be worthwhile to inaugurate a 4-year funded grant of some sort that would allow an ULR to present a proposal with a specific horse aimed at international games. If 25 people contributed $100 per month, 25 contributed $50 per month, and 25 contributed $25 per month, that would certainly provide a nice foundation for a rider/horse - as well as accountability for performance/expectations on both sides - and a great way to "put our money where our mouths are."

If structured correctly it could also be a tax deduction.

Seeking corporate sponsorship isn't the primary way to go in our sport, unfortunately. The product is good, as GotSpots mentioned in another thread, but the cash is what keeps the wheels turning, and getting a corporate sponsor to provide a cash payment is nearly impossible. If they're successful initially, the ROI element almost always kicks in and, the sport being what it is and horses being what they are, it's entirely unrealistic. I don't, however, think it's unrealistic to ask a rider to structure a proposal for how to use funds or for a group of passionate individuals to support an initiative purely for the love of the sport and the pursuit of something great.

Thoughts? I'm in if 74 others are!

Xctrygirl
Apr. 26, 2010, 12:14 PM
Ok maybe I'm the only one that's thinking this, or maybe not, but I am seeing a gigantic elephant in the room. But I don't see anyone else in this 'party' mentioning that they see it as well..

Denny,

You own, breed and train horses year in, year out. Have you ever suggested to any clients of yours that Kim could maybe do a good job with a nice up and coming horse? Have you ever gotten one off the track, or seen a client sale horse and thought, "Wow, I need to get a great rider for this prospect?"

I mean I get the frustration, Kim is a great rider, Paddy's stadium prowess is reminding me heavily of Mary King's situation with King William. Not a good position to be in. And with an American WEG coming, of course we all want to do as well as can be expected.

But call me a little confuzzled when a well known leader, expert, and owner of not 1, but 3 stallions is coming to the public forum of a bunch of amateurs and beginning professionals complaining that an established pro hasn't been provided with a nice horse. Ummmm off the demographics I have seen for the COTH eventing board, I'd say this conversation is about as appropriate here as instructing a group of Pony Clubbers on the intricate nature of the first CCI** endurance run. Sure we'd learn something from it, but by and large we're not there yet.

Now I get that the general populous of this board is a great representation of the base of the pyramid of eventing. And of course there is always the chance that some amongst us do have the coffers to enact change. But by and large my reaction sitting here reading this thread is of wonder. Aka, I wonder why Denny didn't use his formidable string pulling ability to get her mounted on an Aberjack baby or some nice sale horse that passed through his attention.

It could be I'm the only one. It could be that you Denny, wish you had done something a while ago. I don't know. But I think we can all agree its too late now. So maybe we use this as a lesson for London 2012. Get Kim, Allison, Lauren, Peter and the others nice horses now, pray they hold up, and then in England maybe we'll be a stronger team. (Since the implication I am inferring is that with Kim on the bench we're not fielding as strong a team as possible)

I'll leave the flame suit off. I don't think I am really flaming. Just asking.

~Emily

annikak
Apr. 26, 2010, 12:15 PM
Great Idea Robby! I'd have to be in on the bottom floor right now, but once I get past this phase of my life...I'd move up.... ;)

JER
Apr. 26, 2010, 12:18 PM
What the US needs is a conveyor belt type of line.
There are certain riders (purp raises hand) that are spectacular at making kids and who personally have no desire to run above Prelim.

BNR/ULRs (Team riders) do not have the time to devote to taking 4-7 year olds out to countless schoolings to put on the needed mileage.

Put on the dressage, SJ, XC basics [have some entity pay for all shows and some clinics--I will happily train for free in return for riding an amazing horse] and then hand the horse off to the Team when he/she is ready for Prelim or Intermediate--or be returned and sold as a lower level packer if they did not show the potential needed.



Exactly. This is a model followed elsewhere in the world with great success.

denny
Apr. 26, 2010, 12:27 PM
It`s the role of the USEF to help support the riders who can in turn help the USEF do well at the Olympics, World Championships, and Pan A m Games.

They could do this in any number of ways. I don`t know Kim at all, probably wouldn`t recognize her if I saw her out of context, like in a checkout line at a store, so I obviously haven`t tried to find her a horse.

That`s the job of the USEF, and her personal supporters.

Whether or not the USEF wins a medal this summer is the job of the USEF.

From reading all these responses, I can see that I was using far too narrow a set of criteria when I asked why Kim wasn`t well sponsored. I was looking at it sort of like, "Why is A-Rod benched? He`s their best hitter."

It`s obviously far more complex than my too simplistic question implied.

Coppers mom
Apr. 26, 2010, 12:32 PM
Why is it the USEF's responsibility?

annikak
Apr. 26, 2010, 12:41 PM
using the up and coming mentality of providing horses... I do think there are quite a few riders that would LOVE to bring along a horse then let it go on, only to know that it would come back to them. Issue is...if it got hurt, but, we all know that happens.

Nice idea, and makes sense.

Go Fish
Apr. 26, 2010, 12:47 PM
FWIW, I think upper level eventing might be suffering from an image problem

As an outsider looking in (I groom for an eventer friend), I think you may be on to something. The 1,000 pound gorilla in the room, for sure.

Reynard Ridge
Apr. 26, 2010, 01:11 PM
Why is it the USEF's responsibility?

That's what they do (from their website):

The USEF trains, selects, and funds our United States Equestrian Team which consistently wins medals at the highest level of international competition, including the Olympic Games. The USEF also licenses equestrian competitions of all levels across the United States each year.

crittertwitter
Apr. 26, 2010, 01:21 PM
OK. I think I get what you are saying. The system - the one that is supposed to get our country's best talent to the biggest competitions - is not working if KS is not there.

Ideally she should have multiple horses to compete at the top.

Coppers mom
Apr. 26, 2010, 01:33 PM
That's what they do (from their website):

The USEF trains, selects, and funds our United States Equestrian Team which consistently wins medals at the highest level of international competition, including the Olympic Games. The USEF also licenses equestrian competitions of all levels across the United States each year.

But is it realistic for them to find and fund horses for the top riders? I think they're (sort of) holding up the mission statement when it comes to riders, but is it feasible for them to do the same with a horse?

ETA: Another idea, does anyone else wonder if the reason top riders aren't getting horses is because of the way eventing has turned into a complete disaster lately? I have a fabulous mare, future superstar according to several Olympians, but there is no way I'd ever take her into the upper levels the way things are going. I wouldn't pay for someone else to crash and burn with her either. Could it be that owners are just more reserved because of the risk than they used to be?

canterlope
Apr. 26, 2010, 01:52 PM
That`s the job of the USEF, and her personal supporters. and
At the same time, I agree with Denny. She is hands down one of our best riders, and if we wanted to win WEG, someone should have found a horse on the scale of Reggie, Bobby, Woodburn, etc. for her 3 years ago, I don't care how shy she is.Uhmmmm..., so what you are basically saying is Kim has no personal responsibility in all of this and it is another person's responsibility to find her a horse capable of taking her to the WEG, Olympics, or other top level team competition!?! Why? Is she incapable of pounding the pavement and finding a horse herself? Is she that special of rider that she doesn't have to do what every other rider who is trying to make their way up through the ranks has to in order to reach their goals? Or is she excused from the final exam because she's won Rolex in the past and can now rest on her laurels while others do her "dirty" work for her? I'm sorry, I can't think of a single rider, past, present, and future, who should be excused from this type of personal responsibility, especially when personal gains may be involved as well.

SevenDogs
Apr. 26, 2010, 01:54 PM
Why is it the USEF's responsibility?

During the restructuring of the old AHSA into USEF, they wrapped the old USET into their control. Fielding a competitve team was pretty much the USET's sole responsibility. USEF wanted the USET under their control (and some of that process was pretty ugly), so they now have that responsibility.

It is an unfortunate reality in today's world that ULR's that want sponsorship, etc. have to be adept at marketing. Sometimes the best riders are also great at marketing and sometimes they are not. Sometimes "less than great" riders and horsemen/women are great at marketing (witness all the websites claiming that this rider is "on their way" to WEG or the next Olympices when they are very far away from such a goal). I know it is not realistic, but I would rather see great riders concentrating on great riding than on marketing.

I do think it is team leadership's responsibility to also "court" potential owners, supporters, etc. on behalf of the team, and that may very well mean targeting such support to riders who have the talent but not necessarily the marketing skills (while perhaps those skills are developed). CMP telling an owner to "toughen up cupcake" after the loss of their horse at a show clearly tells me current leadership is incapable of fulfilling such responsiblities.

JER
Apr. 26, 2010, 01:57 PM
I was looking at it sort of like, "Why is A-Rod benched? He`s their best hitter."

Which is a very good question to ask.

But perhaps KS didn't return that phone call or email or text message that would have got her That Horse.

The UK currently has one of their finest riders, Pippa Funnell, in a similar situation. She's bringing along young horses and cleaning up in the young event horse competitions but she doesn't have any top rides. However, like Kim, Pippa isn't a catch riding type -- they both are very, very thorough in how they train and ride their horses.

scoobysnacks
Apr. 26, 2010, 02:11 PM
Top riders used to make their own mounts. Some are still willing to work for it and it shows. What is wrong with hard work and true sportsmanship (following the FEI drug rules instead of bending/breaking to suit one's perceived needs)? If the horse isn't brought along correctly it's more likely to need heroic measures to be sound for show jumping on day three.

JER
Apr. 26, 2010, 02:21 PM
Top riders used to make their own mounts.

Not true. Some did, some didn't.

Just as an example, David O'Connor's two top horses, Giltedge and Custom Made, were produced to a high level by other riders. Giltedge was produced to CCI*** by Eric Smiley. Custom Made came to DOC via William Micklem and had already competed at YR Europeans.

There's nothing wrong with not producing your top competition horses. Some riders are good at this; other riders, who are very good at competing, are not the best at bringing a horse along. Better to focus on your strengths, no?

Robby Johnson
Apr. 26, 2010, 02:28 PM
But perhaps KS didn't return that phone call or email or text message that would have got her That Horse.

The UK currently has one of their finest riders, Pippa Funnell, in a similar situation. She's bringing along young horses and cleaning up in the young event horse competitions but she doesn't have any top rides. However, like Kim, Pippa isn't a catch riding type -- they both are very, very thorough in how they train and ride their horses.

I would like to humbly suggest that only individuals who have extended offers to own an advanced horse to KS electronically (voicemail/text/email, etc.) speak to the point of responsiveness through that medium. Otherwise, I might point out the lack of fairness in painting an abstract picture of an unrepresented individual.

Robby Johnson
Apr. 26, 2010, 02:32 PM
Better to focus on your strengths, no?

I couldn't agree more. Strengths as a competitor? Documented. Strengths as a self-promoter? Not so much. Who should identify themselves as the leader in representing our riding talent? Top actors, musicians, authors, etc., are not out there negotiating for their own roles, records, book deals, etc. Someone believes enough in their strengths to deliver a performance to proactively steer and manage their careers.

NCRider
Apr. 26, 2010, 02:32 PM
I would imagine that one of the reasons Phillip gets to ride other BNR's horses when they're injured, etc. is aside from the fact that he's a great catch rider, he has so many ULH's of his own that he's not likely to steal one from another BNR.

With respect to KS, perhaps the USET needs KS more than she needs the USET. Who knows, maybe she doesn't want a ton of owners who need a lot of hand holding. She could be perfectly content with her current business and unwilling to trade it in for one that involves a ton of time spent away from the horses. Which is great for her, but not so great for the Team.

poltroon
Apr. 26, 2010, 02:35 PM
When I say "I don`t get it", I`m talking very specifically about this one particular rider.

I get the lack of sponsorship in general.

But when a country has a superstar, and Kim is one, she shouldn`t be warming the bench just before we host the biggest thing since LA Olympics. I don`t know this girl other than to say "hi", have zero vested interest one way or the other, but if the "Team" wants to win, properly mounted, she`s one of our absolute best, and is therefore more likely to help them do well than almost any other US rider.

What I "don`t get", therefore, is why "the Team" isn`t pulling out all the stops to get her properly mounted. Example--if Beezie didn`t have a horse, would George sit by? I don`t think so. Do you?

I don't think Gina Miles has another horse in the wings either, and she's our reigning individual silver medalist.

JER
Apr. 26, 2010, 02:40 PM
Top actors, musicians, authors, etc., are not out there negotiating for their own roles, records, book deals, etc. Someone believes enough in their strengths to deliver a performance to proactively steer and manage their careers.

Sweetie, you have no idea!

Almost everyone I know initiates and makes their own deals (actors less so than musicians, writers, et al.). Yeah, some of us have agents, lawyers, managers, etc but they're usually just there to collect their %. (Or worse, you find out they're playing their clients off against each other!) And there's less and less need to have a middleman in the 21st century.

Interesting thought, though -- has a rider ever signed with a major sports agency like IMG?

LexInVA
Apr. 26, 2010, 02:50 PM
Yes, JER. The O'Connors have had multiple representation as "sports personalities" but I don't recall the specific agencies off the top of my head. I put the info in an old thread which has probably been deleted.

DLee
Apr. 26, 2010, 03:08 PM
As a professional artist I absolutely hate doing my own marketing and promoting (please, don't make me come up with an Artist's Statement!). But if I don't do it, it doesn't get done, nobody knows about my work and I end up being another starving artist. It sucks, but that's just how it is.:(

TXnGA
Apr. 26, 2010, 03:18 PM
Remember that a lot of the top horses (like My Boy Bobby, Connaught, etc) got scratched because they were given a bye to rest until WEG.

Would like to correct the above statement, no one was given a "bye" this year; not one horse nor rider were given one. If the horse / rider did not appear at Rolex, it was for another reason.

snoopy
Apr. 26, 2010, 03:47 PM
Top riders used to make their own mounts.



I can think of three horses that were bought for Jimmy Woffard that were already four star horses.

Karen Stives bought Ben at the 82 world championships.

Torrance bought two at the upper levels.

Beth Perkins bought Furtive from the AU team.

These are just some examples and I could sight more.

Eventer08
Apr. 26, 2010, 03:48 PM
Perhaps the comment on communication is a bit unfair on the KS topic... Everyone needs help and a good support crew behind them. KS does not do her own website, and it can be quite outdated at times (several of the horses on the website I think she is not riding anymore)... Can you really criticize her for missing an email? I'm sure she'd be happy for you to volunteer to handle her communications for her and run her website. Phillip is lucky to have his wife to do much of the organizing, etc.

Kim is as classy, kind, and thorough a person as you've ever met. I'm sure she would love to discuss horses with potential owners. Okay, so she doesn't have a masters in Marketing... But she has always been kind, understanding, and supportive, even to a nobody like me, when she has no reason to other than pure class.

So your email didn't work? Try a phone call. Anyone worthwhile is always busy... And she really, truly loves her horses and cares about them.

Robby Johnson
Apr. 26, 2010, 04:00 PM
Sweetie, you have no idea!

Almost everyone I know initiates and makes their own deals (actors less so than musicians, writers, et al.). Yeah, some of us have agents, lawyers, managers, etc but they're usually just there to collect their %. (Or worse, you find out they're playing their clients off against each other!) And there's less and less need to have a middleman in the 21st century.

Interesting thought, though -- has a rider ever signed with a major sports agency like IMG?

You're right, I don't! But I do know that even if an idea is floated directly to the source, the source usually refers it directly to the team. And the team is who makes it happen. Which is just another way of saying it takes a village. Thank you Hillary! :D

bornfreenowexpensive
Apr. 26, 2010, 04:07 PM
Would like to correct the above statement, no one was given a "bye" this year; not one horse nor rider were given one. If the horse / rider did not appear at Rolex, it was for another reason.


Actually...I'm pretty sure that is not correct. A few were told that they had nothing to prove by running around Rolex and that it would be better to save their horses for the fall. That is a bye. It doesn't mean that they for sure have a spot for the WEG. Just means that there is no need to risk them at Rolex or give them more experience at a **** because they are already proven at that level without major holes recently. They will be judged on their past record...and how they look in training and the lead up events in the Fall. Just as the horses who ran around Rolex will have that added experience by which they will be judged.

SuperEventer
Apr. 26, 2010, 04:12 PM
Perhaps the comment on communication is a bit unfair on the KS topic... Everyone needs help and a good support crew behind them. KS does not do her own website, and it can be quite outdated at times (several of the horses on the website I think she is not riding anymore)... Can you really criticize her for missing an email? I'm sure she'd be happy for you to volunteer to handle her communications for her and run her website. Phillip is lucky to have his wife to do much of the organizing, etc.

Kim is as classy, kind, and thorough a person as you've ever met. I'm sure she would love to discuss horses with potential owners. Okay, so she doesn't have a masters in Marketing... But she has always been kind, understanding, and supportive, even to a nobody like me, when she has no reason to other than pure class.

So your email didn't work? Try a phone call. Anyone worthwhile is always busy... And she really, truly loves her horses and cares about them.

Here, here, Eventer08!

I think that it's very easy to judge someone when of Kim's status, when you barely know them. I know her very well, as well, and I have to say, she truly cares very deeply for every horse. Not only the ones that she rides, but the ones that her students ride, etc. She has a passion for what she does. No, she may not have the best marketing, but that can change. What would you guys like to see from her? How can she better her "public image"? She doesn't have family there to do her marketing for her, she has a team of people who, mostly, volunteer themselves to help her out. She just started her own business. Things are always tight in a new endeavor, horse related or not! I, for one, am all for helping Kim to be as well marketed as Phillip and Boyd! She deserves it! She is an INCREDIBLE rider and person. As is the case with most shy people, many assume that she is snobby or stand-offish. Also, I'm sure if you talked to ANY of her current owners, they would happily tell you that Kim takes wonderful care of her horses, and she is always keeping them updated on how their horses are doing.

Just because people are great talents at what they do, does not necessarily mean that they have the rest of life figured out. Don't be quick to judge. Instead, give me some ideas to help her better market herself without being judgmental or demeaning.

SevenDogs
Apr. 26, 2010, 04:32 PM
Actually...I'm pretty sure that is not correct. A few were told that they had nothing to prove by running around Rolex and that it would be better to save their horses for the fall. That is a bye. It doesn't mean that they for sure have a spot for the WEG. Just means that there is no need to risk them at Rolex or give them more experience at a **** because they are already proven at that level without major holes recently. They will be judged on their past record...and how they look in training and the lead up events in the Fall. Just as the horses who ran around Rolex will have that added experience by which they will be judged.

That was my understanding as well and as a fairly frequent critic to our current leadership, I was impressed by the decision and hoped it was a sign that we were departing from the previous "run the horses off their feet to see who's left standing" mentality.

Almost Heaven
Apr. 26, 2010, 06:04 PM
Agree with Denny's original post - how can we, as a competitor nation, allow one of our top 3 riders to miss WEG because she doesn't have the best horse?:confused:

DLee
Apr. 26, 2010, 06:41 PM
Agree with Denny's original post - how can we, as a competitor nation, allow one of our top 3 riders to miss WEG because she doesn't have the best horse?:confused:

So what is this "competitor nation" supposed to do? Hand her a horse? If so, who? I mean, it sounds nice, but seriously... logistics?

JER
Apr. 26, 2010, 07:10 PM
I would like to humbly suggest that only individuals who have extended offers to own an advanced horse to KS electronically (voicemail/text/email, etc.) speak to the point of responsiveness through that medium. Otherwise, I might point out the lack of fairness in painting an abstract picture of an unrepresented individual.

But this thread is about why KS doesn't have a top horse. Probably a multifactorial problem, one element of which (suggested by other on this thread) might be a lack or a perceived lack of communication. And this goes for any/all professional horsepeople -- no real need to single anyone out.

And perception can count for a lot when you're an independent businessperson. (It takes a lot of work to correct those perceptions if necessary.)

I can tell you from years of experience that it's not easy to be a gun for hire. One of the worst parts of it? You have to pursue EVERY opportunity, at least in the initial stages. Very few of us are ever in a position to turn down work -- usually it happens only due to scheduling conflicts after you've twisted your life around trying to fit in one more thing.

I can't imagine it's any different for professional riders.


But I do know that even if an idea is floated directly to the source, the source usually refers it directly to the team. And the team is who makes it happen.

Clearly, Robby has never been a client of a major Hollywood talent agency. :lol::lol::lol:

(Usually, you hide things from them as long as you can so they don't torpedo the deal/project in their inimitable, inevitable style. :D )

That said, the 'village' is most often your friends and acquaintances -- people who you've met along the way and who like you. Which is why it's so important to be the type of person that people want to work with.

TXnGA
Apr. 26, 2010, 07:19 PM
Actually...I'm pretty sure that is not correct. A few were told that they had nothing to prove by running around Rolex and that it would be better to save their horses for the fall. That is a bye. It doesn't mean that they for sure have a spot for the WEG. Just means that there is no need to risk them at Rolex or give them more experience at a **** because they are already proven at that level without major holes recently. They will be judged on their past record...and how they look in training and the lead up events in the Fall. Just as the horses who ran around Rolex will have that added experience by which they will be judged.

Sorry, i didn't clarify further....:) You are right, they get a "bye" in the sense that they did not have to run, but doesn't promise them a spot on the team and they will still have to run the last few trails and use their pastexperience...:D

What i was told from a selector this past weekend at Rolex is that "nobody, horse or rider, was told not to ride (at Rolex)...."

Robby Johnson
Apr. 26, 2010, 07:33 PM
Clearly, Robby has never been a client of a major Hollywood talent agency. :lol::lol::lol:

Despite your best efforts! :D

Your counsel is spot-on. Let's just not make an assumption about a business practice that is purely speculative.

ZiggyStardust
Apr. 26, 2010, 07:50 PM
So your email didn't work? Try a phone call. Anyone worthwhile is always busy... And she really, truly loves her horses and cares about them.

I've never met her, but was impressed that she still gave Paddy some pats right after their round, even though I'm sure she was upset about how most of it went. There were one or two other riders with much smoother rounds who did not.

VicariousRider
Apr. 26, 2010, 08:42 PM
I would like to know what people really think of Paddy (Kim's horse).

Is he really just not up to snuff or has he just not peaked at the right moment (ie: in a major competition)? Are his flaws "fixable"? If he horse can make it through dressage and x-c as he did can he put the show jumping together?

It's pretty unusual for anyone to have a "string" on 4* horses. I don't know enough about Paddy, but I do know enough about horses to know that a horse can be fabulous but just not have all the pieces in place a the right time.

My point: Maybe she DOES have the horse, just not the luck or guidance (?) to get him to the top tier.

RunForIt
Apr. 26, 2010, 08:48 PM
I've never met her, but was impressed that she still gave Paddy some pats right after their round, even though I'm sure she was upset about how most of it went. There were one or two other riders with much smoother rounds who did not.

Kim loves this horse, trains this horse, and in the end, holds herself responsible - and respects the horse. Some would call this "horsemanship", some would call it "class" - take your pick.

vineyridge
Apr. 26, 2010, 09:55 PM
Paddy was a star in dressage and XC at Rolex.

As I was driving home, I was thinking that maybe he needs a few months with the Maddens to find out if he can conquer show jumping. And that's something that the USET should help with.

VCT
Apr. 26, 2010, 10:42 PM
No desire to flame you and I see what you are saying BUT.... team leadership has A LOT of responsibility for setting the tone of the team and right now, I think there are a lot of folks sitting on the side lines waiting for better team leadership. Leadership that values the well-being of the horse and doesn't proudly run horses off their feet making it a "last one standing" process. When a good portion of the winter training list for the Olympics (horse and/or rider) was either dead or severely injured in the lead up to the 2008 games, you've got issues and issues keep people on the sidelines with their checkbooks.

We need Leadership that values the veterans but takes a real interest in developing new talent. Leadership that takes a stand against some of the ways the sport has veered off course (overly technical, trappy courses for example) instead of feeding it (Mark Phillips has been one of the biggest examples of this kind of course design not to mention his job description makes him "responsible for the safety of all upper level fences in North America). Leadership that actually values the horse as a partner and not a tool.

Who on this earth wants to hand a horse over to the current program?

This in spades.....
.... and perhaps leadership that has a emotional and visceral connection to the USA and its goals and achievements.

fooler
Apr. 26, 2010, 11:07 PM
Like others I am old enough to remember when the team consisted of Bruce, Mike and Jimmy essentially leaving 1 slot for the folks such as Denny, Torrance, Karen, etc.
I know of 3 folks who trained at/with the team in the 70's/80's. 1 returned home with a rather severe spinal injury and did not return to the same level again. The other 2 were 'sent home' - 1 for additional training and the other was told their strength was teaching, not riding. Both of these individuals eventually excelled, interestingly as the team coach has instructed them.

The Olympics now allows pros, so competitors can openly earn a living in horses. The problem is everyone is not a businessman, an entrepreneur or a people person, skills required to build and maintain a successful business. If you can not wear all hats, IMO only a few can, then you have to surround yourself with those who can fill in the blanks. Which often turns into a catch-22, you need to pay someone to build up your business, but you don't have the money, because your business is small . . . there are ways around this, it just takes creative thinking and a few lean years. That I know all about as my DH help a family build up their business - they are all millionaires. We are ok, but far from millionaires.

When the FEI required every country have one NGO, the ASHA & USET were merged into USEF, with the High Performance Committee fulfilling the old USET role. Since everything is filtered thru this committee what about this thought:
A "task force" made up of breeders (Denny for one), Team Selectors, Team Vets, lawyer (for contracts protecting both owners, riders and team) and Team Coach. The purpose to recognize US bred horses with "International Potential" (from unbroke to Prelim/Int level) and match them with appropriate current or up&coming team riders. The contract should note who is responsible for expenses, what say the breeder/owner has in future competitons and what happens when the horse is retired or it is determined the horse doesn't have UL potential.

We must broaden our respective thought processes in order to solve the problems facing Eventing on so many levels.

So to quote Billy Joel - "The good old days weren't always good and tomorrow ain't as bad as it seems."

Gry2Yng
Apr. 26, 2010, 11:19 PM
However, like Kim, Pippa isn't a catch riding type -- they both are very, very thorough in how they train and ride their horses.

And just to finish the compare/contrast, Phillip, Boyd, William Fox-Pitt and Mark Todd are all fabulous catch riders. Thus, they always seem to show up at a 4* with something. I think WFP and Mark Todd have both won major competitions on a catch ride. (I know MT has, not sure if WFP was just a top 5).

1516
Apr. 26, 2010, 11:48 PM
When I say "I don`t get it", I`m talking very specifically about this one particular rider.

I get the lack of sponsorship in general.

But when a country has a superstar, and Kim is one, she shouldn`t be warming the bench just before we host the biggest thing since LA Olympics. I don`t know this girl other than to say "hi", have zero vested interest one way or the other, but if the "Team" wants to win, properly mounted, she`s one of our absolute best, and is therefore more likely to help them do well than almost any other US rider.

What I "don`t get", therefore, is why "the Team" isn`t pulling out all the stops to get her properly mounted. Example--if Beezie didn`t have a horse, would George sit by? I don`t think so. Do you?
I agree, Kim should be on every US team. She is without a doubt one of the VERY best riders in this country. If I had the money, I'd buy her as many horses as she wanted. She is also a very nice person.

Coppers mom
Apr. 27, 2010, 01:20 AM
I think you can be the most wonderful person in the world, but that doesn't excuse you from doing the basic things it takes to stay in business. For example, I love my hay lady, but I can still recognize that she's a bit of a loon every once in a while ;)

I just don't buy the "Oh, it's so hard!" attitude towards marketing. You don't need an army, you don't need a lot of time, and you certainly don't need a degree in marketing. There are all kinds of templates, websites, etc that will do the advertising for you if you'd just plug in the information where it asks for it.

Kim is a fantastic rider and a fantastic person. If she put out the effort to find an up and coming horse, she would have absolutely no problem finding one. But, I just don't see the effort being put forth, at least not towards that. Every time I see her at shows, she's either riding or helping someone else, and I'm sure life at home is quite full of students and horses in for temporary training. But if she would make it known that she was looking, I have no doubt that someone would be willing to provide a horse for her.

People aren't going to want it unless you tell them about it. Unless UL riders actually make it known that they are looking for another horse, they aren't going to get one. You can't expect things to just plop into your lap.

YankeeLawyer
Apr. 27, 2010, 10:10 AM
I pretty much agree with Coppers Mom on this issue.

In addition, in case people had forgotten, we still have not emerged from one of the worst financial crises in history. So while it is a bummer that top riders do not necessarily have the mounts they deserve, well, it is a little hard to feel that sorry for them. And that is particularly so when some of these best riders will not consider lowering their training and board fees even for international quality mounts on occasion - insisting that their owners pay upwards of 3K per month before the horse even steps foot on any showgrounds regardless of the relative quality of the horse. In my view, if I have a horse that is legitimately international calibre, I do not need to pay those rates to find a good rider for it as somewhere some talented and enterprising individual will realize that the owner is offering an opportunity that is of value.

Just out of curiosity, does anyone have a sense whether top eventers have more difficulty finding mounts than top riders in other disciplines? I ask because I suspect that at least some owners with horses that are top athletes might be concerned about the (at least perceived) additional risks posed by eventing as opposed to showjumping (or dressage).

3dazey
Apr. 27, 2010, 10:18 AM
vr, this is brilliant thinking! Kim has done wonders with this horse over the years but the sj problem lingers. I'm remembering the miracles the Maddens did with Judgment who we will remember was not fond of the grand prix water AT ALL...and they really turned him around. I will never question Kim's abilities, but if you could put that kind of experience into the equation, maybe there is an answer?


Paddy was a star in dressage and XC at Rolex.

As I was driving home, I was thinking that maybe he needs a few months with the Maddens to find out if he can conquer show jumping. And that's something that the USET should help with.

LisaB
Apr. 27, 2010, 11:44 AM
Interesting thought YL with other disciplines finding horses. I've seen several horses in my day that should have gone onto more talented riders or riders that actually want to compete in the UL's. It irks me to no end that these people have this potentially great horse and keep them even though they are not good riders or have any intention of moving up. I just consider it selfish. Do other disciplines have this issue?
I know of one horse that is actually going to go to an ULR and all you guys at advanced better watch out for this one! He's fantastic and his owner is awesome and realizes his potential. Also, the ULR has put a vested interest in this horse and the owner feels very comfortable giving the ride up.

findeight
Apr. 27, 2010, 11:59 AM
Dressage and SJ also do not match up top prospects with top riders in this country.

And, strikes me that OWNERS do not want to be told who to send their horses to. Probably even worse in D and S/J because the owners want to take lessons twice a week-from that BNR/T, not an assistant- and ride their own horse.

So much goes into selecting a trainer...and alot of reasons not shared are involved. For all we know, some of these BNRs expect a part share in ownership in lieu of full payment for services while another may need to bill the full amount and does not want to be involved-or cannot afford to take that on.

Some BNRs actively put together partnerships with themselves as a partner in order to get to the really top level horses, that would include those already well started up the ladder and well into the 6 figure price range.

May come down to BNR A being 2 hours away while BNR B is halfway across the country and owner wants to visit.

And, gotta say that perception leads alot of owners to put a horse with trainer A over trainer B. Perception of things that have nothing to do with rider skill. Is rider A getting better horses because they win, or do the better horses make them a winner? Is rider B not getting better horses because they have not been winning or are they not winning because the horses are not good? could rider A win on rider Bs horses and rider B lose on rider A's? Can't say.

I am going to go ahead and say this...may not like it but...there are often personal and/or financial reasons and relationships unknown to the general public that lead to a rider getting a horse. I'll leave that there. I won't post what I really think and have seen in S/J and the big money Western horses, Arabs and heard of in Dressage. Can't see why that might not come into play here as well.

As an outsider looking into Eventing, it also seems the guys are still dominant with the better horses...and it has not been that long since women were finally allowed in-and had to wear those lead weights. Maybe that figures in as well.

But it's complicated. Way more then an unreturned call.

mugsgame
Apr. 27, 2010, 12:03 PM
Eventing is a cut throat business there is a lot that goes on under the surface. Ollie Townend had no 4* rides just 5 years ago and look at him now. Some home produced and some taken from other riders. I know Yogi Breisner the British Team Manager directs horses to riders all the time. He is asked for his advice and he recommends people. Top riders should get support and help as sometimes they might be a poor businessman but talented on a horse but they also need to remember that just because they are talented that there are not more people pushing from behind and that they cannot rest on their laurels.

findeight
Apr. 27, 2010, 12:18 PM
Eventing is a cut throat business there is a lot that goes on under the surface.

So is every other aspect of the horse business where money is involved. So is basic business because it can't be personal, just business. The job of business is making money.

I think some are a little naive about the financial and ownership arrangements in place on some of the upper level horses and the fact willingness on both sides to participate in those arrangements can decide who gets the horse. That's not even touching on those personal reasons we are unaware of.

We are getting to where decisions are just business....and welfare of our horses is not the deciding factor. I wonder if we can ever go back.


And don't get me started on the FEI...

SevenDogs
Apr. 27, 2010, 12:20 PM
I've seen several horses in my day that should have gone onto more talented riders or riders that actually want to compete in the UL's. It irks me to no end that these people have this potentially great horse and keep them even though they are not good riders or have any intention of moving up. I just consider it selfish. Do other disciplines have this issue?


Um.... WOW!!! I couldn't disagree with this statement more. If someone has a horse with UL potential and decides to keep it, they are selfish???? Ridiculous statement.


... and you are "irked" because someone decides to keep THEIR OWN HORSE???? Just exactly who is the horse police that decides that? No one should feel obligated to give up their own horse simply because it has talent. :no: :no: :no:

LisaB
Apr. 27, 2010, 12:43 PM
Sorry, maybe I'm more into 'do it for the team' if I had a horse that could go to a ****. That's just me though.

Ajierene
Apr. 27, 2010, 01:52 PM
Sorry, maybe I'm more into 'do it for the team' if I had a horse that could go to a ****. That's just me though.

Yeah, if I had a horse that had 4* potential, I am not sure I would give it up. I would only give it up for the right reasons also - as in I believed in the person and that person's abilities. In trade, that person would 'owe' me somehow. That could be anywhere from agreeing to do two clinics a year for free for me or part of the winnings or whatever. I pay to feed, train, house this horse - I bought it so I can ride it - why am I going to give it up? I have one horse, I can currently afford to keep and compete one horse. One thing I can definitely tell you is that I am not PAYING someone else to ride my horse to fame at Rolex!

If you have someone like Phil Dutton, who does not need your horse to be famous, then I can understand him wanting payment, of some sort. I have seen many up and coming riders wanting training money to get on your upper level prospect and make more of a name for themselves with your horse. No, don't think so. Isn't that selfish? Not only does this up and coming person want my money for riding this horse, but the success this horse brings will bring them more clients, more horses and more money - and I don't get a cut of that new business?

I work with 'strategic partners' in my line of business, as well as referrals and we ALWAYS pay for new business, in gift cards, percentage of the profit, etc.

That is part of the problem I see with some equestrians. They expect people with prospects to not only hunt THEM down, but PAY THEM for the ride.

I definitely do not think going back to the old team is a good idea also - how many people competing for one spot? Now you have everyone competing for all four slots. Someone with their own horse can make the team, instead of being asked to hand the horse over 'for the cause'. Not everyone just wants to see their horse go to the Olympics - amazingly enough, that rider may want to compete at the Olympics WITH their horse!

I remember reading a biography of Bruce Davidson's where it mentions that his marriage and acquisition of his farm helped him get out from under Le Goeff, a place he did not like being.

Now it is what it is. Kim may not want a 4* horse right now, or maybe she is not asking for one, but those are the breaks.

findeight
Apr. 27, 2010, 02:07 PM
Sorry, maybe I'm more into 'do it for the team' if I had a horse that could go to a ****. That's just me though.

Owners cannot always afford BNR/Ts. That effects where they place their horses.

Much as you may want to place one on the team, will you actually finance it's quest to get to the top??? And you can't say you'll figure it out if you get that far, it's ALOT of money. As in alot alot. Every month.

That IS a problem that will not go away. May want to. may have a good prospect. But if you cannot afford the BNR/T, that might keep the horse out of the hands of the best rider.

People I know with Grand Prix jumpers are almost all in syndicates/partnerships with their BNR/Ts to try to get around this. Imagine Eventing is going this route as well...although you don't compete as often. Still too expensive for most.

bornfreenowexpensive
Apr. 27, 2010, 02:15 PM
People I know with Grand Prix jumpers are almost all in syndicates/partnerships with their BNR/Ts to try to get around this. Imagine Eventing is going this route as well...although you don't compete as often. Still too expensive for most.


Has been like that for a long time already in eventing. I also know that most trainers...even BNT.....do charge less for horses that are sent to them as competition horses and not as short term training horses or sale horses. They also often charge less for the horse (often just cost of upkeep...not riding) with respect to horses that are sent to them as competition horses who are at or above the ** level. This makes some sense to me as until a horse is at least at that level...you really can't tell if they are going to be a top horse. It is a bit easier to tell with Showjumpers and Dressage horses....althought with them you also still can't tell if they will have the mind to deal with the pressures and/or stay sound.

Why a horse gets sent to one rider or another is usually a lot of factors.

Kim has a nice horse in Paddy...and other nice horses. No, she doesn't have a Dan....but those horses are few and far between no matter WHO you are.

Badger
Apr. 27, 2010, 03:23 PM
I've seen several horses in my day that should have gone onto more talented riders or riders that actually want to compete in the UL's. It irks me to no end that these people have this potentially great horse and keep them even though they are not good riders or have any intention of moving up. I just consider it selfish. Do other disciplines have this issue?

What a wild statement. I wonder if other people feel this way? I couldn't disagree more.

There are plenty of reasons someone with a "potentially great horse" would not put him on a team track. The horse is going to have lower risk and less wear-and-tear if he isn't asked to perform at the top of a demanding sport. The horse doesn't care about accolades and a jet-setting lifestyle, and may well prefer to get in an occasional foxhunt than to have to spend months on the road. A lot of owners/riders are not going to turn a horse's future over to the ultimate goal of making teams and winning medals, and their reasons may well be motivated by considerations of what is best for their beloved horse.

TyB
Apr. 27, 2010, 04:35 PM
I also disagree. I hate when professionals make a rider feel bad by implying they could do so much more with their horse. It's your horse, you bred, bought or picked him out and you can do what you want with him!

Also, in regards to Kim. She's building back a stable after losing her main sponsor. It take years to build that back up.
When the majority of your barn is owned by one sponsor (bad idea) it's a big loss when they leave. Just ask Tim Ice who lost Summer Bird at the beginning of the year and all the horses that went with him. It takes a while and she's building up a nice barn.

NeverTime
Apr. 27, 2010, 06:20 PM
Kim "lost" Linda? I don't have any inside info, but I always had the impression that, if not mutual, it was the other way around.

I've been reading this thread half wondering whether Kim isn't in the situation she's in because she wants it that way, she wants to be the master of her own destiny rather than beholden to an owner. (Then again, her woefully out of date website *does* say she's looking for partners/owners.)

TyB
Apr. 27, 2010, 11:00 PM
It doesn't really matter who left who, the point is your starting over and having to build your stable again.

SevenDogs
Apr. 27, 2010, 11:03 PM
There are plenty of reasons someone with a "potentially great horse" would not put him on a team track. The horse is going to have lower risk and less wear-and-tear if he isn't asked to perform at the top of a demanding sport. The horse doesn't care about accolades and a jet-setting lifestyle, and may well prefer to get in an occasional foxhunt than to have to spend months on the road. A lot of owners/riders are not going to turn a horse's future over to the ultimate goal of making teams and winning medals, and their reasons may well be motivated by considerations of what is best for their beloved horse.

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! :yes:

It always cracks me up when someone talks about a horse being unhappy if they don't compete as high as they possibly can.

SevenDogs
Apr. 27, 2010, 11:11 PM
It doesn't really matter who left who, the point is your starting over and having to build your stable again.

It does matter if Kim is choosing a different path than the heavily sponsored "eggs all in one basket" approach that she may have had previously. I think that is what NeverTime was saying. I hadn't posted it, but kind of wondered the same thing. Perhaps, she is trying a quieter, more independent approach? Perhaps she just hasn't had the right offer or found the right fit. I think as we get older and have more "people" experience under our belts, we realize "fit" in relationships (business, personal, horses) is really, really important.

In any event, she is definitely a rider that I would like to see have great mounts (including the one that she has now).

columbus
Apr. 28, 2010, 01:31 AM
I am a breeder. I have bred a talented horse. He is 4 and it is 2 or 3 years before we can even begin to test his talent for upper levels. He is with a good young event rider who is working to develop a business as a trainer and teacher. It is a very good situation for this young horse. The facility is wonderful, the rider has the support of her family, there are many shows on site to provide experience without costly travel. It is about $800 a month for board and training...months then years of this will get me a horse who might sell for enough to make it not a total loss financially but perhaps a horse who does well and advances for this rider and is fun for me to participate with. Likely at some point this will not be the right horse for this rider...do I take the ride from the person who has put in the work...only if she suggests it. I trust them to evaluate him with his and my interests in mind.

I hope it is an interesting experince. Unfortunately it is pretty far from where I live so I dont have daily contact but maybe that will work best in the end as they are making all the decisions as they see them. I have an unusual breed so I am delighted to have a rider who isn't prejudging my young horse and is interested in each day of work with him. Maybe she will be of the next generation of international riders, she takes this very seriously and works very hard and LOVES what she is getting the opportunity to do.

Would I support a Kim or an Allison or a Becky or Karen, I would love to but for me if it happens it will be a ground up experience and we will pinch pennies all the way and the horse likely will be sold and if so I will bring in the next horse...maybe I will look for a more obvious upper level candidate. About all I know as an owner is that my Olympic dreams are with another person in the irons...I haven't given up yet.

It is too bad that Allison and Becky and Karen and Kim can't find a wife to support them at home like the fellows have found. The riders with the where with all to manage well run businesses can make their opportunities happen and needen't wait for "The Millionaire" or the "USET" to come knocking on their door...something my Mother promised would NEVER happen in real life. Fortunately, to the credit of those women they thrive with what they can do with the hours in the day. To make a top level eventer is a tremendous credit to them and all the obstacles they find a way around. This all maybe a one at a time adventure. I for one love Paddy and am glad he got to run. Thanks Kim. PatO

LisaB
Apr. 28, 2010, 07:19 AM
Then there you go. That's one of the problems why we don't have horseflesh depth then. We are not willing to give up a potential **** horse to a rider capable of riding that horse.
Nuff said.

Badger
Apr. 28, 2010, 07:54 AM
Frankly, I think there are a LOT more horses with four-star potential (if they get into the right program) than there are people willing to finance all the vet bills, boarding, show fees, maintenance and campaigning fees for horse and rider.

riderboy
Apr. 28, 2010, 08:08 AM
Then there you go. That's one of the problems why we don't have horseflesh depth then. We are not willing to give up a potential **** horse to a rider capable of riding that horse.
Nuff said.

Well, true but if I may respectfully add my two cents. I have a nice horse now, probably not 4 star but then again who knows. Why don't I, even as a lowly,base of the pyramid smurf, deserve to have a nice horse to learn on, move up the ranks on and just have about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on? My job is extremely stressful and finally,somehow, I ended up with a decent event horse. Why should I give him up? Am I the selfish bastard here? Who knows how far he could go with a really good rider. Frankly, I love him, I do not want to put him through that and he is just such a joy to ride (mostly!) that I'll just keep him.

SR Rider
Apr. 28, 2010, 08:22 AM
Economy. The downturn was devasting to me, and yet, I see people all around me who are clueless about times being so financially hard for others. I sold my horse 4 years ago...I wouldn't be able to afford him today. I think someone needs to get Goldman Sachs to contribute to the sport...they certainly made billions off us the last few years. (Goldman Sachs...great name for a horse!)

Marketing. Years ago Cathy Wieschhof marketed for people willing to contribute money for her event team...I gave a whopping $100 or so for a couple years. Yet I received thank you notes, email updates, photos from competitions, and personal face to face appreciation when I saw her at events....really made me feel like I was a part of something big. When I see her to this day, she always is genuinely friendly. Wish I could have done more to help her.

retreadeventer
Apr. 28, 2010, 08:57 AM
Frankly, I think there are a LOT more horses with four-star potential (if they get into the right program) than there are people willing to finance all the vet bills, boarding, show fees, maintenance and campaigning fees for horse and rider.

Oh so right.
In the racing business, you get a good horse, it pays for all the marginal ones you've got languishing in the stalls. I keep saying this, and I've said it for a LONG time. Lissen up girlfriends. We have PLENTY OF FOUR STAR HORSES.

We just don't have plenty of money people to develop them and campaign them. Owners and funding is our problem. Our country is big. Travel is expensive. The sport is smaller and less publicized than Europe and there are far less events with prize money than European events. It's an uphill climb here to fund four star animals along to where they should go.

The USET is useless at doing this, they've proven that over the last 25-30 years. It's all they can do (or seems to be) to fund the selection process and the competition expenses for selected teams. They are an "after the fact" sort of group. Riders themselves put on fundraisers for the USET!

The team can't even send developing horses to Europe to compete, that's on their own dime. They are so underfunded its not funny. The way they fundraise is ancient and unwieldy. Sad, sad, sad.

It's left to the USEA to develop the Gold Cup series (with sponsors) and individual events like the Event at Rebecca Farm, etc. to put on the HSBC/FEI world cups events, raising funds on their own, for the highest levels in the sport. We even have individuals, including some on this board, who have funded young promising riders and horses to compete overseas. But we don't have enough in ANY OF THOSE CATEGORIES AND WE NEED MORE. More individuals. More groups. More syndicates and partnerships. More education about how to develop all the above, and Real World current funding strategies from our leadership. (Purge the non performers!) And guess what...there's one set of people I see doing something about this....and they are.....

So the Pro Riders group comes along, everyone hates them, yada, yada, but guess what they are doing. They address the problem -- encouraging prize money for big events -- to attract moneyed people as owners! Yet last time I looked on this board the venom went on to like 6 pages about this group....

Does anyone else see the complete weltschmerz here?

FairWeather
Apr. 28, 2010, 10:22 AM
As someone who owns exactly zero Upper Level Horses, my only thought is--People have a right to pay whomEVER they want to ride their animals.

Having had a chance to observe lots of folks with lots of different kinds of horses, I know that if I had an ULH that I wanted to put with someone, a lot would depend on what the horse was like, what it's needs were, and what I wanted out of the experience. As an example If I had a spooky/tough horse I'd probably send it to Boyd or Doug Payne because I know that they handle tough/spooky horses well.

There are lots of people out there who believe in their chosen riders--for whatever reason--and choose to support them with lovely horses. There are lots of folks out there who want the "brush with fame" of having specific people riding their horses. There are people who want their horses to win, and some who really just enjoy the journey of completion.

I'm a bit rambley here, but I once was part of a conversation where an owner was discussing a horse they had purchased for their chosen person (an up an comer who wants to break onto the international scene), and someone commented that it was a "shame" they didn't give the ride to someone more qualified. The owner was taken aback with the exact thoughts mentioned here--why on earth should someone else get the benefit of her good graces, generosity and *money* just because some other individual(s) thought that's the way it should be? They can buy horses and pay the bill on horses for whomever they want.

From the very outside looking in, there are a lot of good riders without supporters or big time horses (yet)--all struggling to get to the point of being the subject of a discussion like this.

VicariousRider
Apr. 28, 2010, 10:49 AM
So the Pro Riders group comes along, everyone hates them, yada, yada, but guess what they are doing. They address the problem -- encouraging prize money for big events -- to attract moneyed people as owners! Yet last time I looked on this board the venom went on to like 6 pages about this group....

Does anyone else see the complete weltschmerz here?

AMEN.

findeight
Apr. 28, 2010, 12:18 PM
Then there you go. That's one of the problems why we don't have horseflesh depth then. We are not willing to give up a potential **** horse to a rider capable of riding that horse.
Nuff said.

But you cannot leave out the cannot afford the bills and/or not wanting to surrender ownership or any kind of syndication or partnership deal to offset costs with an ULR.

Hey, no venom here. Not even my side of the fence. But if I had the money and the horse, I would not necessarily latch on with a mega operation 6 states away. Actually I'll come right out and say I wouldn't.

I'd be more likely to seek out the almost proven rider knocking at the door or the proven one lacking a decent string for reasons unrelated to horse care or talent. But I still want to participate in decision making so it would be my horse, not to ride, to stay in the loop.

Moot point in my case. But well worth considering the flash does not equal the best, even if it gets the flashy the better horses. That's across the board, all disciplines and the race track. And because I am old and seen it forever.

NeverTime
Apr. 28, 2010, 04:21 PM
I think it takes a special person to be an owner-sponsor, particularly of a horse going to a legitimate 4* rider/team contender -- people who MUST look at this as a business and make decisions based on the success of that business.

To be a good owner, you need to be someone passionate enough about the sport (or the horse, or the rider) to be willing to invest heaps of money into the animal you buy, but detached enough to not mind having little to no control over what happens to the animal once you ship it off to the rider.

The bigger barns, in particular, are NOT a place for owners who are totally emotionally bonded with their pride-and-joy homebred, or those with helicopter tendencies. The riders want you to support them, trust implicitly their judgment of what is best for your horse and otherwise leave them alone to do their thing.

Particularly when considering a horse that's going to the rider with 4*/Team ambitions, the rider pretty much runs the show. As an owner, you might get to come out and hack your horse if you are so inclined but you will be expected to foot the bills, pay the entry fees while having little to no input into the horse's training or competition schedule, or what's being done medically to ensure that horse's soundness or enhance its performance.

((In fact, if you're labeled "high maintenance" (probably for wanting to have regular conversations and input into what's going on with your horse), you might be purposefully left out of the loop about what therapies and how many injections "your" horse is getting, where and how often it's getting rest/turnout/competed, etc.))

In short, you've got to believe so much in the sport or the person or the horse that you are OK witg being told, however kindly, "I want your money and your horse, not your input and your advice."

VicariousRider
Apr. 28, 2010, 11:36 PM
In short, you've got to believe so much in the sport or the person or the horse that you are OK witg being told, however kindly, "I want your money and your horse, not your input and your advice."

I think that your entire post is very accurate and, in my experience, it pervades many horse sports. I also think it is a big reason that people don't want to be owners. Most people want to be involved so they either stay with a trainer that caters to that (even if it means being at lower levels) or just owning horses that they can ride themselves. The truth is that most people who are really passionate about horse sports actually want to be involved, not just spectate.

But I also agree that trainers need some control to get where they need to go. They are the one who sits on the horse every day and is the professional.

The balance of power is really a delicate thing.

subk
Apr. 29, 2010, 12:07 AM
Am I the selfish bastard here?
Not in my book. Of course, I kept my "world class" potential horse for myself too.

All these "talented rider/developing 2nd tier rider/struggling 1st tier rider/Young Rider deserves to have somebody else pay their expenses" threads are really starting to bug me. Who are we to tell someone else how they ought to spend their own hard earned money?

Considering 4 out of the top 6 horses at Rolex this year were OTTBs, I'm in the "there are more 4* horses than riders willing and able to commit the time and talent to make them" camp.

DLee
Apr. 29, 2010, 08:14 AM
Considering 4 out of the top 6 horses at Rolex this year were OTTBs .

Seriously? I didn't know that. That's terrific. :yes:

retreadeventer
Apr. 29, 2010, 08:36 AM
Owners want MONEY.

Ravencrest_Camp
Apr. 29, 2010, 08:46 AM
Kim "lost" Linda? I don't have any inside info, but I always had the impression that, if not mutual, it was the other way around.

I've been reading this thread half wondering whether Kim isn't in the situation she's in because she wants it that way, she wants to be the master of her own destiny rather than beholden to an owner. (Then again, her woefully out of date website *does* say she's looking for partners/owners.)

She wants to be master of her own domain. :lol::lol::lol:

shea'smom
Apr. 29, 2010, 08:54 AM
now, now....

tuppysmom
Apr. 29, 2010, 08:51 PM
We encourage the owners of the horses that we have in training to take lessons on , and ride their horse. We want them to be invested in their horses' careers. We want them to be interested, to be involved, to be happy.

JER
Apr. 29, 2010, 08:57 PM
Owners want MONEY.

Really?

I don't. I want my horses to have a good experience at the ULs of eventing.

It should be obvious to all that there's no money in this sport.

Robby Johnson
Apr. 29, 2010, 10:31 PM
In short, you've got to believe so much in the sport or the person or the horse that you are OK witg being told, however kindly, "I want your money and your horse, not your input and your advice."

I really enjoyed reading this post. I think it points out very clearly what Denny alluded to when he started the thread, though I'm not sure if it was your intention. My summation is that depending on specific owners to buy horses for specific riders is not going to sustain the program long-term. We DO need to be pooling the money to an appropriate organization that can possibly extend the training/upkeep grants to riders and horses.

Believe me, Kim Severson could pick up the phone and find a world-class horse in the amount of time it's taken me to type this sentence. But finding a scenario like the one that truly allowed her to express her talent at the highest level is, as we all know, nearly impossible. Different riders like to manage their programs and horses in ways that often are unique to their experience. As long as a baseline of expectations are defined and managed - with both funding source and funds recipients accountable for their part - I would actually be very quick to make regular contributions. I think it would allow lots of talented riders the opportunity to develop their horses and themselves, and it might greatly increase the depth of the pools from which our team representatives are selected.

SLR
Apr. 30, 2010, 08:03 AM
www. ahtf3day.org Is the organization that does just that, and so few people know about it.

snoopy
Apr. 30, 2010, 09:29 AM
www. ahtf3day.org Is the organization that does just that, and so few people know about it.



Does WHAT?

SLR
Apr. 30, 2010, 03:25 PM
Sorry Snoopy, I'm too dumb to know how to use the quotes, but the AHTF does this:

Helping riders and event organizers pay for their training and competition expenses
The American Horse Trials Foundation is a non-profit corporation established to assist Three Day Event Riders and Organizers in raising tax deductible financial support for national and international competition. Eventing is one of three Olympic Equestrian sports, with its origins in cavalry training - combining the very diverse disciplines of dressage, cross-country riding and show jumping.

Riders who are bona fide national or international level competitors are eligible to apply for grants from the American Horse Trials Foundation to further their preparation for Olympic or World Championship competition. In 1990 the American Horse Trials Foundation expanded its program to include grants for Horse Trials that offer competition at the preliminary level or above. Additionally, the program includes grants for qualified Young Riders and Riders competing in the Show Jumping, Dressage and Endurance disciplines.

The Foundation has enabled athletes with limited financial resources to train and compete at the national and international levels. At this time our beneficiaries include many of the top Eventers in the country including most of the team members and individual competitors at the Olympic games, World Equestrian Games and Pan Am Games since the late 1980’s. The Foundation has also enabled Event Organizers to build, maintain and upgrade their courses.

Since its inception in 1987 the American Horse Trials Foundation has distributed over $17 million directly to equestrian athletes and competition organizers for competitive activities. At this time only 8 percent of each contribution is deducted for administrative expenses.

If you would like to assist equestrian athletes, or are a rider or organizer needing financial support, contact the Foundation today.

The American Horse Trials Foundation has been granted tax exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. All contributions are deductible to the maximum extent allowed by law. Donations should be directed to the American Horse Trials Foundation, Inc.

Gry2Yng
May. 4, 2010, 11:41 PM
Sorry, maybe I'm more into 'do it for the team' if I had a horse that could go to a ****. That's just me though.

First you would have to convince me that the TEAM was going to do right by my horse. And by that I don't mean the rider. By that I mean, when the medals are on the line and my horse has a lesion in some vital soft tissue but the vets and the farrier and the Coach and the Chef think they can get him thru the jog and show jumping, tho it might end the horses upper level career, what comes first? (This question is rhetorical.)

Sorry, any four star horse I might own will have to be happy running around the middle levels with me, I'll find other ways to support the team.

pwynnnorman
May. 5, 2010, 10:21 PM
Interesting thread.

I recall way back in time that there WERE many riders willing to give up their talented horse so a more talented rider could take it further than they and/or support the team with it. Times change, but it's true: That was not an uncommon way for ULRs to get ULHs...and sponsorship, too, since, back in the day, many who obtained and started the ULH were well-enough heeled to continue supporting the horse under the ULR.

Maybe it's a matter of ambition for the country vs. ambition for the self...or maybe it's the AGE of the rider mounted on more talent than they can use. In the past, IIRC, oftentimes that rider was the same age or even older--mature enough to control the pursestrings on the horse and to be more concerned for the big picture, rather than the personal picture. Maybe the problem is that that type of well-heeled, dedicated, committed enthusiast doesn't get connected to the ULR today ("high maintenance" issues, perhaps?), even though they're riding a talented horse. Maybe that type isn't your typical ULR student, while the younger, me-first type is...these days? (This harkens back to the personality/promotion/communication issues implied earlier.)

Meanwhile...Andrew Nicholson, Pippa Funnell, Marky King, and many others have ridden siblings and sought out the offspring of this or that mare or stallion. In this country, jumper riders have been known to do the same. But our ULR event riders just don't seem to THINK that way, do they? (I've found that LLRs are interested in the connections, however--part of their appreciation of the sport as a whole, perhaps.) For example, I adore Woodburn and have named a Teddy sibling after Connaught...but I couldn't tell you who they are by or if they have siblings competing (surely Connaught does!) and if so under whom. I know the efforts of the Billy Stud better than Acorn Hill. I know the family story behind Lord Killinghurst and Avebury. Horse and Hound even reports on the ETs of famous eventing mares. I love to learn who they are being bred to. I know a LOT more of the connections between top horses in the UK than in the US. Is it because there are no connections? Master Imp is always mentioned in H&H, but I can only name his son Mandiba here in the US. Courageous Comet's sibling had a foal, didn't she? I wonder if anyone besides MaryAnne looked seriously at/for her or will look at her offspring? And who could forget Leslie Law's gray siblings (horses)? I know I could be dead wrong about the UK, but it just seems that, there, people do check out those connections between talents--the media, too--including who bred, bought, found or produced them originally. Maybe this country is just too big for that? Still, I would enjoy knowing more about the backstory of the top horses and especially their relatives and how they came to be. COTH writes up hunter-jumper articles these days with attention to who the trainer is and where the horse came from. How often do eventing owners get interviewed after a big win here? Even if they aren't present, couldn't someone pick up the phone and call? My reason for going on like this on this thread is that perhaps something as simple as making much of owners consistently, like as a "modus operandi" for event coverage, would help to produce more of them--owners or owner-breeders or "producers" (in UK sense)?

RenaissanceMare
May. 5, 2010, 10:36 PM
Interesting thread.

I recall way back in time that there WERE many riders willing to give up their talented horse so a more talented rider could take it further than they and/or support the team with it.

Willing?

Who can really determine willingness.