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View Full Version : Jumping off from the other thread... the issue of people with criminal records at horse shows



Erin
Feb. 20, 2004, 01:06 PM
Carrying over from the other thread (http://chronicleforums.com/groupee/forums?a=tpc&s=6656094911&f=7076024331&m=764603451)...

I closed the first topic and started this one with the hope of just moving the discussion in a more general direction, and hopefully making it a little more productive and constructive, rather than just a matter of people bickering back and forth.

I'm copying below a post I made on page 21 of the previous thread, and I'm going to copy over a couple of other posts too, to use as jumping off points.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Can I interject here, in an effort to get this thread on SOME kind of productive track?

Look, I don't think everyone is ever going to agree on whether or not someone with this kind of criminal record is or isn't a "good" person... whether you're just talking about someone who you'd associate with as a friend or business acquaintance, or in the moral sense of the word. It's kind of pointless to argue about it.

We all have different standards of what we'll tolerate and forgive, and obviously if you have a history with a person, your perspective is going to be different than someone who wouldn't know the person in question from Adam.

I'd like to ask a couple of questions, in the hopes that we can stop the "He's great!"/"No, he's not!" bickering.

1. Are there any parents out there whose kids read TH? Or whose kids have met KK in person or corresponded with him? Did you know about his prior conviction before this thread? If not, does this change your stance on what you will allow your kids to do? Why or why not? If you knew his history, have you been more vigilant about keeping an eye on your kids while they're reading his site/corresponding with him, or have you just been as vigilant as you would be with anyone else?

2. Those of you who are kids and who read TH or correspond with KK... are your parents aware of his previous conviction?

3. In a more general sense... we are all "customers" of the shows/competitions we attend. As a customer, would you be comfortable with a show's management employing a convicted sex offender? What about someone with a conviction for drug possession?

4. Do you feel, in either of the above scenarios, that show management has a responsibility to disclose that someone has a criminal history? Why or why not?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Erin
Feb. 20, 2004, 01:06 PM
Carrying over from the other thread (http://chronicleforums.com/groupee/forums?a=tpc&s=6656094911&f=7076024331&m=764603451)...

I closed the first topic and started this one with the hope of just moving the discussion in a more general direction, and hopefully making it a little more productive and constructive, rather than just a matter of people bickering back and forth.

I'm copying below a post I made on page 21 of the previous thread, and I'm going to copy over a couple of other posts too, to use as jumping off points.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Can I interject here, in an effort to get this thread on SOME kind of productive track?

Look, I don't think everyone is ever going to agree on whether or not someone with this kind of criminal record is or isn't a "good" person... whether you're just talking about someone who you'd associate with as a friend or business acquaintance, or in the moral sense of the word. It's kind of pointless to argue about it.

We all have different standards of what we'll tolerate and forgive, and obviously if you have a history with a person, your perspective is going to be different than someone who wouldn't know the person in question from Adam.

I'd like to ask a couple of questions, in the hopes that we can stop the "He's great!"/"No, he's not!" bickering.

1. Are there any parents out there whose kids read TH? Or whose kids have met KK in person or corresponded with him? Did you know about his prior conviction before this thread? If not, does this change your stance on what you will allow your kids to do? Why or why not? If you knew his history, have you been more vigilant about keeping an eye on your kids while they're reading his site/corresponding with him, or have you just been as vigilant as you would be with anyone else?

2. Those of you who are kids and who read TH or correspond with KK... are your parents aware of his previous conviction?

3. In a more general sense... we are all "customers" of the shows/competitions we attend. As a customer, would you be comfortable with a show's management employing a convicted sex offender? What about someone with a conviction for drug possession?

4. Do you feel, in either of the above scenarios, that show management has a responsibility to disclose that someone has a criminal history? Why or why not?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Erin
Feb. 20, 2004, 01:08 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by magnolia:

Why this matters-
I'm not so concerned with his alleged crimes ... on my list of "bad" people, someone caught with drugs isn't a huge deal - again, my opinion - and sex offender, well, that's a broad term, though I wouldn't leave my child or myself with him alone!.

A lot of people are defending him - most of which are people that know him and actively show. Which is fine, they actually know the person, not the charges. The problem is, his actions damage the whole sport's reputation, which is bad enough.

Parents are so leary of sex offenders - good idea! Heck, we can't get a rezoning for a daycare because "it attracts sex offenders" - parents are acutely aware, if not paranoid of this. Do you not think that a parent looking for a new activity for their child will read about this online or in the paper? Then it spreads, then someone comes here to see people defending it - great, now like the day care attracts sex offenders, so do horseshows - and "They employ KNOWN sex offenders".... no way I'd let my kid start riding lessons with an eye to the hunter circuit.

The man got one second chance. He blew it and it reflects poorly on this sport and all the honest people that engage in it. No, drug use is not an indicator that I don't like someone, I have my own past. But when you are a public spokesman for something who already has a past record, you should seriously consider staying clean. He isn't some manure shoveler, he is a pretty key part of these shows and his role as editor at Towerheads only makes him more public.

The witchy witch witch of south central NC.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Party Rose
Feb. 20, 2004, 01:08 PM
I think that we all owe the moderators here a great big Christmas bonus.

Thanks for being here for us.........

Erin
Feb. 20, 2004, 01:09 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Bensmom:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I had a few thoughts run through my mind while driving.

1. What are the legal rights of a person charged as KK was?

_Same as the rights of anyone charged with any crime, for the original incident. I'm not completely sure what is different for those charged with V.O.P. (i.e. for example, the no bond issue) Otherwise, you've got a right to an attorney etc. Is that what you meant?_

2. Though a matter of public record, where does ones privacy stand in a situation as this?

_One's privacy meaning? The arrest and charging documents are public record. Just about everything surrounding the case is a matter of public record. Sometimes if you have a child testifying, a judge will "close" the courtroom for that, but all other aspects of the case are public record. If you mean as far as discussing it here, then like anything else, it isn't libel/slander as long as what's said is known to be the "truth" or is clearly couched as "opinion." That is why poor Erin is working so hard to make sure the posts are edited to only cover what is known as "fact" which at this point is the prior arrest and placement on probation for the L&L charge and the current arreest for probation violation. I haven't seen the actual arrest/charging info, but the newspaper article printed the details about the drugs, so that is probably verifiable as well, but I don't know that, as I haven't verified it as true myself. Other than that -- if you were to post that you "heard" he did thus and such and couldn't factually back it up, that is a definite issue. But as far as a right to privacy in the concern of having a prior conviction, there isn't one really._

3. Is an offender as this required to divulge information as to a prior criminal record to prospective employers, though the employers may not ask specifically for this information?

_It depends. For instance, the new laws surrounding the sexual offender offenses have a tremendous number of requirements, including one that I just read that requires notification of DHSMV (motor vehicles) of the conviction -- I thought this was a bit odd -- do they print it on your license? But, you do have certain disclosure requirements and I'm not sure how they all operate or what they are._

4. Assuming (not a far stretch) that all of the show management teams were aware of KK's prior history, or anyones for that matter, if liability thru employment were to be a problem, I would think that either they have previously contacted their attorneys & their insurance company prior to employing Mr. Kraus or anyone in a situation as this. Would they want to take the chance of loosing it all for employing just one person?

_Again, it depends. I'm always surprised at what people will do despite the liabilty issues. For whatever reason, they obviously were not concerned enough to not hire him. There must have been a reason that it was thought to be a good business decision._

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Under some of Florida's new provisions concerning sexual offenders, some of these issues don't come up or haven't come up yet, because following prison time, many of them are being civilly committed to a facility that is designed to examine and treat their problems. This civil commitment is indefinite and they can be held until it is determined that they are "well." So, under the laws in place for the last few years, this type of situation (a convicted sex offender working in a horse show environment) won't come up because it would be terribly unlikely that it would ever get to that.

_ *Proud member of the Hoof Fetish Clique*_<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hopeful Hunter
Feb. 20, 2004, 01:13 PM
Well.......here's my take on #3 and #4 (no children, so I can't answer the first two):

I am NOT comfortable with shows hiring convicted sex offenders or those convicted of drug possession. I also don't understand why that seems to be a difficult issue.

I don't know the law - so there may indeed be reasons why this is not possible - but couldn't they just routinely ask ALL applicants "have you ever been convicted of a crime" or something and just not hire those who respond yes? Not charged with, but convicted of a crime.

We entrust those things we hold most dear - our children and our horses - to the shows in many respects. I believe we have the right and indeed the obligation to expect those shows to do their best to protect our kids and horses. We can expect them to do that through decent footing, secure stabling, safe courses and yes, through not hiring people who have proven to be potentially dangerous through their behaviors.

Party Rose
Feb. 20, 2004, 01:17 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>We can expect them to do that through decent footing, secure stabling, safe courses and yes, through not hiring people who have proven to be potentially dangerous through their behaviors. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

This is what I am asking. Would this be considered prejudice or discrimination that could be persued by the applicant in the legal arena?

Hopeful Hunter
Feb. 20, 2004, 01:19 PM
actually, the whole KK thread, coupled with the suspension thread and sense of "well, everyone KNOWS X does this/ Y does that" got me thinking....

If "everyone" knows there's a proverbial elephant in the parlor of the horse world, why are there so many draperies thrown on it to hide it?

I'm asking this honestly, as someone who considers herself reasonably intelligent on most days but who is still fairly new and low-level in this world. Again, my question is:

How does or should someone know about history or concerns regarding individuals in the show world? Do you need to investigate everyone (how very sad)? And if so, where do you go to do it?

Some have said they find these boards inappropriate for that. OK, I disagree as long as things are kept to legal reasonable discussion, but if that's so......where do you go? Not everyone is AT a big show barn to start; not everyone goes to the huge shows or pays to subscribe to everything.

Yet I hear a lot of "oh, everyone knows that." Maybe I'm just a lot dumber than I think - which is possible - but I don't believe "everyone" does know.

I never would have thought about the issue of convicted sex offenders working at shows -- I just sort of naively figured that wasn't allowed. I was wrong. I'm getting really scared about what else I could be wrong about, too...

radio talk Aefvue Farms RCA
Feb. 20, 2004, 01:24 PM
I am assuming, that the laws would depend on what state the show was being held in as well, with hiring. Discrimination is something you have to be careful of. From long time experience, think we all would be greatly surprised at what criminal records lurk in our industry. Horses, whether it's racing or showing, have been a place many hide comfortably in. Am not saying this to scare anyone. Nor is anyone dumb for not knowing this. We all like to see the garden as blooming, not dried out, with flowers gone. History has proved this over and over again.

Horse labor is hard work, and people don't pay all that much for manual labor. So, when someone shows up, seems to do the job well, and likes the horses, they get hired. No questions asked. They perform, show up on time, and in general keep to themselves. So and so down the road might know of them, so thats about all the resume they get. Then something happens, and what looked like a great employee, isn't. This business as with others has problems.

L'histoire
Feb. 20, 2004, 01:26 PM
'Have you ever been convicted of a crime' can cover a WIDE range of offenses (obviously). Running a stop sign can get you convicted of a crime. I think my mother may have been convicted of a misdemeanor (some sort of civil disobedience?) in the '70s (she was definitely arrested) for protesting. I think it's silly to paint all 'criminals' with one brush - she has a graduate degree from one of the Ivies, works her butt off, and is very good at what she does. The government trusts her enough to give her a security clearence. If she has indeed been convicted of a misdemeanor (I'm really not sure), you're basically saying she's unfit to work at a horse show. Come on, now -

Most people aren't going to want to pay the extra $$$ - on top of entry fees, stabling costs, misc. fees, etc. - so that management companies can run background checks on all their employees. There are MANY people who do bad things, but have had the good fortune not to get caught. If you're terribly curious about people in your home state, many states have court records online - you can look up stuff ranging from the state Supreme Court all the way down to Gen'l. District Court info, just with a person's name. Does your state have a convicted sex offender list online? You can look people up on that based on area/name/etc. You'd probably be suprised how many people in your neighborhood, street, what have you are convicted sex offenders. It is, unfortunately, not a terribly rare thing.

Snowbird
Feb. 20, 2004, 01:34 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Under some of Florida's new provisions concerning sexual offenders, some of these issues don't come up or haven't come up yet, because following prison time, many of them are being civilly committed to a facility that is designed to examine and treat their problems. This civil commitment is indefinite and they can be held until it is determined that they are "well." So, under the laws in place for the last few years, this type of situation (a convicted sex offender working in a horse show environment) won't come up because it would be terribly unlikely that it would ever get to that.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Unfortunately, that may not be as cut and dried as it appears. Many mentally disturbed people are released as cured so long as they take their medication. There is no way however when out of the controlled situation to make sure that they actually do take their medication.

Once off that medication they can return to their original condition. So it is possible that a person who is a convicted sexual predator could be released as cured, and not take their medication and return to the predator condition and that person could be at a horse show as an official or employee.

I don't think we can guarantee that everyone at any horse show in 100% average. There is no such thing as normal, just a percentage of average behaviors that are acceptable. There has been a lot of serious debate as to whether a pedophile is ever actually cured or is it just controlled behavior.

Over the past 33 years of running horse shows we have certainly found a scattering of some very perverted behavior. But, generally this is a very tiny percentage of the whole and no larger than that in the general population.

I personally however think that we do the predator a serious disservice when we act as if it's OK! and allow them to be in an environment likely to trigger what was controlled. For example there was a case of a convicted predator that chose to live across the street from a Grade School where little children passed back and forth twice a day. He defended his right to live wherever he chose and he chose to live where he could see children all the time.

I think this discussion needs to consider where the personal rights of a predator end as compared to those of the other people who may then be fearful for the children and their right to a peaceful life style. In the case mentioned above they determined that the overall good was for the predator to move from the source of his psychosis.

Battle Scarred Veteran

SED
Feb. 20, 2004, 01:39 PM
Addressing Erin's topic directly:

1.

Draygonfyne
Feb. 20, 2004, 01:39 PM
I haven't had the chance to run through the other thread yet...but wanted to share some food for thought about charges.

I work as a Probation Officer for youths in Ontario. I see a variety of charges and situations coming through the Courts for the 12-16 year olds that I work with.

Consider this...

A youth who "mooned" another youth was charged and found guilty of sexual assault. Now...if this is the standard, how many of us have committed a "sexual assault"? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

So...I guess my point is that some very minor things can result in charges. So, before saying that everyone who has been found guilty in Court should be screened.....we need to remember the reality of some of the stuff actually going to Court these days.....

www.draygonfynedesign.ca (http://www.draygonfynedesign.ca)

Party Rose
Feb. 20, 2004, 01:40 PM
When I ask about prejudice and discrimination, I am not asking specifically within the horse industry. I ask about in any arena, outside of those that has been disallowed by a legal system.

Tiramit
Feb. 20, 2004, 01:40 PM
Why can't show organizations instill an employee drug policy just like every other company in the U.S.? Something that leads to an automatic firing (i.e., permanent banishment)? Most working Americans have to live by one - what makes the horse show management world exempt?

To answer your questions, Erin, I would not be comfortable knowing a convicted sex offender was employed by the show management. If I had children, I'd REALLY be uncomfortable. And no, I would not allow my children to chat with a convicted sex offender.

As far as the criminal past, a simple check box on the form would work. Have you been convicted of: &lt;and list the ones that would apply to horse showing and a family event&gt;? If yes, be specific as to the crime? How long ago? What was your sentence? In what state were you convicted?

People always have the option to not fill out the form, but that of course means they won't be hired. And anyone who hasn't been convicted of something that applies (that takes care of L'histoire's mother http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif) won't be bothered by it.

There's an old saying, "a leopard doesn't change his spots." I'd rather be safe than sorry.

.................................................. .................................................. ......
"Whether you think you can or think you can't - you are right." -Henry Ford

SED
Feb. 20, 2004, 01:46 PM
Oops, messed up.

1. It would matter to me if someone was convicted of a sexual offense and was still on administrative probation -- and yet played an important public role for a horse show. If I found that out, I would probably let show management know my feelings. If they nonetheless kept that person, I probably would not boycott the show. But that's because I am with my daughter all the time at the shows, and don't let her go with anyone else. If I was a Mom entrusting my daughter to a trainer to go to another state, I would be VERY upset about it. My guess is that there are lots of orphan teenagers in Florida right now...I wonder if any of their Moms read this board?

2. I don't feel as strongly about a drug possession offense, although I do about a drug dealing offense. That may not be rational, but that's the way I feel. If anyone was EVER caught providing drugs or alcohol to the minors, however, that would be even worse than the sexual offender issue.

3. I agree with the comment about being sceptical about "everyone knows about it". That may be true in WEF right now, because the high level of those shows means that only people totally immersed in that world -- and at big name barns -- are even participating. But at the statewide A shows we participate in, I am sure there are lots of things that many people know, but that barns who want to stay out of the gossip loop would not know. We're attending two AA shows in a few weeks here in Houston. I would have NO idea who or what kinds of problems exist along the lines addressed in this thread. Show management should never assume knowledge.

4. In general, this is a reminder about the dangers of letting ANY teenagers go for extended periods of time without their parents at out of town events. Most trainers I know are so busy caring for the horses, that they are not the best caretakers of teenagers -- even with the best of intentions.

Snowbird
Feb. 20, 2004, 01:51 PM
Hopeful Hunter let me give you an example of how difficult it can be. I interviewed and checked references (I thought)of a very nice middle aged i.e. not very young but not old man for barn work. He seemed just fine, filled out my employment form which includes the right for me to search criminal records.

He had no record. He didn't show up the day he was to start, I called and he said he a problem moving and storing his stuff and would be here the next day.

Well when the newspaper came the next day, I discovered that his problem moving was he had killed his live-in girl friend and when the police checked there were three warrants from three different states where he was "suspected" of having murdered the barn owner by whom he was employed. No police record and no convictions a clear record.

Fortunately, I was spared having to reconsider whether or not to hire him. My point is that I don't think there is any way that anyone can be assured they have the whole truth of anyone's story; if they intend for us not to know, except a conviction which is public record.

Battle Scarred Veteran

Bensmom
Feb. 20, 2004, 01:54 PM
Party Rose asked

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> This is what I am asking. Would this be considered prejudice or discrimination that could be persued by the applicant in the legal arena? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, with the caveat that anyone can sue over anything, the question of whether the suit will be sucessful or dismissed is the important one.

The short answer to this is "no" -- someone who can sue for discrimination has to be able to prove that they are a member of a "protected class" and that means usually racial, gender, or age discrimination. Being a convicted felon is definitely *not* a protected class.

As a matter of fact, convicted felons often have fewer civil rights that members of the general public -- they can't possess firearms, for instance. You could certainly decide not to hire someone who was a convicted felon.

Snowbird -- just fwiw, as of yet, there have been a couple of judges that have released people from the civil commitment facility (i.e. legally something was done incorrectly in detaining them) none of the professionals that review the offenders have certified that any of them are "well" whether on medication or not.

It will be interesting to see how this civil commitment system works over time.

Libby

*Proud member of the Hoof Fetish Clique*

Party Rose
Feb. 20, 2004, 01:56 PM
Snowbird

That really scares me.

Party Rose
Feb. 20, 2004, 01:58 PM
Thanks Bensmom...........

Snowbird
Feb. 20, 2004, 02:09 PM
Just think how I felt! How close did I come to being number 4? You all know I can be pretty confrontational and especially when it comes to the care of my horses.

My point is that we as parents and grandparents cannot assume anywhere is totally safe and we need to be conscious of those dangers without scaring the children to death.

I do think that a conviction especially with a guilty plea should be a very important factor. It may be that a few innocent pranksters are caught in that web but better that and they learn to shape up than to take an obvious risk.
I'm sorry but I am prejudiced and I do believe that children have the right to grow up safely more than any convicted predator has the right to be where the children are.

There is a large need for help at Senior Citizen Villages where children are not permitted. And, perhaps if it's a teen ager and it's been 15/20 years since the offense and the record is clean they could be expunged from the list.

Yes! it could be that the worst offenders are not caught, but that's not a reason to ignore and turn loose the ones that have been caught.

I agree that if we can have smoke free areas it should be possible to have drug free areas where there is a sports activity. I'd certainly agree to have the drug sniffing dogs around at a horse show.

Battle Scarred Veteran

lauriep
Feb. 20, 2004, 03:00 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Tiramit:
Why can't show organizations instill an employee drug policy just like every other company in the U.S.? Something that leads to an automatic firing (i.e., permanent banishment)? Most working Americans have to live by one - what makes the horse show management world exempt?

To answer your questions, Erin, I would not be comfortable knowing a convicted sex offender was employed by the show management. If I had children, I'd REALLY be uncomfortable. And no, I would not allow my children to chat with a convicted sex offender.

As far as the criminal past, a simple check box on the form would work. Have you been convicted of: &lt;and list the ones that would apply to horse showing and a family event&gt;? If yes, be specific as to the crime? How long ago? What was your sentence? In what state were you convicted?

People always have the option to not fill out the form, but that of course means they won't be hired. And anyone who hasn't been convicted of something that applies (that takes care of L'histoire's mother http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif) won't be bothered by it.

There's an old saying, "a leopard doesn't change his spots." I'd rather be safe than sorry.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

"Every other company" in the US doesn't necessarily do mandatory drug screenings, mostly those that employ people responsible for the safety of others (railroad, bus, plane, etc.) "And those that do vary WIDELY in the consequences of being caught, but it is very rare that a first offense will result in dismissal.

Why should the horse show world be any different than the retail world, entertainment world, or anywhere else that you frequent everyday? Do you demand this of your grocery store employees? Your music store? Your library? Where do you draw the line? You are probably much less likely to encounter Ken, unless you seek him out, than anyone on the above list, and more. How about your UPS or FedEx driver? Do you know what their criminal history is? More and more companies are doing background checks, but unless you pay the big bucks for an NCIC (nationwide) criminal history, most only look in the state where the employee will be working. If you had a crime in CA and want to work in PA or FL, no one will ever know if only a FL check is run.

And as I stated elsewhere, discrimination on the basis of misdemeanor crimes isn't usually allowed under the law, and most applications only ask about felonies. And even with these you are supposed to still be eligible for hire, although companies usually find a way not to hire felons. But again, felonies range widely from murder to white collar crime that involves a certain $$ amount. Are these types (not the murderers) NEVER supposed to be able to prove they have been rehabilitated? Never work again?

It just isn't as simple as you make it out to be. And the horse show world certainly isn't going to follow any higher standards then the real world, just because you think it should.

Laurie

ALF
Feb. 20, 2004, 03:15 PM
If the horse shows and sanctioning bodies can't prevent convicted felons from working at the shows, why must they pretend that some public service is being performed when they (selectively) prevent small time white collar crooks from participating or spectating?

Flash44
Feb. 20, 2004, 03:18 PM
In Baltimore City, there is actually a program in place to encourage small businesses to hire rehabilitated criminals. I think the city subsudizes the salary of the worker for a while. But there are requirements to be met, including the type of offense committed by the individual and they type of job they get.

CAH
Feb. 20, 2004, 03:28 PM
When this first broke a few years ago, eyebrows were raised. Many more are being raised again with the "I had no idea" statements.

My background for 22 years has me working with kids that are both victimized and offenders. I have had many discussions with therapists that work with sexual offenders and sexual predators (yes there is a difference). I could tell you first hand stories that would make your hair curl. That said, let me say the following....


1) Does your state have a sexual offender website registry? Do you know, and if so do you know how to access it? Does it include addresses? Have you checked it???

2) You are worried about horseshows???....you better be worried about more that that! Do you send you seven year old son unsupervised into a public restroom in a mall? In other crowded situations where kids are known to be? Sorry to be the wet blanket here, but horseshows should be the least of your worries. Think about it....

3) You never know. As a parent, it is your responsiblity to know who and where your kids are. And who they are with.

4) Drug testing for horse show employees....good luck. It will never happen. And I do not want to be paying the enourmous pricetag that will go along with the mandate.

[This message was edited by CAH on Feb. 20, 2004 at 07:44 PM.]

Snowbird
Feb. 20, 2004, 03:31 PM
I wonder how the new Anti-Doping Committee will figure in to our activites since it has to do with the drug use in Human Athletes.

Let's see the reason is they are suspended for having violated rules. So maybe we need some rules that include being a convicted pedophile.

In New Jersey our Equine Activity Law does permit a show manager to refuse to allow anyone who appears impaired due to drugs or alcohol without fear of retribution by way of a law suit.

Perhaps it might be an interesting experiment to try some kind of drug free zone for horse shows. I find it so interesting that people are so enraged by smoke from plain old cigarettes and yet seem to be so tolerant of all the other kinds of smokes.

Battle Scarred Veteran

Heidi
Feb. 20, 2004, 03:32 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>why must they pretend that some public service is being performed when they (selectively) prevent small time white collar crooks from participating or spectating? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif

Maybe 'cause it makes them feel like good, caring, considerate corporate citizens, their gesture that, 'your interests are in our best interests', equivalent to, 'we care about YOU'. Maybe Kathy Lee can sing their theme song.

And 'cause it's easier than dealing with the more important issues and problems.

You're right, Laurie, there are criminals in every field and sport and it'd be impossible to identify, tag, and ban every single person with a criminal past. The point of contention isn't that that the sport, the governing bodies, show management, hasn't ferreted out every single one - it's that they've elected to do nothing about the ones known to them.

ALF
Feb. 20, 2004, 03:35 PM
If you're going to quote me, at least put my name on it. C'mon.

ponyjumper4
Feb. 20, 2004, 03:47 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I have had many discussions with therapists that work with sexual offenders and sexual predators (yes there is a difference). ?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'm glad that was mentioned, because there is a difference. People kept referring to Ken as a predator, but he's not, based on what I've seen reported. An offender is one who has been charged/convicted once. A predator is one who actively seeks out those to 'offend' and has done so on multiple occasions.

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Erin
Feb. 20, 2004, 04:22 PM
It doesn't really seem to me that this is the Fed's job. The show managers are the ones who actually hire and pay people. Hell, you don't even have to be a USEF member to work at a horse show. They just wouldn't have jurisdiction.

Snowbird, if I remember your post from the previous thread, I think you said you do not do any kind of background check on people you hire for shows? Like jump crew, gate stewards, etc.? Just checking to be sure I'm remembering your post right. From your conversations with other competition managers, do most of them do the same?

Also, when hiring people like jump and grounds crews, gate stewards, announcers, etc., do they actually fill out some kind of employment form? I'm just curious as to how all this works. I would imagine at the big shows, like the HITS and WEF circuits, the management signs contracts with individuals who provide their own workers, so maybe this isn't even something that most show managers have control over.

To answer my own questions, just for the sake of discussion...

I'm not a parent or a kid, so I'll skip 1 and 2.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>3. In a more general sense... we are all "customers" of the shows/competitions we attend. As a customer, would you be comfortable with a show's management employing a convicted sex offender? What about someone with a conviction for drug possession?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'm sort of in the camp who feels as though someone who has been convicted and has served time has paid their debt. I'd like to be able to trust competition managers to evaluate people as individuals and make smart decisions. If a guy shows up wanting to drive the tractor to drag the ring, and he was convicted and served time for possession of drugs, he shouldn't necessarily automatically be shooed away. Although I would guess that most employers would do just that.

Now, a sexual offender is a slightly different story. If the person was convicted of a sexual offense against a child, I wouldn't be comfortable if a show employed someone with that history in a position that would lead to interaction with young people -- jump crew, gate stewards, etc., get really chummy with a lot of those pretty young girls (and boys) who may not be all that closely supervised. Yes, it is the parents' responsibility, ultimately, to keep track of who their kids interact with, but I still wouldn't want to let a fox run around in the henhouse. Even if he were a very nice, friendly fox. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif And if show management is aware of a person having that kind of history, I think they should play it safe.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>4. Do you feel, in either of the above scenarios, that show management has a responsibility to disclose that someone has a criminal history? Why or why not?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I may be in the minority here, but no, I don't feel that it needs to be disclosed... again, I want to be able to trust show management to make smart decisions for the safety of their customers. If they hire the guy who served time for possession to drag the ring, and if they think he's trustworthy and they've checked him out thoroughly and KEEP checking him out, then I don't think the guy needs to be publicly "outed."

With a sexual offender... well, again, I don't think someone who was convicted of rape should, say, be the night watchman who's hanging around the barn in the dark when there's no one there but the pretty young braider. But if he's running the concession stand... that might be different.

I have a hard time with this issue, but tend to lean toward not "branding" people for life. Might just be rose-colored glasses, though. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

If, however, a sexual offender were to be in constant contact with the kind of person he or she might find "tempting"... I would absolutely say that the fact should be disclosed. And I would imagine that most show managers would have mass outcry on their hands if, say, they hired someone to be an announcer and informed everyone that he was a convicted sexual offender. And I'm sure that's exactly why most show managers wouldn't disclose it... which, I think, says an awful lot about whether that person should be in that job in the first place. Just MHO.

CAH
Feb. 20, 2004, 04:43 PM
Background checks vary from jurisdiction to jurisidiction. Employers may just check the "local police dept" for active warrants. To do it thoroughly, it requires a search throught the SCIC/NCIC system, and fingerprinting. Local/state police departments will provide this service, however there is usually a charge for the service (around here, anyway). Should it be the role of the potential employee to pay 50 bucks for a background check, for a horseshow that you may only work at a couple times a year? Should it be the reponsiblity of the show manager? Would you, as an exhibitor, be willing to pay these fees?

And BTW, the wait time for the results of a background check can be weeks to months.

Molly99
Feb. 20, 2004, 05:04 PM
One thing to also remember is that most employees at horse shows, from the judges, announcers to the jump crew are all CONTRACT employees. No taxes taken out, all get 1099's for MISC income at the end of the year. To my knowledge, no contract I have ever signed had anything about a background check, nor do I believe that any have ever been done. My contracts simply state that I will preform X duties, for X days for X rate per day. Nothing except that and the normal disclosure that I am a contract labor, not a permanent employee. I believe besides the tax issues, it has something to do with insurance issues.

Snowbird
Feb. 20, 2004, 05:19 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Snowbird, if I remember your post from the previous thread, I think you said you do not do any kind of background check on people you hire for shows? Like jump crew, gate stewards, etc.? Just checking to be sure I'm remembering your post right. From your conversations with other competition managers, do most of them do the same?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Sadly, I admit I don't do a background check for the show personnel. I do for my permanent barn staff but as mentioned that isn't always satisfactory anyway but they are resident on the farm and weekly payroll which makes a difference to me.

I have never heard of any show manager that said anything about doing background checks nor has it ever come up in conversation. Generally, its I need an starter do you know anyone who might be available? We then get a summary of short coming and assets related to that person. For someone who shows up a 7:30 AM and is a day person has no responsibilities around the farm and is usually busy with a group of people all day up until now I honestly don't think I gave it a thought.

As mentioned by someone for a person who is an independent contractor and not really an employee in a formal sense for a day or even several days spread apart. It would hardly be worth the investment.

For example if I were going to hire a new judge or steward it would not occur to me to check them out. Yet, in the context of this dialog we probably should.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Also, when hiring people like jump and grounds crews, gate stewards, announcers, etc., do they actually fill out some kind of employment form? I'm just curious as to how all this works. I would imagine at the big shows, like the HITS and WEF circuits, the management signs contracts with individuals who provide their own workers, so maybe this isn't even something that most show managers have control over.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

My guess is that Hits has them on a regular payroll annually and moves them through the circuit as needed. And, yes, there would be independent contractors. But, does anyone background check braiders, I doubt it.

As a small family show we have mostly our own people from the farm filling in all the slots that don't require licenses or special training.
I'm sure that's very different for the 10/12 ring shows that go on week after week after week. There the show is the service and here it is an amenity.

I will say that if I had heard criminal reports regarding any person from announcer, steward or judges even secretaries I simply wouldn't call to hire them. If it was someone I already hired I would find an excuse not to use them.

As to giving someone a break and a second chance yes! depending on the problem. We have had recovering alcoholics. We have given people a chance who were recovering drug addicts. But, only one chance and they are watched very carefully. I would not have anyone who had committed a violent crime, rape or was involved with molesting children because on a farm you just can't properly supervise their activities. In the case of consenting adults, it's really not my concern unless they make the clients uncomfortable by making passes at them.

However, if some has a criminal record it would depend on what was the issue. If for example it was stealing money, I probably would be more generous and just keep tham out of the office. If however, it was someone guilty of stealing tack or horses I wouldn't have them around.

I don't believe that if someone is posted as a sexual offender (I didn't really note the differences before)I would not have them around kids until the law had expunged the name from the list because of the liability risk as well as the possibility they could be blamed for what they didn't do in order to make a law suit.

There have been trainers that were accused and arrested and found guilty of molesting their students. I would ask them not to attend my shows for their own benefit. There are two people who were in this business that I would not allow on my farm at any time because I knew first hand what they had done even though they were not arrested. In one case I was shocked to find out there was no law against molesting a child's mind.

Battle Scarred Veteran

Katie
Feb. 20, 2004, 07:09 PM
Firstly, pedophilia is a SICKNESS and according to the experts, pedophiles cannot be rehabilitated.

Secondly, I would be VERY uncomfortable to know that a horse show employed a known sexual offender. I would probably not show at that venue.

I don't have the luxury of relaxing in the presence of convicted sexual offenders, unlike some posters. I am the mother of a little girl and it's my job to protect her from the evils of the world.

Paloma
Feb. 20, 2004, 07:13 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Party Rose:
This is what I am asking. Would this be considered prejudice or discrimination that could be persued by the applicant in the legal arena?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

No, because unlike race or gender, being a criminal is by CHOICE according to standards set by society. There is nothing ILLEGAL about being black, white, male, female, a Christian or a Jew. Cocaine IS illegal, as is child molestation.

Losing status and trust among one's peers (being shunned) is the price one pays in society for one's inability to stay within set societal guideliness. Most people don't voluntarily choose to be shunned by society, and therefore try to stay within the established guidelines (laws). Those who choose their personal self-gratification over the safety and well-being of the society as a whole lose any rights to "fair" treatment (lack of discrimination) in that society, because they did not treat the other members of society with any thought to what is fair to the rest of the populus.

ALF
Feb. 20, 2004, 07:19 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Paloma:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Party Rose:
This is what I am asking. Would this be considered prejudice or discrimination that could be persued by the applicant in the legal arena?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

No, because unlike race or gender, being a criminal is by CHOICE according to standards set by society. There is nothing ILLEGAL about being black, white, male, female, a Christian or a Jew. Cocaine IS illegal, as is child molestation.

Losing status and trust among one's peers (being shunned) is the price one pays in society for one's inability to stay within set societal guideliness. Most people don't voluntarily choose to be shunned by society, and therefore try to stay within the established guidelines (laws). Those who choose their personal self-gratification over the safety and well-being of the society as a whole lose any rights to "fair" treatment (lack of discrimination) in that society, because they did not treat the other members of society with any thought to what is fair to the rest of the populus.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thanks for trying, but your long-winded reply bears no resemblance to an answer to the question you quoted.

Paloma
Feb. 20, 2004, 07:21 PM
Did somebody just reply to something or is that an annoying computer glitch again? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

ALF
Feb. 20, 2004, 07:24 PM
Its just a glitch. You can fix it by getting a clue.

Erin
Feb. 20, 2004, 07:29 PM
ET, knock it off. If you want to partake in the discussion, go right ahead, but do it without insulting people, please.

ALF
Feb. 20, 2004, 07:44 PM
OK. As brilliant as my insults are, they're not what draws everyone to coth. People want to know what is really up with all the stuff they read. That's why they come here and read my posts - to learn the truth about the exciting world of equestrian horse jumping!

Snowbird
Feb. 20, 2004, 08:02 PM
Well maybe I missed something, because you think your responses are why people come to this site. Yet, I'm having a problem finding where your insight of this situation is posted.

Posted by Electric Tape:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>If the horse shows and sanctioning bodies can't prevent convicted felons from working at the shows, why must they pretend that some public service is being performed when they (selectively) prevent small time white collar crooks from participating or spectating?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I don't think anyone agrees that killing horses for the insurance is a small time white collar crime or that they want to approve of their presence.

You are rationalizing two separate crimes and evaluating them in your personal opinion. My question is since you are the font of all knowledge that keeps this board open, why do we need to choose between a convicted child molester and a convicted perpetrator of a fraud.

Now, if I had to choose between children and horses; children would win. Why would that mean that I tolerate horse killing for profit? This issue is relatively new and the other is relatively old. Justice wends it's way slowly. I think we will find equally for both culprits.
It is important that we not rush to judgement and let the justice system do it's job.

Have you ever had a wad of drugs in your possession? Would you not then want us to go slowly to make sure we had the whole story before we said to you away and out of my sight.

Battle Scarred Veteran

ALF
Feb. 20, 2004, 08:10 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I don't think anyone agrees that killing horses for the insurance is a small time white collar crime <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's the way the courts saw it.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>since you are the font of all knowledge that keeps this board open, why do we need to choose between a convicted child molester and a convicted perpetrator of a fraud <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Nobody needs to make that choice. All they nned to do is stay away from horse shows.

I like how you acknowledge that I am the font of all knowledge though.

Snowbird
Feb. 20, 2004, 08:31 PM
But people showing is what we do, it's what keeps all the horses fed an happy. I am always willing to be humble in the face of brilliance and to learn something from a mentor. So say something to make me wise.

Battle Scarred Veteran

ALF
Feb. 20, 2004, 08:32 PM
Oh Ok gladly! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Never trust a hippie!

Snowbird
Feb. 20, 2004, 08:54 PM
That's unkind, we hippies were good folks and could be trusted. We were the ones to take down the status symbols and put everyone in blue jeans so you couldn't tell the rich from the farmers. Coffee was our drug of choice and talking was our weapon of war.

It's the beatniks that had the problem, Tune in, Turn on and Drop Out! It's their legacy that you see and not mine.

Battle Scarred Veteran

hillary
Feb. 21, 2004, 10:55 AM
I applaud the moderators for trying to take this discussion in a non-personal direction. Great leadership move, thanks for the work.

No, as a n exhibitor, parent, adult, ....I would never expect everyone who works at a horse show to have passed a background check, etc. After all, the folks working at the snack bar, feed store, and other vendors - what do you know about them?

On a positive note: I took my friend's 10 year old daughter to show with my sometimes. Once she was at the snack bar at night with my husband (whose appearance at shows is quite rare). My husband was joking that the girl would have the sign the tab, since I hadn't put him down as authorized. The lady who runs the snack bar looked the girl right in the eye and said, "Do you know this man?" Good some adults have their eyes open!

Party Rose
Feb. 21, 2004, 11:30 AM
And I applaud the snack bar lady.

Snowbird
Feb. 21, 2004, 02:49 PM
Heres the link to the big drug bust on a holland America Cruise ship in Tampa Bay.

http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/sptimes/index.html?ts=1077403214

The Florida Troops are in over drive. It's in the St.Petersburg Times on line February 19.

Battle Scarred Veteran

findeight
Feb. 21, 2004, 03:14 PM
Working at a horse show is not exactly a high paying job.
Some management groups pay more then others, some positions require a horticultural background and people take these jobs for a variety of reasons. Some are talented and can make a good living at it. But garden variety show managers basically are not going to get somebody with a masters in clinical psychology to drive the tractor for 4 days.

It's a mixed bag, like anywhere else in life. Not to defend him but I don't see that KK sitting in a tower talking over the PA is a threat to anybody.

Asking show managers to run background checks for these often minimum wage jobs and drug checks will result in extra charges for you know who.

I was a little surprised about KK, didn't know that about him BUT would ride in the ring if he were announcing without feeling threatened.
Certainly no intention of socializing with him now, but I never did anyway..it's a moot point.

Just watch out for yourself and your kids and NEVER take anything for granted about anybody you don't know well.

And again...some of the folks who do this for a living are good as gold so don't misunderstand me.

The Horse World. 2 people, 3 opinions. That's the way it is.

Snowbird
Feb. 21, 2004, 03:57 PM
This issue is once a show manager does know what is their responsibility to make sure that the exhibitors are not uncomfortable.

I agree it would possibly not be a problem at a one day show. But, when there for weeks in a high profile position of knowledge would you feel the same way with a teen age child boy or girl. This age usually has to have more freedom to explore.

I wouldn't feel threatened because my kids were never out of sight. Never at a show without me, much to their dismay and many complaints. Suppose the charge was rape? or abduction?

I agree that in all my experience there never was a problem, no one offered me any drugs free or for for sale ever in 32 years. My problem is under the best of circumstances even a supervised kid might want to experiment with pot. And, all those cases where stuff was dumped in a glass or a can of soda.

Battle Scarred Veteran

lilblackhorse
Feb. 21, 2004, 04:34 PM
her's my take--this is not my world of riding, but I did wade through much of the other threads.

I am the parent of an almost 14 year old. To me, shows are much like school grounds--the kids feel comfortable there, and are often unsupervised by parents. To me, I think the oness is on the organizers to make sure that all of those employed are not convicted sex offenders. My guess would be that many parents have no idea that there are people who are trainers who also have this hanging over their heads.

Very scary that an organizer would actually let someone like this on the grounds and around children in an unsupervised manner.

The drug issues are another thing---very scary, and I shuddered at the other thread about how prevalent they are. I would hope that the comment was an anomoly. Maybe this is why I event, and my daughter dances in a very structured environment. These threads scared the bejesus out of me as a parent.

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horse_poor
Feb. 21, 2004, 08:32 PM
so ok we have decided its near impossible to background check the contracted workers etc.

BUT

what about those who are out in the front lines regularly that do the circuit? i highly doubt that they are minimum wage paid etc and obviously some are well known etc.

i guess what i am saying is what about the regulars?

and yes i know this can and does go beyond horse shows------but since this is COTH that is what i am sticking to

past criminal records can be sticky---i personally think it all depends on the charge. no its not desirable to have one. but with that being said, i know people who got popped for possession of a baggie of weed, went thru treatment as a result, and are now fine upstanding citizens in the community and are active in the recovery community as well. certain criminals can be rehabilitated. i think research has shown that sex offenders are more difficult....

molly
*member of just about every clique*
http://community.webshots.com/user/mavw1971

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Linny
Feb. 21, 2004, 09:33 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Katie:
Firstly, pedophilia is a SICKNESS and according to the experts, pedophiles cannot be rehabilitated.

Secondly, I would be VERY uncomfortable to know that a horse show employed a known sexual offender. I would probably not show at that venue.

I don't have the luxury of relaxing in the presence of convicted sexual offenders, unlike some posters. I am the mother of a little girl and it's my job to protect her from the evils of the world.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Lets not confuse pedophilia with pederasty. The latter is used to refer to sexual attraction to POST pubescents. I know nothing of KK's prior offense but it was likely with a teenager, not a "child" by the common usage.
I will now don a flame suit.
What many in today's world see as "sick and depraved," the attraction by the adult male to the teenaged female was until only a century ago accepted a a simple fact of nature. IMO, we expect men to act against their innate nature to conform to current rules. We used to marry our 15 year old daughters off because by age 30 they would look old and haggard. In an era when life was far harder than we have it today women and men aged alot faster physically.
If you don't believe the basic premise of this argument, ask your husband to honestly answer one question: "If I (the female asking the question) could instantly transform my body back to what it looked like at age 15, would you find me more physically attractive?"
For most men the answer is yes. The love you the mature senisble wife and mom and thats why they aren't out looking for 18 year olds, but that is what they would prefer. Still dont belive me, check out the swimsuit issue, there are no women in there that look like me.

AS for KK and what shows can/should do, I think that there are varying degrees of trust and ability to check people out. many parents are miles away when their kids are at the big shows. Trainers cant be chaperones 24/7. Show have a responsibility to safeguard their customers from predation just as they do to be sure the footing and the barns are safe. Parents need to warn kids that the friendly guy driving the tractor may have dark motives. There is NO way to keep those with "a past" off the grounds.
As a parent I might not be bothered by an announcer with a drug conviction . We have reached an era when its hard to find people who have never tried drugs. If a trainer was caught in college 20 years ago doing bong hits but has lived a clean life since, it means nothing to me. I would hesitate to entrust my kid to a perennial pothead or any trainer with too wild a reputation.

Resident racing historian
Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique

in2Lopen
Feb. 21, 2004, 09:49 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Snowbird:
That's unkind, we hippies were good folks and could be trusted. We were the ones to take down the status symbols and put everyone in blue jeans so you couldn't tell the rich from the farmers. Coffee was our drug of choice and talking was our weapon of war.

It's the beatniks that had the problem, Tune in, Turn on and Drop Out! It's their legacy that you see and not mine.

_Battle Scarred Veteran_<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Whoa, you've got you're culture a bit mixed up. It was the beatnicks (who faded out about the beginning of the 60's) who spent their time in coffee houses making up poems. The hippies were the ones who rallied against the war by tuning in, turning on and droppin out." The hippies drug of choice was pot, heroin, and anything else they could get their hands on. I'll give to your idea that they made jeans popular = along with granny dresses, beads, and flowers in their hair...

lauriep
Feb. 22, 2004, 06:11 AM
Linny makes some very valid points.

I would add to that the fact that the management that currently employs KK have done so for about 30 years. They knew him long before the offense 10 years ago. They also know the specifics of that case, which I would bet that NO ONE here does. With these two facts, they made an informed decision to keep him on the payroll.

I think they have a LOT more to base this decision on than the average employer dealing with a stranger and a piece of paper. They obviously felt that all the FACTS of the issue did not warrant dismissal.

Snowy, maybe you did imbibe too much if you can't recall that the hippies were the ones who made pot a household word, and spent their time in a, shall we stay, compromised state of reality. Tokin' and free-love were the gifts that the hippies gave us!

Laurie

JulieMontgomery
Feb. 22, 2004, 08:19 AM
I remember beatniks. When I was about 5 years old, I saw a Look Magazine article about them.

I immediately rolled my blue jeans up at the cuff, donned a white shirt with the shirtail out, and plopped on some dark glasses. It was quite a look for a 5 year old, I must say.

Cool daddy-o! Oh yeah, and I managed to procure a bongo drum from somewhere...

My (conservative and very staid) parents just went http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif, and ignored it until I got over it.... but they stopped the bongo drumming thing right away. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif

"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of his devotion."
Author Unknown....

Snowbird
Feb. 22, 2004, 08:40 AM
OK! so with old age it gets sort of run together. So if I wasn't a hippy and I wasn't a beatnick in the 40's and I had never heard of pot, I was already having babies when LSD came out...What was I? Please find me a label to identify with.

I did circulate with the Bohemian Artist circle in Greenwich Village, we were I think the first generation to reject Karl Marx. Debated almost every issue for hours and even days over gallons of coffee. Cheap wine dulled the brain so we didn't do that. I skied when there there was only one chair lift in the whole northeast and that was at Stowe Vermont.

Please tell me who I was!

Battle Scarred Veteran

poltroon
Feb. 22, 2004, 09:04 AM
I am a parent, for whatever that's worth - parents can be just as stupid as the next guy. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif

I think the whole sex offender database is way overblown and generally not all that useful.

Oh sure, it makes us parents feel better: Here is purported to be a list of "bad guys" - we'll be good parents if we keep these bad guys away from our kids. And presumably, people NOT on the list are OK, right?

Well, no. Leaving aside the problem of false positives - that is, elderly men who walked into a gay bar 30 years ago, 18 year olds who had consensual sex with a 16- or 17-year old - the fact remains that there are plenty of people who harm children who are never convicted or even arrested, or who are on their first crime. Look at all the priests recently in the spotlight. How many times have we heard about Uncle Mark molesting his way through a family?

So you can't rely on this database. You have to rely on teaching your kids, and in the end, on your gut, which will not always be right.

I don't think it's reasonable to expect that none of the people your child will brush against in life have committed a crime. Most criminals are released, eventually - and they will need to have jobs and homes. If they don't, it is guaranteed they will repeat their offense. I do think it's appropriate to screen people for certain professions and jobs. I can't see how an announcer or another show worker is more threatening to my child than the guy working at the local Qwik-E-Mart.

There is a curious side effect of our obsession with sex offenders and drug offenders. For example, some scholarships are not available to drug offenders. (Mind you, DUI does not count as a drug offense.) Sounds noble, eh? But those scholarships are available to people convicted of murder, or fraud. So, someone convicted of swindling people out of their homes and/or life savings - even multiple offenses - is AOK.

I would be much more concerned about the character of my child's trainer than about people on the show grounds. A clean criminal record is not necessarily indicative of a solid ethical structure.

Posting Trot
Feb. 22, 2004, 09:09 AM
I grew up in a small farm in Maryland, and in the summer we (my brother and I) would show our sheep at various county fairs and the state fair. My mother was very careful about where we hung out, making sure there was an adult whom she knew to be responsible around when she couldn't be, etc. We couldn't go down to the carny, for example, without an adult with us until we were over 14, and then we couldn't go alone.

In some ways, it may seem like an easier call, because carny barkers look like they've led a rough life.

But horse show workers and horse trainers and others may *look* a lot more genteel and refined, but a parent should not let his or her class prejudices get in the way. A person who wears breeches, sips bourbon, and has won multiple prizes may also have a criminal record.

s a parent now of a six year old boy, I feel that it is ultimately the parent's responsibility to insure that the child is in a safe situation, monitored by an adult you trust. And that trust should be the result of conversation, background checks, several months of personal experience, mutual obligations and connecting networks.

Honestly, the particular crime for which someone was convicted probably would matter to me. But, drug offenses and sex offenses would personally make me avoid that person as a professional whom I would hire.

Judi
Feb. 22, 2004, 10:42 AM
So here's the gig. If I were to be reading the Palm Beach Daily News and I stumbled on this article.

--------------------------------

Equestrian figure jailed in sweep
By MICHELE DARGAN, Daily News Staff Writer

Hearing today for horse show announcer arrested on probation violation after officers find crack cocaine in Wellington home.
---------------------------------
And it had this quote in it...
"I think it’s very unfortunate to have this happen to somebody connected to the Winter Equestrian Festival," said Mason Phelps Jr., WEF spokesman. "I hope he can get the appropriate help and sort out his problems. He’s a big asset to the horse show in that he runs a very popular Web site and kept it current with photos, results and stories. He’s a very good announcer, used by lots of different horse show management companies throughout the United States. For the moment, until we know his future, we will scramble to find an appropriate replacement."
-----------------------
Followed by this paragraph...

According to court records, Kraus was arrested on March 2, 1994, and charged with lewd assault on a child under 16 years of age. He received 15 years probation after pleading guilty in December 1994 to a felony charge of lewd assault and was registered in the county as a sex offender.
----------------------------------------
The questin we must ask ourselves is this....

Why are we okay with convicted felons being around and possibly infuencing our youth just because they are "assets to the horseshow".

Folks... we are all responsible for this being Mark Phelps Jr.'s reaction. We participate in an industry that has some of the following issues:

#1. Trainers using drugs on horses because clients expect return on investment and want these animal to show weekend after weekend like machines.. with NO recuperation or time-off so they can chase those year end points.

#2. Trainers/Horse Dealers being dishonest in their dealings to unload an expensive horse who has "broken down" because of the ridiculous schedule he's asked to keep.

Somewhere a long the road we've all lost site of why we do this... for fun.. pleasure... achieving a goal.. etc. Instead we're
* chasing points...
* pushing our horses beyond their limits...
* Paying enormous prices for horses who'll win with anyone while ignoring the 'diamond in the rough' in our own barn because it will take to much work to get them winning...
* Excepting anyone's behavior if it means he'll maybe write an article about our show or horse
* Excepting the behavior of a trainer because he wins... and that's all its about anyway... winning.

Honestly... I've read these threads with a bit of disgust for our business. Some of you want compassion for this gentlemen (that's very comendable) but do you want him back on the job with his record? Does it really take another sexual offense before you decide that perhaps it's not appropriate for this individual to be around younger folks. And what is this saying to our young folks in the business... that this type of behavior is okay as long as your an asset to the horse show?

Lastly... Those of you who are upset by these revelations... I suggest you do a few things.

1. Write Mark Phelps Jr. and ask him to explain his choice of hiring someone with this background.

2. Explain to him that you will not be spending your money at his shows if he continues to make these types of employment choices.

3. If you have a TH subscription cancel it and explain your reasoning.

It is not until we take action with our pocketbook that we can begin to change anything. Our power to show our displeasure is to boycott those places and individuals whom we believe are not standing up to the basic moral expectations that we have for our horse shows/horse web sites/trainers etc..

I'll step off my soap box now...

sigh

Silver Bells
Feb. 22, 2004, 11:14 AM
JUDI, Thank-you for taking the time to sift through all the bullshit posted on this thread, and others that are similar.
You hit it right on the nose!

khobstetter
Feb. 22, 2004, 11:50 AM
judi..

Thanks for a well thought out post on a really explosive and difficult subject.....it all goes soooo deep and to the core of the industry (and soooooooo many other industrys)...

Very well put...

http://www.foxpointefarm.com
http://www.go-sho.org

JulieMontgomery
Feb. 22, 2004, 01:23 PM
Just as a matter of record, it is not Mason Phelps who makes decisions regarding hiring and firing. He is only serves as the PR mouthpiece for the WEF. The shows are not "his" shows.

Comments of any type - either pro or con - would better be directed to Mr. Eugene Mische as the President, or Mr. Michael Morrissey as CEO of Operations at Stadium Jumping, Inc.

It is the management of SJI, Inc., who makes personnel decisions.

"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of his devotion."
Author Unknown....

ALF
Feb. 22, 2004, 01:32 PM
I dont see what chasing points has to do with Ken Kraus.

findeight
Feb. 22, 2004, 01:50 PM
I don't either.

Were I a Horse Show manager I'd not hire KK after this.

However, if he already has a contract with the WEF management and wasn't charged??? He keeps working.

I say again, there is really very little contact between the announcers booth and a rider.

I am NOT defending this guy but, really, I can't see how anybody is at risk if he announces where he's already contracted to work.

Drugs are a persistent problem for many in our society whether they work at a horse show or check you out at the local supermarket.

The Horse World. 2 people, 3 opinions. That's the way it is.

Ghazzu
Feb. 22, 2004, 01:51 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Draygonfyne:
I work as a Probation Officer for youths in Ontario. I see a variety of charges and situations coming through the Courts for the 12-16 year olds that I work with.

Consider this...

A youth who "mooned" another youth was charged and found guilty of sexual assault. Now...if this is the standard, how many of us have committed a "sexual assault"? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

So...I guess my point is that some very minor things can result in charges. So, before saying that everyone who has been found guilty in Court should be screened.....we need to remember the reality of some of the stuff actually going to Court these days.....

http://www.draygonfynedesign.ca<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Similarly, I know someone who was (badly) advised to plead guilty to a sex offense for handing his live-in girlfriend's daughter a wahscloth when she howled for same from the bathroom.
No one bothered to explain to the guy that he would have to register, etc. for the rest of his life.

Unashamed member of the Arab clique...just settin' on the Group W bench.

findeight
Feb. 22, 2004, 01:54 PM
Let me ask all of you if you know what a complete background check-one with fingerprints run through the national AFIS system plus a drug screen will cost an employer?

Are you willing to pay for this for all the ring crew and office staff at your next horse show????

I am not a fan of any convicted child abuser or drug user working the shows I go to...but...really, how can anybody know???

The Horse World. 2 people, 3 opinions. That's the way it is.

Erin
Feb. 22, 2004, 02:30 PM
I think I may have started this background check tangent, and wanted to clarify... I certainly wasn't suggesting that everyone working at a horse show should have a complete background check. But I was curious if people hired to work at shows ever had to actually fill out an employment application, or if it was usually more of a handshake deal.

The reason I asked (way back on page 1) is because I know that when *I* have filled out employment forms/job applications, all the way back to summer jobs in high school, I can recall being asked if I'd ever been convicted of a felony. I think that's pretty much the norm, isn't it?

I wouldn't expect any show, even the big circuits like HITS and WEF to run background checks on everyone they employ. I would hope, though, that when people are hired, they are asked if they have a criminal history.

Granted, not everyone tells the truth on employment applications, but considering that shows are full of kids, full of expensive and beloved horses, full of expensive equipment, and, in general, full of wealthy people, you would kind of hope that employers at least go through the motions...

AAJumper
Feb. 22, 2004, 02:41 PM
Erin, I remember answering the same question on job applications I have filled out. But then again, for my current job, there was no application to fill out. I just gave them my resume and they gave me an offer of employment letter.

Erin
Feb. 22, 2004, 02:44 PM
Actually, AAJ, I just realized that the only place I've worked where I didn't have to fill out an application was the Chronicle! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/winkgrin.gif

findeight
Feb. 22, 2004, 02:51 PM
Even employers that do try to run a check often cannot access a nationwide database which would be accessed thru fingerprints and anybody can lie on an application and hope a 10 or 15 year old felony won't come up.

I don't buy for a second the excuse that many parents "abandon" their kids at horse shows where they may be at mercy of the staff.
In the first place the staff is working 16 hour days and in the second they don't stalk the barn aisles looking for kiddies to seduce or sell drugs to.

The KK issue is an interesting one as he is a great announcer. I'd not leave a child in the room with him but would send one into ring #8 at WEF when he sits in a tower a half mile away.

The Horse World. 2 people, 3 opinions. That's the way it is.

Kestrel
Feb. 22, 2004, 02:53 PM
The comments by Mason Phelps Jr. give me the feeling that in our industry, it's o.k. to do whatever you want to kids (or anyone/anything else) as long as you are useful (make $/provide information) to adults in the business. It goes along with overlooking or excusing adult trainers who "date" their teenaged clients, people who illegally medicate/abuse/kill horses or agents who cheat buyers and sellers. There seems to be a free pass to do just about anything in the horse world because "that's the way it's always been". The message is strong - don't make waves or the guilty party's friends will make you sorry, one way or another. Being a "loyal friend" and protecting the perpetrator has a higher value than doing what is right or speaking the truth. It makes me so very sad to be involved in the whole dirty mess in order to compete.
I know that the only way it will change is for all of us who care to demand that USEF be proactive in dealing with these people, and we all (starting with myself!) need to be willing to take the concequences (sp?) of makeing a fuss and forcing those who control the industry to deal with the dirty laundry.

Judi
Feb. 22, 2004, 02:56 PM
Please don't misunderstand me. I'm not trying to slam anyone regarding point chasing etc. But I sense a strain of "so what... who cares" regarding drugs, past convictions etc. My concern is for those of us who would look past someones trangressions because we percieve them as an "asset to the Horse Show".
The facts are that an article appeared in the PB Daily News with this headline...
******************
Hearing today for horse show announcer arrested on probation violation after officers find crack cocaine in Wellington home
*******************
Just that headline alone doesn't speak well for our industry to the outside world. This is not about morals folks... it's about professionalism. If something like that was printed within my industry that person would have a lot of explaning to do. And the manager who hired them would also need to explain themselves. I understand that Mason Phelps is just the PR guy. But I'm sure his statement was approved by the upper management. So as Julie says...please direct your comments and questions to Mr. Eugene Mische as the President, or Mr. Michael Morrissey as CEO of Operations at Stadium Jumping, Inc.

I believe we all have the power to make our own educated decisions. If I was attending a SJI show I would first like an explanation as to whether the show management was aware of his past, and if they were, why were they comfortable hiring him. Then if their answer wasn't satisfactory to me I would simply not attend any of their shows in the future. If I were a TH subscriber I would simply cancel my subscription letting them know why.

In truth.. that's all I can do.
* Find trainers who won't abuse or drug my horses.
* Find Horse mentors who believe in the welfare of the horse before my own goals and keep me from asking too much of my Equine companion.
* Not attend a horse show where they are knowingly hiring a convicted sex offender.

I do not judge any of you who do not make the same choices I make. That's what America is all about. But I do urge any of you who feel the same way I do to take action and decide where you draw the line in regards to
-your Equine Companions training and welfare.
-The type of people who run the venues you frequent
-They type of people who run the websites you visit.

If the people who run the venues you show at make poor choices and don't defend themselves for them... stop giving them your money. If they say they've made a mistake and they won't do it again... by all means support their good judgement. But if we don't make some sort of stand we can't change anything... and we'll continue to read headlines like the above and shake our heads and tsk tsk...and wonder where our business has gone to.

Of course that's just my humble opinion.
sigh

http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/sigh.gif

AAJumper
Feb. 22, 2004, 03:14 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Erin:
Actually, AAJ, I just realized that the only place I've worked where I _didn't_ have to fill out an application was the Chronicle! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/winkgrin.gif<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, my employer ended up hiring a guy who lied about his degree and professional registration, and ended up stealing a co-workers identity!!! However, in defense of my company, the guy did come from an employment agency that was supposed to check that stuff out!

ise@ssl
Feb. 22, 2004, 03:26 PM
Gee - the person who posted that they wouldn't leave a child alone with this KK guy but - oh please let him be the announcer astounds me!!

You know Ted Bundy was a really charming guy!

FOR GOD'S SAKE PLEASE THINK!!

I worked for several financial companies and one required finger printing. No big deal. To buy a pellet gun here in NJ - I had to be finger printed. No big deal.

If Stadium Jumping feels that people on "probation" are o.k. to hire - I'm truly shocked and disappointed in that company. I have always held them in high regard.

findeight
Feb. 22, 2004, 03:28 PM
The announcer is a half a mile minimum away.

I'll stand by that statement.

The Horse World. 2 people, 3 opinions. That's the way it is.

ALF
Feb. 22, 2004, 03:29 PM
Nobody said please let him be the announcer.

ALF
Feb. 22, 2004, 03:35 PM
Oh and here's a news flash:

The whole 'protect the exhibitors' theory is ridiculous, since there's never any attempt to prevent (most) criminals from showing or spectating.

PS: Parents are responsible for parenting.

findeight
Feb. 22, 2004, 03:37 PM
Back when I was raising youngsters, I showed a Paint on the winter Stock Show circuit..you think there weren't rumors about certain Rodeo types even back then and that these individuals wouldn't be at the same social gatherings???

And, NO I wouldn't leave the room if the kids and these guys were in there at the same time. But the kids could sit in the stands and watch the Rodeo.

The Horse World. 2 people, 3 opinions. That's the way it is.

Snowbird
Feb. 22, 2004, 04:22 PM
OK! So who will contact Gene Mishe and tell him how they feel?

Who will propose a rule change that says if someone is convicted of a crime such as Sexual Offender; Sexual Predator; Drug user, seller, buyer etc. they should be prevented from being on the grounds of a USEF sanctioned horse show? Since a show grounds is private property there should be no problem having the local police help to enforce the rule.

What other logical suggestions are there which could be handled by the USEF? What rules could they pass and enforce for show managers?

Battle Scarred Veteran

CAH
Feb. 22, 2004, 04:38 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Snowbird:

Who will propose a rule change that says if someone is _convicted_ of a crime such as Sexual Offender; Sexual Predator; Drug user, seller, buyer etc. they should be prevented from being on the grounds of a USEF sanctioned horse show? Since a show grounds is private property there should be no problem having the local police help to enforce the rule.

_Battle Scarred Veteran_<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

In a nutshell, no. What about domestic violence? Aggrevated assault? Larceny-theft? You want a squeeky clean USEF? Then require that all members be subject to fingerprinting and must have a clean record prior to renewing membership. Now wouldn't there be some lawsuits there!

findeight
Feb. 22, 2004, 04:42 PM
And again, unless you run the fingerprints thru the national AFIS database at considerable expense-born by us lowly exhibitors-who's gonna know??

Not defending anything or anybody. Just being practical here..it's EXPENSIVE to run AFIS, just ask the aviation industry.

The Horse World. 2 people, 3 opinions. That's the way it is.

Hopeful Hunter
Feb. 22, 2004, 04:50 PM
Well...fwiw, there is one bit of fact I CAN help with...

I'm in the public relations business professionally. And I can ASSURE you that Mr. Phelps statement not only was approved by the highest of the high in the hiring/show organization...the fact that HE, and not a CEO/Show Manager made it was also calculated as a statement.

Having a prominent employee arrested with an ugly headline is not going to fly under the radar. The way the organization responds to this -- WHO responds, what is said, etc. -- will tell you quite a bit about how they regard the situation.

In this case, I'd guess they're trying to treat it seriously but not with undue alarm -- hence Mr. Phelps not Gene Mische responding on the record but in a very dilute manner. The seem to be hoping this will all go away - a tactic I never counsel for my clients but one I've seen used quite often, and only twice with any success.

The horse world seems curiously incurious about how perception and public image can be used for or against it, and this response is pretty much in line with that in my professional opinion.

Snowbird
Feb. 22, 2004, 05:20 PM
OK! CAH where do you draw the line? At what point is it so offensive that you'd be willing to shout out "I'm not going to take it any more?" Or will you just fade away?

Battle Scarred Veteran

Judi
Feb. 22, 2004, 07:04 PM
Hey Hopeful Hunter. I agree. From a PR perspective KK has put the SJI in a bit of a bad place as far as public perception is concerned. If I were a young Mom/Dad with money who had a kid who was starting in the show world I would definately have a bit of concern about letting my kid show at SJI. Now the trainer can explain to her.. "hey KK will never get near your kid cuz he's in an announcer booth" or "Hey EVERY horse show has guys like this at it" Either way... If I were that parent just starting out I would think about pointing my kid toward ice-skating or soccer for the price I'm paying to put my kid in harms way. It's fine to think the parents should be watching thier kids 24/7 to keep them safe on the show grounds but I honestly don't think I would spend so much money to put my kid into a risky situation. And that kind of headline sure as heck would raise my eyebrows as a parent.

Bottom line is that SJI took that risk by hiring KK. If they thought the past arrest record would be forgotten in this day of age (especially in Florida) they are being very, very naive.

Rich parents and rich 30 something career women are what keep this show circuit afloat. Who else do you think pays for all the Children and Jr divisions? I'm surprised that the management isn't more concerned as to how this looks. If I were a trainer who had Jr.'s and children who attended these shows I would demand that the management take a stand on not hiring a known sex-offender before I attend another show.

Now that being said. There is nothing the management can do if they do not know (per findeights point). But hey folks.... they know now.... and if they hire him back after this has come to light I think they'd be making a bit of a PR mistake.

of course...

just my humble opinion

Snowbird
Feb. 22, 2004, 07:38 PM
Don't overlook the Grandmoms. I would say that 50% of the children taking lessons are being paid for by the Mother of the Mother.

I totally agree the PR issue is a biggy but for all of us. One of the factors that got most people to spend that spare change for riding was it was healthy and it was safer than the local pot party or running the malls. Most of the kids come from Moms who wanted that special horse and couldn't afford it so now that they're working they want Susie to have it better.

I think it's very sad that everyone seems to be caving in on this issue. You're right on and it's those working parents who want to feel their children are not neglected that are paying the bills. The shows and trainers don't understand they are killing the Goose that lays the golden eggs. Once the parents feel the children are not safe we're going to do no better than the race tracks.

After the Insurance Fraud cases with TV playing the same shows over and over if we don't clean up our act we're in trouble.

What's so sad to me personally is my daughter was a really good skater and we gave up skating because of the problems with the kids running off to live with the trainers on the road and never being home. If it hadn't been for that I might have had skating arena instead of a horse arena.

Battle Scarred Veteran

elizabeth
Feb. 22, 2004, 07:42 PM
The reality is that a LOT of folks knew about KK's background with the lewd conduct charge. And yet he still got high-level announcing jobs as well as the TH gig.

What does that say to me? That says to me that the folks who are PAYING for KK's employment - the folks who show regularly at the places where he announces and who put big bucks in the show owner's pockets - don't much care about his background. I think if the trainers who pulled into WEF with 18 wheelers full of horses and the clients who owned five and six and ten of the horses on the 18 wheelers complained, we would have seen the last of KK long ago. But that didn't happen. So obviously the folks who have the most influence appear to care little about KK's history.

Mind you, I am aware that not everyone knew of or knows of his background. But enough people know, and the show world is small enough that if folks start gossiping about something they actually care about, the word spreads pretty fast.

Now, if KK is stuck with a drug charge, will we see a sea change? Will the masses at the shows where KK announces revolt, such that the show management will HAVE to freeze KK out? In my opinion, probably not. In my opinion, messing around with kids is more offensive than being in the same house with a bunch of crack, and, yet, the former behavior did not get KK frozen out.

One last thing: 20 g's of crack is a lot. If KK ends up being charged with that kind of possession, or if facts are such that he agreeds to plead to a minimally reduced charge, he's likely not going to be doing much announcing in the next. . . 5-15 years.

Actually, I lied - one last, LAST thing: I'm not thrilled with what KK has done or is alleged to have done. But I'll tell you what, I've done stuff that, while not illegal, I'm not proud of. So far be it from me to pass judgment on KK.

Snowbird
Feb. 22, 2004, 08:04 PM
If you know you are not proud of what you've done that the mistake was worth the grief. What bothers me is the denial that it was wrong, that it even appeared wrong and the justification that's it's really not so bad.

If KK realized how really lucky he was to have skated home free and then blows it off with risking it all again then I think he has a bigger problem than anyone wants to admit.

I wish I had heard a single word that said you know, I know I must have scared that kid or maybe injured his psyche. I'm going to make up for that error in judgment. But, all we get are excuses.

So, I think as I've said that the people who are defending his innocense are enabling him and he's supposed to be their friend. With friends like that who needs enemies.

Battle Scarred Veteran

lauriep
Feb. 22, 2004, 08:11 PM
Geezus, Snowbird, not one person here has defended his innocence. Not one. What we HAVE said is that the old crime and the new are not related (other than the probation being violated if it was) and he did not reoffend, and that no one knows the facts of the new issue, so leave it alone until we do! Especially those who have no personal knowledge of the man or the case.

I personally have said I believe that a person CAN err once and never do it again, especially given the nature of the original charges. I don't consider it predatory when coupled with the fact that it was 10 years ago.

No one has said that either thing wasn't wrong; we seem to disagree on the severity of the crimes.

Oh, yeah, one more thing. For years now I have read how large, impersonal and uncaring the national federation is. Yet many of you now want them running background checks, fingerprinting, deciding who can and can't be on the grounds and watching and removing those who can't, drug testing all the humans in addition to more of the horses, the list goes on...Have you ANY idea how much larger, and more expensive, this organization will have to be to do all these things? If that is what you want, I don't ever want to read another complaint about high fees and no "personal touch".

Laurie

weeble
Feb. 22, 2004, 08:34 PM
Erin,

To answer your question on a previous page (I hope) most people who work at shows do not fill out employment apps because they are not employees. They are independent contractors contracted only to do a certain job within a certain time frame. The shows count on this so there are no "issues" with withholding taxes, worker's comp, retirement, health or other benefits, etc. All that is supplied is name, address and SS #.

"just remember this my girl, when you look up in the sky, you can see the stars but still not see the light." -The Eagles (song by J. Tempchin/R. Stradlund)

Judi
Feb. 22, 2004, 08:37 PM
Hey lauriep. I'm just trying to understand here. Are you saying that Although you are not defending his prior sexual offender felony charge you believe he has paid for his crime and therefore shouldn't be considered a risk?

Just want to be perfectly clear so i don't misunderstand you. If that is your opinion I certainly will defend your right to your opinion... I just simply don't share it and we can agree to disagree.

I think the issue here is that indeed he has not been charged with this current crime and therfore we should all hold off judgement... agreed. But this crime was found out only because he is currently on probation for a previous sexual offense with a minor and recent events in Florida have made the cops "check up" on current offenders on probation (which he still is by the way). So even though you'd like to seperate the two they are in fact linked. Because of this arest the papers have now publically written about his past conviction and that should lead some parents (who weren't previously aware of the facts) to "think" about the atmosphere at these major horse shows in which they send thier kids/juniors.
------------------------------
elizabeth wrote...
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> posted Feb. 22, 2004 10:42 PM
The reality is that a LOT of folks knew about KK's background with the lewd conduct charge. And yet he still got high-level announcing jobs as well as the TH gig.

What does that say to me? That says to me that the folks who are PAYING for KK's employment - the folks who show regularly at the places where he announces and who put big bucks in the show owner's pockets - don't much care about his background. I think if the trainers who pulled into WEF with 18 wheelers full of horses and the clients who owned five and six and ten of the horses on the 18 wheelers complained, we would have seen the last of KK long ago. But that didn't happen. So obviously the folks who have the most influence appear to care little about KK's history.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
---------------------------
I agree with elizabeth and actually find this the sadest of all. If the folks who spend so much money don't care... well then I guess there is a feeling of hopelessness from those of us who do. All I know is I can make the choice to NOT spend my money with show management that make these types of choices. I'm sure their shows will go on just fine without me but my conscience will be clear.

sigh

http://photos.yahoo.com/judistewart

Box-of-Rox
Feb. 22, 2004, 08:52 PM
I haven't read this thread, but I did want to ask something like the above post by, I think, elizabeth.

Shows like WEF will NEVER suffer masses of people not coming because of something like this. The truth is, the facility, the ability to actually have a home base for four months, the tremendous prize money and courses and stabling and judges and amenities and EVERYTHING, the fact that Florida, specifically WEF, really is the height in quality of life for both horses and riders (it's not like you can take horses galloping along the canals, house them in permanent stall, accumulate lots of points and money, be there long enough to say "i don't want to show when it's this hot/rainy/bad course for my horse/i'm pms-ing, so i'll just save it for tomorrow or next week" the six months of june-july, unless you go to spruce meadows, maybe, but not really)...so that's why people don't turn around the 18 wheelers.

but what I don't understand, is even knowing that you're not going to exactly lose tons of business, if you KNOW that someone has a problem (like, there are just some people at hosre shows that you KNOW have drug problems..I mean, there are some people at school that I know have drug problems, there are people in my apartment building at home that have drug problems..you just KNOW), why you would hire them. I mean, you want someone reliable, and dependable, and also, a lesser quality but nontheless, someone who will represent the show well. The fact that SJI continues to hire people (and it is plural, they act in different capacities) who obviously have drug problems, when there are, i suspect, other poeple willing to work that don't, baffles me. Also, that other shows, who do not have the presitge/disireablity/almost monopoly on the dates (the ocala/jacksonville/wef crowd is largely not interchangeable) that WEF does, would take a chance on doing anything to piss anyone off just seems rediculous to me, too.

BoR:
"I always feel like an idiot. But I am an idiot, so it kinda works out."--Billy Madison

"A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject."--Churchill

LucianCephus
Feb. 23, 2004, 02:45 AM
Hopeful Hunter,

I, too, thought it was interesting that Phelps responded rather than Mische, but had a rather different slant on why the matter was handled as it was--seemed to me that Mische wanted to be as far away from this whole scandal as possible. By having Phelps act as front man, he not only distanced himself and his company from the headlines, he also distanced them from KK and sent a message that I didn't see as very subtle at all.

And headlines such as these may not impact the numbers at WEF, but they certainly could effect charitable giving from those on the periphery of the sport.

Just my take.

radio talk Aefvue Farms RCA
Feb. 23, 2004, 03:13 AM
Like everything else in life, people try not to see problems unless it smacks them in the head. This is a place where we can relax, and enjoy ourselves. Or so we think.

With the large number of sponsors WEF has, this very easily could effect them. Charities aren't happy with bad pr. All you need do is look at other sports, and see how they have handled it.

CAH
Feb. 23, 2004, 03:32 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Snowbird:
OK! CAH where do you draw the line? At what point is it so offensive that you'd be willing to shout out "I'm not going to take it any more?" Or will you just fade away?

_Battle Scarred Veteran_<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The whole issue is drawing the line. What is offensive to one person may not be offensive to another. That is the point I am trying to make. You mentioned background checks on everyone on the show grounds. Employees? Exhibitors? Parents? Spectators? I realize the goal is to try and protect our kids (and everyone for that matter). But people with criminal backgrounds are everywhere. Some get their life together, hold professional jobs, and you would never know it. Others are lifelong offenders, getting caught and spending a good part of their life behind bars.

Awareness is the key here. And I think these threads have made many people very aware.

lauriep
Feb. 23, 2004, 07:14 AM
Did you ever stop to consider that perhaps they, as I, feel that a person is entitled to a chance to clean up their act and be a contributing member of society. Perhaps this belief, along with the fact of having previous, lengthy knowledge of him, made them feel that any "risk" may be justified. Perhaps they are as surprised as I am at the recent developments, even more so as they see KK on a daily basis.

In separating the L&L and the drugs, I meant that his possible addiction problem and discovery of drugs is in no way a revisiting of the first problem, although that is how a number of posters have made it sound.

Mason's JOB is doing the PR for WEF. Part of that JOB is being the spokesman for SJI and WEF. Gene rarely is quoted anywhere.

Laurie

Molly99
Feb. 23, 2004, 08:26 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by findeight:
The announcer is a half a mile minimum away.

I'll stand by that statement.

The Horse World. 2 people, 3 opinions. That's the way it is.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Try RIGHT next to the ring in this case.

Hopeful Hunter
Feb. 23, 2004, 08:47 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by LucianCephus:
Hopeful Hunter,

I, too, thought it was interesting that Phelps responded rather than Mische, but had a rather different slant on why the matter was handled as it was--seemed to me that Mische wanted to be as far away from this whole scandal as possible. By having Phelps act as front man, he not only distanced himself and his company from the headlines, he also distanced them from KK and sent a message that I didn't see as very subtle at all.

And headlines such as these may not impact the numbers at WEF, but they certainly could effect charitable giving from those on the periphery of the sport.

Just my take.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Quite possibly, that may have been the strategic intent of Phelps replying. The problem from my professional perspective is that it doesn't really work.

The horse world IS small enough that people wonder why Mische didn't reply himself. People usually do wonder why the CEOs don't reply when there's a scandal...and it looks....for lack ofa better word, "icky" http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

When something negative breaks there are not a whole lot of ways to handle it. The best - proven time after time - is speedy, direct, clear response by the highest levels. State the problem, state your position on the problem, state what you're doing to avoid similar problems in the future. Lather, rinse, repeat.

You don't need to go into mega-details. But you DO need to acknowledge what everyone knows and indicate you are not ignoring the issue.

Having a spokesperson respond AFTER the initial CEO comment is fine. But if it's an issue of any magnitude, you really can't go wrong by treating it with the utmost seriousness.

If Mische wants to distance himself from KK, he could simply have said "We're very distressed and disturbed by this. Because it is a pending legal issue, we don't feel it's appropriate to comment on the situation. In the meantime, because of this situation we at SJI will be reviewing in depth a variety of organizational issues including hiring to ensure that our shows are managed in a fair, professional and appropriate manner for exhibitors and employees."

THEN he could have Phelps make basically the same comment over and over again. Something like that doesn't even commit them to doing anything, but it's a stronger statement, imo. I personally would like to see an even STRONGER, CLEARER statement but that might not be reasonable with what little information I have.

Hopeful Hunter
Feb. 23, 2004, 08:53 AM
Two more issues.....

Mr. Phelps job IS doing PR for the shows, but sometimes the PR person has to know when THEIR voice isn't the best one to use. Most of the time, in large organizations of all stripes, the PR person IS the one quoted, even in crisis, at teh outset having the CEO speak is very powerful.

I've handled crisis communications and so has my husband. Phil is also in the business, and was actually in charge of US PR for a recent major bank fraud scandal. While he was quoted extensively for a long period of time about this - his dad did a google search on his name + fraud at the height of the scandal and got thousands of hits from press around the globe *sigh*. BUT...the FIRST response was a press conference where the CEO of the bank, the CEO's US boss and the Irish boss spoke. Phil was in the background and said nothing. Sure he helped prep it, but the response was from the top.

So...although handling PR is your job, sometimes you need to know who is best to speak. And many times, that's not you.

As to the charities.......that's going to be tricky. Who is on their boards, how much public support they get and from where and what their public profile is will be issues. In today's economy, they can't turn down money, but they should be careful how they work with the shows so as to avoid the handy mention of the situation.

SGray
Feb. 23, 2004, 09:59 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Snowbird:
...Who will propose a rule change that says if someone is _convicted_ of a crime such as Sexual Offender; Sexual Predator; Drug user, seller, buyer etc. they should be prevented from being on the grounds of a USEF sanctioned horse show? ......
What other logical suggestions are there which could be handled by the USEF? What rules could they pass and enforce for show managers?...
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


I don't pretend to know the laws - be it seems to me that an individual on probation or on parole has not yet competed the terms of their sentence

- so if I were to propose a new rule it would be along the lines of 'anyone currently serving a sentence for violent or sex-related crimes (as defined by the penal code) shall be automatically suspended for the duration of their sentence, including the duration of parole and/or probation.'

"That lowdown scoundrel deserves to be kicked to death by a jackass, and I'm just the one to do it," --Texas congressional candidate John F. Parker.

Weatherford
Feb. 23, 2004, 10:54 AM
Ah, Hopeful Hunter, we heard a LOT about that over on THIS side of the ocean.... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

It's OUT! Linda Allen's 101 Exercises for Jumping co-authored by MOI!!! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Judi
Feb. 23, 2004, 11:37 AM
Okay Hopeful Hunter. If I ever own my own company I'm hiring you to do PR for me. Your example of what the reply could have been is professional and precise and goes a long way to settle a lot of questions for everyone who may be reading the article.

Example....

I'm a corporattion who is considering sponsorship of SJI shows. I see the headline and I'm concerned... "Hey... I was about to sponsor one of these shows" Then I read the response by Mr. Phelps which seems to say that they valued this individual as a true asset to their horse show and that he will be hard to replace and they hope he gets help" I think Hmmmm....did they know he had an issue? What kind of a business do they run here?

Then I read a couple paragraphs down that this idividual received 15 years probation after pleading guilty in December 1994 to a felony charge of lewd assault and was registered in the county as a sex offender.

Now I'm really questioning the judgement of this show management company and I'm making the decision to not sponsor a company that could attach something negative to my corporation.. in short I stay clear and look for a more professional company to spend my sponsorship dollars with.

Now with your response HH I would say to myself... hey that's unfortunate but it looks like the see they are actively seeking change to insure that this kind of thing doesn't happen again... okay... I'll call them and clear this up...

But of course HH.. you and I are coming from the professional corporate world and we see this type of response... management decision and cringe... yikes.

http://photos.yahoo.com/judistewart

Hopeful Hunter
Feb. 23, 2004, 11:41 AM
Judi, I'd be delighted to work with you ;-) - I do have a showcase PR firm that I own. And Weatherford, I must say the Irish press calling our house on Sunday was one of the highlights of that scandal....that and some of our favorite headlines. If it was bad for Phil, it was worse for Catherine Burke...

Now...Judi raises another very good point..

Why is is SO HARD for the horse show world to SEE the impression their comments and actions make? I've railed on in other posts about how unwelcoming the shows are for novice spectators, how we don't publicize them, how we can "humanize" our overall image, etc....At this point I can only conclude that they just don't care!

Heidi
Feb. 23, 2004, 12:20 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Hopeful Hunter:

Now...Judi raises another very good point..

Why is is SO HARD for the horse show world to SEE the impression their comments and actions make? I've railed on in other posts about how unwelcoming the shows are for novice spectators, how we don't publicize them, how we can "humanize" our overall image, etc....At this point I can only conclude that they just don't care!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I think it's large part due to the reality that exhibitors' fees comprise the bulk of horse show revenues. Of course, if there was a mass 'consumer' revolt against some of these shows, I'm pretty sure dramatic change would be affected pretty immediately.

And just to put this in a larger context, we're also combating the perception that all horse people are stinking rich. So, if you were in charge of sponsorship dollars, who would you support: a sport like, say, soccer or hockey, which also offers the value add of mass market tv exposure or a 'niche' sport riddled with scandal?

LucianCephus
Feb. 23, 2004, 01:06 PM
Oh, HH, I absolutely do not disagree that having Phelps handle the press was, uh, flawed. I learned a very long time ago in my marketing career that the larger the crisis, the more quickly it behooves an officer of the company to address the issue head on. Hiding behind "staff" seems to indicate either cowardice or blantant indecision.

Seems to me, tho, that poor Mische was caught between a rock and a hard place. The only message that would have sufficiently addressed the inquiries (at least to my satisfaction!) would be a firm assurance that KK's employment would be summarily terminated. But the problem is that, as noted elsewhere, Kraus had been arrested for but not convicted of drug possession, so he could hardly be fired on that basis. The real issue was that he, Mische, had undoubtedly known about the more serious conviction on the molestation charges for years and had done nothing about it, and so couldn't use that as a reason to take action either!

Let's face it, this whole world of horse showing is an old boy's network with a don't-ask-don't-tell mentality. When a man convicted of insurance fraud in the horse killing scandal is given a job--after his release from prison-- by a top show management company...well, what can I say? It would seem that this industry is full of dirty little secrets.

Tiramit
Feb. 23, 2004, 01:34 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Erin:
I think I may have started this background check tangent, and wanted to clarify... I certainly wasn't suggesting that everyone working at a horse show should have a complete background check. But I _was_ curious if people hired to work at shows ever had to actually fill out an employment application, or if it was usually more of a handshake deal.

The reason I asked (way back on page 1) is because I know that when *I* have filled out employment forms/job applications, all the way back to summer jobs in high school, I can recall being asked if I'd ever been convicted of a felony. I think that's pretty much the norm, isn't it?

I wouldn't expect any show, even the big circuits like HITS and WEF to run background checks on everyone they employ. I would hope, though, that when people are hired, they are asked if they have a criminal history.

Granted, not everyone tells the truth on employment applications, but considering that shows are full of kids, full of expensive and beloved horses, full of expensive equipment, and, in general, full of wealthy people, you would kind of hope that employers at least go through the motions...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

This has also been my experience for every company with which I've been employed. From smaller regional companies to large, international corporations, each asked background questions. And these jobs were for different industries, in different locations in the country.

lauriep, just to clarify, I've had drug tests at several of my jobs prior to employment, as have many of my colleagues and friends. Do we operate heavy machinery or hold anyone's life at stake while I work? LOL, I run a marketing department now, but even when I was a lowly entry-level employee, the test applied. And ALL the companies I have worked for have had a dismissal policy related to drug use. ALL of them - I had to sign the paper work that acknowledged that I understood the policy. It's part of our employee handbooks. Close to 100% of my friends (other industries across the U.S., different types of jobs) have had to do the same.

Which is why I question those who argue that the "professional" level management at shows be held to a different standard from that of a typical small business?

Personal feelings toward someone already in the industry aside, it's not that invasive or expensive a procedure to draft a prospective employee questionnaire and create a policy that would give the organization some teeth for dealing with less than desirable behavior.

.................................................. .................................................. ......
"Whether you think you can or think you can't - you are right." -Henry Ford

Hopeful Hunter
Feb. 23, 2004, 01:54 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by LucianCephus:
Let's face it, this whole world of horse showing is an old boy's network with a don't-ask-don't-tell mentality. When a man convicted of insurance fraud in the horse killing scandal is given a job--after his release from prison-- by a top show management company...well, what can I say? It would seem that this industry is _full_ of dirty little secrets.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Uh, well...Mische COULD have made the generic "how awful! We're going to investigate!" noise without PROMISING anything...which I still think would have been better. No one statement will make everyone happy, but there are options.

Now...I almost hate to ask...WHO is the person and WHAT is the company you reference above?

*sigh* once again....the horse world seems full of these "well EVERYONE knows that..." situations that everyone doesn't know, and is more than a bit shocked to learn... http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/no.gif

Snowbird
Feb. 23, 2004, 04:31 PM
Are we equally responsible if "everyone knows" and "everyone does nothing"? I rather like the concept of "I'm not going to take it any more".

Battle Scarred Veteran

hifi
Feb. 23, 2004, 09:28 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Snowbird:
Are we equally responsible if "everyone knows" and "everyone does nothing"? I rather like the concept of "I'm not going to take it any more".

_Battle Scarred Veteran_<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Snowbird, I'm with you 10000%

Poindexter, may he rest in peace.
Bobbie please rest in peace.
www.melodicfarms.com (http://www.melodicfarms.com)

Judi
Feb. 24, 2004, 10:42 AM
Snowbird... I agree with you as well. And that's why I suggest those of us who care take a more proactive approach.

http://photos.yahoo.com/judistewart

Snowbird
Feb. 24, 2004, 11:26 AM
Thank you both, I have been doing this now for 3 years and I can vouch for the fact that emails, faxes, phone calls and warm bodies are the only real answer.

I got started because Larry Langer said that no one cared, that we just sit around whining and complaining but if it wasn't for him and his friends nothing would get done at all. I wanted to prove he was wrong.

Well, I embarked on a mission to prove that one person can make a difference. We wound with four of us and we did get the "Right to Know" which now looks as if it might expire unless there is a shout from the ranks.

The fact is that the horse shows are not horse shows without exhibitors who are willing to pay the bills and still LOSE. We are the ones who make the winners feel good because they beat someone else.

The fact is that without horse shows paying their dues and without members paying their dues there is no money in the bank for anyone to get paid. SO ITS UP TO YOU! You are the Controllers.

If you really care then like me, you will have to sacrifice some of your time and some of your money so that there will be a sports activity as lovely as this can be, for your children and your granchildren to enjoy and gain benefit.

Words are easy and talk is cheap we have to be the ones who take the initiative to make sure we get more than pleasant words and dreams. We got attention in the horse drugging issue with 100 responses. Instead of a petition get 500 people to send letters, faxes, emails and call or all three. That will surely get their attention.

Tell them you want the webcasts of the Executive Meetings, so we know what they have on their agenda. Tell them that even if there are not a lot of people listening those few people are reporting back to 100's of members of their associations and to all of us on this BB. Tell them we have the right to know what they are making plans to do before it is a done deal carved in stone.

As Members this is our Federation and we are not clients but the owners because without us there is no Federation. Tell them that 98% of us are not involved in High Performance Competition but we want a drug free environment for our children, both horses and riders that is at least as fair as the FEI demands.

Tell them that they need rules to let show management know that they should not knowingly hire felons and criminals to be in the environment with our children. We want our heros to have integrity and honor or they should not be our heros.

If you send 500 or even 1000 faxes from the 83,000 members of the Federation they have to pay attention. A 10% response is astronomical so 800 would be fine, but why stop there?

Contrary to those who would like to paint me with a brush of antagonism and pessimism I know that those people on the committees and the members of the Board want to do the right thing and they are well intentioned and hard working but they need you to encourage them and make them feel as if their efforts are not being wasted.

Battle Scarred Veteran

Judi
Feb. 24, 2004, 05:06 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Snowbird:
The fact is that the horse shows are not horse shows without exhibitors who are willing to pay the bills and still LOSE. We are the ones who make the winners feel good because they beat someone else.

_Battle Scarred Veteran_<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

LOL... Oh Snowbird.. this made me laugh.... At least I can take solice that I'm making someone feel better when they kick my bulky warmbloods booty in the hunter ring with thier expensive refined Hunter.

Just give me the email addresses and I'll be more than happy to be one of the 500.

You go girl... more power to ya.

http://photos.yahoo.com/judistewart

Snowbird
Feb. 24, 2004, 05:59 PM
What proves how demented we really are is we continue to pursue a recreational hobby where out of a class of 40; 30 will go home losers having paid as much worked as hard and tried to win.

So if we are going to do this then we should at least enjoy what we do and not have to be surrounded by the scum of the earth who are convicted criminals and druggies.

Battle Scarred Veteran

poltroon
Feb. 25, 2004, 01:23 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Molly99:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by findeight:
The announcer is a half a mile minimum away.

I'll stand by that statement.

The Horse World. 2 people, 3 opinions. That's the way it is.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Try RIGHT next to the ring in this case.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Admittedly, I haven't shown in Florida... but are you saying that you're worried that the announcer will leap out of the booth while your child is performing in the ring and perform some sort of lewd act?

The announcer's booth is probably EXACTLY where I'd want someone whose impulse control concerned me. I mean, he's isolated from the crowd and you always know if he's not at his post.

Are you doing background checks on your farrier? The clerk at the Kwik-E-Mart? What about your in-laws?

Snowbird
Feb. 25, 2004, 08:40 AM
My farrier is not a hero to be worshiped because he is such an important person. The Announcer at a horse show which is so prestigious and where he has so many contacts with important people can be very seductive and might suggest that a child or two meet him at his home.

How many young teens would be able to resist the temptation to be asked to ride some of the super star horses even as an exercise rider? No different a line than "will you help me find my dog"? How many would not be very impressed by a very important person taking an interest in them? How many would be able to resist that temptation if they are unsupervised?

Battle Scarred Veteran

tbowner
Feb. 25, 2004, 08:42 AM
I have not read the origional discussion yet, nor all of the responces to this thread yet. Forgive me if Iam repeating some one else.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> origionally posted be Snowbird-

Unfortunately, that may not be as cut and dried as it appears. Many mentally disturbed people are released as cured so long as they take their medication. There is no way however when out of the controlled situation to make sure that they actually do take their medication.

Once off that medication they can return to their original condition. So it is possible that a person who is a convicted sexual predator could be released as cured, and not take their medication and return to the predator condition and that person could be at a horse show as an official or employee.

_Battle Scarred Veteran_<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I just wanted to say that medication does not cure these people (If they even take it as you pointed out). The medication they take would have the same effect on you or I, as it does on people who 'need' it. Its a band-aid solution.

People who who pray on children, and the weak need to be taken out of society. Same as we do for dogs and the like.
Id like to say everybody deserves a second chance, but I have a daughter, and even though it is my responsibility to keep her safe, I dont want her to be the one that a one time offender repeats his offences on.
She has a right to safe, and to not be damaged by some screwed up moron that has more rights than she does.

Snowbird
Feb. 25, 2004, 09:39 AM
You're preaching to the choir. I agree totally as a former Psych major I am well aware that it is not a cure, but they are being released on that basis that the symptoms are now not happening.

That is exactly to point, and if they don't take their medication there is no one checking on them. I too agree that children have the right to be safe and are not wise enough yet to avoid what looks like free candy bars.

And, has anyone done research as to what happens if instead of their meds they take other more pleasnt drugs? I think as a society we need to get our priorities straight.

If children read that professionals held in high esteem are using performance altering drugs on horses and winning then they will believe all the commercials on the TV that you can solve all your problems with some kind of Medication.

Many years ago I had a beutiful girl here as a boarder and she had been convinced by her trainer to take whatever stuff it is they give to make a horse brave. Apparently, in the evening because during the day she was a delightful young lady but after 11 PM she had flashbacks and turned into a horror. We had to have First Aid Squad pluck her out of a tree and she spent the next two years in a hospital. That's when I learned there was no law against molesting a childs mind.

Battle Scarred Veteran

Coreene
Feb. 25, 2004, 10:39 AM
BILL GATES' SPEECH TO MT. WHITNEY HIGH SCHOOL in Visalia, CA.

To anyone with kids of any age, here's some advice. Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a High School about 11 things they did not and will not learn in school. He talks about how feel-good, politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.


Rule 1: Life is not fair - get used to it!

Rule 2: The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping - they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.

lauriep
Feb. 25, 2004, 11:11 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Snowbird:
My farrier is not a hero to be worshiped because he is such an important person. The Announcer at a horse show which is so prestigious and where he has so many contacts with important people can be very seductive and might suggest that a child or two meet him at his home.

How many young teens would be able to resist the temptation to be asked to ride some of the super star horses even as an exercise rider? No different a line than "will you help me find my dog"? How many would not be very impressed by a very important person taking an interest in them? How many would be able to resist that temptation if they are unsupervised?

QUOTE]

I doubt very seriously that KK, or anyone else, considers him a "hero to be wroshipped" and use that to suggest that children meet him at his home. the horse show announcer is hardly a "very important person."

Let's stick to the facts, not make stuff up as we go, hmmm? Snowy, sometimes I think the altitude on your "mountain" has affected your reasoning!

Bill Gates knows whereof he speaks!

Laurie

Snowbird
Feb. 25, 2004, 11:40 AM
Oigh! I tried to make my comments non-specific to KK. I am certain he is not the only issue at every horse show or barn.

I was making the general point that anyone whether they think so or not can become and idol. That in that position they could have an undue and influence which may not seem suspicious to the unsophisticated who don't know there is a scoundrel under every bush.

Therefore, ipso facto it is important that these people are not convicted criminals. Judging from what I have read here. There seem to be a lot more of those types out there than just KK. I must say I have found it reather shocking to know there were so many among us.

It is true when I go down in the valley the change of altitude could be a factor but while at home on my mountain it just makes the thinking more clear.

As to Bill Gates, I think he lives on a mountain too! But it is clear to see why he is such a fantastic success and so inovative in his thinking.

Battle Scarred Veteran

Coreene
Feb. 25, 2004, 11:46 AM
Well, a coworker just splained that she checked this on the urban legend thing and Bill did NOT utter those words, but I do believe they are quite pertinent anyhow.

Tiramit
Feb. 25, 2004, 12:01 PM
Just for a question to ponder.. How many people convicted of a sexual crime committed said crime in full view of the general public? I'd hazard the number of times that has happened is pretty low.

The problem isn't knowing where "undesirable people" are when it's the full force of a day (as in they are happily tucked away in an announcer's booth while children are milling about). It's when the crowd dies down and the grounds are a little less populated.

.................................................. .................................................. ......
"Whether you think you can or think you can't - you are right." -Henry Ford

Judi
Feb. 25, 2004, 12:06 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Coreene:
_BILL GATES' SPEECH TO MT. WHITNEY HIGH SCHOOL in Visalia, CA. _

To anyone with kids of any age, here's some advice. Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a High School about 11 things they did not and will not learn in school. He talks about how feel-good, politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.


Rule 1: Life is not fair - get used to it!

Rule 2: The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping - they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

OH MY GOSH... This is AWESOME! I have a 12 going on 13 boy who is going to read this puppy tonight... LOL....

Hmmm... for that matter I think I've got some new young starts here that need to get a copy as well. Seriously, I'm head of Marketing for a major ISP.. and believe you me.. the dot.com boom screwed up a lot of 20 somethings who earned big cash in 1998-2000 and are now unemployed and looking at how they can just get a job. I can't tell you the people who come through my door that are 25 and have "President" on thier resumes... I'm always like.. "Uh.. If I were you, I'd take that title off. Cuz I'm only looking to hire a Project Manager and I'm thinking you're going to be unhappy with you're new title on day one."

lauriep... I don't think it's the announcer gig that gets KK his notice with folks... it's his being able to write an article on his popular horsey website....

http://photos.yahoo.com/judistewart

[This message was edited by Judi on Feb. 25, 2004 at 03:26 PM.]