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austinpony
Jan. 18, 2004, 11:37 AM
At a horse showo this weekend in Pennsylvania, I picked up a magazine called "The Equirer," which I had not seen before. In it was a letter that deserves to be passed on to readers of this board - particularly after 85 pages of the suspension list thread. It was written by Liz Ireland of Athens, GA and is entitled "An Open Letter To David O'Connor."

"Dear Mr. O'Connor:

I read with interest your introductory letter to the membership of USEF in the December/January issue of Equestrian.

I have to wonder why the officers and directors of USEF seem so determined upon a program of expansion. Bigger is not always better and I think before we attempt to tack another wing on our house and hire high-powered real estate agents to market it to an unsuspecting general public, we need to clean the place up. I don't mean slapping on a coat of paint in this year's fashoinable color. I mean rehabilitating it from the very foundations on up.

We need to acknowledge that equestrain sport has a very dark side indeed, and we need to maximize our efforts to shut it down in toto. Whilte the recent list of "Big Name Trainers" in the hunter-jumper industry suspended for using illicit drugs is the most obvious current example of what I mean, I'm not just talking about those individuals or that one situation.

""Nobody can tell it's lame if you enter the rings at a canter and don't trot.""

This is what an experienced "A" Circuit trainer told me about a fabulous old jumper I bid in at a feelot auction for $600, absolutely crippled, and fresh off the "A" Circuit with the drugs still in his system to prove it. This horse had been nerved twice to keep him jumping; he had been jacked up on extra testosterone to make him "brave to the jumps." "Legal" limites of panikillers? I think not. It took me over a year to detox this horse, and an additional three years to get him pasture sound.

And now, we are hearing about the latest round of designer drugs which keep a horse civilized enough for any amateur or child rider - but which have some nasty side=effects, including long term brain damage. Would you want your child to buy such a horse? For a six-figure price tag? Sooner or later, some child is going to die riding one of these horses. How will our sport play to the general public then?

I say, enough.

No more hot-wiring dressage horses' teeth. No more jumping horses until they are crippled. No more blowtorches to "air up" the gaited horses. No more designer drugs. No more "trainers (quotation marks emphasized) training horses for several clients just outside the show grounds, even though said trainers are under indefinite suspension from USEF for killing horses to collect the insurance money. And most importantly, no more slap-on-the-wrist suspensions for the owners and trainers who participate and condone such activities. We must make the abuse of horses so economically impractical that people understand that in doing so, they may very well ruin their own careers as well as those of their clients. We must hit these people in the pocketbook so hard we bring them to their knees.

And if undertaking such a program means your international "medal count" goes down for a few years - you know what? A lot of your members really, truly don't much care. The recent vociferous support for our carriage driving pairs should provide the Federation with ample proof that many of your members are still people who love horses and believe that simply to compete in an international level competition is something to be very proud of, and something that deserves all the support the Federation can provide.

Quite honestly, Mr. O'Connor, I don't feel I need my Federation to provide me with a tie-in to a tractor company so that I can get a discount on a product I don't need, and will never buy. What I do need my Federation to do is make equestrian sport something we can all be proud to participate in. Right now, the list of illegal activities receiving benign neglect from our officers and directors is so mind-boggling that, quite frankly, I am (as I do every year) once again giving serious consideration to dropping my membership.

Don't try to sell me a bigger house. Try to sell me a better one.

Sincerely Yours,"


I say, bravo Liz!

I add that USEF needs to start paying attention to the concerns of it's general membership, increase it's educational efforts on proper horsemanship on the regional and local levels and stop catering to the craven interests of a few BNT's and show managers.

austinpony
Jan. 18, 2004, 11:37 AM
At a horse showo this weekend in Pennsylvania, I picked up a magazine called "The Equirer," which I had not seen before. In it was a letter that deserves to be passed on to readers of this board - particularly after 85 pages of the suspension list thread. It was written by Liz Ireland of Athens, GA and is entitled "An Open Letter To David O'Connor."

"Dear Mr. O'Connor:

I read with interest your introductory letter to the membership of USEF in the December/January issue of Equestrian.

I have to wonder why the officers and directors of USEF seem so determined upon a program of expansion. Bigger is not always better and I think before we attempt to tack another wing on our house and hire high-powered real estate agents to market it to an unsuspecting general public, we need to clean the place up. I don't mean slapping on a coat of paint in this year's fashoinable color. I mean rehabilitating it from the very foundations on up.

We need to acknowledge that equestrain sport has a very dark side indeed, and we need to maximize our efforts to shut it down in toto. Whilte the recent list of "Big Name Trainers" in the hunter-jumper industry suspended for using illicit drugs is the most obvious current example of what I mean, I'm not just talking about those individuals or that one situation.

""Nobody can tell it's lame if you enter the rings at a canter and don't trot.""

This is what an experienced "A" Circuit trainer told me about a fabulous old jumper I bid in at a feelot auction for $600, absolutely crippled, and fresh off the "A" Circuit with the drugs still in his system to prove it. This horse had been nerved twice to keep him jumping; he had been jacked up on extra testosterone to make him "brave to the jumps." "Legal" limites of panikillers? I think not. It took me over a year to detox this horse, and an additional three years to get him pasture sound.

And now, we are hearing about the latest round of designer drugs which keep a horse civilized enough for any amateur or child rider - but which have some nasty side=effects, including long term brain damage. Would you want your child to buy such a horse? For a six-figure price tag? Sooner or later, some child is going to die riding one of these horses. How will our sport play to the general public then?

I say, enough.

No more hot-wiring dressage horses' teeth. No more jumping horses until they are crippled. No more blowtorches to "air up" the gaited horses. No more designer drugs. No more "trainers (quotation marks emphasized) training horses for several clients just outside the show grounds, even though said trainers are under indefinite suspension from USEF for killing horses to collect the insurance money. And most importantly, no more slap-on-the-wrist suspensions for the owners and trainers who participate and condone such activities. We must make the abuse of horses so economically impractical that people understand that in doing so, they may very well ruin their own careers as well as those of their clients. We must hit these people in the pocketbook so hard we bring them to their knees.

And if undertaking such a program means your international "medal count" goes down for a few years - you know what? A lot of your members really, truly don't much care. The recent vociferous support for our carriage driving pairs should provide the Federation with ample proof that many of your members are still people who love horses and believe that simply to compete in an international level competition is something to be very proud of, and something that deserves all the support the Federation can provide.

Quite honestly, Mr. O'Connor, I don't feel I need my Federation to provide me with a tie-in to a tractor company so that I can get a discount on a product I don't need, and will never buy. What I do need my Federation to do is make equestrian sport something we can all be proud to participate in. Right now, the list of illegal activities receiving benign neglect from our officers and directors is so mind-boggling that, quite frankly, I am (as I do every year) once again giving serious consideration to dropping my membership.

Don't try to sell me a bigger house. Try to sell me a better one.

Sincerely Yours,"


I say, bravo Liz!

I add that USEF needs to start paying attention to the concerns of it's general membership, increase it's educational efforts on proper horsemanship on the regional and local levels and stop catering to the craven interests of a few BNT's and show managers.

DMK
Jan. 18, 2004, 11:45 AM
FYI - that letter was composed by a BBer (War Admiral) - there was a long thread about it on Off Course.

"I used to care, but things have changed..." Bob Dylan

austinpony
Jan. 18, 2004, 12:00 PM
Thanks, I hadn't seen it before, but will go and look at that thread.

Silver Bells
Jan. 18, 2004, 12:09 PM
Hats off to Liz! Thank-you for this informative post!

cowboylogic
Jan. 18, 2004, 05:31 PM
The "Reader's Corner" in The Equirer is where we hope to have more people write in with their opinions about important topics related to the hunter/jumper industry.

Cowboy Logic
Walk In The Park
Blue
www.theequirer.com (http://www.theequirer.com)

War Admiral
Jan. 18, 2004, 05:41 PM
Aw thanks, Austinpony, that was sweet of you to re-type all that!! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif And thanks to Cowboylogic for printing it.

I just hope others will add their voices, and the Federation will be responsive.

Can anyone shoot me a copy? I haven't actually seen it.

______________

"Those who use horses just for the business are crass, classless horsemen."
--George Morris

Kitty
Jan. 18, 2004, 05:51 PM
Absolutely brilliantly thought out and written letter. A beautiful job done by War Admiral.
Has anyone thought of using it as a petition, perhaps using the internet as a medium to pass it on to as many of us as possible who feel so strongly about these issues? Perhaps the powers that be as USEF will listen if we speak to them in "loud" numbers.

cowboylogic
Jan. 18, 2004, 05:56 PM
The Equirer was available at the USEF convention in LA.

Liz, email me your address and I would be happy to mail you a copy of The Equirer.
Thanks,
Cindy

Cowboy Logic
Walk In The Park
Blue
www.theequirer.com (http://www.theequirer.com)

War Admiral
Jan. 18, 2004, 06:34 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by cowboylogic:
The Equirer was available at the USEF convention in LA.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Bless you, Cindy. You TOTALLY rock!!!

______________

"Those who use horses just for the business are crass, classless horsemen."
--George Morris

noname
Jan. 18, 2004, 07:50 PM
bravo, bravo!!!

austinpony
Jan. 18, 2004, 09:34 PM
After I saw the post about the previous thread on this letter, I briefly thought "oops." But, you know, I think this is the kind of letter we need to see in different places to keep these issues foremost in our minds. Bravo again to War Admiral for having the guts to write it and get it out there.

As a former trade & professional association exec, I know the ONLY way to get things to change is to keep the pressure on.

If anyone wants to turn this into a petition, I say we go for it. I know I would sign in an instant.

Laurie@CBF
Jan. 18, 2004, 09:43 PM
It is really nice to know that it was published! Also great news that it was at the USEF - Kudos!!

cowboylogic
Jan. 19, 2004, 11:21 AM
Did anyone that was at the convention actually see The Equirer? I was told by someone that asked for it each day that only "approved" magazines had been put out...so we must not have been "ok" with The USEF. Please let me know if you saw or didn't see the magazine. We mailed a couple of hundred copies like they said we could.I will be very disappointed if they took it upon themselves to restrict what information people could receive while there.

Thank you,
Cindy

Cowboy Logic
Walk In The Park
Blue
www.theequirer.com (http://www.theequirer.com)

mnolen9698
Jan. 19, 2004, 11:30 AM
Great letter War Admiral!

khobstetter
Jan. 19, 2004, 11:31 AM
I was there and asked about it too...I have a rider in the picture insode the back cover and REALLY wanted to see it and get a copy for them.

It was NOT out anywhere through the week and when I asked on Saturday about it at the registration desk, where the rest of the "publications" were laid out, I was told that only publications that were approved were able to be laid out there.

I was sooooooooooo disappointed....

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

Weatherford
Jan. 19, 2004, 01:46 PM
And that approved bunch of mags and newspapers included the Horse of Delaware Valley??? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_mad.gif (PLEASE, tell me it DID NOT!!!)

Again, great letter, WA!!!

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

Portia
Jan. 19, 2004, 01:57 PM
No, no HDV. As far as I could tell (without asking anyone official about it), the publications on display were all from sponsors of the Annual Meeting, such as Equus, the AAEP, the Andalusian/Lusitano Association, and the Pacific Coast Horse Association (or whatever it is called). It looked like it was a perk of being a paid sponsor.

~~~~~~~~~~~~
I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell.

cowboylogic
Jan. 19, 2004, 02:33 PM
When I called to ask if we could send The Equirer to the convention I was told just "yes"...no strings attached, no sponsorship, no approval needed- nothing of that nature was mentioned.
I am waiting to talk to Scott at the USEF when they open tomorrow for an explanation as to why The Equirer was not put out. It arrived in LA and was signed for(I checked the Fed Ex tracking).
Someone that asked at the registration desk about The Equirer said they were told that all "approved" magazines had been put out.
I am hoping it was just an oversight on the USEF's part...not an attempt to restrict freedom of press.

Cindy

Cowboy Logic
Walk In The Park
Blue
www.theequirer.com (http://www.theequirer.com)

Snowbird
Jan. 19, 2004, 03:22 PM
I did not see the Equirer any where available as a give away. I was disappointed because I felt that the Letter which was quoted and the wonderful article quoting Lori Rawls should have been read by everyone at the Meeting. I don’t know of any Committee that would discriminate those choices my guess is that it would be more likely the staff itself that would either have forgotten or misplaced the magazines. It is true that there seems to be a very murky line between those who are the Members of the Staff and paid for their services and those of us who are Members of the USEF and pay the salaries with our membership fees on the fee for service basis.

I think Portia could be right and the Staff may have determined that only Sponsoring Groups could have their material there as a perk. But, then how do you explain the population of material from the Moroney Group which is still in the organization stage and not even an Affiliated member of the Federation. And, why wouldn’t someone have told the Editor of the Equirer what was required to have that publication available. It seems to me and my long term memory from many years is that there was always tons of printed material made available as long as it was equine related.

As to the issue that started this thread, I was very pleased to learn that Karen O’Connor seemed as concerned as we all were about the problems with enforcing the penalties regarding the violators. Dr. Lengel did make all of his forums and meetings available for discussion and to answer any questions. By the way for those interested I did find out from him that there is no different reaction and testing of mules which would be just as complete as it would for any other equine because their metabolism is the same. Chalk up a small victory for the Mule Group. I wonder if any of the Mule Associations have considered joining the Federation as an Affiliate Association.

I was very disappointed that the Hearing Committee did just that, and they were very unresponsive to all the emails. The only reaction that I heard was that they would consider our thoughts in further decisions. All of the establishment from John Long on down were very well aware of the great campaign to get them all emails, and they were fully aware that there is a ground swell of strong feeling out here. That was verified by the Opening Speech of David O’Connor where he emphasized their intention to put the welfare of the horse first and to not tolerate any abuse to horses. You did get your message across but to get consideration on more serious penalties and sharing the costs with those who are found in violation will take much more action, you will need to keep the pressure on the various members of the Board and Committees. There is a consensus that the Federation should police itself and I think a sense of security that outside agencies are not interested in interfering in the activities of a private corporation.

Kathy Hofstetter can tell you about the conversation we had with a member of the USET and now USEF and his views of setting mimimal levels which can be acceptable. He seemed to feel that there are frequently good reasons and accidents that the rule does not use as a mitigating circumstance. This gentleman was very responsive and we had an in depth dialog about the issues of how this affects the reputation of the professional or trainer and also how it affects the welfare and respect of all of us in this sport. I explained that to me as a Mom and a Grandmom would not accept less than zero tolerance for anyone in my family because once you go down that slippery slope the accidents and excuses magnify. But, I’ll leave this for Kathy to write.

One of the big problems that I sensed is the definition of a sports activity, because I think of this more as an agricultural activity and the impact of bad publicity on all the individual farms and teachers and the effect it might have on future portentiakl riders and students.

I think something that will need to evolve is the effect we have as a sport and an industry on the Gross Domestic Product of this country, as well as our open green spaces in every community. This impact will need to be considered in conjunction with that of the High Performance Competitors. They will need us to fill those seats so they can get those wealthy corporate sponsors to give them all that extra prize money.

This is why the "Conflict of Interest" issue, and the Ethics issues are so important. Too often rules are proposed for one or two people with a special interest and they are not considered for the full impact on all the members and their horses at the various levels and types of horse competitions.

By the way the hot wired teeth was frequently my opening of a dialog as to the horror of cruelty based on the fact that I personally could imagine no worse punishment if it were done to me. They all probably heard about those teeth at least once during the week.

Battle Scarred Veteran

[This message was edited by Snowbird on Jan. 19, 2004 at 05:46 PM.]

Velvet
Jan. 19, 2004, 03:30 PM
DQ here chiming in.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>No more hot-wiring dressage horses' teeth. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

To quote RJ, "What the fuh?" No such thing. Or if so, only in a backyard and to what end?

I can only conclude that I'm paying off karma at a vastly accelerated rate.
-Ivanova, B5

Founder: Ultimate DQ & Firefly Cliques
Member: Hunter Pain(t) Clique http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Coreene
Jan. 19, 2004, 03:37 PM
Velvet, go back and read the post in Dressage about hot wired teeth. Willem's were, he had the scars to prove it, and several BN dressage peeps not only looked at said teeth, they can tell stories about it going on. Not often, but sadly it does.

Velvet
Jan. 19, 2004, 03:44 PM
To what end? What were they attempting to achieve? I'm flummoxed.

I also guess I've been lucky enough to only know and work with BNT who are actually trainers. Even if this is only used for some handling issues and not riding problems.

I can only conclude that I'm paying off karma at a vastly accelerated rate.
-Ivanova, B5

Founder: Ultimate DQ & Firefly Cliques
Member: Hunter Pain(t) Clique http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Coreene
Jan. 19, 2004, 03:51 PM
Hmmm ... I am sure that this comment about BNTs wasn't a swipe at the people I've ridden with.

And the BNs to whom I was referring are very big names with sparkly pieces of metal on ribbons to put around their necks, and are trainers as well, so between them and my vets, and because we've all seen it on others, it does happen. Just because it didn't happen on your lunar acre doesn't mean it didn't. And you know I say this with a big smile re the tone, but with a sad face because it does happen.

Velvet
Jan. 19, 2004, 04:01 PM
Oh, I'm not doubting you had it happen, but what the heck were they trying to achieve?

Between Mars and the Moon I find I am quite removed from things sometimes. (Gratefully so, usually. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/winkgrin.gif )

I can only conclude that I'm paying off karma at a vastly accelerated rate.
-Ivanova, B5

Founder: Ultimate DQ & Firefly Cliques
Member: Hunter Pain(t) Clique http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

cowboylogic
Jan. 19, 2004, 04:04 PM
Does it bother anyone else that "we", as USEF members, don't have a vote or a say in much of anything? Would any of you actually vote on issues if you had an opportunity to?

Cowboy Logic
Walk In The Park
Blue
www.theequirer.com (http://www.theequirer.com)

Coreene
Jan. 19, 2004, 04:11 PM
Some effwits do it to because they think it makes the horse "go round" (not my words) and all sorts of other awful things. Girl, those burn scars went so deep that not even a 10-pack at Britesmile would have gotten rid of them.

I am glad that your lunar acre is far from it, it was a HUGE shock when I first saw it. I wish I had straight-on, close-up photos, I never thought of taking them. But after we put him down, while I was waiting for them to pick him up, I laid down and had a good long look at them again, close up, and it was reeeeeeeally sad to see that people could be so cruel. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/cry.gif

But the saddest thing of all was hearing about it from other people, and knowing it did and does happen to other horses. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_mad.gif

Snowbird
Jan. 19, 2004, 04:35 PM
My impressions of the future with this new Federation are mixed and I am in a willing wait and see mode. I do agree this was a most pleasant Annual Meeting and there was good manners and courtesy in abundance. It was very non-confrontational and yes! That’s pleasant but I happen to believe that the dissention was buried below the surface since everything is so new. I don’t think there can be constructive dialog if it is only between people who all agree with each other and if there is no disagreement there is no opportunity to examine an idea from all sides.

I think one of the biggest mistakes made by each version of this association was their continuous choice only of people who agreed with each other and the elimination of all other disagreeing opinions. This is why there are certain people with multiple functions on several committees. It is not necessarily a sign of their knowledge or experience but rather their ability to be politically correct. While there are others who would be glad to share the load and they are not invited to participate it limits the dialog to only one perspective. I think that was the major flaw in the old NHJC.

The system itself needs to be looked at because it is self destructive. More than 60% I would guess of the rule changes were postponed for the Board Meeting in July. I certainly hope that it will not simply be a web cast but that it will be a real meeting and there will be an opportunity for auditors as well as members who wish to interact with the Board of Directors. The past meeting was very frustrating to me because while all the committees went over all the proposed Rule Changes and either approved or disapproved they made no comments, explanations or the rational for the decision. Most of the Committees it seems do not have a seat on the Board of Directors therefore the participants went home early.

This left behind Andrew Ellis who seemed to be a member of a good many of the committees and the spokesman for all the committees because he was there and on the board. While Andrew did a competent job there were several instances from meetings at which I attended where the responses from him did not properl;y reflect the strong views of the Committee whether for or against unless they were also the views held by Andrew Ellis. I think even Andrew realized how much like a Larry Langer he sounded and apologized for the similarity. We in hunters know that Larry Langer was always completely convinced that his ideas were the only right solutions and he also spoke for all the committees with great authority. Some of you may remember that when we did not agree with him on the NHJC Forum Board he shut it down. The other vocal Hunter person was Bill Moroney. If this is to be the format there really is no purpose to an Annual Meeting it might just as well be a multiple day Board of Directors meeting where they take testimony.

I question the conflict of interests when a Member of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee and the Working Group for National Affiliates is also there proposing an organization which requires the approval of all these bodies to be Recognized by the Federation. Mr. Moroney in his official position presents himself to the Boards with his new not yet organized Association. I understand that if the conflict is disclosed it mitigates the collusion but I did not hear a vote from any one of the Boards which indicated they agreed that was true.

I think that what needs to be addressed by correction to the By-Laws is that the Committees either must have someone present for the information of the Board of Directors at all Board Meetings, or at least they should submit a comprehensive report of the logic and reasoning that went into their decision to approve or defeat a proposed Rule Change. For each Rule Change the Board of Directors seems to start from scratch. I was dismayed at times because at the General open Rule Change forum and the National Rule Change Forum a great deal of time was put in by people who were present from many committees and from disciplines, after a good dialog a vote is taken and that vote seems not to count at all. It seems rather pointless to attend all the meetings, spend the money and time and then have the Board of Directors depend solely on those present for testimony.

I also felt that with so much being postponed there is not even a resolution to the 5 days of work by a lot of people. One serious concern I have is that the Board seems to depend a lot on the opinions of the Legal Review Committee which as an independent unit may or may not reflect the opinions of the Membership. I know when I hire an attorney I tell him what it is I need to accomplish and ask if he can do it, and how he would do it. I would have expected Legal Review to simply be checking on the form and not the substance of the opinions.

It is not clear to me yet, but it seems the Federation my choose to evolve into a case scenario where they have their major work at the July Board Meeting. If this is so will that Board Meeting be open for interaction?

The other hot button item is the Mileage Rule Changes, for this there were multiple possible changes. This was postponed for resolution at the July Meeting also. I have been told that no members for the Mileage Rule Task Force have been selected. The Competition mangement Committee intends to submit Robert Ridland and Tony Hitchcock to represent the views of the the Horse Shows.

President O'Connor said at the Board meeting that first there will be an independent survey by an outside objective agency to determine the viability of our market place and the size of the market to determine what would be in the best interests of the sport. There seems to be some misunderstanding as to whether Horse Shows have franchise relationship with the Federation or whether the Federation just sanctions dates and ratings.

It will be interesting to see if they decide to change to a franchise system or stay the way it is with just approval of dates. I would assume that report might be available by the july Meeting and then the Task Force will be appointed to follow the recommendations.

Battle Scarred Veteran

Portia
Jan. 19, 2004, 06:02 PM
Snowbird, you and Andrew Ellis have your disagreements, and those disagreements surfaced in some of the committee meetings I sat in on. It is certainly your right to have your opinion of him. It is also my right to strongly disagree with those opinions.

Andrew Ellis is intelligent, knowledgeable, caring, dedicated, idealistic, and unfailingly tries to be constructive and move diaglogue forward. He is in no way a yes man, an apologist for the powers that be, or someone who believes his position is the only correct one or that he knows everything. In my experience with him, he is more than willing to listen to the opinions and ideas of others, and to ask questions and learn from others. He is not afraid to be politically incorrect and challenge the status quo when he feels it is necessary or appropriate. Most importantly, he genuinely cares about our horses and their welfare, and unlike so many others he puts that welfare in front of his own financial interests.

Both Bill Maroney and Gary Baker are on the board of directors, and each is affiliated with one of the competing applicants to become the new H/J affiliate. Neither of them will vote on issues in connection with that decision, and the rest of the board is very well aware of their affiliations.

As for the role of the Legal Review committee, it is that Committee's job to review the substance of the proposals to help evaluate whether adoption might present unforeseen legal consequences or possible liability to the organization. Substance, not form, is precisely the issue for Legal Review.

~~~~~~~~~~~~
I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell.

radio talk Aefvue Farms RCA
Jan. 19, 2004, 06:06 PM
"Conflict of interest" funny you should bring that up, Snowbird. So many of the committee members sit on more than one board, I for one, would like to know how the best interest of the members can be served? There's only so much time and energy one can expend on a committee.

Question #2, if the rule changes, once again, have been postponed to the July Board meeting, will it be an open meeting for members? Will members be allowed input before the vote? Portia, could that revue not have been done prior to the annual meeting? We certainly had the proposals well in advance.

We as members are asked to pay many $$$'s to belong, have our horses registered, not forgetting the fees we all pay at shows etc. Why are we not allowed to vote on things that will impact us? And yes, our zone commitees are voted on by the members of the zone. But not all of them can be at the Annual meeting. So our representation is somewhat lacking.

We do need a revamping of the new NGB. If it in fact is to represent its membership.

Snowbird
Jan. 19, 2004, 06:51 PM
Right on Radio Talk, yes! those Rule Change proposals have been milled through the system hopper for a whole year at least. And, the time for Legal Review would be before the Committees waste their time and effort on them if they are not proper.

In the past when a rule had a problem the sponsor was notified and had the opportunity to correct, amend or withdraw for revision long before the convention.

While I'm sure it's not manipulative after it's been through the system for a year it is very frustrating and the issue comes up when the sponsor is not there so it just gets thrown out or tabled which is the equivalent. This wastes a lot of time and leaves people feeling as if they have not accomplished anything.

I would guess if Legal Review did the job before instead of after we could get a lot more done in less time and feel as if we accomplished something. I don't think Legal Review should judge the substance of the rule I think they are there to evaluate the form but yes, we certainly can agree to disagree and that's what a dialog is all about.

It's good to have your perspective here so we can all understand the system and why these things do happen that seem so contrary to the polulace opinions. It is these differences of opinion and the right to express them that we have all enjoyed this Forum for dialog.

As to Andrew Ellis, I do like Andrew and I do disagree with some of his emphasis. But, since you were not there and you were not at the meetings where we reached a vote that he was interpretting I don't see how you can even disagree at this point.

Andrew and I have had several tiffs and we have also made up our differences several times. I think perhaps you are interpreting my different opinions from some he holds (certainly by no means all) as a personal thing and its not its purely ideological and I am confident that Andrew knows that because we have spoken frequently.

I do admire him as a young man willing to defend his perspective and it only clears the air and gets stronger from the opportunity to defend a point of view.

I do think that he is on too many committees when there are others who could also serve and I was referring to the system where there were no members of the Committees. I think you misread my statement or I wrote it out badly, but what I was talking about was system that put him in that position where there was no back up for him. That is wrong, whether he is wrong or right and of course he is going to color his statement to the way he really believes because he is honest, straight out front and not deceptive. Those are characteristics I always admire. I like Bill Moroney, the differences have to do with ideas and a lack of proper documentation.

Portia the fact is that I wouldn't take at face value a proposal from my own mother without challenging how that proposal would actually work out if it was intended to be representative, democratic and open.

I think when Gary raised the issue at the Working Group it was because it was clear that Bill Moroney was espousing his own cause and Gary felt that neither of them should be doing that because the issue was not really up for discussion as yet and it was a proposal. Gary is the one who feels he has been disadvantaged for his Association and that there has been undue influence.

Battle Scarred Veteran

noname
Jan. 19, 2004, 07:07 PM
why can't we as members have more say on what goes on in these meetings? why can't we vote? the whole system just seems skewed if you ask me. it seems like the people that can make the most change are the ones unwilling to start the change. it just doesn't seem like the majority of the members are being properly represented in these board meetings. i may not have been at the meetings but from watching the boards lately, it doesn't seem like what the members want done is getting much of a voice. please tell me i am wrong. i want to know that all the money i am paying for my membership is doing something for me!

austinpony
Jan. 19, 2004, 07:21 PM
I want to weigh in here again as a 12 year veteran of the trade/professional association world as some of the things Snowbird brought up gave me some concern.

First, understand that associations are required by law to hold an annual membership meeting. They are not required to let the membership vote on certain issues unless the bylaws of that individual association are so written. I have not looked at the USEF bylaws, but my guess is that recommendations are made by the committees and voted on solely by the board of directors. In most associations, boards will vote the way the committee recommends. This puts power into the hands of a VERY small percentage of members. They become MORE powerful since the bylaws dictate the number of board members; and that each committee must contain one or more of these members. You therefore have board members on multiple committees and recommending policy on several levels. Since the board tabled some of the controversial issues until their July meeting, their intent is to deal with them away from public eyes and potential dissent. My guess is that the July meeting will not be open to any non-board members. It's a guess, but an educated one.

Now, having said that, since David O'Connor is the new head, he might be more open to letting someone attend. I would make the request directly to him if you want to go.

The membership should be voting for who sits on the board, but I have yet to see a ballot from USEF. And, here is where the main difficulty with USEF comes: this small group nominates new board members and who knows who is voting them on. There is also an issue of term limits. Again, I haven't read the by-laws, but if there are no term limits for board members OR if a board member only has to rotate off for a short period of time (1-2 years, for instance)there can be considerable trouble right here in River City with a capital "T" as again, power stays centered with a small number of people.

Solutions? There is one and that is - if the membership indeed gets to vote at someplace and sometime, ie from the floor of the annual meeting - to nominate a new slate from the floor. This can be very powerful stuff, but if you are sufficiently dissatisfied with the current policies and practices of USEF, then that's the way to go. However, you have to be very organized to get this done, and that organization starts now. Really, RIGHT now.

A second course of action is to get on a committee. But again (boy do I hate being the voice of experience here) if you don't toe the committee line and are a voice of dissent, you will never, ever get on the board - unless someone figures that once on the board you will be sufficiently intimidated or thrilled to be there to shut up and put up.

Finally, even staff doesn't really read or necessarily understand the association's by-laws. I've been hoisted on that petard and it ain't fun. So: request a copy of the by-laws. Read them and I have no doubt there will be something in there that can be used to initiate change. Notice, I'm not suggesting reading the rule book. Rules are not designed to inconvenience staff. They are designed to keep us in our places.

Okay. This brings me to periodicals allowed at an association meeting. And, the news here is that I don't know of any association staff that allows publications to be distributed that have not a) sponsored something; b) advertised the association or meeting comp; or, 3)given the association money to put the pubs out. So, someone might have said "yes" to The Equirer, but they got over-ruled. Bad news, but if they had put it out, someone who did sponsor/pay would have bitched. Been on the receiving end of that too.

Anyway, there it is. Association 101. And you guys thought the horse world has a dark side.... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

radio talk Aefvue Farms RCA
Jan. 19, 2004, 08:00 PM
austinpony, you do make me smile!!! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif Thank you for association 101...

khobstetter
Jan. 19, 2004, 08:15 PM
I for one went looking for The Equirer..I have ajunior who is on the inside of the back cover and i wanted to see it and get one for the family.

There were MANY publications that were NOT sponsors!!! There was a newspaper type on that was called "The Equestrian"...not a sponsor..

I am looking at one I picked up called "The National Sport Horse Sales List".....also NOT a sponsor. This one is a magazine much like TheeEquirer but it is sale horses all the way thru..ALL KINDS of sale horses.

The contact people are from Madison, WI.

I WANTED THE EQUIRER...no such luck!! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

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

Snowbird
Jan. 19, 2004, 08:36 PM
Well as for Association 101, I have read and studied the by-laws and no we don't have a vote. They can let us think we have a vote but it's not real and they don;t have to honor it. We get one vote every four years for the Zone Committee period.

I proposed By-Laws changes that would fix that according to their promises. It never even got out of the hopper. In my own zone the last oppportunity to nominate I was told was on the 18th when I was in LA so I couldn't volunteer or get five signatures to get in, I tried to make it not a bio for candidates, because really what does it matter what your horses have won for Zone Committee. I wanted it to be a campaign statement of purpose.

No one has the right to vote except the Board of Directors and they are appointed by the President. But, it is a 501(c3) which means that no one is supposed to benfit from their voluntary service.

Battle Scarred Veteran

Doubleeez
Jan. 19, 2004, 08:49 PM
Cowboylogic - NHJA distributes a survey annually to both members and non-members. The questions have to do with the proposecd rule changes as well as members' concerns about some situations that need attention. The return percentage of this unsolicited questionnaire has topped 25% in the last two years. I think people would respond and return a request for a vote, provided it was simply worded with a yes or no or one word answer. From the responses we receive on members' concerns we word them in the form of a proposed rule change and send them on to the Federation. It is a cumbersome process but NHJA feels it is better to work within the perameters set by the Federation than to go another route.

Snowbird
Jan. 19, 2004, 09:02 PM
From what I was told at the convention the NHJA Survey is a better response from the membership than anything the Federation gets even at the Annual Meeting.

Battle Scarred Veteran

khobstetter
Jan. 19, 2004, 09:11 PM
I just talked to one of my clients who is a marketing guy dealing with surveys all the time.

He said that a 4% reply is a good response and that ANYTHING over 10% is very very rare... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

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

cowboylogic
Jan. 19, 2004, 10:10 PM
Austinpony- I was told by The USEF that I would have to pay a handling fee...which I agreed to...they NEVER said anything about any other fees to put the magazine out.

Kathy...sorry you were not able to get a copy of The Equirer...if you want one for the girl whose photo was in it...let me know and I am happy to send you another copy. The magazine is on it's way to Indio...we sent a lot of copies to them so you will be able to find copies there too.

A question to everyone- if we did give you a chance to vote ...would you? Even if it was unofficial and just an opportunity to have your opinion known...

Cindy

Cowboy Logic
Walk In The Park
Blue
www.theequirer.com (http://www.theequirer.com)

War Admiral
Jan. 20, 2004, 07:06 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I am glad that your lunar acre is far from it, it was a HUGE shock when I first saw it. I wish I had straight-on, close-up photos, I never thought of taking them. But after we put him down, while I was waiting for them to pick him up, I laid down and had a good long look at them again, close up, and it was reeeeeeeally sad to see that people could be so cruel. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

OMG Coreene... {{{{Hugs girlfriend.}}} http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/cry.gif

Velvet - Just because YOUR trainer doesn't indulge in questionable practices, it does NOT mean that questionable practices are not indulged in. NO discipline is excepted - even my own of carriage driving. (And we don't even HAVE prize money or year-end awards!) Some time, why don't you ask your trainers/vets if they have ever seen such a thing?

I guess the real question is - if you saw or heard of this taking place - WOULD YOU REPORT IT? Or would you climb a few more steps up in your ivory tower and close the door and look the other way?

Cowboylogic - I e-mailed you privately. But boy does that S&CK about the mag. not being at the convention. I'm so sorry, after all your hard work. But you sure gave it the best try you possibly could, and I appreciate it!!

______________

"Those who use horses just for the business are crass, classless horsemen."
--George Morris

austinpony
Jan. 20, 2004, 08:16 AM
Snowbird - USEF is a 501 (c3)??? Not a (c6)?? Wow. That is SO wrong. The c3's are supposed to be organized for educational, religious or other charitable functions and are tightly regulated by the IRS. As far as I can tell, AHSA - now USEF does not fit the c3 criteria in any way, shape or form. As a c3, they can get away with not letting the membership vote, but they also really can't have a "membership" per se.

I apologize to the rest of the readers: this might seem a bit esoteric. But, the bottom line is - that if USEF is a c3, then somewhere along the line, they are in violation of their original mission, which was probably education - although horse people have been known to call on god and Jesus with some regularity... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif Still, I'd never think of USEF as a "religious" organization even though it may drive some of us to god. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/winkgrin.gif Or, to drink.

I think I may take a look at those by-laws myself. Something may be more rotten in the state of Denmark than we think. And will check with a good friend who is an association lawyer. There may be a way to initiate change through that path.

It's kind of interesting for me: I was out of horses for 14 years after a serious riding accident. Coming back and seeing how some things have changed while others - like drugs - have not is fascinating in some ways and horrifying in others. I was always a member of AHSA because I HAD to be to show - as a professional there was no choice. Well, I'm an amateur now (after 14 years away they do give you a card with no problem...)and my perspective has changed. And, maybe USEF isn't the right organization for the job anymore.

The house does have to be cleaned up - that's clear. Did the membership care about the USET/USAeg battle? Did they choose to spend millions on legal fees that could/should have gone to drug testing, education and other issues? I don't think so. As Snowbird says, membership doesn't get a vote. If I am paying them money, I don't know about the rest of you, but I want one. And, frankly, it's the only thing that counts and the only way a body of members can make change happen.

Okay - off my soapbox and out into the cold. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif Winter is ending when?

LisaB
Jan. 20, 2004, 08:21 AM
Right on WarAdmiral! I think we need to make another analogy concerning the expansion of the USEF to the masses. It's like the county where I live in. There are suburbanites moving into a rural county. On that side of the county, they are building new schools, pitching for better teacher pay, and trying to get a satellite sheriff's office out that way. They are building in infrastructure to entice a better breed of people by having a good, well-educated, safe community to raise children. Then the other half, well, let's just hope they don't fall off thier dinosaurs and break thier stone diapers.
So in agreement, we need to place the welfare of the riders and above all the horses in front of all other initiatives. We need a public image that states our horses are incredible athletes and they are spoiled rotten.
And when we see this abuse at shows, yes, report it to the show officials. But also, why not the cops? I know of several cases involving dogs and cats where the shear embarrassment of going to court, getting the wrath of the judge and paying fines has stopped some people dead from getting another pet. Their pets were just neglected, not to the extent of criminal negligience yet but was avoided and those pets went to better homes or rescue societies.
Then these people will have some kind of record. Can a bright and shiny cop standing over them at the showgrounds stop them? I think possibly. That way also, the county, city, and/or state will be more aware of these issues and have more laws in place to stop the hot wiring, ginger up the butt stuff.
Sure, Peta will get all militant and crap but us doing pre-emptive strikes would leave them no room to bitch.

Portia
Jan. 20, 2004, 09:04 AM
Let's get one thing clear: The July Board meeting is open to the membership, public, and press. Things were not tabled until July to hide them from anyone.

The bylaws are available to anyone on the website at usef.org.

The composition of the Board of Directors is set out in Bylaw 302 and is dictated in part by the USOC requirements for an NGB. Its composition is also a result of compromise between the USET and USA Eq in trying to consolidate the functions and powers of the two organizations and blend the national disciplines with the high performance FEI functions.

Bylaw 302 sec. 1 provides:

The Board of Directors consists of the following 54 Directors (or such greater number as increased pursuant to Bylaw 301(8), each of whom must be a Senior Active Member, with each Director having one vote:
(1) Twelve Eligible Athletes (or such greater number as needed to provide at least 20% Athlete representation on the Board), elected as provided by Bylaw 411 and Bylaw 421.
(2) One representative from each Sustaining Member [meaning the USET Foundation and USA Eq Trust] elected as provided in Bylaw 303 (considered At-Large Directors for caucus purposes).
(3) One representative from each of the seven High Performance disciplines, elected as provided in Bylaw 303.
(4) Eight representatives from the FEI Affiliates, elected as provided in Bylaw 303.
(5) Seventeen representatives from the National Affiliates, elected as provided in Bylaw 303.
(6) Eight At-Large representatives, elected as provided in Bylaw 303.
(7) Such additional representatives as may be added pursuant to Bylaw 301(8).

Bylaw 302 sec. 4 provides for term limits:
Starting in 2005, any member of the Board of Directors may serve a maximum of two consecutive four-year terms, or eleven years in total if the Director has been elected to fill a partial term, and may not be relected to the Board of U.S. Equestrian for 350 days following the expiration of the second term, except that any Director may be elected to a National Officer position for a maximum of two additional consecutive four-year terms, regardless of prior continuous service as a Director. A change of Naitonal Officer position shall operate to extend the maximum term of such person, except however, after serving as President, an individual may not be elected either Secretary or Treasurer or to the Board of Directors of U.S. Equestrian for 350 days following the expiration of that individual's term as President.

Bylaw 303 sets out the voting procedures for electing the different categories of Directors. It's complicated and I'm not about to try to type all that out! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

[This message was edited by Portia on Jan. 20, 2004 at 11:28 AM.]

TQ
Jan. 20, 2004, 09:14 AM
I was at the convention and was very pleased with the enthusiasm and availability of all of the people in the "power positions". I was also impressed with their sheer long hours and hard work. I went to as many meetings as I could fit into the hours of the days...and everywhere I went, they were there...and I know they all had other meetings that were of equal importance. David O'Connor could not have been more open or positive or willing to discuss every item. Ned Bonnie was everywhere being sure that the ideas and statements were legally on track. Cheryll Frank was a wealth of knowledge and explained the new programs being set up in the data base. Linda Allen brought international and technical expertise and enthusiasm and experience to a variety of meetings.
Everyone who came and spoke was heard and there were great discussions and plans for new programs.
I am adamant about the well being of the horses!
So are the people at the top of the organization! Yes, there are things that need to be cleaned up. Anyone who abuses horses in anyway should be severly penalized. I know that the officials feel the same.
It was a positive and constructive time. If you came to the convention you had plenty of opportunity to speak in meetings and privately to everyone.
P.S. I did pick up a copy of The Equirer from the table with the other publications. There was only one left on the table when I got mine...maybe someone else had already taken the others.

War Admiral
Jan. 20, 2004, 09:44 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> P.S. I did pick up a copy of The Equirer from the table with the other publications. There was only one left on the table when I got mine...maybe someone else had already taken the others. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

OK, so they DID get there? Thanks for the info TQ!

Hopefully we can just assume that The Equirer was really, really, REALLY popular and went like hotcakes!! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

______________

"Those who use horses just for the business are crass, classless horsemen."
--George Morris

Big Day
Jan. 20, 2004, 09:56 AM
War Admiral -- my hat is off to you. What a beautifully written, insightful, and intelligent letter. Perhaps other publications would be interested in publishing it? Then the odds that more people would be able to stand behind this as a platform for a petition would be increased.
Just a thought...
Thanks for the great letter!

Snowbird
Jan. 20, 2004, 10:21 AM
Portia I wouldn't be so hard on everyone who is just getting interested. That was the whole purpose of what we all started here 5/6 years ago. I think that there are genuine questions. In my experience the "election" of the Board has been superficial and mostly they are appointed or invited. But, the issue raised was about voting below the Board of Directors level.

Certainly, the Committees that voted on the Rule Changes and worked so hard do not feel they have accomplished anything. I don't think you know for sure about the july Board Meeting being open or even if it will be in person or by tele-conference. That has not been decided at least it certainly wasn't announced. And, it has not been said whether or not there will be interaction with the Board if you go.

The last Board Meeting that I attended was relatively closed and guests were periodically asked to leave the room, as well as all the Working Groups which were moved out of the main room. Putting this forward as a fact you should not jump to any conclusions or make value judgments about me, my opinions or my relationship with officials.

I don't think I implied it was to hide anything but that it was very depressing after five days of work to have over 60% of the things we thought were decided back in the hopper for the next Board Meeting. I tyhink we can safely make suggestions and indicate places where there can be improvements without it meaning that we are making false judgments.

What IO really resent in an attitude that implies that we should all take what we are told for a final solution and that by making any critical comments we are somehow less loyal or supportive.

I think when I point places where there are glitches in the system I am being both constructive and positive. As to the C3 status, that is questionable with the way they operate and has been for the past 25 years and does not negatively apply to anyone or any group. The Educational purposes and the fact that NO ONE is to personally benefit from their volunteer services and other parts of the structure have been the source of many of the past legal problems and will be also in the future.

Several attorneys over the years have raised these issues and most of them have never been resolved. I don't think it is fair to blame the fact that the Ted Stevens Amateur Act which forced the merger is the reson we have less democracy. Years ago the Horse Shows did have a vote. That's why they are called "Member Shows" and they received the number of votes depending on their rating.

When then AHSA decided to witdraw those Show votes they did decide that all Exhibitors had to be a Member. Priot to that time you could compete at any AHSA sanctioned show without being a member unless you wanted to acquire points towards the Annual Awards. I think they then should have had some way that the Membership should have a vote at more than the Zone Committee.

Also, back then when we attended a Forum aat the Convention the vote of those present at least was counted and generally not over ruled.
The evolution of the Federation has caused gaps in the system. It is simply not heresy not is it disloyal to oppose some changes and to require improvement. That's why a homogenous situation doesn't work there is no one forcing all the issues to be addressed from all sides.

I pointed out that under the system there were so few people from the Hunter Discipline and so many proposed Rule Changes for Hunters that there were only two people at the meeting to advise the Board. That is something that can be easily remedied. There will never be remedies unless there are those restless souls who wish to point out the problems.

I started out this dialog many years ago to prove the one person can make a difference and even someone like me without the advantage of your legal background can see flaws that can be patched by well intentioned people.

I am proud of the fact that being an irritant and having an adminsitration that was cooperative has changed the landscape. All the Officials now talk about representation before that was a bad joke. Now we all expect open meetings and accessible information and that was never available before and yes! as watchdogs for our rights we need to see where the spaces may be closing again.

If you remember Portia, we campaigned for the the Right to Know and for the Right to Vote. I think the people who post on this BB can be very proud of the fact that we did win for ourselves the Right to Know. We need now to be vigiliant and make sure we don't lose ground again.

We still have a mission for the Right to Vote. There are serious questions about whether the standards for a 501(c3) are being met by many people and while I respect your opinion I think there is always room for a different opinion.

I do not see anything in the Ted Stevens Act that prevents the Members from having the right to vote. I don't see anything in the standards for a Not for Profit that prevents the Members from having a vote and I don't think that we need to sit around silently and not remind the administration that we would like to have the right to vote. That is not to me either criticism or disloyalty and it certainly does not cast any aspirsions on anyone on the Board or any officers.

Please Portia do not feel that because we have discussions and exchange ideas that in any way the programs are in jeopardy and please there is no need to be so defensive.

Battle Scarred Veteran

Portia
Jan. 20, 2004, 10:51 AM
Snowbird, my post wasn't in response to you nor was it directed to you or your opinions. It was in response to some other folks who speculated that the July board meeting would be entirely closed. I posted the information about the Board structure because other people were asking about it. It was information, not criticism.

Snowbird
Jan. 20, 2004, 12:25 PM
I'm sorry, I hadn't heard that was a matter of fact yet. At the Board Meeting it seemed to still be an open question.

Battle Scarred Veteran

Snowbird
Jan. 20, 2004, 06:19 PM
Bump up it's too soon to lose this one. Good exercise for the brain.

Battle Scarred Veteran

cowboylogic
Jan. 20, 2004, 06:51 PM
Does anyone have an opinion as to which affiliate group they would like to see chosen?

Cowboy Logic
Walk In The Park
Blue
www.theequirer.com (http://www.theequirer.com)

Snowbird
Jan. 20, 2004, 08:45 PM
Right now there's only one candidate, I don't like those odds it's not good for a democracy.

Battle Scarred Veteran

cowboylogic
Jan. 21, 2004, 07:08 AM
Snowbird- has it been reduced to one officially?

To everyone- No one has answered as to which group they would most like to see win...is it that you dont care one way or the other...especially since you have no vote on the matter...

OR...
That you need to know more about each group?

I am curious who would actually vote on issues...if some miricle occured and we were given the right to vote...though that doesn't seem likely.

Thankshttp://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Cowboy Logic
Walk In The Park
Blue
www.theequirer.com (http://www.theequirer.com)

Pony1
Jan. 21, 2004, 07:44 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by cowboylogic:
Snowbird- has it been reduced to one officially?

To everyone- No one has answered as to which group they would most like to see win...is it that you dont care one way or the other...especially since you have no vote on the matter...

OR...
That you need to know more about each group?

I am curious who would actually vote on issues...if some miricle occured and we were given the right to vote...though that doesn't seem likely.

Thankshttp://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Cowboy Logic
Walk In The Park
Blue
http://www.theequirer.com

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Cowboy Logic,
For me I am leaning towards Bill Moroney's group - because of 3 things -

First, the structure for the organization is predicated on their being diversity of those sitting on the BOD and on the committees. Diversity in Region/Zone representation as well as all levels within the community.

Second - the BOD and committe seats require a certain level of attendance I think its a min of 50% attendance (can't remember exactly) or you loose your spot. This will cut out the life appointees that take up space and do "nothing" There are lots of people who want to work and be involved, but can't get past the "politically correct" appointees that are there in name only - forcing the few that do show up to do all the work.

Third - the business plan, organization, bylaws are very well thought out and documented.

I had the opportunity though to hear Mr. Moroney's presentation at the Zone 3 banquet, and he very graciously stayed an hour after everyone else left to answer questions from the 6 of us who did stay to discuss specific issues.

I have not found anything substanitive to educate myself on Gary's Group. I think they are at a disadvantage because Bill is being very proactive in getting the message out about what his group has set up. The website is very informative www.ushja.com (http://www.ushja.com) Does Gary's group have a website?

I think it would be a great service to the membership if someone could do a side/by/side comparison of the 2 proposed affiliates. And that analysis needs to somehow be gotten in front of the majority of the membership so we can know what each is really proposing.

At the end of the day though - will we the memberhsip have any voice, vote or say in which affiliate is selected (according to the yet to be established criteria for selection) by the NGB?

I am keeping an open mind until I can educate myself on what Gary's group is all about but Bill was quick out of the box getting his message out to the masses.

JMHO as one of the masses in the membership.

Quality is never achieved by accident - but rather by Design!
Home of the first American Riding Pony bred and born in the USA - GaLa's Stardust Legacy - www.americanridingpony.com (http://www.americanridingpony.com)
"Proud Member of the Hunter Breeding Clique"

War Admiral
Jan. 21, 2004, 08:04 AM
I would vote if given the opportunity.

I would much prefer to know a little more about each of the groups before making a decision.

However, based strictly on what has been said here, I would have a slight inclination toward Bill Moroney's group.

______________

"Those who use horses just for the business are crass, classless horsemen."
--George Morris

Silver Bells
Jan. 21, 2004, 08:18 AM
I too would like the option of voting! However, I also need more information on the groups involved. Does anyone know the major differences between them?

radio talk Aefvue Farms RCA
Jan. 21, 2004, 08:34 AM
Snowbird, I am from the days when our vote was counted. And people made a tremendous effort to get to the conventions. We were heard. Literally, where people stood up, went to a microphone near them, and stated a problem. If it could not be decided upon, then it was tabled, till the next board meeting. Not like it is today. We all may have had issues, but at least we had the opportunity to be heard. And don't tell me of time constraints. Thats an excuse!

Sorry Portia, having been in the before, which wasn't perfect, and now seeing the after. I for one have noticed large discrepancies. The membership as a whole is yelling. Fees have increased, and what most of us feel is we are not important. Unless its to send in $$$$$'s. So unless the BOD is ready to allow the membership to be included once again, we badly need to clean house.

cowboylogic
Jan. 21, 2004, 08:57 AM
The National Hunter & Jumper Association

Gary Baker’s group, The National Hunter & Jumper Association, has been around for almost 15 years. “We have withstood the test of time,” Gary Baker said. “We have proven that we can do things that benefit our members. We do a yearly survey to find out what the members want. We then go out and lobby on their behalf.” The NHJA has a member base that is made up of members from all 50 states-with over 100 lifetime members. The Directors of the NHJA have been elected by their members. They are not self-appointed. The elected Board Members then elect the Officers. They plan to rotate board members every year, with no “forever” members. If selected, they also plan to revise their bylaws to coincide with the four year terms set-up by USEF, as well as enlarge their Board (Steering Committee) to cover the Hunter Task Forces and Zone Committees.

The NHJA has stated their intent as follows (information from their brochure):
The object of the National Hunter and Jumper Association is to deal with the issues and concerns related to the showing of hunters and jumpers through all stages of competition, from the entry level exhibitor to the Olympic rider…We strive to represent fairly the interests of amateur exhibitors and professional horsemen, competition management, sponsors, “bill-paying” non-competitors, professionals in allied fields and spectators.”
“We hope to provide a democratic and responsive organization which can represent all individuals involved in the showing of hunters and jumpers, so that we may be able to govern our sport from within. By focusing on the problems in our area of the sport, we believe that we can better use available resources, save valuable time and better represent our part of the horse industry to local, state and regional equestrian organizations.”


This is what we had in our article in The Equirer about Gary's group... both groups have a web site:
Gary Baker – www.nhja.com (http://www.nhja.com)
Bill Moroney – www.ushja.org (http://www.ushja.org)

Both Gary amd Bill were wonderful to talk to when we interviewed them.
Tom Struzzeri made it clear he would be happpy to talk to us as well..but we were not able to interview him before we went to print. We did not know at first that his group was even interested in applying.

Hopefully The Equirer WAS actually at the convention. We had information from the USEF as to the criteria for choosing the new affiliate and infromation on both Gary and Bill's proposals.

Cowboy Logic
Walk In The Park
Blue
www.theequirer.com (http://www.theequirer.com)

Portia
Jan. 21, 2004, 09:10 AM
I understand, radiotalk. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif I do know, however, that there are many dedicated and caring people involved in the current USEF, and I don't want to throw them out with the bathwater so to speak. Going against my long history of rampant cynicism http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif I guess I'm still willing to give the USEF a chance to really get up and running, give it support, and see what it can achieve. I may be disappointed, but maybe not. And, I'm not as sold on the benefits of direct voting as some people.

As for the new H/J affiliate, I've decided to support the USHJA, for many of the same reasons Pony1 mentioned. The structure, bylaws, board, and other details are very well thought out and documented. They have had the foresight to include specific spaces on the board for horse welfare, amateurs, and others to try to ensure that all sections of the H/J world have some voice. They do require active participation from those involved in goverance (something I would like to see USEF require, as there are certain board members who I've never seen/heard at a board meeting in the last four years.) They have planned for educational programs, and have practical financing projections for them. And, they have made all this information freely available and were willing to answer questions for two hours after their 45 minute presentation at the Annual Meeting. It is not perfect, but I think it is an excellent start.

~~~~~~~~~~~~
I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell.

Portia
Jan. 21, 2004, 09:25 AM
Back to the USEF, it became clear at the Annual Meeting that for various reasons there are going to be some significant developments in the next year or so. We haven't really talked about the major issues that arose at the meeting, other than the H/J affiliate. I can do it here or start a new thread, but here's a quick summary of what I see as the major things:

(1) Mileage Rule and Date Protection.

They are appointing a task force to study the mileage rule and date protection issues. The task force is to report back to the Board at the July meeting. My personal feeling, without in any way speaking for the Federation, is that there is likely to be a major and necessary overhaul of the mileage and date systems.

(2) Federation Representative Program.

They are going forward with the Federation Representative pilot program, which I personally think is a wonderful initiative and much needed. In a nutshell, it involves sending Federation-appointed stewards and TDs to various recognized competitions to observe and evaluate conditions and standards, independently of competition management, then report back to the USEF. (It would not be at every show, but randomly selected ones, kind of like D&M testing.) This is meant to help address the actual and perceived problems with the show officials being hired by show management and therefore reluctant to report on poor conditions.

(3) Safety Cups.

There is a strong push and significant consensus about the need for quick-release safety cups or breakable pins on the backs of all spread fences, both in the jumpers and the hunters, and at all levels of competition. The safety committee and hunter and jumper committees all want them. Some of the proposed rule changes were delayed because they did not define what a "safety cup" actually is and because we do not yet have an ASTM/SEI standard for them (although we do have FEI approved versions, which are required on fences in jumper shows offering significant money), but I'm betting it will happen sooner rather than later.

They have taken into account the concerns of show management and practicality, and the proposals include provisions for using either saftey cups or breakable pins in low money and hunter classes. Breakable pins serve the same safety purpose as quick-release safety cups, but have the potential to affect the fairness of competition since they can crack and not be noticed, then the next horse that touches the pole may have an rail because the pin breaks. That's why they only want to use them where the money and prestige of the class is not huge. Also, while not yet required by the rules, the Federation is encouraging all show management to use safety cups in the rings and to use breakable pins in all warm-up areas.

(4) Rules Reorganization. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Yes, it is going forward. It will be an ongoing process over the next few years, but it looks like the new format and some other preliminary layers of change will be in the 2005 Rule Book. This is not meant to change the substance of any of the rules, just make them easier to find and understand.

Silver Bells
Jan. 21, 2004, 09:53 AM
Thanks Cowboylogic. I am already along time member of the NHJA, and will look into the
USHJA.

Thanks again.....

Hopeful Hunter
Jan. 21, 2004, 10:27 AM
OK....as a still outsider, my questions are simple...

are ANY of the proposed changes/affiliate organizations/etc going to have a positive impact in terms of costs, accessability, integrity or otherwise, on ME as a lower-level rider?

Are they going to make me WANT to do the rated shows, rather than the much cheaper unrated ones that are often run at the same grounds?

And...are these changes going to make me feel there is any VALUE for my membership dollar? Will I want to join this "new" organization, or remain on the sidelines as I watch it put the "fun" back in "dsyfunctional?"

War Admiral
Jan. 21, 2004, 10:34 AM
LOL Hopeful, some very good questions indeed!

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

______________

"Those who use horses just for the business are crass, classless horsemen."
--George Morris

Snowbird
Jan. 21, 2004, 10:38 AM
Well, radiotalk on the issue of the Affiliate Association, while the result may have been the same I am adamantly opposed to the preferential treatment given to the Moroney Group. I think they used Bill Moroney's influence as a Member of the Executive Committee, the Board of Directors and the Working Group for National Affiliates to create a false premise. That to me is a conflict of interest pure and simple.

"There is some urgency to proceed without proper checks and balances in place" I believe is a false premise and is based on no facts at all. Gary Baker's group did not have a fair shot because they did not have available the staff and facilities of the USEF to help them make a proposal. They had one hour in which to hold their annual election and to report on their progress.

Tom Struzzerri was not even advised of the criteria or need to make an application and when he tried to get an application none was available.

NHJA did not have a sophisticated powerpoint presentation by Sue Pinckney and she was not available to them for assistence in communication methods. I do their web site at no cost in order to provide them a forum because for the past 15 years they have been our lobbyist with the Federation and have taken surveys to find out what we all think and need. They have a larger response to their surveys as far as collecting information from the Membership than does the Federation at any of its Board Meetings or Convention.

NHJA was unwarned and unprepared for this media unslaught by the USHJA and it was blitzed by political conflicts of interest, so it started at a big disadvantage. NHJA does not have a staff of marketing people so it did not have prepared expensive printed material and baseball caps. It only had one hour at 8AM to 9AM, the USHJA had 5 hours to propogate it's philosophy.

In my opinion that does not speak well for the intention of USHJA to be fair, even handed and democratic. Even when I brought this to the attention of the USEF and the USHJA they did nothing to compromise the situation and give the NHJA an equal opportunity. I don't think I can fully respect an association which goes into a campaign and the other two guys have on blindfolds and their hands tied behind their backs and then claims a victory.

This is why I said we have no choice. No! In the format of the USHJA we still have only one vote for the zone committee every four years, and all the zones have only one seat on the Board of Directors of the USHJA. There was nothing that I read that said the members of the USHJA would ever have a vote as to what their policies would be. There was nothing that said anything about open meetings, there was nothing that said they would even ask for our opinion. The Members to which they refer as having the right to make those decisions are the Members of their Board of Directors which are invited because they all have a homogenous opinion.

Do I think this was a malicious, well thought out plan to have a take-over? NO! Do I think that these people are tyrants and thieves? NO! Do I think they are power hungry and vicious? NO! I like them and as young people I think they are much to be admired. I think the problem is they are so homogenous and they have selected people who so much agree that there is no one there to point out where the sensitive spots may be as seen by people with a different point of view.

Democracy is the right to debate an issue and look at it from all sides. Socialism is where there is a group that believes they are better equiped to deal with problems and the opinion of the masses doesn't matter which is why those governments frequently have a single choice on a ballot. They have no confidence in our ability as people to make what they believe is the right choice so they make those choices for them by having only one choice.

Portia says:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>And, I'm not as sold on the benefits of direct voting as some people.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

This where we have to agree to disagree. I do believe that Members are capable and should have the right to vote and to select those who will represent them. I do believe in a democratic form of governance and I do have confidence in the members ultimately making the right decisions if they are fully informed.

Yes! Portia, I do believe that the people involved are well intentioned, but they are also impetuous and have rushed into a plan that does not include the whole base of the Membership that they are required if selected to represent.

I wanted to know how much money the USHJA collected and from whom. I wanted to know if they re-embursed the USEF for the use of their staff and electronic communication. I wanted to know if they paid for the use of the two rooms they had with screens and projectors and the services of Sue Pinckney and if so, how much? I wanted to know who paid for all the sophisticated printed material and organization promotion books that were available.

I want to know if my membership money was spent to promote the USHJA. A lot of us have worked very hard during the past 3/4 years to get the Zone Committees open and democratic and if they are under the control of the USHJA will that effort have been totally wasted time?

Will the USEF credit each of our memberships for the amount of costs that are reduced if we are in the USHJA. Will we have a mandatory membership in USHJA as well as in the USEF? Will we get a discounted membership if we belong to USEF?

What is the benefit to us as general members if we still have no voice and no vote. We just have another Board of Directors deciding what we must do to be competitive and another membership and another set of rules to learn to comply with.

I read nothing that said what benefit we would gain. I read nothing that said how they were going to make the decisions to accomplish the grand plan. I did read a wonderful plan in a very professional glitzy production that was without a doubt idealic in its offering of everything to everyone everything they could possibly wish for in this "best of all possible worlds".

I do think that all of the people involved are intelligent, hard working, dedicated and enthusiastic. I am proud to see that there are young people there willing to accept responsibility for the welfare of our discipline.

BUT as you said radiotalk they have not learned from our mistakes and made a better system. While it is pleasant and it feels good to have everyone agree with each other and enjoy the sessions free of disagreements, it is not better governance. It takes disagreement to examine an idea from all sides and to find the right solutions.

Battle Scarred Veteran

[This message was edited by Snowbird on Jan. 21, 2004 at 12:51 PM.]

SydneyS
Jan. 21, 2004, 10:54 AM
Snowbird - Have you ever tried to look at the glass as half full instead of half empty?

I understand your worries and feel that there is much to be done to make this a perfect association. We may never reach perfection (in fact, the odds are against us!), but why not let these people try to fix what you feel is broken before you stomp all over their proposals?

Maybe the USHJA got more time, but then again, maybe the NHJA didn't have much to say. Maybe the USHJA was better prepared because they are organized, intelligent and put alot of time into the effort. They seem to REALLY want to give back to the sport. I'm probably more of an idealist, but the USHJA is better-suited to meet my needs as an exhibitor. They seem to be a professional and proactive group!

BTW, what has the NHJA done for its members in the last 15 years????????

Portia
Jan. 21, 2004, 11:04 AM
What is this about "five hours" for the USHJA? According to the schedule I have, they had three hours, of which they used 45 minutes for their presentation, then kept the remaining 2 hours to answer questions. I had to leave after the first hour so I don't know if they used that whole three hours or not.

I think its important to clarify, did the NHJA ask for additional time for their session and get turned down? Did they ask for technical support and get turned down? If so, then that's an issue. If not, then the problem is really that they should have thought their plans through better.

I'm not going to blame the USHJA because they had the organization and planning to get their materials together and put on a professional presentation. I give them credit for it.

I think we'd all be interested if the NHJA would give us the same details about their plans and proposals as has the USHJA, so we could judge them together. Unfortunately, however, other than knowing that Gary Baker and Ellie Estes, and other East Coast/Zone 2 people are involved in the organization, I've really been able to find out very little about it -- and I was a member for a year or two. They do surveys, which is nice, but other than that, I've never seen any evidence of their activities. That doesn't mean it hasn't been going on, but give us details. Who is on the board? Who are the officers? How were they selected/appointed and what is their voting structure? What is their budget and financing plan? What are their educational plans? What is their membership and fees? What services do they provide/propose to provide?

[This message was edited by Portia on Jan. 21, 2004 at 01:18 PM.]

Snowbird
Jan. 21, 2004, 11:14 AM
On the issues listed by Portia
THE Mileage Rule
It was given to a Task Force which is yet to be appointed, and it waits for yet another survey. There was a survey done years ago during the administration of Alan Balch. Let's find that one and see what it says. It was proposed that there would be no show management on this task force. How will you amicably resolve any problems if one party is not present at the debate? The Competition Management Committee is requesting a place on that task force.
Federation Representatives
I attended that meeting and listened carefully to an attitude that the purpose of this Representative is to see which show managers are deceitful, dishonest and running bad shows. I did not see how anyone unfamiliar with the area was going to make that value judgment without some criteria to judge against. I resented and thought it was rude and self serving for those on the committee to assume they were the only honest show people and that necessarily all show mangement was money hungry and put their cash register over the welfare of the exhibitors.

I do not believe this is so, I believe there may be some who because they have provided extravagantly expensive facilities for the comfort of exhibitors have to charge more. I have never met a show manager who decides that he will produce a show at the absolute minimum of quality, maximize the costs and expects to reamin in business. Perhaps, that might be true of the unrecognized shows because they have already opted not to be inconvenienced by rules and they have already opted not to contribute to the general fund by paying their dues, collecting all the fees we have to collect and do all the bookkeeping we do for the USEF and we are not paid for our time and staff.

I think that if the Federation feels it cannot trust its Stewards then it should look to the methods of licensing Stewards and their qualifications. I think if the Federation feels there are minimum standards below which a show should not be sanctioned then specify those standards. If there are judges who appear to be less than qualified or dedicated then look to the licensing procedures which keep them having a license.

The police state mentality that assumes everyone is a thief and dishonest but me smacks of paranoia.

Safety cups for hunter classes which want a deeper cup because we don't want the breeze from the jump to knock it down have not yet been approved. They cannot be FEI approved because hunter is not an International discipline. They are seeking an agency that can and will be able to certify the deeper cup. Meanwhile we not have in production in this country finally someone where the safety cups are affordable and that process is in the works.
Reorganizing the Rules has been a huge and arduous task undertaken voluntarily by Portia and for which she is to be commended. I believe she started this project back at the Convention in Colorado Springs and it looks like it may be completed when and if we all return there next year. Congratulations Portia, you are the living proof that there are opportunities for members to volunteer and I am grateful that Alan Balch was wise enough to accept your offer.

Battle Scarred Veteran

cowboylogic
Jan. 21, 2004, 11:30 AM
Snowbird-I think those are good points you brought up. I too would be interested in knowing many of the answers.

I would like to have the opportunity to vote on things that affect me and my horses.

I honestly think many people prefer to sit back and let others decide for them what they want...and if I am wrong, then why do we not demand the right to vote?

I think we all need more information on the various groups. They all seem like very nice, educated, well meaning people...but we need to know what will we ACTUALLY get for our money!!

We are all so lucky to be involved in the horse industry and we need to take care to keep it something we can all enjoy and be proud to be a part of.

Cowboy Logic
Walk In The Park
Blue
www.theequirer.com (http://www.theequirer.com)

Snowbird
Jan. 21, 2004, 12:05 PM
Well Portia I am truely sorry if you were not aware but the rest of us knew there was a session at 10/12 in the morning and then another session from 2/5 in the afternoon. Many of us received another special email telling us about the additional scheduled time.

I would be happy to post the emails and my response to John Long if you would like the information.

It's pretty difficult to know that you can ask, and to know that you need to ask when you have neen blindsided. By the time we received the email announcing the formation of the USHJA and had time to find out what it was all about it was too late to compete with someone who had a running head start. Remember they had posted nothing on their website until days before we all left for the Meeting.

Certainly no one notified the NHJA that there was an impending decision to choose a Recognized National Hunter Affiliate.

Not only that, but while it seemed appropriate to USEF so send out emails for the benefit of the USHJA they did not do so for NHJA which was scheduled at 8 AM. I did get an apology from John Long admitting that it was poor judgment on the part of Sue Pinckney.

Like the second 2 hour session for USHJA it is too bad that you didn't know but the NHJA Members of the Steering Committee and the Officers have been posted on their website for about 5 years now. They also have a Forum board like this one and I have posted notices and messages about events there quite regularly.

The Newsletters which they send out I believe three times a year also include all the information.

They are an Affiliate National Association of the Federation and have been since way back in the dark ages when it was the AHSA. They have members from every zone, paid independently with no subsidy from the Federation and I believe they have about 2000 members. Each Newsletter publishes a financial statement and current news of things occuring in the Federation that would interest their members.

Since it started they have always been Members oriented and sought answers from their full membership. I would have thought that would entitle them to notification by the USEF. I did send email requesting equal attention to the NHJA and never received a response excapt an acknowledgemnt of the receipt of my email.

I think the fact that you didn't know about the other two hours or the existing Affiliation of the NHJA doesn't change the facts.

Battle Scarred Veteran

[This message was edited by Snowbird on Jan. 21, 2004 at 02:13 PM.]

Snowbird
Jan. 21, 2004, 12:26 PM
I am about as far away from a pessimist as it is possible to be SydneyS but I am also not an Ostrich. I don't think that hiding my head in the sand will make things come out right. I have long since my childhood realized this cannot be the best of all possible worlds unless everyone is willing to help make it so.

I have always been an activist who believes that nothing is ever so perfect that it can't be better. That's what happened I tried to tell those dinosaurs to mend their ways or they would disappear and they just didn't listen.

Battle Scarred Veteran

Portia
Jan. 21, 2004, 12:46 PM
Snowbird, that didn't answer my question. Did the NHJA ask for extra time and get refused? Or did they only ask for an hour? Did they ask for assistance and get refused? Or did they not ask?

I'm afraid I can't give them much credit for being "blindsided," not without additional facts. They had several weeks between when the USHJA announced its intention to seek the affiliation and the Annual Meeting to get things arranged. Doubleez posted on Dec. 1 that that NHJA intended to apply to the USEF to become the national H/J affiliate. Here (http://chronicleforums.com/groupee/forums?a=tpc&s=6656094911&f=7076024331&m=474606111&r=807606411#807606411) What did they do in the six weeks between then and the Annual Meeting to prepare to present their position? Or did they not know they would have the opportunity to present their position? Or did they ask and were they denied that opportunity? I just want to know the facts.

I see that in Doubleez' post from Dec. 1 she does list the officers and board members of the NHJA, and a few other details. However, I'm still very interested in finding out about their plan for structuring the affiliate, budget and finances, membership and fees, etc. It's great they have existed informally for a lot of years (I understand they are not incorporated as a non-profit, or at least were not in December when this all came up), but they need to let us know how they will address the new environment of being an organization to represent H/J on a national affiliate level -- which goes a long way beyond quarterly newsletters and an annual survey.

Snowbird
Jan. 21, 2004, 01:47 PM
Well Portia I can't answer that, because I am not on their Board or involved in their management. I will forward your questions to Gary Baker.

I can only speak to what I know first hand and I considered the apology a valid response to me. I was at their meeting and I know they had a lot of pertinent issues including the annual election so there wasn't much time for everything.

My issue is different than yours, I am more concerned about the way that the new USEF handled the situation and whether or not they were fair and even handed. As to an evaluation between the two I think that is premature because there are simply not enough facts available from either. My point is that neither has a fully developed plan and that it will take time for all three to understand exactly what is expected. Afterall, as of now there is still no solid approved criteria.

I do not feel there is any need at this point to make a choice and that we can afford to sit and wait and see how they both present their ideas later as they develop after answering both of our questions.

I would hope that by raising the red flag we will be able to all understand the system and what is expected and then when that is firmed up everyone who wishes to apply for the position will have an equal opportunity to be heard. Only then can I amke a decision or even have what could be an educated choice.

Battle Scarred Veteran

[This message was edited by Snowbird on Jan. 21, 2004 at 04:02 PM.]

DMK
Jan. 21, 2004, 01:54 PM
That's fine Snowbird, but in reading your posts - whether you intended it or not - there has been a flavor of the "NHJA was shortshrifted in favor of the USHJA" and that may not be the case.

You know if the NHJA only thought it needed an hour and they ended up needing more - or didn't realize they could ask for more - well that's unfortunate. But that is all it is.

I have been to both websites (yesterday), and I will have to say that the USHJA (from my perspective) lays out its mission and goals, as well as a plan how to get there better than the NHJA.

I'm not saying the USHJA has presented it in a be all end all unbeatable format (they haven't), but in comparing it to the NHJA information, it's more informative (to me). And if it is a first pass at a more comprehensive planning document that is distilled for public use, it's an above average attempt.

"I used to care, but things have changed..." Bob Dylan

SydneyS
Jan. 21, 2004, 01:55 PM
In this month's PH, Nancy Jaffer wrote a short article on the national affiliate situation. She listed the NHJA as having 800 members and the survey being returned by 125.

Portia
Jan. 21, 2004, 02:03 PM
800 was also the number I had heard for NHJA membership. But I don't know if that it correct or not. I know I received the survey this year although I'm not currently a member, which I appreciated.

Snowbird
Jan. 21, 2004, 02:09 PM
As an active observer and as the recipient of multiple emails I make my judgment call as to whether there was a fair and equal opportunity and not as to which may or may not be better or worse.

I consider the apology from John Long a verification that the USEF realizes it made a mistake and that they will make sure it doesn't happen again.

It is my opinion that it was not fair and equal and that it should have been.

It is my opinion that there was a use of political connections that were not available equally to both sides.

I would still like to have had financial information in that extensive presentation because accountability is an issue.

I want to do what I can to make sure we do not have another National Hunter Jumper Council disaster.

Just as Portia has questions without answers so do I.

Battle Scarred Veteran

Doubleeez
Jan. 21, 2004, 02:21 PM
Portia -
I would like to add to Snowbird's answers to some of your questions about NHJA. You are mistaken in that the Board is made of of just zone II and East Coast people. The existing board that was just elected is comprised of:
Gary Baker, Chair, VA; Jimmy Lee, V.P, VA; Ellie Estes, Sec, CT; ( These three were reelected to the Board and they were the past officers ) Officers for the new Board have not been elected because of the lack of time available to get the job done. The present Board will consist of the three above plus David Distler, CT; Margie Goldstein Engle, FL;
Edna Lytle, MD; Betty Oare, VA; Peter Pletcher, TX; Robert Ridland, CA; Susie Schoellkopf, NY; Margaret Thurston,: OK and Audrey Winzinger, NJ.
As you can see, there are two (2) directors from zone II. There are two (2) from zone I, four (4) from zone III, one (1) from zone 4, two (2) from zone VII, and one (1) from zone X. Geographical representation has ALWAYS been one of the criteria emphasized to each noiminating committee.
The annual survey is our main tool to ask the membership for their opinions on various proposed rule changes coming up and then to lobby on their behalf.
We also include survey questions that have to do with members' concerns that have come to the office throughout the year. We put these ideas into the proper wording and send them on to the Federation as proposed rule changes for the foillowing year.
Our financial plan is practically non-existent as the dues structure has been so low that it would be useless to propose an annual budget. The main expenditure of the NHJA monies is involved in printing & postage to get the newsletter out to the members. Annually also are a $1,000 donation to the Federation to sponsor a breakfast or luncheon, National affiliation dues and membership in the American Horse Council. A copy of the Treasurer's report has always been available at the NHJA annual meeting for members and non-members.
The development of an educational policy depends upon what the members want or need. Early in the game we answered the call of members to give them a set of guidelines on pony hunter distances. There were alot of crazy distances out there. We asked six of our members to give us their ideas on these distances and then put them into a wallet sized card that we offered to anyone who wanted one. A modest charge of $2 was asked to help us cover the printing and postage. We still do offer this card. And, if your interpretation of "grass roots" is the unrecognized showgoer and managements, we had requests up the kazoo from these folks for the card. As a result their unrecognized pony hunter courses have improved markedly
In the past we held educational forums at the Pennsylvania National which were well attended for several years. Then the old "bugaboo". time constraints caught up with us and the forums were discontinued.
I can't tell you how many letters and e-

mails we get asking for a myriad of information. In the past the AHSA published a magazine about horses and we send the kids a copy of that in answer to their basic queries. We're asked to help find lost horses, where an individual might board their horse because they have just moved into a new area, where they might find a trainer, how one can register their horses for awards, etc. Because our membership is nationwide, we refer these individuals to a member in their area who is always glad to help.
We DO NOT sponsor any horse shows nor do we have any high score awards. One award we do have however is the HHJA Owner Recognition Award, presented annually at the Federation Horse of the Year Award banquet. The membership is well aware that without some our dedicated owners we would all be on a different track. The 2004 winner was Harry Gill from PA.
We truly feel we are a service organization operating in the best interests of the hunter/jumper community. We have no "slick stock" presentation, no baseball caps or two color printed brochures. We do have a real interest in uniting and working with the average "joe rider" to make his showing experience fun and meaningful, under a set of rules he can understand and wants to abide by.

Ellie Estes, Sec/Treas
National Hunter & Jumper Assoc.

[This message was edited by Doubleeez on Jan. 21, 2004 at 04:30 PM.]

[This message was edited by Doubleeez on Jan. 21, 2004 at 04:49 PM.]

Janet
Jan. 21, 2004, 02:26 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Safety cups for hunter classes which want a deeper cup because we don't want the breeze from the jump to knock it down have not yet been approved. They cannot be FEI approved because hunter is not an International discipline. They are seeking an agency that can and will be able to certify the deeper cup. Meanwhile we not have in production in this country finally someone where the safety cups are affordable and that process is in the works. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> Huh?

I would buy "they don't have to be FEI approved becuase Hunter is not an International discipline."

But I don't buy "They cannot be FEI approved because hunter is not an International discipline. " Where does it say you can't use FEI approved cups for anything but FEIO disciplines?

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

Snowbird
Jan. 21, 2004, 02:37 PM
Well what we were told at the Safety Meeting is that the FEI is not interested in giving certification for anything they don't use. Therefore the conversation was to locate which other testing service was available and whether or not the FEI had even considered the deeper cup.

Although the deeper cup is identical as far as the break-away features the extra depth does make a difference.

Battle Scarred Veteran

Janet
Jan. 21, 2004, 02:44 PM
OK, now I understand.

How much deeper do teh cups have to be? All I could find in the hunter rules was
" If breakaway or safety cups are used the top cup must be the deepest standard cup available. " This seems to me to say "use the deepest breakaway or safety cup avaialble". Am I missing something? And what about using "normal" cups with "fragile" pins?

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

Portia
Jan. 21, 2004, 03:24 PM
Janet, they can use normal cups with breakable pins. According to what was said in the safety forum, the breakable pins have exactly the same safety benefits as the safety cups.

However, there is a fairness of competition issue, since the breakable pins can crack when a horse hits the jump, and no one notices it. Then the next horse that has a rub on the fence, the pin breaks and they have a rail they wouldn't have had otherwise. It doesn't happen all that often, but an FEI study showed it does happen. So you can see why that would be a concern in a big money or high prestige class.

So, it's a matter of balancing expense with a small degree of potential unfairness. What they were discussing in the forums and proposals is to allow the smaller shows and lower money/prestige classes, where it doesn't matter so much, the option of using the breakable pins rather than having to buy the break-away safety cups for every ring. That sounds like a good solution to me, particularly while they are developing an ASTM/SEI standard for the deeper safety cups that the hunters need.

~~~~~~~~~~~~
I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell.

Snowbird
Jan. 21, 2004, 03:26 PM
Apparently that is a problem because then the ground is littered with pieces of multiple pins that have snapped and broken into smaller pieces.

Battle Scarred Veteran

Snowbird
Jan. 21, 2004, 04:22 PM
In response to Portia's questions:

Vikki asked me to answer your questions regarding the NHJA vs. USHJA at the USEF convention.

When I originally asked for time for our meeting I was told that time was very short. Since we had only an hour in previous years, we looked for an hour without going the same time as other forums.

The other group asked for time well after I did and they found three hours, however, it was the same time as a standing committee. They were then criticized for opposing the committee meeting and looked for more time. Somehow the entire thing got mixed up and they ended up with five hours. They actually made two presentations, one for the committee who they were opposing and the other for their regular forum.

Outside groups have never had staff before and I would not have thought of asking for staff. However, we are an affiliate and they are not. The presentation that they did we did many years ago. They basically went thru their bylaws which have just been written----ours are now fifteen years old.

We did do three bylaw revisions at our meeting.
1. We staggered the terms of our directors and will now elect three directors to serve a four year term each year. (We actually elected twelve directors at this meeting, but staggered their terms.

2. We wrote a bylaw which said if we become the National Affiliate that we would increase our board by including one member from each of the 12 Zone Committees and one member from each Hunter Committee and two members from the National Jumper Committee. These directors would be elected by their committee for a two year term and no one person could serve more than two, two year terms.

3. We wrote a bylaw which gave our board the authority to elect honorary life directors, with there being no more than three at any one time, and not more than one could be elected in any one year.

I stated in our meeting that since we did not know what duties would be handed over to us that we did not know how to budget for them.

It is my understanding that very little would be turned over at first to make sure that the new organization could handle it. Things such as the zone programs are run off of the $35. fee or hunters. When a job is turned over, the fee for that job would be turned over as well. We don't know if we would be given a lump sum of money or if we would be allowed to charge each member in the form of dues that amount.

None of us really know what is going to happen and what will be turned over. Bill Moroney and I had a meeting with David O'Connor and discussed these things without any answers.

As far as our current officers, I was again elected President. Jimmy Lee is VP for Hunters and Margie Engle is VP for Jumpers. Ellie is again Secretary/Treasurer. We have also elected David Distler, Jeanne Daigle, Robert Ridland, Susie Schoellkopf, Margaret Thurston, Edna Lytle, Peter Pletcher and Audrey Winzinger.

I personally think that this is a very rounded group. Add the reps from the Zones and the various committees and it is pretty complete. Of course, no matter how many people you have, someone will always feel left out.

At the USHJA meeting Bill mentioned that perhaps both of our groups would be merged before July. I then got up and asked under what circumstances he thought that would happen. He was obviously not prepared to answer the question.

Some people got up and said this was a good idea and some felt otherwise.

After the meeting I was approached by several people who said that they thought this would bring about the "ideal" situation. Bill came to me the following day and said that we needed to sit down and discuss this. Since we did not seem to find the time, I put something in writing and gave it to him with some of my thoughts. I have not yet heard back from him. And thats about as much information as I can give you. Hope this helps you understand a little of what is going on.

Thanks, Gary Baker

Battle Scarred Veteran

austinpony
Jan. 21, 2004, 04:55 PM
Wow - I am learning so much in following this thread - thanks to all. Again, coming from the point of view of an association executive and NOT from my vantage point of former pro, I have some concerns and some notes:

1. To the NHJA and USHJA, if you haven't had your bylaws reviewed by a lawyer who specializes in association law, let me urge you to do so. If you need some names in the DC area, email me and I will provide them. Portia, I don't know what your background is, but association law is different from corporate law and in some ways, it is much easier to get into trouble. Also, if the NHJA and USHJA don't have Director's & Officers Liability coverage, please also get in touch with me and I will make some recommendations. It is inexpensive and will keep you from losing the farm.

2. One of the posts brought up the issue of value for membership dollars. Really good point and one that many associations face. My issue with AHSA/USEF has always been value. It simply has never been there. It wasn't there 20 years ago and it certainly isn't there now. That is something to challenge the board about.

3. The mileage rule and date protection: this will not make me popular with those show managers who have protected dates, but these rules constitute "restraint of trade." I talked to a lawyer buddy at the Dept. of Justice off the record about this and the response was "holy sh@t! You've got to be kidding me? And, they haven't been investigated or sued?" At some point, someone will sue and they will win.

Which also brings me to another part of anti-trust: in order to get points and in order to show at recognized shows, one must be a USEF member or pay a separate fee. This falls under the heading of a "monopoly" and makes the USEF very vulnerable. Again, the DOJ buddy was aghast.

3. Board terms. If you do the math, once a USEF board member is appointed, they can serve 16-19 YEARS! Then take less than a year off, be reappointed and serve - yes, you got it - ANOTHER 16-19 years. No one votes them on, or can vote them off. There can be no nominations from the floor at the convention. Doesn't sound like the American way to me.

4. Gosh, I'd be interested in seeing the budget. For instance: the budget for drug testing is $2.2 million. That's roughly 220,000 drug fees. Do all the drug fees paid go to support the program? Is overhead included in that budget? If all the fees don't go to the program, where do they go?

5. The July Board meeting: Okay, Portia, maybe there isn't anything nefarious going on. But, one thing that IS for sure, even if the meeting is open a) there will be fewer people around than at the convention; b) they can always go into executive (closed) session and boot any non-board members out; and, c) we don't know who is voting how.

My point here is that the USEF has set itself up to be an organization that does not represent its membership, does not adhere to its mission and which is extremely vulnerable to litigation.

Snowbird and others have been trying for years to instigate change from the inside out. HOwever, the system is not truly set up for that to be effective. It's a head-bang against the wall every time. The USEF is, curiously, vulnerable to changing it from the outside, using association law to force change.

And, note to Gary Baker: the USEF staff was well aware of the time alloted to Bill Moroney's group. A lot of what I did in the association world was plan meetings & trade shows - no matter where I worked, what the meeting was, how big or how small, the schedule was scrutinized and planned down to the minute. You should have be offered equal time, not had to ask for it. As should the other group. Or the sessions should have been set up as individual presentations folllowed by a panel discussion where questions could have been asked to all three groups at the same time.

Now, again, I'm not talking as a horseperson here - but as someone with 12 years as an association exec. It's a world full of fuzzy logic. As Snowbird says, we fought for the "right to know." I'm not sure how much we know.

BTW, Portia - thanks for putting up the link the bylaws. I've needed help sleeping. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif

radio talk Aefvue Farms RCA
Jan. 21, 2004, 05:03 PM
austinpony, would it depend on where the association has been incorporated at all? In other words, since the original was done in NY city, and I have been told that a mailing address is kept for said purpose of the corporation, will this make a difference? Am completely illiterate with law, thank you for educating us..

Snowbird
Jan. 21, 2004, 05:04 PM
Way to go austinpony, help at last! This what I have been trying to say for years that the members in this type of association have the right to know and the right to vote. If they choose not to utilize that then shame on them.

Portia is an attorney and perhaps can explain some of the logic she has gleaned from her sessions with the other legal eagles flying this ship.

Battle Scarred Veteran

cowboylogic
Jan. 21, 2004, 07:20 PM
Ok...I have a question....what would be the suggestion for going about gaining the right to vote?

Cowboy Logic
Walk In The Park
Blue
www.theequirer.com (http://www.theequirer.com)

Doubleeez
Jan. 21, 2004, 07:44 PM
I would think it would have to start with a revision of the By-laws and I don't think that door is open to the general membership.

cowboylogic
Jan. 21, 2004, 07:51 PM
Why is that not an option to us?

Cowboy Logic
Walk In The Park
Blue
www.theequirer.com (http://www.theequirer.com)

radio talk Aefvue Farms RCA
Jan. 21, 2004, 08:17 PM
Doubleeez, if that is true, then why are we paying to belong to an org. who only wants our $$$'s and will hand out year end awards? We can find those for less $$'s. I'm not trying to be trite, but this is exactly what the membership is bemoaning. We seem to be looked on as a means for money and nothing else.

Doubleeez
Jan. 21, 2004, 08:30 PM
OK - suppose you propose a rule change to alter the By-laws so that the general membership can vote on the nominations for the BOD.

Who has to approve or disapprove this rule change? All the committees directly involved with its outcome, plus the BOD.

How far do you think it would get?

We have a closed operation here and always have had. The Nominating Committee presents a list of nominees to the BOD. The BOD approves the nominees. And guess who appoints the Nominating Committee - The Federation President!

So, how would you propose to have the Bylaws changed?

austinpony
Jan. 21, 2004, 08:37 PM
Radio talk: good question. Yes, there are some different rules re: where the incorporation takes place, but they do not supersede national law. What would be of more interest is where the USEF has designate to hold arbitration as there are definitely different rules in that regard. I'm working my way through the bylaws and will get there. Portia may know off-hand and what organization has been designated as aribtor.

I'm not up on my class-action law, in particular how many people it takes to start a class action, but that might be a real possibility. Again, forcing change from the outside in. Since I'm in legal city (DC area) it may be possible to find a lawyer to take something like this on either pro bono or for a percentage of damages.

I've taken a number of courses in Association Law so I'm up on association bylaws, antitrust, and a few other issues pertaining directly to association management, but civil law is not my baliwick.

My gut feeling is, however, that the last thing USEF wants right now is more legal issues. It may be the chip to force a bylaws change. My caution here is that it takes a real gut check before proceeding - if that's the route folks end up wanting to pursue. On the one side, participating in a class action suit will make those involved saints. While on the other - well - I've seen some of the flames on the boards and they ain't pretty.

I'd also say it would have to come from the amateur side, as they actually have more power. Financially, I mean. We are the ones who foot the bills.

Anyway, I will throw out a few more legal feelers and see what the opinions are.

cowboylogic
Jan. 21, 2004, 09:10 PM
Ok...this is off topic at this point...but I just received an email from one of our advertisers that said she DID get The Equirer at the convention...so I wanted to say thank you to Scott Carling at the USEF for putting the magazine out and apologize for thinking that he did nothttp://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Cowboy Logic
Walk In The Park
Blue
www.theequirer.com (http://www.theequirer.com)

Portia
Jan. 21, 2004, 09:39 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by austinpony:
Radio talk: good question. Yes, there are some different rules re: where the incorporation takes place, but they do not supersede national law. What would be of more interest is where the USEF has designate to hold arbitration as there are definitely different rules in that regard. I'm working my way through the bylaws and will get there. Portia may know off-hand and what organization has been designated as aribtor.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
The USEF is incorporated in New York and New York law applies to it and disputes regarding its rules and their enforcement. (See Bylaw 702(4) and General Rules Article 600(4).) The major reason for continuing to incorporate the new org in New York was to take advantage of the body of New York case law that has been developed over the years interpreting the AHSA/USA Eq rules and confirming their enforceability.

The Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act and the USOC Bylaws provide for arbitration of athlete disputes and grievances (within the definitions of such things thereunder). All NGBs are required to agree to submit disputes over NGB status and athlete opportunities to arbitration, and USEF does so in Bylaw 705. The USOC has a contract with the American Arbitration Association (AAA) to administer such proceedings, and the Act and USOC rules provide that arbitration will be conducted under "the rules of the AAA" (which is a bit confusing to me since the AAA has many different sets of rules, but that's a problem with the statute.) The location of any particular arbitration is not set by the Act or by the USOC Rules, but in a domestic (rather than international) arbitration the applicable rules are more important than the seat of the arbitration.

Speaking in the abstract only and not with respect to this particular situation, to be able to sustain a class action, you have to show both that the organization has violated the law and breached a recognized duty owed to the members, and that the members of the class have been finanically damaged by that breach. It is a much more difficult standard than most people realize. You may not like the designated procedures for electing the board and the officers of a particular organization, but so long as they comply with the applicable corporate law they are not subject to legal challenge.

[This message was edited by Portia on Jan. 21, 2004 at 11:54 PM.]

radio talk Aefvue Farms RCA
Jan. 22, 2004, 08:02 AM
So in essence, there is no way for us as members to be allowed to vote. We either like it or lump it, so to speak. We can have another newer org. start and make a decision to join that. Depending on what they offer. See I feel the current USEF will in fact become more like the USET, as NGB it is already headed in that direction. And yes, you may say no thats not going to happen. But from an amateur member, who receives all those letters requesting donations, this looks the direction in which its headed.

Most people neither have the time or money to start a class action suit. Which may have been the protection for the association all along. One would think that now, after the dust has somewhat settled, they might heed the cries of its membership. Which seem to me, to have increased in volume.

Janet
Jan. 22, 2004, 08:19 AM
It is nothing new. Members couldn't vote when it was AHSA either.

If you go back far enough, AHSA was founded as an association of HORSE SHOWS, not members, competitors, owners, etc.

What do you get for your membership?

A consistent set of rules, and an enforcement method. (Yes, we all know the enforcement is not as effective as we would like it to be, but at least there is SOMETHING).

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

radio talk Aefvue Farms RCA
Jan. 22, 2004, 08:34 AM
Right Janet you are. We could't vote when it was the AHSA as well. But the selling point for our modernized org. was that as members we would have more input. Many of us who have been members since the earth was formed, just kidding, feel we had more input in the ole days. Conventions were where we sat in our zone forums, had discussions. Then went to the general meeting and listened to other zones opinions on the same subject. We could as members express ourselves. Not asked to leave the room. Well, some were told to sit down and be quiet. We also had more input into our zones. It wasn't perfect, but there was representation. Many zones had different issues depending on where they were located. This was discussed. It was educational. You felt as if you got something. We are being told more and more these days of what it will be, not listened to.

Portia
Jan. 22, 2004, 08:58 AM
As Janet said, what do you get for your membership dues? In addition to the awards programs, which are the least of most folks' concerns, and among other things:

-- An established set of rules designed to enhance fairness of competition, safety of horse and human, and welfare of the horse.

-- Trained officials (judges, TDs, stewards) who are required to meet certain levels of knowledge and experience to be licensed, and to take continuing education to keep up to date.

-- Grievance, complaint, dispute, hearing, and rules enforcement procedures that have been sustained as legitimate and enforceable by the courts.

-- Equine drugs and medications testing and enforcement procedures, costing over $2 million per year.

-- Requirements that qualified medical personnel be on the grounds to assess injuries and obtain proper assistance in a timely manner, along with other safety measures and requirements.

-- The horse ID program, which will allow a person to track a particular horse and its record, and enable breeders to follow the progress of the horses they breed.

-- They just executed the purchase program agreement with the NTRA, which among other things will allow USEF members to buy Dodge trucks at 1% below dealer cost, and buy John Deere tractors and other products at a significant discount (I can't remember exactly, but I think its 20% or 30%). If you buy one truck or one tractor, that will easily pay for your membership fees.

-- They are working on a Federation Representative pilot program, which will send TDs and stewards out to shows to observe and monitor conditions and report back to the Federation, in an attempt to address the actual and perceived issues with having the judges, stewards, and TDs all hired by management which may make them reluctant to report on bad conditions.

None of these things is perfect by any means, and you can assess whether the benefits are worth it to you to pay the membership fee. If they are not, then you don't have to join the USEF or participate in recognized competitions. There are plenty of unrecognized shows out there.

Portia
Jan. 22, 2004, 09:08 AM
radio talk, you can still attend the annual meetings and be heard. I've only been attending them for the last four years, but I know from my personal experience that things became much more open even in those four years. The first time I went in 2001, virtually all the committee meetings were closed and the only open meetings were the rules forums. Then in 2002 they allowed outsiders to start sitting in on the committee meetings, but they weren't supposed to say anything, though that restriction quickly went by the wayside. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif Since 2002 virtually every committee meeting has been open, and anyone is allowed to comment and participate.

I can't tell you how many folks who've been around the org for years and years have told me how much better it is now than in days past. Several past and current board members tell stories about how in the Dick McDevitt days not only was every committee meeting and every board meeting absolutely closed, but the board members weren't allowed to talk in the board meetings! They were expected to sit and listen, then vote. Then Jim Wofford came in and actually allowed discussion in the board meetings, as did Jane Clark, though they and all the committee meetings were still closed. The Alan Balch opened it all up.

I agree that the zones are a problem. I don't know what it used to be like, but there aren't any zone meetings at the Annual Meeting, and I've been in Zone 7 for at least 8 years and can't recall ever getting notice of a zone meeting or of an election. Those are the kinds of problems that are going to have to be addressed by the new H/J affiliate organization, whoever that turns out to be.


~~~~~~~~~~~~
I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell.

AlanBalch
Jan. 22, 2004, 10:22 AM
Catching up a little bit on the Internet today, I just can't resist commenting a little on this thread, particularly the opinions posted by austinpony and his/her lawyer friends. Since I'm now out of the formal governance of the sport as an officer or director for the first time in as long as I can remember, obviously these are my own personal opinions as a Life Member of the Federation.

Portia has explained the benefits of Federation membership pretty well. Just to bring that explanation all the way home, I like to say that paying dues is in some respects like paying an insurance premium or even taxes. You don't like doing it, but it sure as hell comes in handy when your house burns down or you need the police or fire department -- unlikely as those events are. At this point, the Federation is largely (though not exclusively) a regulatory body. I don't know who else would have stood up for the sport and the horses when people were killing them for the proceeds of insurance, or when drug use clearly became rampant (the first time) in the sixties.

I also believe our new leadership will be bringing other, more tangible monetary benefits to the membership through the strength of group purchasing in the very near future. Your dues will be insignificant if as a benefit of membership you save a lot of money in purchasing things we all need as horsepeople. And let's not forget that it does benefit all of us as citizens of the USA who love horses when our horses and riders excel in international competition!

As for the mileage rule, austinpony and his/her associates fall into the trap that so many have: they frame the question as the current mileage rule vs. no mileage rule.

Name one sport that doesn't have calendar coordination from a governing organization. I don't think you can. Federal law gives the National Governing Body for each Olympic and international sport the authority to coordinate competitions and practices to reduce or eliminate conflicts among them. Of course this has to be done in a reasonable, non-arbitrary manner. Even lawyers need to do research and get their facts straight before issuing legal opinions.

So the question is not really the existing mileage rule vs. no mileage rule, in my opinion, but how to catch the existing rule up to the current state of the sport, and to look forward so that the rules and the processes in them can properly guide the sport forward and optimize benefits for both the sport as a whole and the competitors. A tall order, and long overdue. This area is one of the most important shortcomings of my terms in office, and was directly related to the NGB struggle, since without that authority, the rest is even more problematic.

One more thing -- sorry for the length of this.

The voting members of the Federation are its directors. All the rest of us out here need to identify those (often many, different, overlapping) directors who represent us. Just like we identify our Board of Education members, Councilpeople, Congresspeople, and Senators in "real life," and work through them. The re-structured Federation has taken great pains to see that all facets of the sport are represented on the board, and via the board, its Executive Committee.

All this talk about direct voting is nonsense. If you stop to think about it, going to direct elections would empower only those who had the giant money needed to mount proxy contests and defend proxy contests, as in corporate America. In those cases, all-powerful Nominating Committees make the real decisions as to who runs things on a day-to-day and issue-by-issue basis, even though "the masses" have a "vote" on competing slates of directors. I doubt we want that. And who would eventually end up paying for those expensive (and rare) contests among competing factions? WE would!

At least as long as the Federation's meetings are open -- and there is a new committee, in the bylaws, on open governance -- then that is the safeguard for us all. To take part and be at the meetings and make ourselves heard. Let's take advantage of it. Way too few of us have been doing that for a LOOONG time. The people who show up make the decisons for the rest of us, and please don't ever forget that.

Finally, where are new directors and new blood going to come from? From those who attend the meetings, speak up responsibly and reasonably, and make themselves known to those now in office -- we do have term limits, so those in now have to leave at some point. It used to be that only a very, very few people had the power to "tap someone on the shoulder" and ask them to become a director. Now, ANY director has a voice in the nominating process, so there are over 50 people out there scouting for new blood, just counting the directors and not the thousands of others who should be communicating with the directors.

Let's make this new organization WORK. The framework is there for real progress.

Snowbird
Jan. 22, 2004, 10:43 AM
I do so agree with you Portia, I think that was the greatest thing that Alan Balch accomplished during his administration. I do remember when we all went to Colorado Springs and had practically nothing we could attend and how Tom Struzzerri told me point blank they didn't want to hear from me at the NHJC Board meeting.

I think the problem everyone is discussing is the same one that I found even on the Committees. Although we can be heard that does mean we are listened to by anyone. Even the decisions of the Committees are over-ruled by the Board so that it feels pointless to waste the endless hours discussing the Proposed Rule Changes.

There is rarely any opportunity to discuss new ideas or old problems because they're not on the agenda. We were totally frustrated this year when 60% of the decisions were tabled for yet another meeting or they are addressed at the Executive Meetings between meetings. It makes it impossible for even honest people to keep track or feel represented.

Certainly, not having a Member of the Committees present to answer questions for the Board is a huge mistake because then they start the discussion from scratch again.

Overall the people who attended feel it was for no benefit and they expended their time and their money for no reason.

As to the other items you mentioned, I know what you mean and have used the same excuses time and time again as a reason to give the Federation a lot of money. However, the truth is that the Drugs and Medication program while wonderful is hampered by the caution of the hearing Committee which then makes the suspensions and penalties a bad joke. The Rules and Regulations are only good if they are enforced evenly across the board and we all know that's just not happening.

The fact is that those people who wouldn't cheat anyway are not cheating and those who cheat are still cheating and laughing at those of us who compete without all the smoke and mirrors. The idea of a Federation Representative is to me reprehensible. If the Federation doesn't trust it's show managers and it Stewards, or it Judges and other licensed officials then the system needs to be fixed and you don't do that by sending out spies to play "gotcha".

Battle Scarred Veteran

Snowbird
Jan. 22, 2004, 11:18 AM
Good to hear from you Alan and all that you say I think we all felt was true when you were the adminstration. Certainly, everyone appreciated the 24/7 availability of information.

I perhaps because I do remember the past days was depressed hearing excuses for why the Executive Meetings and Board Meeting were not going to be webcast. That was a plus for everyone for the membership money because we could observe the process and that ended so much of the desention.

Yes! I think we do have to give the new administration time to get organized and I think that the criticism we acquire should help a great deal for them to understand how the members feel.

We had a hot button issue regarding suspensions and penalties and it was not addressed by the hearing Committee in spite of the fact that we all expressed our vehement reactions to the what I think is a crisis.

The mileage rule another hot button item was never discussed and a lot of Proposed Rule Changes were tossed in the same bag to be decided by a nebulous Task Force at some point in time after a study which I believe you already had completed several years ago. At least some possible compromises might have been discussed somewhere.

Rules regarding the Amateur definitions another critical issue also tabled for further study. Yet, there has been a survey before. I proposed the extension of the junior age to 21 to include the Young Rider group which is what most of the exceptions in other disciplines than hunter amounted to as changes.

The Zone management revisions were never discussed. Apparently some have been made and I learned of them for the first time at the Zone Meeting. Other members still have no idea of the changes because they were never posted on the web site.

Since I do know how well you followed up on loose ends like that and how the decisions were made out in front of everyone you will have to forgive me if I am less than enthusiastic. Afterall while it is a new adminsitration it did not come by surprise there has been a year since the last Convention when the announcement was made to all of us.

While no one expects perfection they have had a whole year since the last convention when the announcement was made, we certainly are disappointed by the contrast.

If everyone is quietly agreeable I think that rather than progress we will have stagnation. So as usual I believe we need this forum to discuss our opinions weed through them and everyone make up their own mind as to whether or not they wish to contact the present administration regarding what looks like warning flags should be up and flying.

I think it takes a little disagreement to clear the air and make every issue be examined from more than one perspective.

I know we would appreciate your continued participation as another of us Members and suggestions for solutions which are always better to discuss than the problems. That Alan Balch seems to be your greatest talent.

Battle Scarred Veteran

austinpony
Jan. 22, 2004, 02:23 PM
Portia did explain the benefits of membership well and she is to be commended. Let me point out that most of these are "intangible" and therefore a hard sell - particularly when there is so much controversy as to how they applied.

Some points from Mr. Balch's post need to be addressed: First, you said that the "Federation is largely (though not exclusively) a regulatory body." As a 501c(3) organization, it's mission should be education, research or religious. If it is a regulartory body, then it should do just that.

You also said: "I don't know who else would have stood up for the sport and horses when people were killing them for the proceeds of insurance..." Actually, the AHSA lagged behind the legal system and it was the insurance industry which initiated the investigations. The AHSA took a LOT of flack for not punishing offenders in what then members saw as a timely manner. At that time, there was an insistance that AHSA could do nothing until the offenders went to trial.

Yes, the AHSA did step forward in the 60's when drugs were rampant, but there has always been the feeling that fines and suspensions have never been onerous enough.

Your post also focused on the role of USEF as the NGB, but that is a relatively new situation and I don't think the NGB banner should be flown to justify situations that have existed for decades.

Also, I haven't fallen into the trap of "no mileage" rule vs. current mileage rule. I have not stand other than this: case law already exists which challengs that rule. Dolores Swann sued and won. She kept the issue in the civil courts. My point is that it may not stay there.

Most associations have nominating committees who nominate board members. The membership votes on this slate and can make nominations from the floor at the annual meeting. It's not a mess and I've overseen many such meeting. But it makes the membership feel empowered. I don't feel empowered by my membership in USEF.

Finally there's this: "The voting members of the Federation are its directors. All the rest of us out here need to identify those...directors who represent us. Just like we identify our Board of Education members, Councilpeople, Congresspeople, and Senators in "real life" and work through them."

Uh, Mr. Balch - they all were elected by individual voters. Wonder what would happen to the country if "all this talk about direct voting" was considered nonsense too.

Janet
Jan. 22, 2004, 02:43 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Your post also focused on the role of USEF as the NGB, but that is a relatively new situation and I don't think the NGB banner should be flown to justify situations that have existed for decades. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> Nothing "new" here. The AHSA has been the NGB for MANY years.

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

austinpony
Jan. 22, 2004, 04:23 PM
Janet - I am aware that USEF rewrote their bylaws to be the NGB, but were not recognized as such by the USOC until - when - last year? The USET also considered themselves the NGB and, hence, the long legal wrangle. So, my point is that, given the legal confusion, I don't think we can point to USEF having been the definitive NGB until the USOC ruling.

Snowbird
Jan. 22, 2004, 04:34 PM
No austinpony the fact is the USAE/AHSA has been the NGB for the past 50 years. The last five years the USET which was a Committee of the AHSA decided to challenge the USAE/AHSA and so that it would become the NGB. The battle became very ugly and counter productive so in the best interests of the Federation USAE Alan Balch made a merger agreement with the USET under the supervision of the USOC and at their recommendation for approval.

As they have done with several sports programs the USOC felt that all the leaders should resign. Alan Balch did so, the others did not.

The new By-Laws represent the merger which was hastily drawn in order to meet the necessary deadlines since 2004 is an Olympic year. Technically the two associations are equal partners instead of the USAE being the NGB and the USET a Committee designated for a function.

I do agree with you that my preference would be yto elect our Board of Directors as Representatives. That is the Hunters would elect their five Board Members as would and perhaps do all the other Breed/Discipline Affiliates.

I also agree that the opportunity to be heard is invalidated when at the end of a debate the decision is accepted but then later voided by the Board of Directors.

I can remember a very contentious debate over the 15 show rule which we all thought would be tabled for a year and was instead brought to the Board of Directors and the choice of the Chairman for Hunters was recognized and his opinion superceded that of all the others present at the Convention. This then to me is rule by a single person and not by a consensus of opinion.

It is also true that the Zones which are our main source of information and governance are also not democratic. The meetings of the Members are called at AA Horse Shows where all those who do not participate will probably not attend.

It appears there was ameeting of the National Hunter Committee on November 10, 2003. I had no idea there was such a meeting, and certainly still don't know where it was held. I don't know what was on the agenda not how anyone voted on the items of the agenda. That is not an acceptable behavior.

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that they at that meeting had amended the new By-Laws and at least some of my proposed revisions were included at least partially. Although I am not displeased with the result I find it offensive that we were not notified there was a meeting.

Battle Scarred Veteran

[This message was edited by Snowbird on Jan. 22, 2004 at 06:53 PM.]

austinpony
Jan. 22, 2004, 04:45 PM
Thanks for setting me straight, both Snowbird & Janet. Hard to admit - but I CAN be wrong. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif

Portia
Jan. 22, 2004, 05:21 PM
Just to clarify, the USET was never a "committee" of the AHSA/USA Eq. It was and always had been an entirely separate trust organization. It was not, however, ever the NGB. AHSA/USA Eq had held that designation since the Sports Act was adopted in 1978 until the USEF was formed and its status as NGB was provisionally approved by the USOC late last year (pending resolution of some final corporate matters).

The Sports Act requires that the NGB represent all levels of the sport from the grass roots to the elite athletes. However, for various historical reasons, the USET had traditionally performed certain functions of the NGB, such as team selection, training, and financing, under the supervision and with the approval of the AHSA/USA Eq. The AHSA/USA Eq performed all other NGB functions.

In the late 1990s, the USET began to chafe at that relationship and complained to the USOC about it. The dispute was temporarily quelled by execution of a USOC-brokered Operating Agreement between the two organizations, but when it came time for the Operating Agreement to expire the dispute revived and the USET applied to the USOC to become the NGB in place of USA Eq. That was the start, in earnest, of the dispute between the two orgs over the last 3 years. USA Eq's position was always that the two organizations should consolidate and join their strengths as the NGB, while the USET insisted it could do the job on its own and refused to consider a consolidation with USA Eq.

Eventually, after a long fight, David O'Connor and others on behalf of USA Eq were able to negotiate a compromise agreement with Armand Leone and others at the USET, by which a new entity, the USEF, was formed in a consolidation of the majority of the functions of the two organizations (frankly, much as USA Eq had proposed all along). The USET became the USET Foundation, the sole purpose of which is to raise funds for elite athlete programs. USA Eq became the USA Equestrian Trust, which holds the major assets of USA Eq, including the headquarters in Lexington, and provides them for the use of the USEF.

I'm sure that's more than any of you ever wanted to know http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif , but it is important to know the history and the legal requirements imposed by the Sports Act and the USOC to understand how and why USEF is structured as it is. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

~~~~~~~~~~~~
I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell.

radio talk Aefvue Farms RCA
Jan. 22, 2004, 05:33 PM
Maybe with all this NGB talk, we should note that it is a "new" verbage per se. And has only come into its own over the past 2 years during the rift. Most people hardly knew what that stood for, let alone what it was supposed to do. Maybe, many still don't or don't care to.

The NGB issue is a far cry from most of the hunter people who are showing. What most seem concerned with, is input into the proverbial system. Mileage rules, hearings, suspensions, horse shows etc..Yes, we do know what we are supposed to get for our $$$'s. But when we start raising our hands and say "hey what about?" and its not acknowledged, then disention begins. We all have questions, and thats the problem. They need to be answered.

People have been told to go read the rule book. Thats alot, especially when you have to request it to be sent to you as a member. That just shouldn't be. I know its expensive, but it might stop some of the misunderstanding of the rules. Reading the rule book on line is okay. But what if your computer is not the top of the line? Many have just given up even trying. I am repeating, literally, what alot of people have said and posting it. These are all things that make the members not happy. Feeling like their $$$'s are spent for nothing. And Portia, where oh where can I find out about the Dodge truck discount? This I am really in need of.

Snowbird
Jan. 22, 2004, 06:49 PM
Well Portia I don't know what they called them, since it wasn't priority information for me in those days but I can tell you that they held their Awards Luncheon at the AHSA Convention and their meeting and they participaated in the same way as a Committee. A rose by any name still smells like a rose.

I'm so old I even remember when the Cavalry was dismounted and the AHSA Military Committee became a Civilian Committee. And, for most of my life and participation in this industry the USET was always there at the Conventions with its Annual Meeting and it's Awards Luncheon.

I know that whatever they were titled for 45 years the two organizations functioned like one and there were no problem and there was no animosity. And, during all that time the AHSA was the NGB.

It was very recently that they determined they should be the NGB. Then they claimed that the Operating Agreement which they requested be signed was the reason that the USAE was in violation of the Ted Stevens Amateur Athlete Act. I think Portia that sometimes in order to clarify its possible to rehash things which are better left unsaid at this point.

It will be pointless for you and I to go back and forth over the details of a rather nasty and unnecessary disagreement.

I for one intend to take the advice of Alan Balch
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I like to say that paying dues is in some respects like paying an insurance premium or even taxes. You don't like doing it, but it sure as hell comes in handy when your house burns down or you need the police or fire department -- <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I think as an iformation bureau and a records keeper and a place to turn to when there is a real problem we get our money's worth from the membership fee.

Now is the time for us to rally behind the high performance Competitors with fan clubs and spectators because the more we support them the more corporate sponsorship, the less it will cost us if you want to make it personal. But, while horse people are not basically team players this may be difficult I think it can be done.

As long as a disagreement between friends doesn't mean a declaration of war and we can have meaningful dialog I think we can solve the problems that exist. I do not believe for one minute there is anyone in the Administration from volunteers to staff that is sitting around with some great master plot to enslave us or deny us access.

People can make bad judgments without being evil people. People can make good judgments without being saints. What we do need is to make sure that the NEW USEF understand how much our Right to Know means to us, how much we feel we have the right to a meaningful dialog that will not be arbitrarily over ruled at some future point. That is simply the Right to have a Vote. Certainly, at our Zone level, certainly on the choice of our representatives on the Board of Directors. We certainly should be welcomed when we have a talent that is useful or an ability we want to volunteer.

What infuriates is an arbitrary and capricious path that SEEMS as if we are dumb little kids who need those who know better to make decisions for us. If we all believe inZero Tolerance for Drugs and if we all want to abide by the FEI Drug Rules at all levels then they should listen.

If we feel that those who violate the rules should pay sufficient fines to pay the expense of the Program then they should listen. If there is a debate about the Mileage Rule we should all hear all the sides and all the reasons so we can make a judgment and we can decide. It should not be done privately without full disclosure. I had hoped those days were over for good.

I'm sorry if its expensive to webcast because not enough people listen, but for those that do listen and who take notes and publish it all out here then I think that's a lot of people. And, even if its only a handful that want to know they have that right. It's the wrong place to save money. That is one of our membership rights.

NO MORE SECRET DEALS LETS DO IT ALL OUT IN PUBLIC SO THAT NO ONE CAN EVER DOUBT THE SINCERITY OF THE USEF ADMINISTRATION TOWARDS ITS MEMBERS.

Then they will see how much we can be helpful instead of protagonists. Mistrust functions best in dark corners, put the light on and expose it and the mistrust evaporates.
Battle Scarred Veteran

[This message was edited by Snowbird on Jan. 22, 2004 at 09:12 PM.]

Janet
Jan. 22, 2004, 10:17 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
I do agree with you that my preference would be yto elect our Board of Directors as Representatives. That is the Hunters would elect their five Board Members as would and perhaps do all the other Breed/Discipline Affiliates.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> For Eventing, the membership DOES get a chance to vot up or down on the slate for the USAE directors. But not the USEF Eventing committee. I believe the BoD of the USEA has some role in selecting the members of the Eventing committee, so I guess you could say we indirectly get to vote.

Dressage is rather diferent. The USDF BoD is elected by the reperesentatives of the GMOs, with each GMO having a number of votes related to the size of the GMO. And again, the USDF BoD has some role in slecting the Dressage committee- so our vote is effecively at third hand.

Don't know about the other affiliates- I am a member of the ACPS, but I honestly don't remember if I get to vote on the BoD.

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

Portia
Jan. 23, 2004, 09:25 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by radio talk:
And Portia, where oh where can I find out about the Dodge truck discount? This I am really in need of.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Try e-mailing Scott Carling at the USEF scarling@usef.org (He's AED for Marketing.) They just signed the group purchasing deal with NTRA within the last couple of weeks, and I'm not sure if it is immediately effective. I'm sure they'll be making an announcement of it soon. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

~~~~~~~~~~~~
I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell.

khobstetter
Jan. 23, 2004, 09:32 AM
OK...I am going to stick my little 2 cents worth in here..and probably get blasted..

I had 2 young trainers at the Concention with me so they could first hand see how our system works..cost me $175.00 EACH as I took them at the last minute.

Quote from one of them..
"I thought the Committee members were chosen and appointed to make "tough" decisions and represent "us" out here!! They don't represent us, they PROTECT themselves".

His concerns:
1. In Drugs and Meds, THE COMMITTEE , NOT THE VETS, demanded that the hearings be discussed behind closed doors. The vets started the discussions, WITHOUT NAMES, and several on the committee did not want the public there..the vets were outvoted and it went to closed session.

One of the BNT Committee members from the east got a bit testy with the Vets when they said there appeared to be an extremely active time with drugs in the hunters...she stood up and said LOUDLY..."we don't have a problem!!!!!! "

We did not need names BUT I for one felt it was vitally important to know what has been going on with the drugs and penelities! I was pissed!!!

2. In the EQ committee there was the topic of the horses getting abused at the indoor finals. Comments from THE COMMITTEE..."no one told Tiger Wodds he could not practice all night if he wanted"..."the problem is with people who are not educated watching us prepare the horses"..."it's only one show a year, the horses will live"..."we need to "self monitor"....THEY ARE SELF MONITORING..THAT'S THE PROBLEM!!!

AND THE KICKER, STRAIGHT FROM THE MOUTH OF A HIGH RANKING COMMITTEE MEMBER....relating to the Committee and others reporting an abuse...."Hey you guys, we ALL knew the horse killing were going on at the show grounds and non of us reported it, why report this?"..snicker snicker and sit down!

All of this from the Committee members themselves with snide little smirks.

My 2 young trainers came away VERY disenchanted with the Committees....EXCEPT the Jumpers and USET!!

Sad day for us when our Committee people represent us this way...to get on a Committe you must "know someone"..those same people are on all the Committees..

OK..I'm gone now and will probably never sell another horse...but the nasty little secrets need to come to light and stop!!

IF someone is on a Committee they have a responsibility to be OPEN and HONEST with the PUBLIC and stand up for us....it seems to me that most of the Committees are self interest people fighting to protect themselves...

I say that cause NO ONE STOOD UP AT ANY OF THOSE MEETINGS and fought to have the Hearings open..Vet and Meds, "information-no names".... Hunter-EQ, clean up the stuff.

Our other Committee members are afraid to stand up and fight the BNT's that control those committees...the rest of the Committee's sat there and did NOTHING....Even the Vets had to concede to closed session.

Not one person on the Committee stood up for the EQ horses...NOT ONE!!!!

I had lunch with one of the vets right after the Drugs and Meds and he said it VERY EASILY could be discussed without names...he felt IF the public was more aware then the vets could get a little "help" from outsiders.

The vets are EXTREMELY frustrated about this process and not getting outside help, at least that is what they said to me, with Ned Bonnie there too.

So...that's what I know...I have watched the threads and said nothing till now but NOW YOU HAVE IT....

OH....IT'S ALL ON TAPE WITH THE FEDERATION IF ANYONE WANTS THE REAL TRUTH!!

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

AlanBalch
Jan. 23, 2004, 09:36 AM
Interesting to see the follow-up and rebuttal from austinpony and others.

Here are a few more refinements and corrections that I didn't see from others.

1. The official NGB of each sport is a 501 (c) (3) by definition, per federal law. AHSA/USA Equestrian was a 501 (c) (3), and not just as NGB, but because the legal definition of a 501 (c) (3) is more expansive and complex than indicated by austinpony. Of course, the NGBs all have educational purposes that are quite extensive, including our own for equestrian sport.

2. I don't think AHSA "lagged" on the insurance fraud/horse killings, although I remember some other people did think so -- those people didn't seem to understand that everyone accused had their rights, too, which had to be handled according to due process of law, and the process of AHSA rules. That takes time. Also, AHSA had to deal with the federal prosecutors who as I recall did not want AHSA hearings held before the trials. AHSA went ahead anyway, at some risk of Federal Government ire, because of its commitment to protect the sport -- I know this personally because I chaired one of the Hearing Committee panels, on the Lindemann and Hulick cases. Methinks austinpony might be a little more careful in how the history of all this is represented publicly. Word of mouth and gossip are not always or often exactly correct.

3. In the Swann mileage rule case, Swann did not "win," although there was a settlement of the case, as I understand it, which was lengthly and complex. Too much for this thread to weigh and balance exactly what the settlement was, but I suppose it's on record in some court somewhere. It goes on for dozens of pages, as I recall. Certainly Swann wanted people to THINK she had won, which is understandable.

4. As to the Nominating Committee in the new Federation, there is a very open process which permits nominees from the floor and self-nominations, so the process is more open than ever before. And MANY seats on the board of US Equestrian are in fact elected by their constituencies -- one step removed -- since the Federation is just that, a "federation," and receives the direct appointment/election of representatives of breeds/disciplines/organizations who have been decided upon however their various consitutencies wanted.

For those who take it seriously, the Internet is a GREAT forum for making sure that contrasting opinions are seen -- publicly -- so that the true facts of these matters can be widely known and put onto the record for those interested. I think we all owe the Chronicle a great debt of gratitude for such a civilized and real-time method for getting at the truth of these matters.

Snowbird
Jan. 23, 2004, 09:39 AM
Portia is that the same program that Alan Balch signed on as one his last things? I don't think that was under Marketing. I know I was on the old Marketing Committee and it didn't come up before us at all. I think probably the one to contact would be Lori Rawls. There was another Department that covered that which no longer seems to be listed. The NATRA Program is wonderful and it includes John Deere and a lot of other major companies with products we all purchase generally for our farms.

Thank you Alan, it is very good that we have someone at last who has the facts and that will certainly put an end to a lot of wild speculations. When this Forum has the right information I find that people usually make the right decisions and don't go off in wild tangents. The truth and information easily available solves so many of the problems that otherwise would become and "us" against "them" mentality.

As involved as I have been I did not know that the Board Elections were that open to those interested. I just discovered there was a meeting of the National Hunter Committee at which many of the revisions I proposed were accepted.

Imagine that? Now people can even volunteer to be on their Zone committees with just 5 signed letters and none of the old handicaps. That surely is progress.

Battle Scarred Veteran

[This message was edited by Snowbird on Jan. 23, 2004 at 11:48 AM.]

austinpony
Jan. 23, 2004, 09:50 AM
Very often complicated issues can - once the words and emotions are sorted out - come down to very simple premises. As I've been reading and digesting all that's been written and said on these boards the message as to what the rank and file members want has become very clear. It's threefold:

1. They want a voice and a vote.. The current system is governance without representation. This voice includes input on rules changes. If the vote is there, then reform (board terms, budget issues, etc) will follow.

2. They want more comprehensive and harder punishments for those who abuse horses either through mechanical, chemical or other means; including larger fines, longer suspensions and the loss of other privileges including the ability to judge or officiate in other capacities. Zero tolerance to drugs is the bottom line.

3. They want a better and more widespread system of investigating potential abuse. This ties in with #2, but clearly most think the current testing program is underfunded and too thinly spread.

There is a lot verbiage being thrown about, but this is what it boils down to. These are items that could be put in the form of a petition which could a) be published in every horse magazine willing to do so; and b) sent or hand-delivered to David O'Connor, John Long and the rest of the board. Someone also needs to make it clear that, if these issues are not addressed at the July board meeting, they should be addressed in an emergency session of the board which is open to the public.

Believe it or not, despite my noting that legal action against the USEF is a possible course of action, I'm am not really calling for using that club at this point. There is no question in my mind that the USEF has left itself vulnerable to outside investigation through questionable legal and financial pratices like setting itself up as a non-profit when it's mission and policies don't conform to those statutes.

If these practices are not reformed and the association gets the attention of the Feds, we are looking at the eventual financial dissolution of the USEF. That is not a desireable solution as there is a great deal of value in the structure of the USEF and in the records it has maintained and maintains.

I have said that if the USEF dissolves, then another organization will spring up to fill its shoes. Again, nature abhors a vacuum.

One of our BASIC rights is choice (and NO, I'm not talking about right to life!). Choice is at the heart of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. "We the people..." is pretty powerful stuff. Maybe it's time for "We the membership of the USEF in order to form a more perfect association..."

AlanBalch
Jan. 23, 2004, 09:58 AM
OK, now to amplify on what Kathy Hobstetter just said.

[This is fun to finally be able to do, now that I'm not in the position of appearing to be "defending" an organization -- since I'm no longer anything but a member!!]

Please remember that just because meetings are open, that doesn't automatically mean that a committee ought not be entitled to close those meetings for sensitive subjects. They should, in my opinion, announce why a meeting is being closed, and put that reason onto the record. The new Open Governance committee that appears in the new Federation's bylaws needs to be started, if it hasn't been, so that guidelines for conduct can be clearly established.

Now, having said that, if a "Big Name Trainer" said something in an open meeting, why wouldn't Kathy name him or her?! Afraid of intimidation? Or just realizing that there are in fact some sensitivities that indicate privacy? I don't know, since I wasn't there for that meeting.

The new Federation has new Conflict of Interest policies -- let's see what they are, and if or how they apply to committees. It's really hard to apply conflict policies to committees, for the obvious reason that committees are formed on matters of specialty -- like Equitation -- and the people on the committee are likely to be those interested and specializing in that field. So the safeguard against misconduct or self-dealing is, again, openness and watchfulness. And naming names when appropriate.

This is likely to be a real hot-button topic as the Federation evolves, particularly in the Hunter world. If the "Big Names" are succeeding through intimidation, whether in the content of the rules or otherwise, then someone is going to have to have the courage to bring important matters of allegedly improper conduct to the disciplinary processes of the new Federation and clean things up.

Portia
Jan. 23, 2004, 10:01 AM
Alan, I know how frustrating it was for you to have to keep your mouth/keyboard shut during the whole thing. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Welcome to the boards and thanks for your insights. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif

On the conflict of interest front, one of the things we discussed in the ethics committee as an action item is to work with the chairs of all the other committees to develop conflict of interest statements and disclosures for committee members that are tailored to the particular issues affecting the particular committee.

~~~~~~~~~~~~
I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell.

Snowbird
Jan. 23, 2004, 10:17 AM
I think Kathy that communication is the biggest weakness. While we have made great strides in that direction it certainly has a lot of room for improvement. I agree the the Veterinary Committee and even the Drugs and Medication Committe feel hamstrung because while they get the blame they really can't implement everything they would like. I think some of the abuses are also out of their venue and are really in our ball park.

As a Membership we have have been self serving and self occupied with our own personal interests and so we set the stage for Committees to feel the same way. No one shows up at a meeting or a convention until they have an issue that hits them personally. 90% of what comes before committees is boring, repetitive and not inspiring but it also has to get done.

YES! we have a responsibility as members to take action at shows where we see abuse of the animals. We certainly do not want a Federation that is a Police Force and an unreasonable enforcer. I was disappointed that more was not done regarding our big issue of stiffer penalties so that the violators pay the freight for the enforcement of the Drugs Program.

It means more letters, more emails and more phone calls. What we did learn is that the Guidelines for the Hearing Committee have to be changed to permit them more latitude and stronger enforcement. Obviously, from the thread about the suspended trainers at WEF we need more teeth in the penalties.

Whatever you think Kathy the fact is there are more of us than ever participating and if that's not enough then we need to quadruple the interest. If 100 letters and emails don't let them know how we feel then let's make it 500.

As you saw from the conversation at the reception we both had with a very pleasant man who has different views. Reasonable people can discuss these things and come to fair conclusions. An old legal mentor of mine always taught me that a good court decision was one where neither side won and both felt they had lost a little.

Let's accept some of the blame, we have depended on the "Enforcers" to do our job for us. We have been guilty of blaming everyone but ourselves for the sad state of affairs. We're too busy, we're too tired, we work too hard and have no time all of the excuses I have heard as to why no warm bodies show up at meetings.

So here we have it, The web casts are too expensive because not enough people tune in, and there are no meetings because no one shows up at them anyway on one side and then we complaining about the fact that we don't know and have no voice.

If every equine oriented association in this country showed up at their Zone Meetings, and if every one of those associations paid to have a small committee attend the Annual Meeting we could make a big difference. The problem is we have a headless dragon who can't see the road and we need to each look to ourselves. I started all this back 5 years ago to prove that one person can make a difference.

In the past five years there has been a lot of change and a lot of improvement in major attitudes. You cannot imagine how pleased I was to see that suddenly everyone believes in representative Zone Committees, that C/B people have a place and our communication while not perfect is a lot better.

But, if you don't want to lose the ground we've gained then please don't sit around waiting for one little old lady to get it done. I showed you it can happen NOW it's your job too.

So, Kathy this isn't theatre you and your trainers didn't come to be entertained but to participate. Sharpen those pencils, ink up those pens and start typing those emails. There are 10,000 USEF Members in California, I saw about 8 at the Convention.

Battle Scarred Veteran

Snowbird
Jan. 23, 2004, 10:39 AM
Well Alan now you can appreciate how much fun I've been having all these years and yes! it is so exciting when we can have a valuable dialog and clarify misunderstandings and set a direction. I have to warn you though it isn't always this friendly.

I think as a Member you will make it a lot more interesting and exciting. Someone needs to show the dragon where the road is so it can manuever down the road even if it's headless.

The question of Conflict of Interest was a big one at the National Affiliates Working Group. Gary Baker raised the issue because of the current competition for selection of a Recognized National Hunter Affiliate.

You will not be surprised that now everyone seems to want to retitle the various levels of Affiliates. They are considering criteria for the differences between those grandfathered Breed/Discipline Affiliates and the proposed new one to take the place of the Hunter Committee, the Jumper Committee and the I think the Western Committee.

This would be a great dialog regarding what we want as members want from a new National offiliate, what we expect it to do for us and what our part in it will be.

OK! who has ideas on that so we get put our feedback in the hopper before the fact instead of crying in our beer after it's too late. Who wants to jump in first and start a new thread?

Battle Scarred Veteran

khobstetter
Jan. 23, 2004, 12:00 PM
Alan..hello there!! Glad to see you made it back east OK, was great to see you at the Convention and get a little time to say hello!!

You know me very well and I am sure you know I am not afraid of being vocal!!

I did not say anything at the time because I sat there is awe waiting for a Committee response that NON of the Committee members DID respond and I was a spectator on the side...I was appaled that not one of the Committee was shocked or abashed by it!!

Here, for the Board, I choose NOT to name a name as I have to live at the shows with that trainer and they are very powerful and can cause trouble if they wish.."Afraid of intimadation?????"...YEP!!!!!!

I am shocked that you are sending the blame my way instead of saying THAT is simply not acceptable!!! It is on tape!! I am shocked you are not appaled too!!

As for "sensitive" information..the names are sensitive...not what they did AND were found guilty of by the Hearing Committee. I think, as a member, I have a right to know how much of it is going on, what they are using, what the discussions are about, fines etc, what the reasons are for that specific "penality" as so on.

And since when is drugging horses, penelities and fines a "sensitive subject"?????

I do not need names..I need information, and have a right to it..YOU fought for that right in a court of law, as did I!!!

SNOWBIRD..
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> So, Kathy this isn't theatre you and your trainers didn't come to be entertained but to participate. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

If you sat in any of those meetings with me you should know I did anything but treat it as "theatre"...I spoke up at just about every meeting, said my piece, made my statements quite clear....

After the meetings the "spectators" said thank you for saying that, we wanted to say the same thing, I liked what you said..

The Committee members on some of those HOWEVER were not happy and voiced it to me..that is why I have stayed off of these threads....Following the USHJA meeting where I spoke quite at length, one of the Board came up to me in the corridor and got all over my case about standing up for Gary Barker, speaking without being on the "in" with their information and so on...I was not too pleasant with that member!!!

Maybe I should have continued not speaking out here..I don't see any response to the absurdity of what was said.

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

Weatherford
Jan. 23, 2004, 12:32 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by khobstetter:
1. In Drugs and Meds, THE COMMITTEE , NOT THE VETS, demanded that the hearings be discussed behind closed doors. The vets started the discussions, WITHOUT NAMES, and several on the committee did not want the public there..the vets were outvoted and it went to closed session.


2. In the EQ committee there was the topic of the horses getting abused at the indoor finals. Comments from THE COMMITTEE..."no one told Tiger Wodds he could not practice all night if he wanted"..."the problem is with people who are not educated watching us prepare the horses"..."it's only one show a year, the horses will live"..."we need to "self monitor"...._THEY ARE SELF MONITORING..THAT'S THE PROBLEM!!!_
."Hey you guys, we ALL knew the horse killing were going on at the show grounds and non of us reported it, why report this?"..snicker snicker and sit down!
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I want that tape, and I want a PT from you with, uh, "inside" information...(names, which, if I knew who was actually in attendance, I could figure out without much effort http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif )


However, Conflict of Interest problems, I think, are much more subtle and difficult to discern - and, I also think, a CRITICAL part of what needs to be cleaned up in this house.

How can someone who has been (or is currently) put down (for doping, or abuse) serve on Hearing or D&M Committees?? Isn't that simply absurd?

[This message was edited by Weatherford on Jan. 23, 2004 at 02:42 PM.]

Snowbird
Jan. 23, 2004, 01:13 PM
Sorry Kathy that's not what I meant, and I'm not blaming you at all. I know exactly how it went down. I was really speaking to the others who were not there. Yes! there is retribution believe me, I know that well and I have paid those dues.

I know that's how these things have gotten squashed. I also know that everyone at that meeting knew this was a hot potatoe issue. They admitted to having received a ton of mail and everyone needs to be commended for that. What I said (if badly) is to keep the pressure on.

I am willing to give the Hearing Committee the benefit of the doubt that they were unprepared, had not had legal advice then of how far they could go to implement stiffer penalties. They received a lot of pressure not to listen to the mob reaction just as you were pressured.

It took years to break the glass wall between "us" and "them" and to realize we really were "them". As individual business people we are used to making a decision and following through and we are not used to governance by committee.

They will take action and they will make decisions but yes! there is a history of being intimidated and being pressured by "VIP" members who feel their issues are the ones that count because they're important and they know better than we do.

There is no doubt from reading the WEF thread that the penalties and suspensions are a bad joke. There is no doubt that needs to be addressed. If the Committees won't pay any attention then go directly to the Board of Directors. Inaction by the committees puts the ball in their court whether they want to play or not. That's what will make the Board aware that they need effective and strong committees.

This was the first meeting of the new USEF and I think a shake down cruise. No one is really sure where and what their authority might be. You heard as I did the reasons why some believe there are acceptable limits and acceptable excuses. We've heard this for years and in the past I was shocked to see the prestigious names that joined their Horsemen's Advisory Committee to defend the use of medication in competitions and oppose the Drugs and Medication Committee and the Veterinary Committee. We offer horse competition and not competition for who is the best chemist.

The fact is that the trainers are responsible and the buck stops there; if their employees are so imcompetent they mix up feed buckets, and if they're using concaine that then accidentally gets into the horse, or even if the dollar bills at the show are tainted the one responsible is the care taker with care and custody.

Now the latest excuse is they were sabotaged by another competitor, that some stranger walked down the aisle and stuck their horse. Well, then I'm for the rule at the race track, no medication and no needles or syringes in anyone's hand except the vet. If they don't want that, then they better post a guard by their horses. A bad excuse is no excuse at all.

The YOU was a multiple "YOU" meaning everyone. You alone and me alone can't get the job done. The gears have been sanded and it's going to take a lot of muscle to make the wheel turn.

Like you when I went at first I thought the Committees were omnificent and unreachable but I have learned that lots of warm bodies backing you up matter. And that includes the dialog out here in cyberspace.

We have been fortunate, they do read these forums and they do know what we're thinking. OK! it didn't happen so we go back to the drawing Board and there's another Board Meeting in July.

Forgive me if I am cynical enough not to be surprised at what you heard and what your were told. It's old hat to me. As the token C/B person representing the position the best way I can for all of you I know exactly how much damage they can do to you. BUT it's worth it to be able to look myself in the face in the mirror.

I think the best cop out I heard all week was our drug testing was too good. That the FEI system isn't as good so people can get away with small amounts of drugs because they can't find it when its that low. Well gimminee that makes me feel great about the Olympics.

Battle Scarred Veteran

[This message was edited by Snowbird on Jan. 23, 2004 at 03:55 PM.]

AlanBalch
Jan. 23, 2004, 01:14 PM
Kathy, I certainly didn't intend to send any "blame" your way or any other way. I apologize if you interpreted what I said that way. I don't know enough about the circumstances of what you described to evaluate it.

I'm way beyond being shocked or appalled at much of anything -- and I can't even begin to be shocked or appalled by something I can't understand because it's stated in code.

If you or anyone else else can be intimidated by a Big Name Trainer (or anyone else) to the extent you apparently are, where that individual's name cannot be mentioned in connection with a remark they made in public, then that in itself is evidence that continuing positive changes are needed in the conduct of our meetings and improving the fairness of the sport.

Go to fixing it, whatever it is, is my advice. The framework is now there for those who can read and understand the bylaws and rules, and have the courage to properly participate in the process and make it all work the way it can. For the betterment of the sport's fairness and the welfare of the horses, which is what everything boils down to in the end.

noname
Jan. 23, 2004, 01:24 PM
okay....all i have to say is that i started a topic a couple of days ago asking what i (a regular adult amateur) can do. i only received a handful of responses. i can't attend convetions so i can't make a difference that way. i can't turn anyone in because i am not privy to enough proof and i can't have a vote on any decisions the committee's make. so how am i supposed to help change things? i know there has to be people like me can help facilitate change, since most of the members are people like me.

cowboylogic
Jan. 23, 2004, 01:55 PM
Noname...I think that is a good question and I too would like to know what we can do to help make positive changes...I have a magazine and would be happy to run something each month about updates....or information...but I am not sure if most people would be interested in reading it. What do you guys think?

Cowboy Logic
Walk In The Park
Blue
www.theequirer.com (http://www.theequirer.com)

Snowbird
Jan. 23, 2004, 02:02 PM
Well cowboylogic and noname you can type and you can write and email is free, at least so far.

Cowboylogic, you have a magazine, so find out where and when the Meeting held by the National Hunter Committee was announced. Find out where it was held and find our who was there. Then find out where they published the revisions to the By-Laws that affect this up coming election so that the Membership would know they could be on the Zone Committee. Find out why these revisions were not included in the recent version of the By-Laws published on the Web Site. Find out where they are published so they can be seen by the all members in time for this election.

And when you have the answers to that Mission Impossible, then come back and I'll give you your next assignment. Meanwhile this post will self destruct in 2 days.

Battle Scarred Veteran

Silver Bells
Jan. 23, 2004, 02:10 PM
COWBOYLOGIC I agree with SNOWBIRD. I recently read all 3 issues of the EQUIRER that you were kind enough to send me. They we really good.
However, if you are looking to distinguish yourself from all of the other "horse magazines", then do something no one seems to do. Tell it like it is... THE GOOD, THE BAD, & THE UGLY. Use your medium to create a forum to give everyone a voice!

War Admiral
Jan. 23, 2004, 02:50 PM
http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif Now THERE's a vertical market for you Cowboylogic - be the anti-HDV!! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif

______________

"Those who use horses just for the business are crass, classless horsemen."
--George Morris

noname
Jan. 23, 2004, 02:53 PM
cowboylogic...i would be more than happy to write something up for your magazine so that you have a "regular jane's" point of view on all these issues. i am currently a grad student and have a little extra time on my hands to do anything besides study like i am supposed to. i am sure anything you do in your magazine to bring issues like these out would help greatly! many people, such as me, don't know what we can do to change all of these things we see going wrong.

as far as writing something to the zone committee....fine by me. just tell me who to write to and how i can say the things i need to say so that they will hear me and take me seriously. i want to help any way i can, i just don't know how!

noname
Jan. 23, 2004, 02:57 PM
ps....i would definitely read articles having to do with changing our system/policies. i must admit, though, that many times i skip over articles dealing with this stuff because it never makes sense to me. maybe if there was some way to "dumb-down" the stuff so that average people like me could really understand what was going on and how we can make a difference, then more people would be responsive to it. to me it just seems like there is never much that we can do in the articles i read because they are geared to the more big named people.

austinpony
Jan. 23, 2004, 03:09 PM
Alan, I agree with you on the intimidation issue (believe it or not http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif). And I am delighted to see you responding on this board as a knowledgeable member and not taking the stance of feeling you need to "defend your legacy" - as I have seen a number of former association executives do. You have my respect and I too hope you continue responding. I'm learning a lot.

RE: the 501c(3) status: it still seems to me that the waters are murky regarding USEF keeping that status even though it is the NGB. Since the NGB must be a 501 c(3) and that status could face a challenge is there another way to do this, perhaps a subsidiary? I know there is already the Trust, but is that set up to handle the NGB role?

But, back to intimidation: it's a tough thing. Back in the good old days in Chicago in the late 80's, my life WAS threatened by a couple of trainers - one of whom is now set down for life. Not just my life - my dog's, my horses. I got an anonymous call threatening to burn my barn down. All because I DID name names to the FBI. (Chicago being the town it was/is one could/can learn at the in-gate and bars. Some of these folks bragged openly about what they were doing.)

Now, Kathy may not be facing that kind of threat, but as she points out - she has to go to shows with these people and, probably since many pros are now judges, has to show in front of them as well. As do I, now that I'm back in horses.

As for the hearings re: killing horses. You were there. I was there. And, we have some different recollections. I clearly remember Shawna Deitrich being very active in the investigations. Now, there was someone who was brave! When I left the Midwest, she told me not to send any clients to the Cheska's as her company would no longer ensure anyone boarding there.

I do clearly remember the controversy over what was perceived as AHSA inaction at the time and the anger that engendered. Many felt the AHSA was powerless to adequately defend the sport. The explanation of the necessity for due process was given, but you will remember that there were many calls for tarring & feathering the offenders and few were in a mood to listen to reason and legal realities. Also, didn't George Lindeman (Sr.) threaten a major suit if hearings were held before his son's (and Marion Hulick's) trial was held?


But again, I agree with Alan. If we hear or see drugging going on, on whatever level we need to go to the steward and show management and report it. Or, we need to confront the trainer and suggest they take their horses and go home. But, each of us needs to do a gut check and see just what we believe and how much we believe it.

Alan, I need some "history" support: if I recollect correctly, weren't some committee meetings held at some of the major shows like Devon and were open? Are they still? And, if not, why not? Since there was controversy about the amount of time given to the USHJA vs. the NHJA, could there not be an open panel discussion sponsored by USEF at one of these shows in the near future?

One another note -
Taping at association meetings: Again, I'm wearing my association hat. Many associations tape meetings to use to create minutes. Most associations destroy these tapes after doing so because those tapes can be subpeoned in a legal action and they usually contain more information than is prudent because people can make some rather idiotic statements in meetings (as Kathy so elequently pointed out.) If those tapes still exist, it would be VERY interesting to hear them. The comments reported by Kathy, once attributed, could form the driver for some of the changes being called for on these boards.

One voice, one vote

Snowbird
Jan. 23, 2004, 03:18 PM
Alright we have a volunteer. Well start to learn now: http://www.usef.org

1. Go the the USEF site and click on Committees, then go to National Hunter Committee
You will find the list of all the members with all contact information

2. Go down to Zones and click on Zone 2 which is the zone for Cowboylogic. You will find all the contact information for the Zone

Send everyone an email requesting the information and wait and see who answers.
Include Sue Pickney USEF Staff Director for Hunter

The same for any other zone that interests you. At the Convention no one seemd to know about this meeting or the revisions.

1. Where was the National Hunter Committee announced that it would be held on November 10, 2003?
2. Who attended the meeting and was there a quorum? Who was present? Where was the Meeting held? What was on the Agenda? Who moved the motion for these revisions and who seconded and what was the vote?
3. A copy of the Revisions and due notice was published where? To become effective when? How were the Members of the Zones notified since this is the only election for four years?
4. What are the deadlines for members to make Nominations?
5. When and how were the Membership notified of these changes? Can a Candidate apply with three different applications if they are eligible for three or more of the designated seats. Will the Nominating Committee determine which, based on application numbers for each seat. Are there a minimum or maximum number that can run for each designated seat?

And any other questions you think are pertinent.

Battle Scarred Veteran

[This message was edited by Snowbird on Jan. 23, 2004 at 05:32 PM.]

Snowbird
Jan. 23, 2004, 03:27 PM
That's a good question. I don't know if the USOC requires a "Not for Profit" Corporation. If not; there could be a problem between regulatory and educational. I'm not familiar with all the sections available.

Any legals out there to help us with that? or even accountant types?

Battle Scarred Veteran

austinpony
Jan. 23, 2004, 05:12 PM
In trying to maintain some clarity, I wanted to note that I have been bringing up the issue of the AHSA's course of action during the "kiling for profit" scandal because the membership then so vehemently questioned the association's ability to adequately protect and defend horses and the horse industry.

I'm not trying to rehash (or rewrite) history.

I'm just trying to take this full circle, as it seems from this and some of the other threads, the membership is once again strongly bringing the (now)USEF's ability to protect and defend horses and the industry into question. There are additional factors as well - issues that were raised in the late '80's as well: complete disclosure and open communication between members and governing bodies. The perceived lack of same is, obviously, still raising hackles.

There's an old saying: If we don't learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it. Is that part of what is happenning now? Hopefully, the new structure and leadership will listen.

I do have one question about the lifetime suspensions - after being out of touch for so many years, I'm not sure how this is working datewise (Portia? Alan? Snowbird? Help here?)

Looking at the suspension list, the start dates for some of the lifetime suspensions seem awfully late, given that arrests began in 1988 and some of these folks (like the Hunters) pleaded guilty. To wit:
Tommy Burns - 2000
Robert Cheska - 2003
Michael & Donna Hunter - 1996
Wally Holly - 1996
Paul Valliere - 1996
Ross Hugi - 1998
Barney Ward - 1998

Are these new start dates?

One more question about the USEF governance (and, to be clear, I'm not attacking, just asking "cause I have the legal thing going in my brain...) The USOC Hearing Committee recommended that Alan, Armand Leone and Frank Lloyd all resign. But, if I read this correctly, the Hearing Committee further recommended that none of these guys serve in the governing bodies of the equstrian support for 6 years minimum. Yet, Armand is on the USEF board. Was this recommendation recinded later?

Thanks for the info.

One voice...on vote

DMK
Jan. 23, 2004, 05:49 PM
austinpony, on February 29, 1996 a federal jury handed down what I believe were the last indictments in the case. The investigation STARTED in 1989.

And I believe the appeals process was still going on for some of these folks after that point.

But if the federal investigation and indictment took 7 years, I find it hard to find fault with the evolution of the AHSA suspensions.

BTW, you forgot Jerry Farmer (one of the Big 4). Now out of jail and set up shop in FL, if the rumors are correct... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

"I used to care, but things have changed..." Bob Dylan

khobstetter
Jan. 23, 2004, 06:04 PM
I have NOT been threatened..just "close" .

The intimidation at me is with the direction my career is going. I have a fabulous barn, SUPER clients, great horses and so on.

As I get older I am now heading to be VERY involved with the associations and organizations. I have been involved for years and have GREAT references (I think) from Sally Ike, Wendy Cooke-Wares, Eric Straus, Alan and many others..

HOWEVER...these other guys will get to have input on my judges card AND wether I get to sit on any of the Committees and my Zone stuff. I am a SUPER judge, judged many years ago but let the card lapse when I got hurt so bad and went away for awhile. Now I am going to do it again...

These people, pissed off at me, can stop my card DEAD in it's tracks, and so on!!

Also, I took a stance just exactly the same as Alan did...I took that stance here in California...but I know for a fact that when I spoke to Bill and Beth and they wanted me involved in some activities with USHJA, that "someone" spoke to them and that came to a screeching halt.

Again, my concerns are exactly the same as my young assistant..

These people are supossed to make the decisions and statements for "US", the membership BUT it does seem self serving sometimes and we get caught on it out here if we speak up!!!!!

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

[This message was edited by khobstetter on Jan. 23, 2004 at 08:36 PM.]

radio talk Aefvue Farms RCA
Jan. 23, 2004, 06:57 PM
austinpony, these are very interesting questions. Hopefully they will be answered. I believe that the dates were due to the court cases finding the defendents guilty. But I may be wrong.

Snowbird
Jan. 23, 2004, 09:34 PM
It had to do with the delay in hearings and then decisions at the AHSA which slowed down the process after conviction. The date indicates the date the Hearing Committee made its' findings.

Battle Scarred Veteran

Weatherford
Jan. 24, 2004, 04:18 AM
AustinPony - have you read all the NGB governance info that used to be on the old www.equestrian.org (http://www.equestrian.org) site?

I think you would find it VERY interesting.... (along with all the threads and discussion here!!) I, too, am interested in why only ONE of the "fighters" held to the resignation clause - was that clause deactivated by Alan very well meaning and well said resignation "for the good of the sport"?

Regardless, this is what we have to work with, and work with it we must.. (Unless you are like me and considering a major move to another country http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif )

I would love to get on the "equierer" (or however you spell it) mailing list (PT or email me).

Keep writing - the more we make ourselves "pains in the butt", the more chance SOMETHING will happen... Perhaps not as soon as we would like, but it will happen!

And, again, I would like to thank Alan for writing here as well as all the work he has done over the years for the sake of our horses, for openness in our governance, and fairness in our competition. He has made many enemies by lobbying for change, and deserved the respect of all of us - even those who disagree with him as vehemently as I know some do!

And, Alan, I have this NICE big horse that might suit you, now that you aren't too busy to ride.... 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

Saddlebag
Jan. 24, 2004, 10:09 AM
I have been reading this thread with some interest, and it seems to me that before we condemn the new USEF, we ought to give it a chance to formulate it's plan and put said plan into action. I was at the Convention, and I felt that at this time, like no other, the membership (including the BNTs) were galvanized and eager to make our sport better..for all of us and our horses. Before springing into arms to "fight" the USEF, why don't we let the new leadership have it's day. It seems to me that the "new gang" hasn't had a chance to do anything yet, and still there are folks on this BB that want to challenge their motives and their actions! Jeez you guys...enough already!

Doubleeez
Jan. 24, 2004, 11:50 AM
I beg to differ with you Saddlebag. This new USEF leadership has known for a long time that they must appoint a National Affiliate for hunters and jumpers. A new group sprung up to
capture the "plum". An older group also made it known that they were interested in the appointment. A third group expressed interest also.
Would it not have been logical that the administration would have developed a set of criteria which would have to be followed by the new affiliate? There was none. Then it was said that there would be criteria set by the end of the convention. To the best of my knowledge, none has been presented.
The potential applicants are being asked to apply, without knowing what they are going to be asked to do. I don't think this is acceptable management from the Federation.
The mileage rule squabble has been around forever. Surely the new Federation leadership is aware of this. Yet - what happened? Many discussions, no conclusions an a "put off" and yet another Task Force to report at the July meeting.
I think the July meeting is the one we should attend instead of the convention - but - as far as I can see, we're not invited.
Unfortunately it looks as though this new administration would like to do business behind closed doors which, to me, is a very unhealthy way to start out.

Snowbird
Jan. 24, 2004, 12:52 PM
Oh! Saddlebag try a new tune! You think it was wonderful because everyone sat on their mouths to let the New Federation make it's move.

Everyone here is being constuctive making suggestions and wanting to cooperate. That does not mean that anyone thinks this is the best of all worlds or the worst.

There are things that are wrong and not talking about them won't make them go away.
For example:
Who here knows the By-laws were changed so that we have a new election system for the Zones. Who here knows that there is to be a show manager, amateur and trainer for the C/B Shows on every Zone Committee, There is a open slot for a show manager, trainer and amateur for the A/AA Shows, for a Licensed Official, and for the three largest associations with hunter members in each zone that's 10 of the seats.

Who here knows that you don't have to go to a meeting to be Nominated? Who here knows that you only need five Senior Active Members to sign for you in order to be proposed for the seat you think you are eligible. Who here knows you can volunteer this way to be on your Zone Committee.
Why was this kept such a secret when we have an election coming up and the Nomination process will be closed before anyone finds out about the changes.

Saddlebag, do you think that it's a good idea to keep this kind of secret? And who knows who proposed these changes and got them passed?

No it wasn't Bill Moroney it was Gary Baker President of the NHJA.

Battle Scarred Veteran

Portia
Jan. 24, 2004, 12:57 PM
Thank you, Saddlebag, for taking a moderated and positive approach to the new organization and the Annual Meeting.

Doubleez, they are developing specific standards for new affilliate organizations, and have prepared a draft list of requirements. This was discussed in the International Affiliates meeting (which was open, as were the vast majority of committee meetings). While that draft was driven primarily by the need to select an H/J affiliate and to define the requirements for new affiliates, the existing affiliates might also be required to meet those standards. Therefore, the existing affiliates wanted a chance to comment on the draft before it was issued.

The potential mileage rule/date protection changes are being driven by several factors that cannot be resolved without study. I would much rather have them take a few months to really figure out what is the best plan and avoid as many unintended consequences as possible.

It has very little practical difference if these changes are adopted in January or in July -- unless they are adopted as extraordinary rule changes, they are not effective until December 1 in any event.

I wish some people would think about the amount of effort, planning. compromise, and expense that went in to forming this organization and blending the two previous existing entities -- the details of which were only agreed upon last Spring. Maybe then you could cut them some slack if they couldn't get everything done to your satisfaction in the first six months of their existence in this form.

Portia
Jan. 24, 2004, 01:13 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by austinpony:
One more question about the USEF governance (and, to be clear, I'm not attacking, just asking "cause I have the legal thing going in my brain...) The USOC Hearing Committee recommended that Alan, Armand Leone and Frank Lloyd all resign. But, if I read this correctly, the Hearing Committee further recommended that none of these guys serve in the governing bodies of the equstrian support for 6 years minimum. Yet, Armand is on the USEF board. Was this recommendation recinded later?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Yes, it was. In fact, the hearing committee recommendation and report, adopted by the USOC Board of Directors, was so procedurally and substantively flawed and blatantly violated the requirements of the Sports Act that the USOC withdrew the report and recommendation entirely -- after USA Eq initiated arbitration of the decision in accordance with the Sports Act and the USOC Constitution and Bylaws, and arbitration which would have been open to the press and public. In my estimation, the USOC wanted to stop the arbitration challenging the decision from proceeding, since it would have been embarrassing to the USOC at at time when they could not afford much more public embarrassment.

It was sometime after the USOC withdrew its decision and was trying to figure out how to proceed that the parties were able to reach the compromise settlement agreement that resulted in the USEF. Alan Balch voluntarily agreed to resign from an active role in the governance of the new NGB for (if I recall correctly) two years, since he was the subject of much personal enmity on the USET side and his participation was a major sticking point for them. USA Eq did not require the same from Armand Leone, Jr. and Eric Straus.

AlanBalch
Jan. 24, 2004, 03:20 PM
Just a few points to refine the history and try to answer some questions.

1. Personally, I really think the 501 (c) (3) issue is not going to take anyone anywhere, nor do I believe it's productive to focus on it. Yes, of course the Federation has to comply with all the technical and legal requirements of being one -- but as the NGB, I believe there's a presumption that they do, per the federal law, once the USOC has blessed the new organization, which it has. If for any reason -- highly doubtful -- they would fail to comply with any requirements, that would be a different story, but I cannot imagine that happening.

2. Not only did the Lindemann side threaten to litigate, I remember some huge lawsuit was filed, claiming hundreds of millions of dollars if I recall correctly. It didn't get anywhere. And the AHSA hearings were in fact held in that case and several others before the Lindemann federal trial, despite that zillion-dollar litigation. People and organizations threaten NGBs with litigation all the time; if there's one thing we've learned, those threats ought not ever be rewarded by appeasement. If the organization has behaved properly, it has nothing to fear from litigation, and it must defend itself. In defending itself, it is defending the sport, because often the litigants just seek to create disorder and distract the organization from its mission, draining it of resources. If this tactic is ever rewarded, it imperils the orderly governance of the sport.

3. Yes, there have been several committee meetings held at Devon and elsewhere, open, including zone committee meetings. No reason why that won't keep happening. The problem seems to be that when they are held, and then are poorly attended, that gives those who want to close things up a reason to do so: "nobody ever comes when we have an open meeting."

4. Here's a little to add on the resignation issue, which Portia has largely covered.

I have always believed that whether or not a volunteer agrees to serve, or to resign, is strictly a matter of personal conscience and decision, absent any willful misbehavior that can be demonstrated in the appropriate formal process that would force a removal properly.

It got to be something of a joke (not to mention a badge of honor) that my resignation was "demanded" on so many occasions -- apparently as a form of threat and intimidation. It didn't work. I didn't have a barn to be burned down, either -- that had happened to Dick McDevitt when he was president.

Then the USOC's initial "decision" on the NGB hearing was published, including another call for my resignation (along with others), and it was soon discredited for all the reasons Portia cited and a few more.

As arbitration of that decision was looming, in the aftermath of the USOC itself trying to "take it back and start over," the New Jersey court in Balch vs. USET issued at least two rulings in my favor, as I recall, in December 2002 and January 2003, which paved the way for the new Federation. One came down just before the convention a year ago. It endangered virtually all of the relevant corporate governance decisions of USET for years preceding.

Having just been very significantly advantaged in the ongoing litigation, I took that opportunity -- publicly -- then to offer my resignation if and only if the USET and USA Equestrian agreed to the plan David O'Connor and Kathy Meyer put forward at the convention for the new consolidated organization, formally, by February 1, when the USOC was next meeting. After all, despite what many said and believed, it was never our desire to harm USET in any way -- remember, I had been a USET trustee and member for far longer than most people then or now in USET leadership!

On the eve of that February 1 USOC meeting, the agreement was reached. It is and was highly ironic that my offered resignation had then -- largely because of the successful New Jesey lawsuit -- become an incentive for a joint conclusion to the NGB struggle, for a consolidation that most of us had been advocating since USET started the confrontation years earlier. I did not suggest or demand that anyone else resign, because I did not think then and I do not think now that ANYONE should be pressured on resigning, per what I said earlier. We in this sport and all volunteer organizations need all the brainpower and other commitment from their various memberships they can get.

The above is just in the interest of clarity and for the sake of answering the questions raised. It's time to focus on the future, in my opinion, and not the past. Again, the new Federation has a framework that will work positively if the constituencies throughout the sport take it seriously, and infuse it with integrity and good will and hard work.

Snowbird
Jan. 24, 2004, 03:27 PM
They are working on it now that the need was made important by some of us who are the irritants to keep things like that in place.

The draft list was totally inappropriate for Hunter Jumper but probably correct for the existing grandfathered Affiliates. Essentially all you need is a fileing cabinet and a membership list. For the other existing affiliates I'm sure that's adequate.

In the National Working Groups meeting it was available but they had not yet done anything regarding an Affiliate which is replacing and existing National Committee. The National Working Group is obviously more involved since Hunter will be in their ball park.

It was blantantly clear that two different criteria will be necessary and it has gone back to the drawing board. That's why it is unseemly for USHJA to assume they are the chosen.

It seems to me Portia that you as a legal could understand that you need to have the criteria and then publish it for everyone equally and give everyone interested an equal opportunity to show who meets the criteria better.

Certainly when anyone from USHJA runs around from meeting to meeting claiming it a done deal that does not display a lot of mature understanding of the proper decorum in a situation like this which affect 83,000 members.

There have been several studies already made regarding the existing Mileage Rule which are starting points for a debate. And, an open debate would resolve any uncertainties for any decision will make some people unhappy and they need to know why it was so and how the decision was made and by whom. When you are dealing with the right of people to support their farms I think you need to do it publicly. When you are discussing what is fair play in competition it needs to be discussed publicly. If it is tabled then it should be tabled for study and then discussion at the next convention of the Members. This is after all not just a private club but an educational association which then should be open to educate us.

I was so pleased that the open meetings have ended the sense that there was a "big brother" out there who had to make the decisions for us because we are not capable. I'm not sure even that it is the mileage rule which is the problem, I think it may be the Management Registration System and the inability to clearly identify who actually is approved for any date. I dare say that the show managements are the most knowledgeable of the way the system works. And, they are the ones who will need to agree to the compromises.

I trust the USEF will be wise enough to expand their debate to all the factors that go into assigning dates. There is no sports regulatory agency that doesn't perform that function but I for one would hate to see this dissolve into a franchise system.

It may not seem to you that it makes a difference but if you are a show manager it could make a big difference whether you buy new fences, put in new footing and fix the PA System. And if you are an exhibitor that wants to plan your schedule and pick goals for which to compete it would make a difference. If you are a trainer and trying to plan your budget by deciding where to take your students to compete it will make a big difference.

OH! Portia I am so sorry if we seem so ungrateful and unappreciative of the tremendous efforts done on our behalf. We are such bad children not to respect our elders who are working so hard to protect us from ourselves.

I know it's so difficult when your services are demanded on so many committees, some people have as many as 13 Committees and that is such a sacrifice on our behalf. Cripes Portia, you sound like the old establishment and the old ideas that have already been discarded.

We don't need your sacrifices, there are lots of people out here more than happy to help you by taking over some of the committee jobs. And, why the mad rush to have this transfer so quickly that the paper work didn't get properly done. And, why not it was a year from the announcement to the merger? And it wasn't exactly a surprise now was it? Who was it that was in charge, as I remember Alan Balch was not since he had already announced his resignation. Where were all those folks during the year when they should have been making plans?
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
I wish some people would think about the amount of effort, planning. compromise, and expense that went in to forming this organization and blending the two previous existing entities -- the details of which were only agreed upon last Spring. Maybe then you could cut them some slack if they couldn't get everything done to your satisfaction in the first six months of their existence in this form.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

And who says they have to get done without us? You are magnifying the oldest concept in this association "Us against Them".I thought we were in this all together and as members we were contributing our help by making constructive suggestions about ways to do this all so that there was no misunderstanding. I haven't read anything out here that was not a suggestion for how it could be done better.

Battle Scarred Veteran

[This message was edited by Snowbird on Jan. 24, 2004 at 06:05 PM.]

Portia
Jan. 24, 2004, 06:33 PM
No, Snowbird, it's not us against them, and that's not at all what I meant. Nor was I complaining about being overworked since having become "part of the establishment" if that's how you want to see it. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

What I meant is that, whether or not anyone chooses to get involved and try to make a difference, the organization is worth the benefit of the doubt and support. Instead, some people, including you too often, choose to automatically look at the organization and those involved in it with suspicion and distrust, and instantly perceive issues and circumstances as negatives, when in fact they may be positives or at least neutral. What I'm tired of is relentless negativity and unrealistic demands, and lack of appreciation for the efforts of the volunteers and staff who have worked and continue to work so hard to make this unwieldy and complex entity work for the many different contituencies to which it must answer (and I'm not including myself in that group, because I've done very, very little compared to most others.)

Now, with my rant over, I'm leaving the country for a week.

bonstet
Jan. 24, 2004, 06:41 PM
I agree that we need to look to the future. However, austinpony's points regarding the horse killings, although in the past, do hightlight the very thing that concerns all of us today - that the USEF is not (or may not) be able to adequately defend our sport and impose tough enough penalties for rules violations.

The one thing I do know is this - I want action. cowboylogic - I love your idea regarding publicizing the issues in the Equirer - how can I get on the mailing list? - I only see the occasional copy at my local tack shop or at some A shows. This is BIG NEWS affecting many, many horsepeople, and most do not know anything about it. I think a lot of people would be amazed/shocked/surprised to learn what is going on in our organization - and it will (hopefully) serve to get more people involved.

Snowbird - thank you for sharing your knowledge of the process. I WANT A VOTE! Many separate voices will certainly help, but what if we all came together to form Horsepeople United for USEF Reform (or some similarly titled org)? One voice speaking for the masses may get more attention/results.

Rock the Vote!

Snowbird
Jan. 24, 2004, 07:11 PM
Thank you Bonstet and it may be a way, there's been a lot of talk in that direction. I am hoping that under the new rules for the Zone Committee we will have a better line of communication an ability to register our feelings. If the Amateur Reps are responsive to the amateur causes, and the Trainer reps can get the trainer opinions together etc. we may have a daisy chain like the old bucket brigades.

Well, Portia do Have a good holiday, we'll miss you.
Your judgment is flawed if you assume whatever is not total agreement means it is from suspicion and distrust. And if I see things as less than perfect and suggest ways they might be perceived as better that doesn't mean negativity that is my view of healthy participation.

When we have thousands of the members feeling it's their association and they can and do contribute ideas we will have a good National Federation for Equestrian.

You see Portia that's the whole point of a dialog, mutual applause and agreement is not a healthy situation but a negative one to me. It means it has become so homogenous that members feel excluded.

I don't think the members are making unrealistic demands because they want to participate in the decision making. It would be so much easier if all those constituencies had a place to express themselves and someone to listen. But as long as those in authority believe that any suggestion is a criticism and any difference of opinion is a lack of appreciation then there will be discord.

Yes! it is very exhausting when a group of people believe they need to make decisions in the best interests of all the others but then they forgot to ask them what they want. It's stressful and disappointing to think you have planned a great party but no one accepts your invitation because it's not the kind of party they enjoy.

Don't you think it's better to have a dialog than a mass exodus to some other sports activity? Remember for the silent majority this is an expensive hobby and recreational activity. Most of those do not expect their horse to support them.

Battle Scarred Veteran

Scarlet 1
Jan. 24, 2004, 07:38 PM
Great post Saddlebag, you took the words right our of my mouth.

austinpony
Jan. 24, 2004, 09:29 PM
Snowbird commented: "that's the whole point of a dialog, mutual applause and agreement is not a healthy situation but a negative one to me. It means it has become so homogenous that members feel excluded."

She may have hit the nail on the head. There's a documented organizational phenomena called "The Abilene Paradox." It premises that the biggest threat to an organization is NOT the failure to manage dissent, but the failure to manage consensus. In brief, it says that people in a group will agree with each other because it is the easiest route and they are afraid to offer a dissenting opinion because they think all others in the group are in basic agreement and don't want to appear difficult or "not a team player." These boards allow and encourage communication, the free expression of our individual views. USEF does not. It manages by a board with no incentive to change. The structure only changed because of the suits with USET and USOC. It changed becuase maintaining the status quo became more painful than changing.

I've written in earlier posts about choice being one of our basic rights. The right to dissent is another. And, in the case of USEF, it is something we must continue. Because, despite the words, the actions of the AHSA/USEF clearly demonstrate that they cannot protect horses and the horse industry from abuse.

I'm sorry, Alan. Here we must disagree. That Tommy Burns, Robert Cheska, Wally Holly, Paul Valliere and the others were allowed to continue showing, training or officiating for years beyond when they were indicted, and in some cases served prison terms before being suspended is unconscionable.

I do agree that it would have be unconscionable to bow to the pressure of litigation and appease people like these. But, frankly, I would rather see the considerable funds spent on the lawsuits with the USET and USOC spent on legal fees to defend the USEF's rulings after folks like these were suspended in a timely fashion.

The USEF claims to have around 70,000 members. Who is it for? Can an organization of that many members continue to function for the benefit of a minority of "high performance" players? Medals are nice, but how much does the rank and file member care when all around them they hear about horses being drugged, "lounged to death," having their teeth "hot wired," or being crippled in the name of glory.

I WANT A VOTE as to who represents me, the same way I have a vote as to who represents me in local, state and federal government.

I can't tell who's been on the board for how long, but many have been around for awhile. To paraphrase The Who: "here's to the new Board, same as the old Board... Let's not get fooled again."

Snowbird, you go girl! Let's keep their feet to the fire!

AlanBalch
Jan. 25, 2004, 10:05 AM
Austinpony, of course there's a certain amount of truth in what you say.

In hindsight, the wheels of justice always seem to have turned too slowly. But due and sometimes ponderous process is required -- in real life as well as in horse life -- to wring the emotion out of controversy and accusation, to see that the rights of accused people are respected and the overall sport is protected and advanced. Remember that when penalties are to be assessed, we want those penalties to stick, to be able to withstand legal challenges afterwards! The insurance fraud/horse killing penalties have withstood expensive and repeated legal challenges since the rulings were issued.

So, I doubt anyone here wants to go back to the days of just "hang 'em high," although some of the posts I've read here and on other threads sound that way. The price of correct process is time, and that is also the price of genuine justice.

Yes, managing consensus is every bit as important as managing dissent. In a not-for-profit, and plenty of other places, there are always tendencies toward isolating a dissenter as a trouble-maker. Frankly, some dissenters are just trouble-makers, and some dissent is frivolous or obstructionist. I know whereof I speak: when I was demanding that my rights as a trustee of USET be respected, in just obtaining the financial records of a not-for-profit, I was immediately branded a troublemaker. It was very sad that it took several expensive court rulings to verify the common sense understanding we all have that a trustee or director of a corporation is entitled to receive and inspect such records WITHOUT EXCEPTION.

We must learn how to disagree, then move forward, and not always be tempted to go back and re-plow the same disagreements. "Nothing will ever be accomplished if all possible objections must first be overcome." We moved forward properly in building the new quarters in Kentucky, where two or three individuals on the Executive Committee of the Federation dissented. Prior to that, on the subjects that you're most concerned with -- the insurance fraud cases -- there was dissent on whether to enable the Hearing Committee to move forward on the basis of an indictment, rather than waiting for a conviction. But a strong majority felt that an indictment was sufficient to enable our processes to commence, and that rule passed.

Overall, I think most people want order and organized process, and they're generally pleased that people on the Federation's board are representing their interests in the sport openly and fairly. I think the new Federation is going to have pretty strong standards of attendance and attention to participation for directors and committee-members. If directors are not attending to their responsibilities, or are behaving improperly, their constituencies have clear methods of making changes, especially at times of elections.

One positive thing to do might be to ask the Federation to clearly identify -- on its website -- the constituencies and Working Groups for each director, so everyone with an interest can see the identities of those who are representing that interest.

Certainly, the structure of the new Federation is not now and cannot ever be perfect. But it can be closer to perfect than it is now, and that takes the interest we're seeing here on this thread to be expressed directly to the organization and its leadership.

Snowbird
Jan. 25, 2004, 10:24 AM
I think Alan that sometimes the frustration of seeing wrong doing and not knowing the route causes the escalating rhetoric that sounds like we want to hang them high and revert to lawlessness.

But, when people understand the process and become a part of it that usually cools down. I think that was one of the most brilliant moves made by the Founding Fathers when they made a Jury System part of our courts.

Those must have been fantastic men with not only the courage to tame a wild continent but to so carefully craft a deomcratic system. I often wonder as hard as it still is to survive on my mountain how the man who cleared our farm and built my house in 1720 every managed and had that much guts. People still moan about how hard it is to get up the mountain with cars and trucks, imagine when our best friend "the horse" was the only thing capable of pulling the supplies for the winter up that same road.

The structure of the Federation will have to continue to evolve just as our lives evolve. Nothing is ever perfect not even you and me. The capcity to change is very important and to accept those changes.

On another thread I pointed out that it was only four years ago when I went to Colorado Springs and everything was closed and everything was a secret and next year we are scheduled for a retunr to the same place. I think that warrants a celebration.

Right now, I am so pleased with the Revisions to the by-Laws for the election of Zone Committees that I would like at that celebration to give Gary Baker a Medal of Honor from the members who will all benefit from the new open Zone Committees. Who would have thought it could happen?

Of course there are still a few things missing from the revisions and it's not perfect and we'll certainly find the holes when it's actually implemented but what a great way to start.

Only WHY was it the best kept secret at the Annual Meeting?

Battle Scarred Veteran

[This message was edited by Snowbird on Jan. 25, 2004 at 12:34 PM.]

austinpony
Jan. 25, 2004, 10:34 AM
Alan, what a GREAT post! I really commend you for it.

You are right that we must move forward. I have been concerned that we are getting off the subject of this thread and that is reforming the USEF.

We need to get these posts off the Internet and into real life. If change is demanded, and as we have seen from this thread and others, it is, those who are concerned must take some action.

Several posters (radio talk, bonstet, hopeful hunter & others) have asked what they can do and to whom they can write. Snowbird posted (previously on this thread) the contact information. Cowboylogic will publish letters in The Equirer.

One person is a "troublemaker," two are a conspiracy, but three compromise a revolution. Write & email, and keep it up.

I also agree with Alan that the USEF assignments of the board members and Zone directors should be posted on the USEF site so we know who to contact.

One area where I still disagree is on how often we can vote: once every four years may be enough to vote for president, but it's not enough to vote for board members in an organization that touches so many lives directly.

I confess I do get a bit passionate on the subject of the killing for profit business, but then the horse-donate scams prior to the tax law change also made me a bit nuts as well. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif

However, I believe I have offered some concrete solutions in earlier posts and, when talking about association management and governance, done so dispassionately. I will offer to recap these and create a sample letter for folks to use. My question is to all those who are or have posted on this and related threads and those who are lurking: who will write?

If you would post back with a simple "Yes, I think change is needed. I will add my voice," that would be great and it would give the powers that be an idea of how many people are behind the desire for reform.

Thanks!

pwynnnorman
Jan. 25, 2004, 10:36 AM
I agree partially with Portia. We do need to give them a chance.

But what bothers ME (in the same way that those views bother Portia) is the way these organizations have to reinvent the wheel instead of learning from each other and saving everyone so much time and aggravation.

I've watched/heard this happen in this and other industries: the people sitting on committees simply do not do their homework. It isn't that they are lazy (although some are) or that they want to retain the status quo (although some do). More often than not it is because they are IGNORANT (and I don't mean that as a disparagement--only as a fact).

I've said this before (OH, how tired I get of saying the same old things), but it really is wasteful for a membership-based organization to ignore the resources it has in its members. And yet they do it all the time. What does so-and-so know about x, y or z? Nothing, but so-and-so knows so-and-so and so gets to sit on the committee, which makes no effort to even solicit ADVICE from experts in relevant fields. Instead, they hum and haw and guess and make false starts and do stupid things and finally, if they're lucky, stumble upon a half-way decent conclusion...when across the way, Organization Q has been using and refining the same solution for years.

IMO, each committee needs to have an advisory board or subcommittee which should be consulted their board to distribute FACTUAL information and do basic research to find out what's "out there" instead of guessing about things.

Frankly, I think USEF have grown beyond amateur guesswork. SOME committees have been forced to evolve beyond that level, but too many are still stuck in it.

Sportponies Unlimited
Specializing in fancy, athletic, 3/4-TB ponies.
http://www.sportponiesunlimited.com
http://www.sportponiesunlimited.com/Sportponies_Unlimited_stallions.html

austinpony
Jan. 25, 2004, 10:51 AM
Thanks too, pwynnorman. Well said. I would like to volunteer my services in some way because I have 12 years experience in the association world - 5 at the VP level. I'm also a graduate of the Institute for Organization Management, a course of study for association executives (and some volunteers) that runs over a 6 year period. There ain't much about association management I don't know.

USEF has seemed to be a brick wall, since - as Alan pointed out, we don't know who is on what committee. And, I guess they'd probably think I was a "troublemaker" too. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

But, if we don't have a vote, then volunteerism can be a very powerful way to go.

BTW - Alan, I was going to email you directly on this issue (but now since it's come up on the BB...) I wanted to ask: I noticed that your email in your profile is at equestrian.org. Are you volunteering at USEF? Can you be a conduit to the correct people for those who want to get involved, ie volunteer?

Thanks!

AlanBalch
Jan. 25, 2004, 11:59 AM
Thanks for the reminder to change my profile!

That was my old address at the Federation. I'm now at AFBalch@aol.com. I think anyone who emails me at the old address gets referred to my new email, but I'll check. I have no role at all with the Federation, no official positions or committees or any informal ones, either. I'm always available for helping find something or to give background, of course -- but I'm very pleased that only very rarely has my phone rung. Demonstrating that we now have and always have had plenty of capable people, and that all the old canards about "Alan's one-man show" and "micro-managing" were never anything but petty, even though I definitely had a personal 24/7 commitment as do the leaders now.

I think that all those out there who want to serve need to let it be known to David O'Connor and John Long, formally. This year is a critical election year for the future -- resumes and letters are definitely in order for the Nominating Committee and leadership to consider for elective as well as appointive positions. They can't come to you if they don't know who you are and what your relevant background and interest is, both in and outside the sport.

This year is a great opportunity to reduce some of the insularity in the sport's governance. Take advantage of it, because it won't fully come around again until 4 years later! There is some staggering of terms under the new bylaws, but this year is the big year for new blood, to begin serving in 2005.

Snowbird
Jan. 25, 2004, 01:06 PM
I took the liberty of copying this question from the other thread for consideration here.
Pwynn asks some good questions and I don't know the answer.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
Oh, I agree, Snowbird. Some celebration is in order, but we still need them to take the next step!

Say! Who IS the communication director or whatever for USEF? What is his/her job description? Everything you listed, Snowbird, should be IN that description, IMO.

It has to be formally built into the system.

Indeed, there's a little something called a "communications audit" which USEF would really benefit from doing NOW.

But how does one get the powers that be to even UNDERSTAND what such an audit is or why/when it is necessary?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Battle Scarred Veteran

Snowbird
Jan. 25, 2004, 03:59 PM
My 2 cents worth is that reports from Meetings is not on the to-do list. I don't think anyone is covering meetings, agendas and passed or failed rules proposals except in the formal filing.

Probably for the usual reason in that the other disciplines have that covered within their association but the Hunters are floundering in a contant state of re-organization and mis-information.

I wonder if there's a way to cover it on the NHJA site. I'll put it up if someone sends me the information.

Battle Scarred Veteran

bonstet
Jan. 25, 2004, 04:45 PM
Thanks, Snowbird - I think the info should definitely be posted on the NHJA site. To be honest, I visited the site and was disappointed at the lack of information regarding current events/activities going on. Knowledge is power - how do I know I even want to become a member until I have more information about the groups programs and activities?

Austinpony - I want to add my voice - where do I sign up to help out?

Snowbird
Jan. 25, 2004, 05:18 PM
Ut! OH! I'm the culprit I am the webmaster and I have been so busy with the USEF proceedings and since no one used the BB we have there so I just got bored. I admit it I take the blame.

OK! Next week it will all be updated and give me some ideas of what you think you'd like to see there and what we can do to maybe use that BB better for serious dialogs.

Austin how about we use that BB for people to sign up, tell what they can do and what they'd like to accomplish. National Hunter Jumper Association (http://www.NHJA.com)

I'll make us a separate Forum just for the working volunteers to communicate.



Battle Scarred Veteran

radio talk Aefvue Farms RCA
Jan. 25, 2004, 05:55 PM
Excellent idea Snowbird. If your a member with the NHJA you can use the BB..Would make for a good deal of input from the members.

bonstet
Jan. 25, 2004, 06:00 PM
Sounds like a super idea to me, Snowbird. Thank you!

Heather
Jan. 25, 2004, 06:07 PM
I've mostly stayed out of this, because a hunter jumper association affects me not at all, but Snowbird, the implication that "a filing cabinet and a membership list" is all the "other grandfathered affiliates" are comprised of is a TREMENDOUS slap in the face, and very, very poorly said. The USEA and the USDF, the two affiliates I've been involved with are incredibly extensive and nuanced organizations who bust their butts providing for their membership. You hunter jumper folks would do well to take a page or two from their playbook, rather than bashing them. Perhaps the reason it's been so challenging for the hunter jumper folk to create a working affiliate is because you are all so convicned that your world is filled with such rarified air that you have to re-invent the wheel--since certainly no lowly eventers or dressage riders could possibly understand.

You hunter jumper folks should attend the USEA and USDF conventions next year, you might learn something.

Snowbird, I have always appreciated your outspokenness, but this time it has gone too far--I'm going to hope that it was just a bad day.

Snowbird
Jan. 25, 2004, 06:48 PM
Sorry I surely didn't mean to upset you, but what I said was that's all the criteria requires, not that's all the Association was actually. I didn't even think about evaluating the Associations but the criteria was so poorly defined that any association which says it will follow the rules accepts the Federation as the only Equestrian Federation and has I think it's adequte ability to provide a Members list.

I will post the criteria whcih was only a draft but there never have been any criteria at all before now.

This in no way reflects on the Associations that are Affiliated or their qualifications and is only a proposal for what the criteria would be for a new Affiliate. I think that is quite inadequate as a criteria and make no judgment whatever on any other Association.

Battle Scarred Veteran

Snowbird
Jan. 25, 2004, 08:28 PM
Didn't want my apology lost by Monday Morning.

Battle Scarred Veteran

Weatherford
Jan. 26, 2004, 01:36 AM
ACtually, looking at the structures of the USDF and USEA is a very sensible thing to do! Both organizations have a great way of INCLUDING local organizations and affiliates, as well as those member who aren't interested in high level competition. For example, years ago, I was a member of the OVCTA - and I was SO surprised that that INCLUDED a membership in the USDF! Wow! Now, there were some USDF membership limitations, if I remember correctly, but, essentially, I could show at my local level and at USDF shows without the extra membership fees! Great idea!!

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

cowboylogic
Jan. 26, 2004, 09:18 AM
I wanted to add something nice for Monday...I received an email from Scott Carling at the USEF and not only did they put out The Equirer...they had put them in the registration bags...and what was left was on the table...which is why there were not that many out. I just wanted to be sure everyone knew that the USEF was very kind about doing this for us...and all of the worries we had were unfounded!! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Cindy

Cowboy Logic
Walk In The Park
Blue
www.theequirer.com (http://www.theequirer.com)

Heather
Jan. 26, 2004, 09:22 AM
OK, Snowbird. I'll accept the apology, but the implication was that the grandfathered affiliates had somehow negatively affected the criteria, because they were only a filing cabinaet and a membership list, and didn't want to do more.

I think the idea is more that why should long standing and successful affiliates have to be constrained or altered by new criteria created for a new affiliate? Why wouldn't the USEF say to the other affiliates--what are the criteria of what YOU do, and use that as the formation of those new criteria.

While I'm certain there are unique issues to hunter jumper, they are minor. Both the USDF and USEA must deal with the issues of having both national and international members. Of grass roots lower level riders, and Olympians. Of kids, adult ammies, and pros. No organization is perfect, and hunter jumper should pick and choose what will work for them, but they have excellent resources available in these other affiliates.

Heather
Jan. 26, 2004, 09:26 AM
Grrr, just typed a long reply and it got swallowed.

Never mind, guess it didn't http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/uhoh.gif

Janet
Jan. 26, 2004, 09:32 AM
Weatherford said <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> For example, years ago, I was a member of the OVCTA - and I was SO surprised that that INCLUDED a membership in the USDF! Wow! Now, there were some USDF membership limitations, if I remember correctly, but, essentially, I could show at my local level and at USDF shows without the extra membership fees! Great idea!! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> Unfortunately, it is not as benign as it appears. The GMO (OVCTA in this case) has to pay a fee per member to USDF. It used to be about $6 or $7, but recently went up considerably, and is now $17 per person. This has made all the DAs and DCTAs raise THEIR dues, for everyone, even those die hard eventers who never enter a dressage show. (If you belong to more than one GMO, you can get a refund from USDF of the duplicate fees).

But I agree that it would be a very good idea to look at the USEA and USDF structures for ideas- just be sure to get feedback on what does and doesn't work WELL.

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

Snowbird
Jan. 26, 2004, 10:16 AM
Heather I agree totally and that was exactly my presentation. The Hunter/Jumper since it replaces an existing Committee is totally different. It starts from the top and trickles down versus the other associations which developed from the bottom and then organized.

The Working Group for National Affiliates agreed totally and I am trying work on some criteria that is specifically for the Hunter and Jumper constituency which will probably also apply to the western if they determine they want a National Affiliate.

I find the propaganda that there is urgency for a Hunter Affiliate deceptive and dishonest becsue if that were so the Western would also be in the same position.

Anyone with specific criteria recommendations would be gratefully appreciated. I don't have time to do the research on other associations but would like some feed-back.

Battle Scarred Veteran

Snowbird
Jan. 26, 2004, 10:18 AM
I didn't get one in my packet but that's OK! I'm glad the Scott came through he is really good people and said there was always an empty seat next to him if no one wanted to sit with me if the was politically incorrect to do so.

Battle Scarred Veteran

Doubleeez
Jan. 26, 2004, 12:11 PM
Cowboylogic - I didn't get one in my registration bag either.

cowboylogic
Jan. 26, 2004, 01:06 PM
LOL...well go figure....maybe someone didhttp://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

At least Scott was nice and emailed back.

So Snowbird....for this next issue...we will print the information about the upcoming elections...that would be a good thing for people to know about it. It is for all zones, correct?

Cowboy Logic
Walk In The Park
Blue
www.theequirer.com (http://www.theequirer.com)

Snowbird
Jan. 26, 2004, 01:37 PM
Yep! I think that's the most important issue for all the restless souls out there in Zone 2 who have been screaming for a change.

Battle Scarred Veteran

khobstetter
Jan. 26, 2004, 06:34 PM
Our group (including friends we were with) totaled 17 and non of us got the Equirer either....

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

austinpony
Jan. 26, 2004, 07:52 PM
Thanks, Snowbird for stepping forward and offering the NHJA site for those who want to add their voice.

I'm there and will join the NHJA while I'm at it.

Some notes on what is wanted by the membership. Again, I think this boils down to the ability to vote on an annual basis (probably at the annual meeting) for board members and Zone Committee members. (Note to USEF staff - the ability to vote will boost your attendance.) Other issues can/will be resolved with that one right in place.

I say this because it is extremely important to stay on message when contacting USEF. I've done some lobbying in my checkered past and am married to a guy who has done PR for Congressional campaigns, a major trade association and now for the Dept. of Transportation. So, I'm "media trained." If we get off message, if we are dislodged from our goal, then we don't stand a chance.

So, when writing: express your disappointment with the current USEF governance, the secretive atmosphere and the inability to vote. Ask for the right to vote.

I am off to New Orleans (and am counting the minutes till I get my first Hurricane...)but will try to communicate from there.

Note to Cindy: they may have put as many as they had into the registration bags, so a few people got them while the rest didn't. Stuffing registration bags IS one of the most onerous tasks in the world.

Hope everybody is staying warm - Snowbird, I know the current empahsis in NJ is on the "snow" part of your screen name.

Snowbird
Jan. 26, 2004, 08:03 PM
Thank you austinpony, right now I am in a deep blue funk! Three months is past my capacity to endure and stay optimistic.

I haven't seen the sun, I feel like this is the frozen artic and a polar bear will be in the backyeard anytime now. It's what it must feel like when you have a six month night.

And, I love New Orleans, they're my kind of people. The cajuns are fun loving and free spirited with tons of wild imagination. When I was there they all felt so sorry for me in my school teacher type clothes that can you believe they were buying me the drinks to loosen up instead of fleecing me like a normal tourist.

Have a blast on Bourbon Street for me please! and send the merry mood to the mountain.

Battle Scarred Veteran

AlanBalch
Jan. 26, 2004, 08:27 PM
Just a note about dues and how to structure them. Per Janet's post.

Over the past 6-8 years, affiliates like USDF and USEventing have raised dues at will, and restructured dues-paying. During the same time, the Federation held the line on almost all dues and fees, and even reduced the Junior Membership base due $5 from what it was before 1996. Just within the last year or two, there have been modest increases to the Drug Fee and then the competition fee, neither of which had been touched for quite a long time.

It would be very interesting for someone to publish what has happened to affiliate dues and fees over the past 10 years, vs. the Federation.

Interesting, then, that the affiliate leaderships have been most vocal about resisting dues increases or restructuring at the Federation level.

Nevertheless, the common good of the entire sport -- read the Federation and its programs -- is at least as important, if not moreso, than the individual perspectives of any given discipline or affiliate organization. The Federation's job is to regulate and guide and promote the entire sport. Each affiliate should concentrate on education and promotion of their OWN discipline or breed -- and leave to the Federation the real governance of the sport.

I mention this because in this critical transition year, particularly with the development of Hunter and/or Jumper affiliate(s), how the dues are structured, and how much they are, how they interface with the Federation's structure, and if or how they are parallel with the other affiliates, is extremely important.

Let's remember this: unless or until major outside corporate sponsorship becomes a factor in financing the sport, all the money is your money. It's not the affiliates' money, and it's not the competition managements that are paying the Federation and the affiliates -- it's YOURS and yours alone. I could make the case that even when corporate sponsorship does blossom, it's still mostly YOURS -- since it will be your money buying their products, which in turn funds the sponsorships!

In any event, each of the affiliates needs to have their programs and services and efficiencies continually examined every bit as closely as the Federation's must be, to see that value is provided commensurate with the cost.

noname
Jan. 26, 2004, 08:48 PM
so..if it is OUR money...why can't we vote or have more say in what goes on??

Doubleeez
Jan. 26, 2004, 09:01 PM
I have to liken this to taxation without representation. There's something wrong here if it is "our money", but we have no say in how it will be spent.

Snowbird
Jan. 26, 2004, 09:10 PM
Gee! Doubleeez I think I wrote that article for Sidelines two years ago. Taxation without Representation is quite a concept.

Alan you're right of course the problem is the old one who are we paying for and what are we paying for with OUR money?

Under your administration there was a sense whether totally true or not that at least we thought we knew why it cost. I think there's a sense of insecurity now that is raising all the old doubts, fears and prejudices.

The big questions of the National Hunter Association don't help that at all, the timing is really very bad. We don't know if the ground we've gained to know and to be heard over the past four years will be wiped out if the new Association becomes a fact and we are no longer the step child of the USEF but in another association.

Battle Scarred Veteran

pwynnnorman
Jan. 27, 2004, 05:21 AM
Austinpony said to stay on point and ask for the vote, but isn't it now possible to get someone on a committee without someone on the inside appointing them? Didn't Snowbird describe the method somewhere?

Sooooo...why don't we "try out" the new system? Why don't we target a few committees and then, based on candidates' "platforms" (presented here?), see if we can get them on (or at least on a list or something?). When do seats open up to a change in membership? Anyone know?

Maybe we could do a trial run and invent hypothetical candidates, give them profiles and platforms and get the BB to vote--see what type of profile/platform would be able to beat Bush...whoops, sorry, wrong race...would be able to get a lot of support from the 98% (and on/for what committees)?

Sportponies Unlimited
Specializing in fancy, athletic, 3/4-TB ponies.
http://www.sportponiesunlimited.com
http://www.sportponiesunlimited.com/Sportponies_Unlimited_stallions.html

Doubleeez
Jan. 27, 2004, 08:06 AM
The process Sdnowbird referred to was to get onto the ZONE committees, where certain seats have been delegated for particular representation.
As far as I know, you must be "a chosen one" to be invited to serve on a Federation Committee and the choice is made by the President.

austinpony
Jan. 27, 2004, 10:47 AM
This IS an election year for the Zone Committees and we should field candidates. I'm from Zone 2 and will offer to run from here. I will look into the procedures when I get back from NOLA (Snowbird, will pick you up some Hurricane mix... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif)

If other posters are interested in running from their Zones, please indicate so here.

Maybe Alan could post the procedures while I'm gone? Heck - I'll throw in some Hurricane mix for you too! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

As for the USEF board itself and those committees: Doubleeez is correct those positions are appointed by the powers that be.

In an aside: Washington DC, which does have a representative in Congress - albeit one that cannot vote, has a new license plate out the motto of which IS "taxation without representation." Even the Clintons sport them on their cars in DC. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

How about getting bumper stickers made up that say: Equestrians for the right to Vote or something on that order. Or, stickers that would go on our entry forms. (Rock the USEF Vote!)

Remember stay on message - we want the vote!

One Voice - One Vote

Janet
Jan. 27, 2004, 10:53 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Doubleeez:
As far as I know, you must be "a chosen one" to be invited to serve on a Federation Committee and the choice is made by the President.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>I thought that (for the dsiciplines that have affiliates), the affiliate got to name at least some of the members on the discipline committee. But I may be wrong. It may be one of the proposals that didn't survive.

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

Snowbird
Jan. 27, 2004, 12:08 PM
austinpony you've been out of the loop, we have a "Rebel" web site and we even had a donation, where Wynn covered the costs for us to all have lapel buttons re:Election Buttons.

As a matter of fact the new association stole our name if not our logo. United States Hunter Jumper Organization and go to the web Rebels United for the Right to be Heard (http://www.hunterjumper.org) The old battle is gone off the web but our new battles are up and running.

That would be an interesting comparison Alan, we'll have to see if we find us a volunteer. I agree with you that this is a critical time for the membership.

We don't want to lose all that we gained during your last four years. So if you can keep this crew pointed in the right direction it surely will help. You know me I tend to go off in tangents the compass doesn't work too well for a Gemini.

Battle Scarred Veteran

pwynnnorman
Jan. 27, 2004, 07:00 PM
The problem is THE CONFUSION!!! Why isn't it clear--loud and clear--what Mr. Balch says about the timing/opportunities NOW? I read Equestrian every month. Why isn't that message coming across? The last thing that should be obscure is how members can participate in their organization, and yet that seems to be the MOST obscure aspect of all.

Sportponies Unlimited
Specializing in fancy, athletic, 3/4-TB ponies.
http://www.sportponiesunlimited.com
http://www.sportponiesunlimited.com/Sportponies_Unlimited_stallions.html

austinpony
Jan. 27, 2004, 07:27 PM
Snowbird, You're right - I have been out of the loop. Not enough time to look at the web, but isn't that always the case!

So, Rebel's it is. I want one of those lapel pins. Will email you with my address. If they're available, please send me a few and I will hand them out next weekend at Our Farm (or at the end of Feb at Ashley Meadows.) If you need some more $$$ to cover costs, please let me know and I will put my money where my mouth is.

BTW - since the Rebel site is through the USHJA, which should I join - it or NHJA? Or both???

Thanks!

FYI - even with the site, we still should write the USEF directly. Keep on message and keep them aware of how we feel first person. The website is great, but I reiterate - we need to get this into real life and out of cyberspace.

Snowbird
Jan. 27, 2004, 10:23 PM
No! No! the USHJA is a counterfeit copy of our USHJO where the rebels united and earned the Right to know. They stole our monica to make them look like us.

NHJA is Gary Baker and he's the one who deserves to be supported because he does believe in democracy. He got the Revisions to the By-Laws so we can run for our Zone Committee.

NHJA has been around for 15 years and they have done a good job. They were never told there was a debate about a National Hunter Affiliate until after the USHJA already was rolling and had their "Retreat" by Invitation Only.

The steamroller that USHJA has started isn't anything official yet. The USEF is still collecting a criteria for a selection. Those who think they are members of "THE" Hunter Affiliate have been misinformed.

Battle Scarred Veteran

Snowbird
Jan. 28, 2004, 10:30 AM
This is a constructive thread, any ideas out there for the criteria in this best of all possible worlds what would want for your Dream Hunter Association?

Battle Scarred Veteran

bonstet
Jan. 28, 2004, 05:55 PM
I'm thrilled to see there's a website that addresses the issue of disenchanted USEF (H/J) members - thank you, Snowbird!

Here are some initial thoughts:

(1) USHJA's website is great. Very slick. I'm sure beaucoup bucks were spent on developing it. But if the NHJA has any hope of "competing" with the commercial, professional look of the USHJA, there needs to be a lot more information on NHJA's website. As I mentioned earlier in this thread, I'd like to see events and recent activites listed.

(2) I also think there should be a benefits analysis of why the NHJA is the better organization. What does the NHJA offer that the USHJA can't?

(3) One of the things that USHJA's site has (in addition to their by-laws - a major thing to include on NJHA's site), is an organizational chart showing how the organization is laid out.

As it stands now, the NHJA seems too anonymous and murky. Transparency is the name of the game. If we want transparency in the USEF, we must have it in our affiliate.

I'm in no way saying that the NJHA has to do all the same things the USHJA is doing, but image is everything, and to someone who is just familiarizing themselves with each organization's pro's and con's, the USHJA puts forth an awfully good image, regardless of what they may or may not be able to do for the Hunter/Jumper world.

Snowbird
Jan. 28, 2004, 06:08 PM
Thank you Bonstet, I am hoping to get it up next week. I've been busy and like everyone else a little disenchanted. The winter blues, and cabin fever haven't helped either. I agree totally please keep the ideas coming because next week I'll have time to implement them.

By the way the NHJA does have a BB which sadly is not very used but it is a good way for us to communicate. I am most concerned about what kind of information we will actually get from USHJA and certainly we have no vote if all the Zones get only one seat on the Board.

Because I'm not on either Board and with no such aspirations I can be totally objective and be interested in what best for the Hunters. Which seems to be something sadly overlooked. Don't forget whoever is the choice will be the czar beyond whom we can get nothing done. No more Federation escape hatch for Hunters.

Battle Scarred Veteran

Snowbird
Jan. 29, 2004, 09:51 AM
I have passed on your questions to Gary Baker and we will have a chance to commincate directly with him on the NHJA Cyberline BB. I am today setting up three new Forums there.

One will be direct dialog with Gary Baker, one will be for you all to volunteer to help the NHJA which has no staff and needs people to get jobs done and the last Forum will be for suggestions and questions we need to answer.

Gary Baker is to say the least not a computer Guru and this will make it easier for him to communicate with everyone equally. It's too difficult to do by telephone there are not enough hours in the day and especially if you have a business to run.

Battle Scarred Veteran

Snowbird
Jan. 29, 2004, 12:58 PM
I did it, the three Forums are open and ready for all of you to participate

Just click on Cyberline

National Hunter Jumper Association (http://www.NHJA.com)

Battle Scarred Veteran

Snowbird
Jan. 29, 2004, 07:58 PM
Bump up for those who have not noticed this thread and are interested. From the Thread Killer, guess no one wants to chance a public debate on the issues.

Battle Scarred Veteran

Snowbird
Jan. 30, 2004, 01:23 PM
In talking about Cleaning up the USEF House it became apparent to me when writing the Summary of the 2004 Annual FIRST Meeting that a topic we have not addressed is the conflict of interest issues.

I believe that if there is an announced Conflict of Interest it requires a vote to agree with the person who has such a conflict. I was not present when any such vote was taken.

It seems to me that since Bill Moroney is the most visible proponent of the USHJA and is also its President, he MAY have used his positions as a Member of the USEF Executive Committee, A Member of the Board of Directors and a Member of the Working Group for National Affiliates to the advantage of his proposing the USHJA and receiving special favors from the USEF.

That is a clear conflict of interest in my book, what do you all think?

Battle Scarred Veteran

[This message was edited by Snowbird on Jan. 30, 2004 at 03:32 PM.]

lauriep
Jan. 31, 2004, 04:38 AM
Well, Snowy, you certainly won't like John Strassburger's commentary in the latest COTH. He basically endorses the USHJA, and enthusiastically praises Moroney!

Laurie

bonstet
Jan. 31, 2004, 07:07 AM
I'd say it looks like a conflict. It would be so easy to set something up with loads of help from the "inside" - in addition to being an Insider himself.

My question is this: what sort of involvement with the USEF does Gary Baker have? Any strings to pull? Or is he an outsider like the rest of us?

Snowbird
Jan. 31, 2004, 10:06 AM
Dear Lauriep I think it's it a little premature to think that will stand. John Straussburger made his judgment based on the Convention which was a lot of smoke and mirrors and little substance. I certainly couldn't disagree that since the NHJA was not forwarned, was not informed and did not have a fair opportunity that the glitzy presentation of USHJA was better.

But, John Straussburger is a very intelligent man and an intelligent man appreciates the difference when he sees the NHJA proposal. I wouldn't open the champagne yet Lauriep there's still 6 months and you'll be surprised what intelligent minds can do in six months.

I've known him long enough to know he's not afraid to change his mind for a better option and do it in a gentlemanly fashion.

Do you really think this is a fair situation at this point when there are not yet any established criteria for an Affiliate, when the NHJA was never notified there was a contest even though they've been affiliated for almnost 15 years. Is this really the way you want to see this sport operate. If it is then shame on all of you. It sure isn't my idea of fair competition and I wouldn't have much confidence in that kind of management to give me a fair opportunity for fair competition at any level.


Battle Scarred Veteran

cowboylogic
Jan. 31, 2004, 01:59 PM
We posted highlights (by Snowbird) of The USEF convention if anyone wants to read.
go to www.theequirer.com (http://www.theequirer.com)
and click on the USEF News link.
Cindy

Cowboy Logic
Walk In The Park
Blue
www.theequirer.com (http://www.theequirer.com)

Snowbird
Jan. 31, 2004, 04:37 PM
Yes! Gary is on the USEF Board of Directors, on the National Hunter Committee, and on the Working Group for National Affiliates.

This was apparently not enough to know what was being planned regarding the the USHJA or a Recognized Hunter Affiliate Association. So he's not a plain old money paying Member.

Battle Scarred Veteran

oxerdown
Jan. 31, 2004, 08:17 PM
So if Gary Baker is involved in all of these capacities does he not have his own conflicts of interests?

I guess what would really make YOU happy is if the group you are involved with the NHJA gets to assume the lead? Correct are not all of your continual statements bashing good people not just directed to better your own place in this industry?

Seems to me that you are the one who may really have a conflict here. You are just promoting yourself at other peoples expense without ever even giving anyone a chance.

You should learn a lesson from some of the politicians out there competing for the democratic vote, bashing ones competition does not always work. It may just back fire when people see what you are really up too!

One more question: You stated the NHJA has been around for 15 years. Well what in the world have they been doing all that time, and why were they not prepared to step up to the plate?

Doubleeez
Jan. 31, 2004, 09:47 PM
oxerdown - Here's a brief summary of the NHJA activities since its inception.
1) Developed, printed and circulated a "Pony Hunter Distance Guidelines wallet sized card.
These are still available for a fee of $2.00.
2) Held annual educational forums at the Penn National Horse Show until time constraints made it impossible to continue.
3) Published and distributed quarterly newsletters to the current membership.
4) Created and polled both members and non-members with an annual survey asking their opinions on current rule change proposals and questions on suggested possible upcoming changes.
5) Sponsored either a breakfast or luncheon at the annual AHSA/USAE/USEF annual meeting.
6) Applied for and approved as an AHSA/USAE/USEF annual Affiliate member.
7) Maintained support and annual membership in the American Horse Council.
8) Helped hundreds of kids find a reason to continue riding instruction when they weren't sure if the rigid routine was for them.
9) Answered and directed a myriad of phone calls asking how to "find a lost horse", register their horse for high score points, track down a trainer who seemed to have "moved", etc.
10) Established an annual "Owner Recognition Award" presented at the AHSA/USAE/USEF High Score Award Dinner at their annual convention.
(Harry Gill won it this year).
11) We have put in alot of hours studying and commenting on the annual proposed rule changes after polling our members in the annual survey, to get the right vote according to their wishes.
The above is what we have accomplished over the years, NOT what we propose to do.
We welcome any questions and if you have same, shoot them to us.
Ellie Estes, Sec/Treas
National Hunter & Jumper Assoc.

Snowbird
Jan. 31, 2004, 09:51 PM
And aren't you just a touch concerned that someone who is supoposed to be part of the establishment was not informed? Doesn't it worry you that Gary Baker was not given an equal opportunity and all this happened behind his back.

Are you not at all concerned that there was not a fair and equal opportunity to compete for the position and that no one knew there was an impending and immediate need to create any association to be National Hunter Affiliate. Do you not worry that someone who has towed the party line could be shut out of a fair fight for an opportunity?

If these people function this way what makes you think they will be fair in your treatment?

It was conflict of interest because it wasn't out on the table. It was a conflict of interest because while Gary Baker never used his position to advantage the NHJA someone else did and took advantage of a personal contact situation to create the USHJA to fill a hole only he knew about. That's about as much conflict of interest as I ever want to see. It was Gary Baker who asked that they both recuse themselves from the discussion on the Working Group for National Affiliates. It was Moroney who said no and then didn't request a vote to sanctify his position.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I guess what would really make YOU happy is if the group you are involved with the NHJA gets to assume the lead? Correct are not all of your continual statements bashing good people not just directed to better your own place in this industry? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

At my age I don't expect a position in this industry. If I didn't get one until now I am just not politically correct enough and too much of a maverick to earn any place of importance in any group of special interests. I'm not rich and I don't have High Performance clients. But, they do get there from here and you ask how many started at Snowbird. And, you can ask if they were ever treated badly or cheated or had their pockets picked with surcharges.

But, I've spent my life with the entry level exhibitors believing that if they enjoyed their experience they'd stay in the sport. That's not very prestigious. What I do believe in is honesty, integrity and good sportsmanship as an example for the young ones coming along. Yes! I am weird because I do believe in democracy and representation even for the less worthy. And, I believe people who abuse horses should be put in those old lockups where people can throw things at them and they can't duck.

Excuse me haven't you had a chance, read the By-Laws and show me where you are represented and what kind of influence your opinion will have on anyone in this new system. Remember everything we know and expect is gone and what we have is what is written. 28,000 hunter jumper USEF Members represented by one seat on the Board of Directors and the only people with a vote are on the Board. UIs that how you represent the grassroots?

Well if it backfires I'm no worse off than if I didn't try to keep some democracy. I've worked four years for the Right of the Members to Know what was happening and for financial accountability. Where in the By-Laws do you see anything about those little matters?

The NHJA has functioned as lobbyists to help the members get freedom and equality. It was Gary Baker and not Bill Moroney that managed to get the By-Laws of the USEF revised so that there is equal representation for the C/B shows and the A/AA shows, and it was the revisions of Gary baker that changed the rules so that YOU can apply to be on your Zone Committee and represent your group. We have the possibility for Amateur representation for the first time on the Zone Committees, we have the chance for representation of Trainers for the first time. It can be done without the initiative of the Nominating Committee. We will have the three largest Member Associations in a Zone represented on the Zone Committee for the first time. It took us four years to get here and do you see any such thing in the By-Laws of the USHJA?

I don't do this for me, my whole generation is mostly already dead, dying or senile; I did it for you to have a chance to have a voice because a Democracy may not be perfect but it's been better than any other option available.

Oh! yes! and NHJA has been an Affiliated Member for almost 15 years where was USHJA? The USHJA is making promises but where is it written they have to keep those promises? Read the By-Laws and show me and I'll be glad to admit I was wrong.

Battle Scarred Veteran

[This message was edited by Snowbird on Feb. 01, 2004 at 12:04 AM.]

Katie
Feb. 1, 2004, 01:50 PM
Can we please stop bashing the USHJA?!?!? Just because you don't agree with the candidate (or too bitter and cynical) does not give you license to slander it.

Snowbird
Feb. 1, 2004, 02:17 PM
How many ways and how many times do I have to try an explain no one is bashing USHJA but I am saying that they took a running start advantage and the other Associations have not yet had the opportunity to explain themselves. They never got to the starting gate because no one told them there was a race and when they needed to be ready.

There are other National Hunter Jumper Associations and they all have the right to be heard before any decisions are made. They have the right for an equal opportunity because they have members who believe they are better suited.

After all applicants have had their fair chance and then if USHJA is chosen that will be just fine because it will mean that they did it out in the open and fairly with all the others having an equal opportunity.

Battle Scarred Veteran

Lord Helpus
Feb. 1, 2004, 02:30 PM
I have not gone back to reread this entire thread, but do we know which association intends to put stiffening the drug rules and enforcing their application at the top of their agenda?

Has either group even mentioned drug rules?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"When I die, I want to die like my grandfather-who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car."

cowboylogic
Feb. 1, 2004, 03:03 PM
Another question- how much ,if at all, will our membership fees change?

Cowboy Logic
Walk In The Park
Blue
www.theequirer.com (http://www.theequirer.com)

Snowbird
Feb. 1, 2004, 03:12 PM
The USEF has not told anyone as far as I know what they will retain and whether they will apply any of the fees for the discipline to Memberships in whatever association is finally selected. My guess is they will reduce their fee to allow for the 2nd fee necessary. Or they will as they did with the NHJC give each Zone a budget based on the fees collected for Members Discipline.

The Other issue is whether you will be able to compete in Hunters if you are not a Member of the selected Association. In plan one I would say no that then membership in the chosen national Affiliate will be mandatory but you will perhaps pay as much as $25 less for your Discipline Fee. In the second view they would simply give that money to the Zones so they will not reduce the fee and then perhaps membership in the Affiliate will not be Mandatory but automatic by virtue of the Discipline fee.

These are the questions we should be asking.

As to the drugs issue, I don't believe either has taken a stand but then NHJA has not yet made it's presentation. Susie Schoellkoff who is on the Drugs and Medications Committee is on the Board of Directors of the NHJA. The conclusions have to be your own.

This is why I have maintained that the whole plan is nebulous and made of smoke and mirrors because no one knows. USHJA has pedicated it's budget on the same allocation that was given by the USAE to the NHJC. They assume at least 10,000 members at $35.00 each. Will the USEF pay that fee for those members? At this point no one knows the answer. You can bet that if they pay out a half million dollars it won't be at a rate of $35.00 per capita.

This is why any financial proposal is a fraud since the unltimate decisions have not been made by the USEF Board of Directors. I would think they need to do that before anyone applies so that they know whether or not it works financially.

I hope after the NHJC fiasco we have learned as members to ask questions before the fact and not wait for unpleasant surprises and depend on the good intentions of well meaning people.

Battle Scarred Veteran

[This message was edited by Snowbird on Feb. 01, 2004 at 05:21 PM.]

radio talk Aefvue Farms RCA
Feb. 1, 2004, 03:45 PM
If the association is an affiliate, will they have the power to do hearings or in fact rule on drug infractions? Or is that under the umbrella of the USEF. From what I remember, the previous one, had representatives on the board, and that was it. Not withstanding, they did have other venues which they were involved with.

Snowbird
Feb. 1, 2004, 04:35 PM
As I understand it and I surely could be wrong or its changed. The National Hunter Affiliate has full control and authority of all that goes on the Hunter Discipline. i.e. there will be no Rule Change Proposals without their stamp of approval.

All the Hunter Committees are in their domain and all the Zone Committees are in their domain because they are now exclusively hunter committees.

All the services which go beyond any particular Affiliates sphere of influence would stay with the Umbrella. My guess is that is Drugs and Medications, Sanctioning show dates, Registrations and Points records, Awards and probably the Hearing Committee.

The concept is each Affiliate does it own business and once they approve it is rubber stamped by the Board of Directors. That's why they want the Hunters in a neat little box on the shelf with all the other Affiliates. It will be the same with the Jumpers which are on the Interntational Level and the Western. I think those are the only three National Committees.

I would guess they think then there is no reason for an Annual Open Members Meeting each year because each Affiliate has it's own and the Federation will show up at all of them with a pep talk and the awards dinner. Life will be good and simple and the corporate sponsors will love us at last.

Battle Scarred Veteran

Janet
Feb. 1, 2004, 05:34 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by radio talk:
If the association is an affiliate, will they have the power to do hearings or in fact rule on drug infractions? Or is that under the umbrella of the USEF. From what I remember, the previous one, had representatives on the board, and that was it. Not withstanding, they did have other venues which they were involved with.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>The other affiliates I am familiar with (USEA, USDF, ACPS) do NOT have hearings, or rule on drug infractions. That remains a USEF responsibility.

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

Janet
Feb. 1, 2004, 05:41 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Snowbird:
As I understand it and I surely could be wrong or its changed. The National Hunter Affiliate has full control and authority of all that goes on the Hunter Discipline. i.e. there will be no Rule Change Proposals without their stamp of approval.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

With the other disciplines that have affiliates, ANY MEMBER of USEF can submit a rule change proposal (by the end of May) and the discipline commmittee can submit rule change proposals by a later date (Oct?). In point of fact, the rule change proposals submitted by the committee, in general, come from the affiliate's rules committe. But OFFICIALLY, the affiliate has no more authority wrt rule changes, than an individual member.

ALL the rule change proposals are voted on by the entire USEF BoD, though of course the recommendation of the discipline committee carries a lot of weight.

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

Janet
Feb. 1, 2004, 05:45 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Snowbird:
All the services which go beyond any particular Affiliates sphere of influence would stay with the Umbrella. My guess is that is Drugs and Medications, Sanctioning show dates, Registrations and Points records, Awards and probably the Hearing Committee.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> The USEA does its own calendar, and does its own awards. Registration is done by both USEF AND USEA. Points are recorded by USEA. USEF deals with licensing officials, rules, rule enforcement (Hearing Committee) and drug testing.

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

Janet
Feb. 1, 2004, 06:24 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I would guess they think then there is no reason for an Annual Open Members Meeting each year because each Affiliate has it's own and the Federation will show up at all of them with a pep talk and the awards dinner. Life will be good and simple and the corporate sponsors will love us at last. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> Now you are being Chicken Little. The USEF has little, if any, presence at the USEA and USDF meeings. The annual open USEF meeting will still be needed, for all the same reasons it is needed now.

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

Snowbird
Feb. 1, 2004, 07:32 PM
Well now Janet, that's what so great about this BB, between us all I'll bet we have the answer to anything and to someone who is compulsive about asking questions that is a relief.

I did qualify and say I didn't know. So we have a pattern of what we might expect based on other affiliates. It will depend on the National Affiliate and what it wishes to do. But, the USEF licenses officials, holds hearings and is responsible for enforcement. SO if we have drug abused horses there is only one place to blame and neither Affiliate applicant needs to take a position.

Thank you so much we need you with your expertise of the realtionship with other Affiliates so we can understand.

Battle Scarred Veteran

Janet
Feb. 1, 2004, 09:02 PM
That is my intention- to fill in some of the background about the existing affilaites.

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

Janet
Feb. 2, 2004, 08:57 AM
Clarification-
The USEA does its own scheduling, but that is because of the need to very carefully schedule the upper level HT leading to a CCI.

For Dressage, and all the other affiliates I am familiar with, the USEF still does the scheduling.

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

Snowbird
Feb. 2, 2004, 05:29 PM
Well that's very interesting. We need to know so we can properly define the criteria and not ask for anything that the other Affiliates don't get.

Do they get any subsidy of funding from USEF i.e regarding the discipline fee.

Battle Scarred Veteran

Ruby G. Weber
Feb. 3, 2004, 08:46 AM
For those who say Gary Baker was unaware, how was it possible - we are talking the horse world here - longest grapevine in existence - that two principals, living in the same town, didn't know what the other was up to?

I don't buy it.

Janet
Feb. 3, 2004, 09:12 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Snowbird:
Well that's very interesting. We need to know so we can properly define the criteria and not ask for anything that the other Affiliates don't get.

Do they get any subsidy of funding from USEF i.e regarding the discipline fee.

_Battle Scarred Veteran_<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Not a direct subsidy. But the "discipline fee" for eventing ($13) is lower than the discipline fee for hunter/jumper. However, membership in USEA is $75.

In addition, the USEA pays USEF an annual fee ($75k was the figure I heard, but that is hearsay) for enforcement of the rules w.r.t the endorsed competitions. At endorsed competitions (Beginner Novice, Novice, and Training), the competitors have to be USEA (Eventing) members, but do not need to be USEF members. Endorsed competitions are run under full USEF rules.

Also the USEA collects the ($7/horse) D&M fee, and then pays the USEF to do the drug testing (rather than the $7 going directly to the USEF). I don't know if that is included in the $75k or if it is a separate payment.

I am not as familiar with the USDF details, except that the USDF collects $17 per person from all the "General Membership Organizations" (GMOs) (e.g. "the X Dressage Association", or "the Y Dressage and Combined Training Association") , which makes you a "group member" Being a group member gets you a newsletter, and a number, but doesn't allow you to accrue points, or qualify for various elite competitions, or awards programs. For that you have to be an "individual member". I don't remember how much that is.

The discipline fee for dressage is also $13. I don't know if any additional money is exchanged (either way) between USDF and USEF. But the D&M fee goes directly to the USEF.

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

Portia
Feb. 3, 2004, 09:34 AM
In each case the USEF discipline fee is set up on a fee for service basis.

The USEF provides virtually all services to H/J because it does not have a discipline affiliate to provide those services. The USEA and USDF, and other breed and discipline organizations, provide considerable organizational and governance services for their members; therefore, their USEF discipline fees are substantially lower than that for H/J. However, the participants in other disciplines are not saving money on membership fees. Any savings on USEF fees are cancelled out by the dues the breed and discipline members have to pay to their affiliate organizations (often more than cancelled out).

When an H/J affiliate is chosen and assumes significant responsibility for provision of governance, organizational, and educational services for H/J participants, the USEF discipline fee for H/J will drop. However, as with all other disciplines, any savings will be absorbed by the fees the H/J discipline members will pay for membership in their new affiliate organization.

Snowbird
Feb. 3, 2004, 10:17 AM
Apparently They are not on the same gossip line. I called Gary when I received my email and he didn't have a clue what was happening.

Neither did anyone else have any information that a Recognized National Affiliate was even a pending urgent question. We all thought we were going first operate under the National Committee, that all the Zones were going directly to USEF for funding and that was all we knew. The Zone Committees were organizing themselves.

There were several amendments required to the By-Laws that had been inadvertantly left out and like busy little bees we were all adjusting to the new system. The Announcement by Email that USHJA had been selected to be the Recognized National Affiliate on the USEF email heading came as a shock to everyone, not just Gary Baker or me. Gary was incredulous when I called him to see what he knew since he was on the Board of Directors. He said it was impossible it hadn't gone through the procedure.

We were all of the impression that first there would be criteria established for what was necessary for a National Hunter affiliate and then those would be considered and passed by all committee concerned and amended and finally approved but the USEF Board of Directors then published in Equestrian magazine as is the normal process.

These specifications would then be available to all interested in sponsoring a Recognized National Affiliate Association and those that wanted to comply would complete an application.

As of right now there is no criteria and there is no application form. It is the process that I am protesting because no one including the Members of the Board of Directors even knew this was an urgent priority issue that would addressed immediately.

Certainly, neither Gary Baker nor Tom Struzzeri were informed or made aware. We don't know if there are other Associations that would consedire themselves to be national that might also like to bid for the opportuntiy to be in charge of the whole Hunter Industry.

Gary did not imagine there was going to be this rush to make a decision before there were criteria by which to make a decision of that size and importance. No logical person who was a Member of the Board of Directors would consider such a change being made without discussion of the Board of Directors.

If this is acceptable procedure for a Not-For_Profit Corporation then why would we need a Board of Directors at all. What exactly is their function?

The USEF has not yet as Gary said determined discussed what the responsibilities of this Affilate would be, how much subsidy will there be from the USEF for what duties they would expect to take over. Will Membership be mandatory in order to compete. If you are not a Member of the National Affiliate do you have to an additional Non-Member fee? And, there are hundreds of questions that have not be resolved or even discussed by the Board of Directors of the USEF. So where did all this come from, and why is it urgent to choose by July and what are those procedures and criteria and applications and descriptions from the USEF Board of Directors.

No matter how well intentioned or how sincere the USHJA is they have yet no clue about their responsibilities and financial obligations. Therefore how can they have a budget or a plan any better than anyone else. All they can have is promises. Why not organize and become an Affiliate under Section 3 instead of Section 2 for a year or two until the system had a chance to shake out the bugs and errors?

Meanwhile we are creating chaos for 28,000 USEF Members who have selected hunter/jumper as their discipline. I just think everyone needs to take a deep breath and pause to answer these issues follow procedure and outline the duties and responsibilites of the association to the Members.

We will I hope have a totally new Zone structure as a result of the Changes to the Rules for Elections. Many people from the grassroots level will for the first time have representation.

Battle Scarred Veteran

[This message was edited by Snowbird on Feb. 03, 2004 at 12:43 PM.]

Snowbird
Feb. 3, 2004, 10:28 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>When an H/J affiliate is chosen and assumes significant responsibility for provision of governance, organizational, and educational services for H/J participants, the USEF discipline fee for H/J will drop. However, as with all other disciplines, any savings will be absorbed by the fees the H/J discipline members will pay for membership in their new affiliate organization.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Exactly Portia and the operative word is WHEN and we have not defined "significant responsibility" is that also financial responsibility to report income and expenses to the members? Is that responsibility to be representational, is that responsibility to make sure the Membership of the USEF which may be compelled to belong will have the Right to Know and the Right to Vote.

You have made an assumption Portia that I hope is true, but where is it written in the procedures. The only precedent we have is the the NHJC which refused to be accountable at all in any fashion. I trusted it was good plan and later learned that what is not in writing is just not necessarily so. Meetings were not required voting was not required and there was no accountibility for Zones which simply refused to file reports.

Battle Scarred Veteran

Janet
Feb. 3, 2004, 11:13 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Will Membership be mandatory in order to compete. If you are not a Member of the National Affiliate do you have to an additional Non-Member fee? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Isn't that something for the Affiliate to decide (rather than the USEF)?

For instance, to compete at an event, ou need ot be a member of USEA. The ONLY exception is that you can pay a non-member fee at Beginner Novice. But Novice and above, you have to join.

On the other hand, to compete in the Connemara division (Connemara/Welsh is a separate discipline), the horse/pony has to be registered, but there is no requirement that the rider or owner be a member of the ACPS.

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

Snowbird
Feb. 3, 2004, 11:48 AM
Thereby is the crux of the problem. The difference is this Affiliate is being imposed on 28,000 members of the USEF by the USEF.

I am relatively certain that we will not get a chance to vote for the Affiliate of our choice. Because of the long history of Hunters as independent of any affiliate and with various committees, it is true that the AHSA/USAE/USEF govern the Hunter and Jumper and Western Disicplines. No Associations have developed naturally from the membership except the NHJA which has been affiliated and acted as a lobbyist for 15 years.

We have a group that has volunteered to be in Charge of 28,000 people so it has to be carefully crafted and given as many options as possible. That's why the criteria is completely different than for other free-born associations.

The criteria has to be based on an Affiliate which will replace a National Committee that is under the responsibility of the USEF and accountable financially and organizationally to the Board of Directors of the USEF. Therefore, if the USEF gives up it's authority it needs to make sure that the Affiliate meets the necessary standards; and then that anyone interested has an equal opportunity to present their application for the National Recognition.

In studying the By-Laws and organization of the USHJA it falls short in accountability to the members and representation of the members. It appears to divide that responsibility with Members of the Board who have no constituency and only one seat for the 28,000 members who are a constitutency.

When we see what NHJA has to propose or Marshall and Sterling then a decision can be made as to who is to most competent and experienced and has the resources necessary.

The USEA for example was an independent group which joined for the necessity of the FEI approvals. Hunters don't have that need. For any International Discipline as Armand Leone said there is no choice the USEF is the only game in town. Except for those FEI disciplines
all theothers are here voluntarily and could leave if they wished at any time.

It would be possible for example that the Hunters could decide to take the same route as the Quarterhorses and become self sustaining. They are not obligated as the Jumpers are to the FEI standards.

From the sounds of the debate over drugged horses that almost happened a few years back and might have been successful had those trainers pursued the issue.

Just as a "hypothetical" let's say the USHJA is the national Affiliate and then decides to handle things differently so they could secede from the USEF. If they were to raise that issue only the Board of Directors need to be consulted and on the Board of Directors the current 28,000 members have only one vote.

That option is simply not logical for either the members or the USEF. There are bound to be differences of opinion as time goes on and the USEF could exist always with the threats of secession from all except the FEI discipl;ines. That's just not a good way to run the store.

The USEF must find ways to make the need to be a partner attractive and that can't happen if the members are not satisfied. Thus we have the catch 22 of the situation. It's a classic paradox that should be solved now rather than later.


Battle Scarred Veteran

[This message was edited by Snowbird on Feb. 03, 2004 at 02:08 PM.]

Portia
Feb. 3, 2004, 12:19 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Snowbird:
The Announcement by Email that USHJA had been selected to be the Recognized National Affiliate on the USEF email heading came as a shock to everyone, not just Gary Baker or me. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
That statement is just plain wrong. The announcement e-mail stated quite clearly that USHJA had been formed and was going to apply to become the new H/J affiliate. It did not say that it had been selected to become the affiliate.

Snowbird
Feb. 3, 2004, 12:42 PM
Sometimes a perception is more valid as an impression of meaning than a literal translation. As it was sent out, without any supporting information that was the broad preception that many gleaned from the Message.

As a matter of fact my phone was ringing off the wall because everyone had the same reaction that this was a done deal. When we all received further information from Sue Pinckney then that seemed to confirm our misinterpretation or rather perception.

However, it seems to me that it was not quite logical to apply to be a Section 2 Affiliate when there are no criteria that say what is required, and how could they apply any easier than anyone else if there is no such thing as an application?

It seems to me the misunderstanding was that they applied as a Section 3 Affiliate Membership and that would have been perfectly fine since that category is defined and has an application. In this case at the Annual Meeting as an Affilate they were entitled to the one hour that has been granted for years past, but the other four hours needed to be paid by the USHJA.

I also think that since Sue Pinckney is on the Staff of the USEF she should not have been the technical advisor for only one affiliate but in her position as a Director she should have been more even handed and advised the NHJA.

If she was paid extra then why was there no financial report stating how much money had been donated by how many people and then what that money was spent on since it is I presume a Not-For-Profit Corporation.

I understand that they have collected almost $30,000 since and I wondered where in the By-Laws they have accountibility for the expenditure of those funds. As far as I know they are not yet an Affiliate under Section 3 where they would certainly be welcome. But as a budding association I would have expected full disclosure to increase membership confidence.

Battle Scarred Veteran

[This message was edited by Snowbird on Feb. 03, 2004 at 02:51 PM.]

austinpony
Feb. 12, 2004, 05:05 PM
Sorry to have been out of the loop for so long. I've been house-hunting and tending to details re: the sale (in one day!!!!!) of my currant abode.

It's been interesting going back through the thread and seeing what different directions it has taken. It strikes me that now is the time to streamline the process and get back on message. To wit: what is that we want from the USEF?

Again, sorting out the peripheral issues, we get back to wanting a voice and a vote. We, the members, want to understand what it is the USEF is doing and will do for us as individuals and for us as a sport. Further, what USEF will do to "adequately" and, more importantly, efficiently protect horses and the industry.

Finally, we want to know how the USEF is going to frame itself: as a membership organization, as a regulatory body, as an educational body or as a combination of all three.

It has become clear that if the USEF plans to function as a medium to promote the high performance aspect of the sport then it will go further down the road of alienating itself from the majority of its members.

I again propose that those who are interested in the USEF being the "voice of the industry," speak up and use there voices to insist that it do so. Part of that insistance has to be focused on timely notification of elections, meetings and proposed rule changes.

I am personally disturbed that I did not find out about the meeting of the Nominating Committee for Zone 3 until 4 days before it happened. Not enough time to get a petition in.
And, I only found out because of a chance phone call to Gary Baker. This is NOT Gary's fault - it is the USEF's and a frank failure on their part to inform there members.

Ergo, another request to the USEF powers that be should be the development of a member communication plan.

Again, let's stay on message.

Snowbird
Feb. 12, 2004, 05:32 PM
Right on!

Not only wasn't it Gary Baker's fault but we all need to thank him for getting the Rules changed so that it was possible. He was responsible for the change on November 10, 2003. It was the USEF that didn't notify anyone of the changes.

I find it very confusing that there was so much time to notify us about the presentation of the USHJA yet they failed to email any information that there were radical changes in the Zone Election process. Now, we have a full four years before we get to vote again.

There is a huge difference in that there are designated seats for a show manager, amateur, trainer from the C/B Shows and from the A/AA shows. That's 6 seats, then there is a sseat for a licensed official, and three seats for Hunter Associations, the three largest membership Associations are entilted to a seat. And in additiong there are 4 At Large seats.

While it may this year still be a matter of name recognition we can change that for the next election.

What concerns me is this is a rule change of the National Hunter Committee and would a new Affiliate Association be required to honor the change?

Battle Scarred Veteran

bonstet
Feb. 13, 2004, 05:14 AM
Can someone explain to me what Snowbird mentioned regarding the rule change of the National Hunter Committee and how this affects the new Affiliate Association?

Snowbird
Feb. 13, 2004, 01:48 PM
Well, we have changed the specifications for the election of Zone Committees radically from what they were. If an Official Hunter Affiliate is selected that Affiliate Hunter Association will have control over all the Zone Committees. It will replace what is now the National Hunter Committee.

The National Hunter Committee is comprised of the Chairman of each Zone and in addition representatives from the C/B and A/AA Shows a licensed Official and any National Hunter Associations Affiliated.

If that Committee no longer exists then the Affiliate Association can change and make any rules they wish to alter any systems that are in place.

Under the National Hunter Committee each Zone may go directly to USEF for funding any educational projects they desire to run for their members. They are accountable financially to the USEF for proper use of the funds.

If that Committee does not exist then the Zones will need the approval of the Board of Directors of the NEW OFFICIAL Hunter Association. In the case of the USHJA only one seat on that Board is for all the combined Zone committees. The Board of Directors of whatever Association will be required to approve of any funding to the Zones.

Battle Scarred Veteran

Janet
Feb. 13, 2004, 02:17 PM
I don't think the Hunter Committee will "cease to exist", just becuase an afiliate is recognized. There is still a Dressage Committee, ad Eventing Committee, and so on, even though they have healthy, active affiliates. The ROLE, and SCOPE of the Hunter Committee will change (be reduced), but I would be VERY surprised if it "ceased to exist".

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

Snowbird
Feb. 13, 2004, 02:47 PM
OK! Janet but that was the reason for my original question eons ago. Who chooses that Committee or how does it get selected. Does the Eventing/Dressage Affiliate name the Committee? Does the President of USEF appoint the Committee? If he does then does he consult with the Affiliated Association to choose who is on the USEF Committee?

In general all Hunter Committees are selected by the Affiliate Hunter Association. The existing Hunter Committee is comprised of all the Zones and is essentially the same constitution as the old NHJC.

My reading of the existing By-Laws says that this committee is there as long as there is no Affiliate Hunter Association and it functions as the Hunter Affiliate. So that leaves the issue with an open door for interpretation.

Battle Scarred Veteran

Janet
Feb. 13, 2004, 03:00 PM
You need to ask someone more "in the know" about USEF procedures. My recollection (not guaranteed to be correct) is that sume number of the committee members are selected by the affiliate, some number by the BoD, and some number by some other process (active riders, maybe).

I am sure if you contact someon at the USEA or USDF offices, they would be glad to tell you.

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

Snowbird
Feb. 13, 2004, 08:18 PM
The point is Janet, that under any circumstances it will be a new Committee as well as a new Affiliate and as I read the rules essentially as The Official Recognized Hunter Affiliate they will certainly have much to say and since there will be only one vote from all 28,000 zone members they are not likely to have a great impact and so as to my issue the rules can easily be changed during the next four years if the format of the USHJA is selected as superior to that of a democratic group e.g. NHJA.

Battle Scarred Veteran

austinpony
Feb. 13, 2004, 08:59 PM
One vote on the Board for 28,000 people? Is there anyone (besides Snowbird)out there who finds this as outrageous as I do?

The point is that there is no democratic process here and until some action is taken to make it so, we are basically just farting in the wind.

If these issues bother you, write to David O'Connor and let him know. And, while you're at it cc: all the Board members. Not all of them read the boards.

And, while we're asking the USEF to clean up it's house, let's ask them to remove anyone from the Board who has been either suspended or censured for violations of the drug rules.

In another thread I have asked why Robert Dover is still on the USEF board. That's something I find outrageous as well. And, don't tell me that "well, he's a 5 time Olympian". That just makes it worse.

Get a voice. Get a vote and clean house. It's time.

Snowbird
Feb. 14, 2004, 11:32 AM
The best way to make change is to offer changes. The Deadline for Rule Change Proposals from the membership is I believe June 1st, 2004 I misspoke on the other thread.

If you want to change the rule for censure, holding office positions or anything else you need to be willing to put your John Hancock out there. The forms are available on line. We can all sit here pushing wind with our keyboards to no purpose forever. There can be mulitple people or groups that put forward a proposed change and get it into the hopper.

Then follow up with emails, faxes and snail mail to every member of the Board of Directors telling why it's important to you and get as many others to support your position in public as you can find.

It will come up at the Annual Meeting of the Board and you can be there to advocate your position with as many warm bodies as you can get to stand with you.

Now, that brings up the issue of "when will we have the next Annual Meeting of the USEF"? The Chronicle states that David O'Connor is considering cancelling the Meeting in Colorado Springs next January. Will the July Meeting be the Annual Meeting? Will the Committees meet in July?

We are not only suffering from the merger which gives us a whole framework but the changes are happening so quickly that no one can make plans.

We don't know what the criteria is that will decide which association is our Hunter Affiliate; we don't know who may be interested and will apply. We don't know if they will all be offered applications or if the criteria will be made public. AND we don't know if there will be an Annual Meeting in January. We do know that we will have no opportunity to express our opinions as to which Association we prefer.

Battle Scarred Veteran

Snowbird
Feb. 15, 2004, 01:01 PM
Surely, there are more ideas out there about how to clean up our industry and our house of horses.

Battle Scarred Veteran

austinpony
Feb. 18, 2004, 05:04 PM
On another thread, regarding the presence of a censured BNT, Robert Dover, on the USEF Board an interesting consensus appears to have been reached after much heated discussion.

That consensus is that the drug and medication rules need to be cleaned up and presented in a clearly understandable manner. There has also been a call for educational programs on this issue as well. One BB'er made the absolutely brilliant suggestion of creating a poster that would be posted at horseshows listing the prohibted medications and supplements, including the punishment(s) for violating the rules governing their use at competitions.

This is good stuff and a positive step forward IMO. Now, how to act on it. If you are intersted in participating in pursuing both the educational aspect (seminars during horse shows anyone?) or helping put this poster into reality, please let me know.

I will forward these suggestions to Gary Baker at the NHJA and to USEF.