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SwizzleStick
Aug. 31, 2004, 08:36 AM
Was anyone else as horrified as I was by Mark Phillips' comments about the AEC prize money at the lower levels in the last paragraph of his column in the latest Eventing USA magazine?

..."if we want our advanced level riders to show up to give the Championships the profile it deserves, you have to reward them a little better than those at the lower levels. This surely is common sense, not rocket science."

I for one found this arrogant and lacking in the "common sense" he claims it is. The Captain, for all the time he spends in the States, seems not to have clue one about how things work over here.

Swizz

SwizzleStick
Aug. 31, 2004, 08:36 AM
Was anyone else as horrified as I was by Mark Phillips' comments about the AEC prize money at the lower levels in the last paragraph of his column in the latest Eventing USA magazine?

..."if we want our advanced level riders to show up to give the Championships the profile it deserves, you have to reward them a little better than those at the lower levels. This surely is common sense, not rocket science."

I for one found this arrogant and lacking in the "common sense" he claims it is. The Captain, for all the time he spends in the States, seems not to have clue one about how things work over here.

Swizz

Dezi
Aug. 31, 2004, 08:44 AM
Come on SS - doncha know that we are supposed to be overjoyed with the prospect of rubbing elbows and sharing a porta potty with all of those big name folks. OOPS - they will undoubtably have their exclusive PoP's.

You should be happy with your $1.00 piece of polyester. Why do you need prize money???

I loved that Richland gave prize $ their first year down to 4th place for all divisions. It paid for a tank of diesel for my ride home. Sadly that has changed too.

It is too bad that the upper mucky mucks don't value us lower folks. I am thrilled that the AEC is recognizing this and offering the same cash for all levels. I only wish I was going!!!

Hilary
Aug. 31, 2004, 08:52 AM
I saw that too. Gee, so I am only worth a lead rope if I win the novice division. Thank you for your support.
http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif
Sometimes I think what he has to say is right on the money, but he really missed the point on this one.

Given that the editorial reiterated the fact that 70% of USEA members ride at Training or below, I think he REALLY missed the point.

But GO ROBBY!! That, and the article about Lazy Dot made up for the less nice comments.

GotSpots
Aug. 31, 2004, 08:55 AM
Moreover, as I said on the other thread, I was stunned and horrified that he essentially has given up on the long format, by telling people that he thought it was a mistake to run the long format at Fair Hill. This, after he had commented about all the issues the modified format caused at Rolex and elsewhere.

Frankly, I'm with Swizz on the AECs. Personally, I don't want to support them to the detriment of the three days, but I think it's super to have a celebration of the sport and all of its riders, not just the upper levels.

Meshach
Aug. 31, 2004, 09:00 AM
I think I actually gasped out loud when I read that. It's the little guys such as myself trying our hearts out at Novice and Training that make up the backbone of this sport. Not to mention probably the major financial contributors to the USEA. C'mon, let us keep this one little crumb that is being thrown to us.

I am very glad that the AEC is recognizing us amateurs that are at the lower levels. Yay AEC, boo Mark Philips!

slp2
Aug. 31, 2004, 09:02 AM
Aren't they offering 10K per money division? I guess I was surprised that he felt that was not significant enough to bring out the BNR's. I know Rolex has a big purse but what about other upper level events? Eventing doesn't have the $$ prizes like the showjumping circuit. Pro's in eventing certainly don't make their living through prize money!! I would think that 10K would provide *some* incentive to come!

SwizzleStick
Aug. 31, 2004, 09:13 AM
"...I loved that Richland gave prize $ their first year down to 4th place for all divisions."

This year, Maui Jim Wayne offered the Aloha Challenge for Novice with cash through 4th place. The winner took home $1350. This was the only money offered at the event. An old adage about knowing which side one's bread is buttered on comes to mind - and that event doesn't even offer Novice Divisions!

Swizz

RAyers
Aug. 31, 2004, 09:35 AM
Being a rocket scientst, literally, I am just offended at the association. We have plenty of common sense.

Reed

Robby Johnson
Aug. 31, 2004, 09:46 AM
Yes, I was horrified. That's about all I can say.

What did it tell me?

Never ride in a clinic with him unless I'm going at Intermediate level, and never aspire to anything great because the reality is I'll ride Training the rest of my life and, obviously, I'm not worth anything more.

Do you think his cavalier attitude rubs off on the Team? I do. And that is the upper-tier of individuals we learn from.

Oh well, more steerage members died in Titanic than did the upper classes.

Robby

SwizzleStick
Aug. 31, 2004, 09:55 AM
posted Aug. 31, 2004 12:46 PM
Yes, I was horrified. That's about all I can say.

"...Do you think his cavalier attitude rubs off on the Team?"

With a few - very few - exceptions, I'd tend to agree.
Attitude starts at the top, doesn't it?

Swizz

Spiritwind
Aug. 31, 2004, 10:08 AM
What a rude and obnoxious comment; there was no need for that. I have been considering participating in one of his clinics. No way after that comment, as I am a mere novice level competitor. Ya think I am going to spend my hard earned $ and my time to attend a clinic with the attitude he has towards the lower-level competitor. Unh,unh....

3dazey
Aug. 31, 2004, 10:16 AM
If my memory serves me correctly (which it may not be http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif ), I think he was saying that the *** long format was a bit of a waste since the CCI**, CIC*** and advanced horse trials in whatever combination qualifies you for both CCI***/****. So I guess his thinking is why waste $$$ and organizer energy on CCIs***, go for the ****. That's what I got, anyway, and since I will never do a ***/****, I don't have a
meaningful opinion myself.

KRC
Aug. 31, 2004, 10:17 AM
Jerk! is what I have to say. His comments made me mad.

The bulk of the membership is made up by ammies--novice and training level ammies at that. We pay upper level/BNT riders to board at their barns, pay fees to walk courses with us (even course walks like Fairhill and Rolex that we don't even compete in!), pay insane amounts of money for lessons and clinics, travel great distances to take lessons, clinics, and show. We buy the products they are sponsored by and we consume their advice with often die hard enthusiasm... and this attitude is what we get in return? If you add up the number of hours we spend at work and then at the barn--we log just as many and probably more hours than those trainers/riders. If you show no respect for your customer (which is ultimately what we are), then the customers leave.

His attitute is selfish, arrogant, and elitist. One show designed specifically to be a high profile event for ammies, and he wants to make it into another event we pay for. Rubbish!

I'd like to know whether his wallet is big enough to pay for the sport when the rest of us decide not to do it anymore.

deltawave
Aug. 31, 2004, 10:59 AM
I do hope this will lead to a BARRAGE of letters to the USEA...

Robby, you're exactly right. I'll be voting with my checkbook for the ol' Captain. Voting NO, that is! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_mad.gif I'll add him to my very short list of people not to clinic with or support. I do hope the USEA takes offense at this, too...what a snob.

Janet
Aug. 31, 2004, 11:06 AM
Well, I know Gillian is going (Adavanced) at least in part BECAUSE of the prize money.

BUT, if it didn't fit in for her plans leading up to Fair Hill CCI***, she wouldn't go.

Other, better funded, professionals might not find the level of prize money sufficient inducement.

I guess the question is - If the prize money is enough to attract the "cash starved", less well funded, advanced level riders, but NOT enough to attract the well funded advanced riders, what does that say about it REALLY being a National Championship?

But I agree that the way it was stated was VERY poor, if not offensive, wording.

monstrpony
Aug. 31, 2004, 11:22 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Robby Johnson:

Oh well, more steerage members died in Titanic than did the upper classes.

Robby <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

That you would use this analogy at all really makes me sad--this, from a former lower level eventer who still loves the sport. The times, they are a'changin and this old fart liked it the way it was in days gone bye, before it got so full of itself.

Sigh. Oh, well.

RAyers
Aug. 31, 2004, 11:34 AM
I'm thinking that if he ever clinics out here, I'll go in the intermediate section and ask him how he can associate rocket scientists with a lack of common sense. Then again, I event so that makes it a moot point.

I have to admit, I do see his POV like Janet points out. It is also a common attitude among the upper level Grand Prix jumpers I know. They are not going to go places where the prize money is not sufficient to justify the expense (e.g. give them the chance to pay for the entire trip). Now if the competition can assure that the lower levels can be funded to that level as well, then the more power to them.

I think the statement was not meant in the way it was said, but it is too late for that now.

Reed

deltawave
Aug. 31, 2004, 11:35 AM
MP, I didn't follow your post...are you lamenting the analogy itself, (which I thought was pretty sharp, although I hope we're not seeing the USEA as a "sinking ship" over this) the seeming disregard of CMP for the lower level people, or...? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

monstrpony
Aug. 31, 2004, 12:15 PM
I'm lamenting that such an analogy would ever be necessary WRT eventing. The idea of eventing as a sinking ship, that it's gotten too grand to survive, that it has to become something else in order to survive, the fact that the idea of it not surviving would even occur in someone's mind. And CMP's attitude is indicative or perhaps symptomatic of what might ruin eventing as I knew it--the idea that *anyone* is so good that they can't "afford" to give back, even in the sense of appearing at a particular competition. That's always been one of the important difference between eventing and most of the other competitive horse sports.

I remember when the big whigs knew how darned lucky they were, and were more than happy to make a good experience for the little guys. When becomming a big whig was luck and good riding, not a science or a profession. When we all competed on a relatively even footing WRT the expense of it. Maybe that was my own young naivite that saw it that way, but it seems, from the distance of my retirement from it, that it's become much more like a big business, that the little guys drown in the firehose of it, unless they stay at the small, unrecognized events--"where they belong".

Growth is good, of course. It's just a shame that the unity and family-ness gets lost in it.

And, personally, I'm really starting to question whether or not we should stay in the Olympics if the cost is the short form of the three day event. If I want to watch a dressage competition, I'll go to a dressage show. But there's something truely magical about a *Real* event horse that we're in danger of losing, that we soundly lost in Athens, when the heart of the event couldn't save the old-fashioned event horses who couldn't deal with the dixie cups in the wind on dressage day.

Anyhow, what's going on in my mind is obviously a lot larger than CMP's comments about the AEC. I'm just feeling the loss of change right now in a big way.

slp2
Aug. 31, 2004, 12:33 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I guess the question is - If the prize money is enough to attract the "cash starved", less well funded, advanced level riders, but NOT enough to attract the well funded advanced riders, what does that say about it REALLY being a National Championship?
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Then maybe it will serve in the true spirit that the AEC was built off of. As a opportunity for eventers (novice to advanced) to participate in a national level competition. As I understand it, the original concept was also spurred by the impetus to offer something for the amateur eventer. It's a national level competition which requires you to qualify to compete. That's all. It's not a competition where each of the regions send their best and then (after a series of further competitions) those are narrowed down to an elite few that get to compete for "national champion" status. The well-funded professionals may choose to not compete and for that matter, many ammies will choose not to compete. But at any given competition, we can't control who does or doesn't enter our division. That's why there are still year-end awards that reward riders for accumulating points vs. just having one "big win" at a specific competition. There's still a leaderboard that tracks leading riders/horses. So, no, it probably doesn't mean that the winner of the Advanced division is the "Advanced National Champion" but instead they are the horse/rider combination that qualified, participated, and won that division at the AEC.

I understand that your point is to say that there isn't enough incentive to entice the "best of the best" to enter but does that really dilute the concept for the rest of us "peeps" who ride after work and use up a bunch of our income on entry fees and clinics each year? I just think everyone needs to look at it like a "festival". A time when all of us crazy eventers get to be in one place with our horses celebrating our sport! Just my POV.

deltawave
Aug. 31, 2004, 12:39 PM
Thanks for clarifying. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Not disagreeing with you at all...

I haven't got a very long "history" in eventing (it will be 10 years) but it does seem to me that the sport HAS grown in that decade, in size, popularity, and overall number of competitions/entries.

With the slanted eye of a true amateur with NO upper level experience (I have only done 3 Prelim HT's ever...before that strictly N and T) I realize my perspective will be quite different than someone else's: someone who can either remember the "old days" or who has ridden at the upper levels or 3-days or who is in touch with the BNTs or who has a career based upon the sport.

But my slanted view is seeing a lot of positive things happening down here at the lower levels: nicer courses, better infrastructure and safety, a national organization that is computer-literate and trying to grow along with its membership, adult rider programs, area programs, clinics, etc. etc.

What badness is going on at the upper levels? (rhetorical) I confess that I have no idea. I hear rumors, stories, gripes, etc. and these are naturally very unsettling. When a Davidson or a Dutton or a Severson is unhappy, we all know it and feel the rumblings. When a Cronin is unhappy, well, who's she? http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif Yet I pay my dues the same as anyone...

Now when the coach of our Olympic team says something, we all listen. This is, of course, probably worthwhile--he has a thing or two to say, no doubt, and probably a little bit of influence. So when he seems to be brushing off the lower-level people, it really bugs me. I don't think HE cares what I think, but *I* certainly care what he thinks...ONLY because his influence is going to be very large in shaping the future of the sport. This is why I hope the USEA--who has always seemed pretty committed to the lower-level people IN MY OPINION, will formally or informally "take offense" at his statement. That they'll stand up for us, if you will.

I'm not going anywhere--USEA can always count on my membership--but my support for Olympic riders, coaches, etc. IS subject to change. I clinic 4-5 times a year...think I'll go to a clinician who disdains lower level riders? HELL no. Think I'll drive 100 extra miles to go to a clinician who supported us by showing their "team spirit" at the AEC? YES I WILL.

canterlope
Aug. 31, 2004, 12:41 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by RAyers:
I have to admit, I do see his POV like Janet points out. It is also a common attitude among the upper level Grand Prix jumpers I know. They are not going to go places where the prize money is not sufficient to justify the expense (e.g. give them the chance to pay for the entire trip). <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Okay, this just has me plain confused. I'm sitting here with the Omnibus in hand looking at the listing for the AEC. The entry fees for all of the divisions are the same as are the stabling fees, RV/camper fees, non-refundable office fees, muck fees, etc. In addition, I don't think that, as a lower level rider, I will be receiving a discount from the on-grounds vendors or local business. In other words, I fully expect that my expenses to compete at the AEC will at least be equal to those of the upper level riders who will be in attendance. Maybe even more because I have no students or owners onto which I can pass a portion of my expenses.

If this be true, the question that just begs to be asked is why is it perfectly acceptable for an event to give our upper level riders the chance to pay for their entire trip, but it is not okay when the same opportunity is offered to our lower level riders? But even more importantly, is this really what it is all about for our upper level riders? Has the love of the sport gone by the wayside and been replaced by the bottom line? If so, ugh.

deltawave
Aug. 31, 2004, 12:46 PM
Not to mention there is only ONE other HT in the COUNTRY offering prize money that weekend... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Don't get me wrong, if a competition simply doesn't work for a pro's schedule, that's perfectly OK with me...I'm not going to "hold it against" Joe Pro if he's not there. But sniffing that it's not enough money to justify coming--OK, where else are you going to go to have a crack at $10k??

SwizzleStick
Aug. 31, 2004, 12:48 PM
Deltawave - your posting is so right on, well written, well thought out, etc. Would you consider sending it in to the magazine as a Letter to the Editor? I think these thoughts need to be published.

Swizz

Robby Johnson
Aug. 31, 2004, 12:57 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by canterlope:
Has the love of the sport gone by the wayside and been replaced by the bottom line? If so, ugh. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I tend to think it has, which is sad. I also understand where monstrpony is coming from. I didn't mean to imply I thought eventing was a sinking ship, just that the proportionate numbers of who comes out on top always has something to do with finances/resources.

The sad thing is that our sport has become about entitlement. Because I ride at Advanced level and win here and there, I am entitled to more benefits than you are. Surely you understand this is common sense, not rocket science. I've done nothing but whine and bitch and complain about how substandard everything is but, when I do something that draws significant attention to our sport, all of that is forgotten or forgiven and I have value as a key player in this whole silly card game.

(That was my third-person rhetorical analogy!)

What I wanted to say earlier, too, is that an Advanced or Intermediate rider is hard-pressed to find an event - beyond a three-day - that offers prize money. Beggars cannot be choosers.

Would CMP have preferred the lower levels get a mere pittance of the prize purse, with the bulk of it going to the upper levels? How does he justify this? I would daresay, again, that with 30+ Advanced riders entered - of the possible pool of, what, 200 or so, that the purse and prizes are enticing enough.

Robby

Janet
Aug. 31, 2004, 01:00 PM
I think we just have to wait and see who does, and doesn't show up.

Then decide if the Advanced level winner really does deserve the title "National Champion".

Then decide if we care. And if we care, figure out why the "others" didn't enter, and what would motivate them TO enter.

I didn't read ANYTHING to say that the lower levels didn't count, or didn't desrve anything. Just that they would be motivated by a (relatively) smaller purse.

canterlope
Aug. 31, 2004, 01:21 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Janet:
I didn't read ANYTHING to say that the lower levels didn't count, or didn't desrve anything. Just that they would be motivated by a (relatively) smaller purse. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Uhmmm... why?

Robby Johnson
Aug. 31, 2004, 01:25 PM
My comprehension of his statement was such that I felt he'd be fine if the Novice/Training riders got nothing other than a "well done."

If the purse was $30K for preliminary, can you imagine how scary (ier) preliminary would get with folks trying to move up to get a piece of it?

Every dog has its day. The AEC is that day for Novice and Training. We keep the wheels turning for this organization and while he did acknowledge that in his article, it wasn't without reluctance.

Robby

RAyers
Aug. 31, 2004, 01:59 PM
If one is to look at the horse show world, the upper level riders are the pros. They rely on prize money as well as customers to fill their pockets. Most low level riders have other means of income. Does this mean that the Children's/AA jumper division should have the same prize money as the Open Jumper division? No, because at the lower levels you are dealing with single entries whereas if you attract TRAINERS, they will bring their customers.

That is the business model horseshows are going to and it looks like events as well. A service provider will accomodate its most profitible customers, thus if trainer XYZ brings 10 students/horses to a competiton because they have a chance at winning a $20K purse in a class, then the show will cater to them rather than to a low level rider that brings 1 horse. Shows make more money by getting large trainers to attend because they generally bring most of their customers with them. That is the business model events will go to when prize money is offered as well. It is too expensive to run an event to not consider the financials.

Reed

colliemom
Aug. 31, 2004, 02:12 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
Originally posted by Janet:
I didn't read ANYTHING to say that the lower levels didn't count, or didn't desrve anything. Just that they would be motivated by a (relatively) smaller purse.

Originally posted by Canterlope:
Uhmmm... why?
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Apprently, he seems to think that we (lower levels) can and should be bought for a much lower price, and that we should be thankful for the privelege of spending our hard earned money to support those at the top. I find it extremely insulting.

I always worried what money would do to our sport -- what changes would occur once we had big money sponsors, more exposure, and better television coverage. I believe we're beginning to find out, and it is exactly what I suspected. It's gradually turning it away from the example of true honest extremely well rounded horsemanship where camaraderie ruled and the spirit of the competition was what mattered, where you could ask any pro for advice at a horse trial, where most if not all of the pros were happy to walk a course with you for free ... to a bottom-line driven business with a wider and wider gap between the haves and the have nots, between the elite and the everyday workers, and where the elite will do nothing without getting paid royally for it and look down snobbishly upon those of us who are in the majority in numbers but the minority in money won.

Sorry to sound so harsh, but that's my fear and it's what I see happening.

Major Kudos to the AEC organizers and related folks, however, who see things differently and believe that ALL levels should be treated equally. My hat's off to you all, and I wish I could come.

JDufort
Aug. 31, 2004, 02:38 PM
we are thrilled by the chance to compete for the $10K in prize money offered in the CH divisions.

in fact, Jo and several other YRs have chosen to bump heads with the pros rather than enter the I-YR division, because of the prize money.

there are a number of high profile professionals entered in the AEC, and a number entered in Plantation Fields where there is $2K to $4K per division in prize money offered. Good for our sport that there is room for both.

I'm thinking part of the growing pain is the sense of either/or.


either we favor pros or ammies
either we change or we die
either we run short format or long format

I'm more of an "expand the umbrella" person myself. Make room for all of us; celebrate the adult amateur; create economic viability for the young working professional; support the best in our sport - for they do provide inspiration, don't they?

thanks to Robby and the rest of the AEC gang for bringing this to life, and taking all the sh*t that we could fling along the way.

deltawave
Aug. 31, 2004, 02:40 PM
Swizzle, thanks...I thought it was a lot of rambling, actually. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif You bet I'll send in my thoughts, though....maybe cleaned up a tad, though, eh? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

canterlope
Aug. 31, 2004, 04:10 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by SwizzleStick:
Deltawave - your posting is so right on, well written, well thought out, etc. Would you consider sending it in to the magazine as a Letter to the Editor? I think these thoughts need to be published. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Ditto on that. And I hope others will write as well. Here is what I will be sending in:

31 August 2004

Mr. Mark Phillips
Columnist, Eventing USA Magazine
C/o United States Eventing Association
525 Old Waterford Road NW
Leesburg VA 20176

Dear Mr. Phillips,

Every other month I greatly look forward to the arrival of my copy of Eventing USA magazine. It is a wonderful magazine and I read it cover to cover as soon as I have the chance. I am rarely disappointed by its content and think that your commentary, in particular, routinely provides information that is insightful, useful, and helpful, as well as giving those of us who ride at the lower levels a glimpse of what an honor it is to represent our country in international competition. That is, until I received the most recent issue and turned to your article, “Prepping for Athens Without the ‘Chase.”

In the past, while I haven’t always agreed with everything you’ve written, I’ve always respected your opinions. Given this, nothing prepared me for the utter disappointment and downright disgust I felt upon reading the final paragraph of your July/August 2004 column. Just to refresh your memory, it went as follows:

“I was dismayed to read last week that the $50,000 in prize money being put up for the American Eventing Championships in September is to be split equally five ways between advanced, intermediate, preliminary, training, and novice. For sure you will have some ecstatic novice and training riders, and I know how much the USEA values that part of their membership. However, if we want our advanced level riders to show up to give the Championships the profile it deserves, you have to reward them a little bit better than those at the lower levels. This surely is common sense, not rocket science.”

As a long time, lower level, adult amateur member of the USEA, I am sickened to discover that, according to you, not only is the sport of Eventing solely about the money for our upper level riders, but only by these same riders showing up at the Carolina Horse Park on the third weekend in September will the American Eventing Championships be validated.

What happened to participating in our sport for the love of it? What happened to valuing every member of our association, regardless of the level at which they compete? And what happened to giving a championship the respect it deserves, not because of who decided to show up and participate in it, but because we as a group decided that it was special all on its own?

I will be the first to admit that I’m no rocket scientist. I will also be the first to admit that my common sense may not be all that great. However, it is not necessary to be a rocket scientist or have a great deal of common sense to understand that you can’t continue to ask the majority of our members who only ride at the lower levels to support you and the upper level riders without giving them something back in return.

It is a well-known fact that it is the lower level riders who keep our sport afloat. Not just in the amount of money we spend on event entries, but also in what we spend on clinics with upper level riders, the monies we pay our coaches/trainers, and the amount of time we spend volunteering to name a few of the things that keep our eventing wheels going. We carry the majority of the load, so why are you begrudging us one of the few chances we have to feel that all we do for you and the upper level riders really matters? That someone out there cares and is willing to show us their support.

Shame on you, Mr. Phillips. Shame on you for turning your back on the very group that has allowed you the privilege of making a name for yourself in the sport of Eventing in the United States. Shame on you for publicly castigating those people who understand the importance of our lower level riders and who go the extra mile to thank us for what we do. And shame on you for using the Eventing USA magazine to espouse an idea that not only goes against the beliefs of the USEA, but will only serve to hurt a large majority of its members.

But, hey, what do I know? I’m just a smurf. (Yes, CMP, we lower level riders have heard the nickname you’ve given us and, while we are slightly amused that you took the time and effort to think up a label for us, we would rather you refer to us in a manner that suggests some sort of respect on your part, even if it is only just a sham.)

With less respect than I had in previous times,
Diane C McBroom
Member, USEA Area II

GotSpots
Aug. 31, 2004, 04:52 PM
Canterlope: You. Go. Girl. I would be honored to scrub the green off your pony. Wow.

Heather
Aug. 31, 2004, 05:13 PM
slp2, you have hit the nail right on the head in a way I have been trying to explain to others for months.

I LOVE the AEC as an "Eventing Festival", or a moment in the sun and a rare opportunity for lower level and/or amateur riders. In this vein it is a brilliant idea, and one I can get behind 100%.

I ABHOR the AEC as a "National Championship" which seems to be the key phrase being tossed around. 90% of my ambivalence towards this competition would evaporate if I quit hearing that we were going to be crowning "national champions" at this event. We will be crowning the best of those who can afford to show up. Period.

As far as the subject at hand, well, it's not news to me. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

cinnabar
Aug. 31, 2004, 05:15 PM
Fabulous reply, Canterlope! I just hope he gets a little of it...

SwizzleStick
Aug. 31, 2004, 06:27 PM
Go for it Canterlope. I got your back!

Swizz

SwizzleStick
Aug. 31, 2004, 06:30 PM
P.S. According to "sources," the "smurf" name was a part of CMP's original column. It was (wisely) edited out by the good staff at USEA - though on second thought, I rather wish they hadn't so that everyone could see the good Captain for the idiot he seems to be becoming!

Swizz - (Smurf and proud of it!)

annikak
Aug. 31, 2004, 06:44 PM
I think its intersting that his comment came in the same issue that Kingman P gave the stats for membership. Seems as if 80% of us are at Prelim or lower.

I really understand the concept of AEC- but also see the same sense in the COTH Team event. Its all great! I *love* spending time with my friends that event, and a lot of you are at Prelim or below. I have met some great people at the upper levels, and love watching them ride and dreaming... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gifIf us lower level riders are 80%, then it would be nice to be treated as the bulk of membership. And as DW stated, we clinic with the upper-level riders to support them. Sure, any money in any event is great- but the comment and how he put it in his column in itself peeved me off in a big way. But to be fair, USEA did make a disclaimer at the end if I remember correctly....

actually, a lot of the things that he has said in his commentary has miffed me in the past few issues...

Janet
Aug. 31, 2004, 06:52 PM
I agree with heather and slp2.

It all depends on what the AEC wants to be.

LisaB
Sep. 1, 2004, 04:36 AM
1. CMP's opinions are his opinions. Not the opinions of the Team that just went to Athens. I only know of a handful of upper level pros that have the same god awful view as he does. And they put that opinion in a closet when thumping up business by giving clinics.
2. Many of us don't know about the long and short format stuff. We do care though. I haven't personally done either but want to get there. I can't condemn nor condone his opinion on that. I would prefer to keep the long format though.
3. What a moron. I think he just lost a load of money from us and with the firestorm about to brew, he may lose his Chef D'equipe-ship. David O mentioned he wanted to be a coach somewhere. Hmmm, always extremely courteous and helpful to me, a schmoe. I would think that's the way he truly feels about us smurfs.
I think it was very wise to put the cavaet at the end of that article from the USEA.
Hey, didn't we kick the s- out the Brits because they thought they could be higher and mighter than us? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

KRC
Sep. 1, 2004, 05:35 AM
A Smurf??

What is that supposed to stand for? The more I think about the possible implications of it, the nastier it seems.

canterlope
Sep. 1, 2004, 05:40 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by RAyers:
That is the business model horseshows are going to and it looks like events as well. A service provider will accomodate its most profitible customers, thus if trainer XYZ brings 10 students/horses to a competiton because they have a chance at winning a $20K purse in a class, then the show will cater to them rather than to a low level rider that brings 1 horse. Shows make more money by getting large trainers to attend because they generally bring most of their customers with them. That is the business model events will go to when prize money is offered as well. It is too expensive to run an event to not consider the financials.

Reed <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>But the bottom line is, it is still those 10 students of that trainer who are footing the bill. Do you honestly believe that those ten students will travel half way across the country to go to an event where they have no hope of winning prize money just because their trainer has the chance to win thousands of dollars? Or, that those ten students will continue to attend shows where they are treated like second-rate citizens while their trainer is treated like royalty? I certainly don't think so and don't understand why it has to be an either/or proposition.

And, as others have pointed out, the AEC is one of the few horse trials in the country that even offers prize money. Are our upper level riders really so greedy that they want it all or else they won't come? Sad, very sad.

deltawave
Sep. 1, 2004, 05:44 AM
Canterlope, I couldn't POSSIBLY put it any better, but I will be sending in my version just the same.

And FWIW, being one of the more vocal supporters of the AEC, I really don't know anyone among the group of people I'm going with who is looking at it as a "National Championships"--we're going for a chance to be a part of something bigger than the local HT's we all do, and to have a good time.

Very much like an area Championship, the person who wins that is not treated like anything special...he/she was just the best on that given day. I don't know why the name "Championship" is so offensive--isn't the ATC also called a "Championship"?--but if it's truly the only thing that's bugging people, I hope the USEA will change it to something more acceptable. "Festival" is a great word.

goobs
Sep. 1, 2004, 06:43 AM
Whatever term is used to describe this "event" is (or should be) moot. I appreciate that the USEA is doing something on a large scale to celebrate their members on ALL levels. To have one of the most prominent voices of this sport belittle the lower levels and scoff at the AEC is classless.

Then again I haven't ever really understood why this country makes such a hoopla over CMP in the first place. With all his caustic remarks surely we can find a better person to fill his shoes? (David O'C gets my vote)

twowillows
Sep. 1, 2004, 06:47 AM
CMP needs to look at the stats for the AEC and figure what the entries fees would be if all those novice and training riders suddenly didn't enter. Thoses divisions are the majority of the competition and the riders in those divisions are probably the most estatic about going, they love this sport whether they are at novice or not, it to this level is the love of the sport!!!

annikak
Sep. 1, 2004, 07:19 AM
DV-

I hope you don't think that I said "Championship" was offensive- not at all, I think its a great idea, and I am glad that you have been as supportive as you have been.

Twowillows has a great point...

SwizzleStick
Sep. 1, 2004, 07:22 AM
"...isn't the ATC also called a "Championship"?"

As of this year, the ATC is called a "Challenge."

deltawave
Sep. 1, 2004, 07:46 AM
Here's my letter...far too long, as usual, but I don't care if it gets published...I only hope he READS it.


Dear Captain Phillips

I have been eventing for nearly 10 years, and am a card-carrying member of the USEA and the USEF who rides at the lower levels. (Training and Preliminary) I enthusiastically supported our Olympians this year, and very rarely miss the annual trip to Rolex to watch the elite of my sport compete. I do clinics whenever I can with upper-level riders, and in so doing I support them at the same time they educate me. Call me the “ultimate amateur” (I understand more disparaging terms have been used for us) with a career, a family, and a couple of horses with whom I have good days and bad days.

I wonder why you feel so “dismayed” to have discovered that the American Eventing Championships, which was conceived as a celebration for eventers at ALL LEVELS would offer prize money to riders at ALL LEVELS. Actually, it seems you were dismayed because there isn’t some sort of “class system” in place, where the upper level riders could win MORE money than the lower level riders. If you claim to “know how much the USEA values that part (the lower level folks) of their membership”, then why does it surprise you so to see a competition where the lower level riders can feel like they’re as important as their idols in this one particular setting?

This adult amateur is seeing a lot of positive things happening down here at the lower levels: nicer courses, better infrastructure and safety, a national organization that is computer-literate and trying to grow along with its membership, adult rider programs, area programs, clinics, etc. etc. What I hear from the coach of our Olympic team, however, is quite different: we’re second-class citizens, who ought to be giddy with glee at the thought of some prize money but who clearly shouldn’t expect to get as much as the Advanced people.

I’m planning to drive 900 miles to compete at the AEC, not because I’m shooting for any prize money or hoping for any recognition, but because I firmly believe in “voting with my checkbook”. The AEC, in my opinion, is GOOD for the sport because it celebrates the amateur and the lower-level rider who, I don’t need to remind you, makes up a HUGE proportion of the membership of the USEA.

You indicate in your comments that perhaps the AEC “deserves” some sort of high profile. That is an encouraging statement, but in assuming that we all think the presence of Advanced riders only showing up for big prize money is the only thing that makes an event a success or deserving of support, you are mistaken. The AEC will earn the profile it deserves by being SUPPORTED at all levels, from Novice on up. Either you think it’s a good idea, or you don’t. If you don’t, for whatever reason, stay home. If you DO, however, then GO if you can. THAT is how we show support down here at the lower levels…we show up to compete, prize money
or not.

Of course I realize you won’t be competing at the AEC, but your statements imply that you are hardly encouraging “your” upper level riders to go. On top of the fact that it is one of only TWO Horse Trials in the country that weekend that is offering any prize money at all, it is also going to be very well attended and I daresay many, many of the riders who are going are students of or have done clinics with the elite group who you feel ought to be holding out for more—or at least more than those NOVICE people—money. Why wouldn’t you be 100% behind having as many upper level riders as possible show up? What an incredible opportunity for enhancing the livelihood of the majority of the folks who ride for you…prize money is not what pays the mortgage for most upper level riders, our hard-earned clinic dollars are.

I don’t want to imply that I would hold it against ANY rider for not attending or even for coming with an idea of perhaps winning a nice check. But to hear from someone such as yourself that you think it’s somehow not worth going is bound to make us think that there is some disdain for this venue up there at the top, which is a pity. I can tell you that I wouldn’t hack a half mile down the road to do a clinic with a coach who had obvious disdain or “no time for” the lower level people, but I would go a long, long way to ride with an O’Connor or a Wieschhoff or any other clinician who made it a point to “give back”. Maybe THAT is why the Advanced division at the AEC already has most of “your” Olympians entered, even though they’ll have to put up with the indignity of those ecstatic Novice and Training riders lining right up beside them to claim their prize money. My guess is those riders will be cheering just as loudly as their lower-level students and fans. Shame on you for being so small-minded about this venue. You ought to be there cheering, too.


I thought about signing it "Major", since I believe I do outrank him, but nah... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

canterlope
Sep. 1, 2004, 08:05 AM
Yeah, deltawave! Most excellent. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif

tle
Sep. 1, 2004, 08:05 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I thought about signing it "Major", since I believe I do outrank him, but nah...
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Lynn, I will clean your stall for a MONTH if you do!!! LOL I think it would be hysterical and totally awesome! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif (Laura thinks so too!)

Great letter BTW!

RoeVee
Sep. 1, 2004, 08:18 AM
Great letter DeltaWave! you could also add a byline saying "this letter supported by the COTH BBers". http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Heather
Sep. 1, 2004, 08:33 AM
Lynn I've been laughin not stop. You so have to sign it major.

Great letter from canterlope too.

I think it's not totally fair to paint team riders with the same brush as CMP, although I KNOW for a fact that that many of them agree with his views. I would also suggest that many of them, some even named on this thread, also think they are more deserving of prize money, and that it is their "right".

I had one person tell me, point blank, that if "we" (apparently meaning lower level riders) didn't find a way to funnel more prize money into the upper levels of the sport, then most pros would probably end up leaving for the jumpers. My response, of, "OK, we'll miss them," apparently was not the repsonse they were looking for.

SwizzleStick
Sep. 1, 2004, 08:34 AM
Right on the money DW, (no pun intended)! He might even understand some of the bigger words without having to look them up in the Dictionary!

Swizz

slp2
Sep. 1, 2004, 08:39 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> even though they’ll have to put up with the indignity of those ecstatic Novice and Training riders lining right up beside them to claim their prize money. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I love that part. I am getting a halarious visual of some schweaty novice amateur standing next to a well-groomed ex-Olympian waiting to pick up their check at the secretary's tent . . . kinda like a "street peep" standing behind Donald Trump in the unemployment line . . . http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

dianad
Sep. 1, 2004, 08:47 AM
But don't most sports reward the tougher/higher levels with more money and prizes? Not saying it's right or wrong, but it seems to that it's pretty much across the board.

tle
Sep. 1, 2004, 08:58 AM
Ah... but with the exception of what was reported here from teh Maui Jim Wayne HT, the only other prize money I know of at all in this sport is already at the upper levels (ie: Hunter's Run does $5000 to the OI division). So AEC is dividing it up equally, over the whole sport it is still concentrated at the top.

deltawave
Sep. 1, 2004, 09:57 AM
Yes, for most venues the "upper levels" get more prize money, but THIS VENUE is supposed to be--the way I see it--more "democratic" (or socialist, if you're a cinic) http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif in celebrating everyone equally. Nobody's going to go clamoring for Encore or Queeny Park to start handing out prize money for BNR. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif

I hope I didn't give the impression that I was "dissing" any RIDERS in the letter. I daresay CMP has his bills comfortably paid for (by MY dues, no doubt, in large part) http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_mad.gif and wouldn't begrudge ANY hardworking BNT their chance at some cash. But his example of disdain is going to have an effect...SURELY he realizes he sets an example with everything he says!

PS...was he in the British Navy or Army? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

BBowen
Sep. 1, 2004, 10:27 AM
Canterlope and Deltawave:

Excellent responses. I too am very disappointed in CMP's comments. It seems he and many upper level riders forget that they were once riding lower levels as well. Heck, I may never get to training level, but I have a passion for riding and the sport of eventing. When I am not riding, I give back to the sport by volunteering as so many others do throughout the country. Frankly, it is just a matter of respect or in CMP's case, disrespect. Each of us have our goals, some smaller than others, but they are just as important in our lives as those of those at the advanced level.

oskaar
Sep. 1, 2004, 10:46 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
I daresay CMP has his bills comfortably paid for (by MY dues, no doubt, in large part)
PS...was he in the British Navy or Army? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, I would daresay Princess Anne pays those http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

I think he was cavalry (which would make sense, I guess)--is that Army?

Janet
Sep. 1, 2004, 10:49 AM
Apart from anything else, FEI competitions have specific prize money requirements.

oskaar
Sep. 1, 2004, 10:53 AM
CMP is famous for his disdain of the lower levels. Can't stand him. Can't stand his wife. They deserve each other.

I casually flipped through the omnibus as well. Even at the upper levels, there's not a whole lot of cash. Radnor takes the cake with 20k, but it's nowhere near show jumping.

I think some of disdain has always been present in the big guys, but I don't think they caught it from CMP. There are plenty of BNTs who show the smurf love--more than happy to give them my money http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

oskaar
Sep. 1, 2004, 10:58 AM
Oh, forgot to mention 2 things (I'm doing about 18 right now):

1) Nice letters ladies! When I have a few minutes, I will make sure I send off my own to the Captain.

2) Food for thought: The Olympics are also considered a championship. Plane tickets to Athens don't come cheap. It's possible there's some little dude swimming laps in Greenland or somewhere who would SMOKE Phelps. Too bad he couldn't afford the trip. Is Michael Phelps really deserving of the title champion? THere's someone out there who might have been able to beat him had the finances been there. It's not fair--but it's life. The "champion" is crowned as the person who put out the best effort on that day in time--that title does not mean that one person is the best for all time.

tle
Sep. 1, 2004, 11:30 AM
Phelps deserves the title "Olympic Champion" because that's what he is... Champion at the Olympics. The problem with carrying that idea over to the AEC is if the winners were called AEC Champions and not National Champions... I think that might be different. I love the idea of calling AEC a "Festival"... even a "Festival of Champions" due to having to qualify to get there. It should be a festival... a celebration. But the winners then should be "Festival Champion" or some such ... as I'm also really against the idea of it beign a national championship when in reality it isn't.

slp2
Sep. 1, 2004, 11:37 AM
Hoo boy. Did I start something here? Will I get credit if they change the name to American Eventing Festival (-or- The Celebration of American Eventing) next year? Probably no money in it for a "smurf" like me though . . . http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif Guess I'll boycott it then. Hee, hee. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

Magnolia
Sep. 1, 2004, 11:39 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I casually flipped through the omnibus as well. Even at the upper levels, there's not a whole lot of cash. Radnor takes the cake with 20k, but it's nowhere near show jumping. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Wow. That ain't much! I do believe there are a few 3' hunter classics that just may pay more.

Why can't english sports get the same level of prizes and money as western? Western QH people win trailers at local series. Team penners can get $5K in a weekend. Barrel racers and contesters win money.

sian
Sep. 1, 2004, 11:39 AM
KRC asked "what's a smurf?"

Smurfs were small blue cartoon characters when I was a kid in England. From "Blue Buddies":

"The Smurfs are tiny, blue creatures who live in mushroom houses in a village hidden in the forest. Smurfs are blue, three-apples tall, and speak a dialect which makes heavy use of the word "smurf". The root word "smurf" is used extensively as a noun, verb, and everything in-between; "what a smurfy smurf, Papa Smurf" would not be an uncommon sentence. There are over 100 Smurfs inside the Smurf Village. The Smurfs are led by 543-year-old Papa Smurf, a good and powerful wizard. Each Smurf is assigned a task in the village, according to their ability and the needs of the community. Smurfs live peaceful lives in harmony with nature. The word "Schtroumpf" (Smurf) is the Flemish equivalent of the English language colloquial "Whatchamacallit". "

You can find more at Blue Buddies (http://bluebuddies.com)

A bit like an early Teletubbie prototype......

deltawave
Sep. 1, 2004, 11:48 AM
Right, we all know what smurfs are, but I don't get how adult ammies resemble them in CMP's eyes.

Again with the "championship" thing...EVERYBODY KNOWS what the AEC is. It's an invitational HT with an unpopular name, seemingly. What are we afraid of by calling it a "Championship", that someone is going to put it on their resume' that they were the "American Champion" or something? If they did, anyone who knew anything about eventing would simply roll their eyes and laugh. If they do so and it impresses their friends or their grandma, so what? It's not taking away from anyone else's accomplishments, after all.

His Greyness
Sep. 1, 2004, 12:02 PM
In the days when he was married to Princess Anne, the British press depicted Mark Phillips as not the brightest of lads. He did fulfill one role of the British monarchy, however; that of tabloid fodder. (http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Mark-Phillips)

I would not waste any energy getting worked up over what he has to say.

pwynnnorman
Sep. 1, 2004, 12:09 PM
I guess I'm seeing this a little differently because I'm seeing it from an upper level perspective (as the one who has to foot the bills, that is).

I think more money should be offered at the upper levels simply because it is so much more expensive to compete at those levels. And I'm not thinking about the pros either. I'm thinking about the owners.

We need something to help us keep going, you know. Lower level riders have their own pleasure and motivations to keep them going, but what about the owners of upper level horses? It's very tempting to sell, you know? To just cash in and stop risking your investment with every entry you make.

After Prelim and into the three-days, entry fees double and triple. Also--although I know many lower level riders do this, too--serious efforts to get into and stay at upper levels require more vet and farrier care, more supplements and medications, specialists for this and that, more stabling (because you have to stay longer), more shipping (because you have to go further), more help (because you need a lot of it at three-days and the like),e tc., etc. Even more insurance! It all takes my breath away. Then there's the expensive paperwork, too: registration, passports, and whatever else I keep forgetting.

So maybe CMP's comments might be just a little bit more understandable if you think about sacrifices made by owners who enable the sport to HAVE upper levels: what rewards to they/we have--just "ownership"? Lower level riders get to RIDE, after all. And think especially about those geldings whose careers could end at any time--nice ones (yeah, like Con), who could just as easily be ridden by a lower level rider and whose price tags and successes at the lower levels might be equally rewarding as their not-for-sale "values" and middling results (yeah, or, if we're lucky, better than middling results..but still not much "payback") at higher levels.

Don't you think there should to be some incentive to keep people wanting to produce and support upper level horses? There can't be that many Mars and Wachtmeister types around.

deltawave
Sep. 1, 2004, 12:35 PM
Yes, but THIS PARTICULAR VENUE is supposed to be different...to celebrate the amateur. I definitely sympathize with the plight of owners, and struggling upper-level riders who are trying to make a living. That is why I do clinics with them as often as I can.

But there IS prize money at the AEC...LOTS of it. I think the objection CMP makes that the upper level folks should get a greater SLICE of it is just crass and mean-spirited. The USEA put this together to celebrate the "rank and file" members who DON'T get any other "big" venues. THIS PARTICULAR VENUE is not the place, IMO, to treat the upper level riders to a big payoff at the expense of the "little people". It is the one venue where WE are sort of "center stage", and having the upper levels at all I think is CRUCIAL at the AEC, but is not CENTRAL to the AEC.

And the entry fees at this particular HT are THE SAME for all levels.

I'm trying to differentiate the "AEC", which is singular, from "eventing"...I do hope that better prize money becomes the norm for eventing, and that upper level riders can have an easier time "making it" as a result. But right now, at this venue, that's not what it's about.

And I would argue that as an "owner" of two horses I spend PLENTY of my discretionary income on upkeep of an older horse and a baby who needs lots of work. A young adult with an entry-level job and a cheap OTTB going BN might be spending a lot MORE, proportion-wise, of HER income to keep and compete an event horse. Doesn't she deserve some "props", too? THAT IS WHAT THE AEC IS FOR. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Janet
Sep. 1, 2004, 12:52 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> And the entry fees at this particular HT are THE SAME for all levels. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> Good point. Gillian said the entry fees were "about the same" as any other Advance HT. But they are definitely ore thatn the typical Novice HT.

Boss Hoss
Sep. 1, 2004, 12:54 PM
I think there will be plenty of upper level riders on lower level horses campaigning them for clients who will be looking to get prize money as well.

Also, isn't the prize money only for the OPEN division, so if you are doing the Amateur division there's no prize money anyway? And the money is only going through the top 5, so chances are these will be the "pros".

http://eventingusa.com/promotions/aec/PrizeDistributionTable.pdf

deltawave
Sep. 1, 2004, 12:59 PM
But ULRs can't ride in any division that's 2 levels lower than where they've been competing, unless it's the "horse" division. So you won't see David O'Connor going in the Open Novice-Ch, for instance. No horse is going to win money at N-T-P with an O'Connor or other ULR riding it.

I do expect the pros will have some horses in the lower "horse" divisions...for the owners' sake and to enhance the value of the horse. Nothing wrong with that!

pwynnnorman
Sep. 1, 2004, 01:04 PM
I agree with you on the AEC, deltawave, but I thought a lot of the comments were veering toward eventing in general, too.

The entry fees for AEC are actually extremely reasonable: $200 for all divisions, I think.

If they continue to develop the event as a "festival," then I think giving equal weight to all divisions makes sense (although, as I think more on it, being an all-amateur event, right into the upper levels, would be even more interesting--a real celebration of the backbone of the sport, maybe with pros there only to cheer on their clients/students--now that'd make a statement...don't know how "amateur" would need to be defined, though).

On the other hand, in all honesty, I think I'm against prize money of any kind in amateur divisions. Call me weird, but I really do think money shouldn't be a factor with ammy's. It can be too tempting. I'd hate to see eventing go the way of hunters, with the almighty dollar taking precedent over good, progressive horsemanship.

Boss Hoss
Sep. 1, 2004, 01:09 PM
Ah....good. Then if I can get my sorry butt around the course clean I might have a chance.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>don't know how "amateur" would need to be defined, though <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I think the restrictions in place do a good job of keeping the champ divisions based on "experience"...so instead of an ULR getting another resume kudo, someone who has just worked their butt off all year and truly deserves it might win. However nothing says we didn't send our horses to ULR for a month to train them up either.

Robby Johnson
Sep. 1, 2004, 01:17 PM
Just save a little of that prize money for your braider, Susol! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Why is there such a huff over proclaiming a national champion? Do you all feel the same way about Area Championships? Rhodey is qualified to do the Area V Beginner Novice Championships. But other obligations prevent me from competing there. This doesn't make it unfair to me. It's like oskaar says, it just has to do with "the day." Could I beat the person who will ultimately win the Area V BN Championship? Who knows! But it doesn't stop him/her from taking the title.

The standards are high - yes. But you know what ... I feel I could act circles around, say, Matt Damon. I could probably write a script better than Anacondas: Hunt for the Blood Orchid. But you know what that requires? A move to Hollywood and a lot of hard work. We don't get something for nothing and if traveling 3000 miles is the requirement to win the prize well, then, that's what you've got to do.

Robby

SwizzleStick
Sep. 1, 2004, 01:20 PM
"...Well, I would daresay Princess Anne pays those"

I believe his annual stipend from the Royals, per the divorce agreement, ran out several years ago - about the time he married Sandy.

"...I think he was cavalry (which would make sense, I guess)--is that Army?"

Who cares????

:-)

GotSpots
Sep. 1, 2004, 01:25 PM
Pwynn, I disagree. I am the owner of an Advanced horse that I am lucky enough to have someone extremely talented ride and compete. I own him, and I hope to own more, because I get a kick out of seeing my beast gallop around the course, because I enjoy learning from his rider and experiencing the sport at that level, and because it makes me a better rider to be able to get the benefit of my beast's experience with her. No one is forcing me to do this sport - I support it because I love it.

And I sure as shootin' don't do it because I'm hoping for some payout at the end of a horse show. Because frankly, if I were in it just for the money, I'd have sold him to someone for lots of money or done the jumpers.

Sure, it costs more at the upper levels. You know what? It's a choice I've made. (Note, however, that I'm still a bit horrified that the USA Eq. fees are so much greater at a three day versus a horse trial, but that's a digression for another day). Sacrifice my spotted horse's rear end. It's a pleasure for me to do this at this level, and I think I am tremendously lucky to have found a horse that wants to do it and a rider who likes him. Sure, the money he won at Radnor was nice - I think it paid for his entry fee. But I don't compete him solely to earn money, and I don't believe the sport owns me, as the owner of some highly exulted "upper level horse" anything more at this event than it owes any competitor. No, we're not planning on going to AECs, but I can assure you that that decision had more to do with about sixteen other factors, none of which were that the lower level competitors were going to get the same amount of prize money available to the upper level riders.

I think the AECs are a grand idea. I'm all about a celebration of the sport at all levels, and a little prize money isn't such a bad thing throughout.

deltawave
Sep. 1, 2004, 01:26 PM
I'm just trying to see if I can "pull rank" on him or not...Army, yes. Navy, no. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

wanderlust
Sep. 1, 2004, 01:36 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by deltawave:
But ULRs can't ride in any division that's 2 levels lower than where they've been competing, unless it's the "horse" division. So you won't see David O'Connor going in the Open Novice-Ch, for instance. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Deltawave, is this something exclusive to the AEC? Because normally, anyone of any level on any horse can enter the Open divisions.

Boss Hoss
Sep. 1, 2004, 01:56 PM
Technically there is no "open" division at the AEC..I was referring to the championship division when I said "open", sorry..so yes this is exclusive to the AEC divisions.

deltawave
Sep. 1, 2004, 02:05 PM
Yes, I used the term "Open" incorrectly...the AEC is using the term N-CH* to delineate the "prize money" division, but it still isn't open to an ULR...you can't have ridden above Training. Very much like the old "restricted" or "rider" divisions.

Boss Hoss
Sep. 1, 2004, 02:15 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Very much like the old "restricted" or "rider" divisions. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Old? I still see these "non-open" divisions at events.

deltawave
Sep. 1, 2004, 02:18 PM
OK, OK! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif I meant "old" in that you don't really see "restricted" divisions any more, at least around here. I'm tired and hungry and not responsible for what I'm saying! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

perspective_shift
Sep. 1, 2004, 03:15 PM
“Shame-shame”…for the first time we are beginning to see the "color of money" and with a lot of effort by organizers to create CHAMPIONSHIPS along with “raising the bar” on prize money. I say "this is something to celebrate"!

YES-Of course the prize money should be given to those at the top and the higher levels! Did we forget that all other major sports reserves the higher prize money for the highest levels (pros)…I don’t recall golf, baseball, football, soccer, etc. giving “big $” prizes to its amateur divisions…yet I do recall “huge prize $$$” going to the Pros”…it is so obvious.

Read it again…there is no reason for anyone to be offended…I didn’t construe the CMP putting down the efforts and accomplishments of the lower level amateur.

Quote by CMP;

..."if we want our advanced level riders to show up to give the Championships the profile it deserves, you have to reward them a little better than those at the lower levels. This surely is common sense, not rocket science."

I agree with the Captain (and I don’t know him personally)... think about it… this is simple SPORT-MARKETING business sense.

It is true, that the lower levels deserve recognition and money but being NASTY about the most accomplished people in our sport is not a smart way to achieve it.

So I am hearing, “it is the money you want at the amateur level” and “the bulk of the USEA members” are amateurs …then why not get “pro-active” and develop your own "prize fund" for the amateurs.

I know you would feel proud of this effort and all amateurs would enjoy the prize money you say is deserved.

But and I say it again "BUT" be prepared to discover how hard it is to raise this money and then appreciate the great accomplishments of organizers and BNR's as you will find out that many of the BNR have turned to their sponsors to encourage them to also sponsor various events...so would you or could you do the same?


Remember it is the guys/gals at the TOP that give Eventing the "little" recognition it gets…don’t "shred them apart" as you will find this sport will die without them...and please don't get so greedy and take away what is their due.

Finally …it is so “self-reflecting” of those people on this thread who prefer to personally attack CMP and/or any of the BNR's.

These quotes say it best:

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle. By Plato


Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game.
By Michael Jordan

Heather
Sep. 1, 2004, 03:58 PM
Why do I get my panties in a wad over the "national championship?" Because it will be a lie. Michael Phelps is the Olympic champion. The winner of an area championship is an area champion, and the winner of the AEC will be the AEC champion. But he or she will not be a national champion.

And if you think that kind of thing won't get twisted and construed, just go over to the dressage BB and find out how many trainers hung out a shingle as being "5th in the Olympics" or "5th in the Olympic trials" when in fact they were 5th at the Olympic festival, which didn't even necessarily mean they rode at grand prix. People lie and twist and stretch, and newbies don't know better, and pretty soon you'll have people who were 1st in the Novice at the AEC telling clients thay are training with the National Champion.

Until the AEC's find a way to include people from all states on a reasonably equal basis, it will never be a national championship.

So why make a big deal over propping up a lie? Why not call it a festival, and let it be enjoyed as it should be? A celebration of the sport, a chance for the little guys to have a minute in the sun, etc? Why bang the "National Championship" drum until every one has a head ache? Why lie?

I don't own an advanced horse, yet, but I do own a nice youngster running prelim with aspirations to advanced. Would I like prize money? Sure. Is it hard sometimes to not just say, god, sell him, get me out of this money hole? Sure. But truly, at the end of the day, I do this because I love the horse, and I love his rider, and I love them together. Having prize money wont' make me change or alter any of my decision making process.

Robby Johnson
Sep. 1, 2004, 05:38 PM
How would you propose the concept of the AEC be changed to be equitable/fair/all-inclusive for the entire country?

Other than venue/site/geography, it's my intepretation - as a USEA member, not a committee member - that the competition is open for all who qualify.

As it's a competition intended to draw a national audience, why can the winner not be titled the national champion?

Robby

deltawave
Sep. 1, 2004, 06:15 PM
I, too, think it's ridiculous when people claim they were "5th at XXX Championships" when only 6 people showed up, or were "Reserve Champion" in their jumper division when there were 2 people in the class. However, I'm not offended by it--I just think its pitiable, and laughable. And you BET I look into those credentials if I'm thinking of riding with someone. Anyone who doesn't deserves to be duped.

I also can't stand when people say they're "schooling Intermediate" when they are showing Novice and their horse did one kind of big Prelim ramp that was also on an Intermediate course. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif This happens, too, but I have the same reaction--I think it's pitiful.

Once again I don't know a SINGLE SOUL who is thinking of this as a chance to "be the National Champion". And if someone DOES win and wants to say so, who does it harm? I'd say they deserve a HUGE pat on the back for beating 80-100 other riders who have been competitive and they should have some sort of pat on the back.

If you really, really want to be sticky, you'd say the "National Championship" ought to be an additional invitational, say between all the area champions. That's very unlikely to happen, so it's really quite a moot point.

Obviously if the concept offends you, don't go. If you really, really want to call yourself a "National Champion", you have to go, and win. Best of luck. The rest of the 99.999% of us, I think, see this for what it is, call it whatever you will.

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

canterlope
Sep. 1, 2004, 06:35 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by perspective_shift:
YES-Of course the prize money should be given to those at the top and the higher levels! Did we forget that all other major sports reserves the higher prize money for the highest levels (pros)…I don’t recall golf, baseball, football, soccer, etc. giving “big $” prizes to its amateur divisions…yet I do recall “huge prize $$$” going to the Pros”…it is so obvious.

Read it again… <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Maybe you should take your own advice and read it again, Perspective Shift. I don't recall CMP talking about amateurs divisions. He spoke of advanced level riders vs. the lower levels.

According to your description above, riders who compete at the upper levels are all pros and riders who compete at the lower levels are all amateurs. However, at just about any event in the country, you will see professional riders competing at the lower levels. Does this mean they are not pros on that weekend? And vice versa. When an amateur rides at the upper levels, does this make him/her a pro?<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>So I am hearing, “it is the money you want at the amateur level” and “the bulk of the USEA members” are amateurs <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>No, we are not saying that we want money at the amateur level (whatever that is) because this is not a pro vs. amateur question. What we are talking about is one event where an attempt is being made to make every competitor who has entered feel like they matter just as much as the next guy. And it doesn't take a rocket scientist (sorry Reed) to figure out that our lower level riders do matter just as much as our upper level riders. Maybe not in the same way, I will give you that, but the sport of Eventing doesn't survive due to its upper level riders alone. <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>…then why not get “pro-active” and develop your own "prize fund" for the amateurs. I know you would feel proud of this effort and all amateurs would enjoy the prize money you say is deserved.

But and I say it again "BUT" be prepared to discover how hard it is to raise this money and then appreciate the great accomplishments of organizers and BNR's as you will find out that many of the BNR have turned to their sponsors to encourage them to also sponsor various events...so would you or could you do the same? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Before you start assuming things and giving advice as to what we "amateurs" should and shouldn't do, you might want to do a little research as to who and who is not already doing what you suggest.

How about starting with the USEA Honor Roll of Contributors to find out who is already bellying up to the bar? Where are all the names of the upper level riders who have donated bundles of money to develop their "prize fund"? I see a lot of lower level riders on that list who have given with absolutely no assurance that they will ever see a dime from a "prize fund", but the upper level riders are few and far between. Yet those upper level riders are currently getting prize money and CMP feels that they should be given more by taking it away from the lower level riders.

Then you might want to start talking to some individuals about their level of giving and fund raising efforts. Tell you what. You can begin with me. I'm a lower level rider and an amateur to boot, so there shouldn't be any question as to whether this is pro/amateur or upper level/lower level.

On the donating side, to date, my husband (who does not compete and is just now getting into the administrative side of our sport) and I have given over half a million dollars in support to our international teams, various programs within the USEA, and several events throughout the country. We have sponsored Olympic riders, young riders, adult riders, and just about any other rider you can think of. On the fund raising side, we have solicited sponsors/donors, sold raffle tickets, talked our friends and family into giving, and just about turned ourselves into Amway People on behalf of the sport of Eventing. Why, just last month I walked into a Walmart in a town and state I don't live in and convinced the manager that donating two shopping carts full of items for our young rider program was a wonderful idea.

So, before you start making an "ass" out of yourself by "assuming" something, you might want to get your facts straight before telling people who are already pounding the pavement that they need to do more.<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Remember it is the guys/gals at the TOP that give Eventing the "little" recognition it gets… <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>It may be the guys/gals at the top that give Eventing the recognition it gets, but it's the little guys/gals who do the "grunt work" that provides the top guys/gals with the opportunity to garner recognition for both the sport and themselves as well. Take the "smurfs" away, and not only do you lose 80% of the USEA membership, but you also lose the lesson, training, coaching, and sales fees that help support the top guys/gals, the entry fees that allow our events to break even or even make a few bucks, a large portion of our volunteer base without whom there would be no Eventing in our country, the majority of the people who sit on the sidelines and cheer the top guys/gals on, etc. They deserve just as much recognition for their efforts as the top guys/gals do for theirs.<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> don’t "shred them apart" as you will find this sport will die without them... <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>I find it very interesting that you think it is unwise to "shred" the top guys/gals apart for fear of losing Eventing, but think it is perfectly appropriate for a person in CMP's position to "shred" the little guys/gals in a national magazine.<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> and please don't get so greedy and take away what is their due. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Greedy!?! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gif You're calling us lower level riders greedy for being upset when CMP proposes taking away one of the few monetary rewards we may ever have the chance to receive because the upper level riders deserve it more and won't come to the AEC unless they get it. Sounds a bit like the pot calling the kettle black to me.

And what they are due? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gif Are you saying that Eventing is actually an Entitlement Program where only those riders competing at the upper levels are owed something while the lower level riders should be happy just to be included? I'm sorry. I always thought that you got out of Eventing what you put into it. My mistake.<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Finally …it is so “self-reflecting” of those people on this thread who prefer to personally attack CMP and/or any of the BNR's. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Just as it is "self-reflecting" when you call us lower level riders greedy or start ordering us to do things that most of us are already doing.

Boss Hoss
Sep. 1, 2004, 06:49 PM
Hay..if I go, and win, just call me the big dog for the day. I need the prize money for gas money to get back..and pay my braider http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

deltawave
Sep. 1, 2004, 07:22 PM
It is also "self-reflecting" and a "shame" when an alter comes out with such a passionate statement...what have you got to hide? Speak out as yourself! I'm quite sure you didn't just stumble across this BB and decide to jump in with this. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif Of course, that is an "assumption"... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Even the "big money" sports like golf occasionally have "Pro-Am" tournaments and such. NOBODY is suggesting the LLRs of the world are going to rise up and demand equal prize money. I'll say it yet again: THIS VENUE is different, and a "vacuum" of support for this venue at the top of the sport is a very, very bad reflection on those at the "top", IMO. Niggardly, small, ungenerous, carping, parsimonious...ah, hell, it's time to go watch "Queer Eye". http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Sannois
Sep. 1, 2004, 09:06 PM
it was a ridiculous thing to say! Left me with a permanant bad taste in my mouth about the Capt! And to think I audited a clinic with him. I thought more of him than that. But Heck I'm a Lowely Beginner novice rider, HArdly worth the Polyster of the ribbon! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_mad.gif

wanderlust
Sep. 1, 2004, 09:09 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Robby Johnson:
How would you propose the concept of the AEC be changed to be equitable/fair/all-inclusive for the entire country?

Other than venue/site/geography, it's my intepretation - as a USEA member, not a committee member - that the competition is open for all who qualify.

As it's a competition intended to draw a national audience, why can the winner not be titled the national champion?

Robby <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Because unfortunately, those of us on the West Coast, especially if at a level prelim or below, are in no way going to travel to an Eastern Seaboard state to compete in a horse trials. It just isn't feasible, or, IMO, reasonable. In fact, it isn't even an option for the majority of the people I know, as it could cost in excess of several thousand dollars just to get the horse there and back.

If someone who wins at AEC this year runs around claiming to be the "National Champion", I bet there are more than a few West Coast riders who would want to debate that assertion. How can you be a national champion if the competition is lacking participants from half of the country?

I really like what they used to do with the DeBroke championships- Eastern and Western. I think a model like that would get closer to the "national championship" model, while allowing folks from all geographic regions to participate.

Sannois
Sep. 1, 2004, 09:16 PM
Who exactly is thaqt person referring when they say He is the most accomplished person in our sport??? Mark Phillips is not one I would say is the most accomplished. Althought I'm sure he is good. Not a Mark Todd, Bruce Davidson, Blyth Tait, MAry King The O'connors, Denny Emerson.. Speaking of which Wouldn't it be nice to hear from Denny on this subject?? http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif

Robby Johnson
Sep. 2, 2004, 03:30 AM
Canterlope for President! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

I agree that a more centrally-located venue would be much more fair to all of the qualified membership. Unfortunately that won't happen until at least 2007, so if we know the site is in North Carolina and we want to compete, we've got to plan accordingly.

Maybe the tides will turn for 2007 and we'll see a venue out west, or at least something midway ... there is an event in Wichita, Kansas, and John Staples is based there! That's pretty much dead-center for everyone!!!!

Robby

Meshach
Sep. 2, 2004, 05:30 AM
brilliant rebuttal, DC. You are inspiring!

SwizzleStick
Sep. 2, 2004, 06:19 AM
DC, you rock big time!!

I find it hard to take seriously the diatribe from the Captain's cheerleader in England (or so I presume from the time/date stamp on the Perspective-shift posting). It's just as arrogant as Phillips' original posting which is the topic of this thread!

Swizz

SwizzleStick
Sep. 2, 2004, 06:23 AM
"...many of the BNR have turned to their sponsors to encourage them to also sponsor various events...so would you or could you do the same?"

Can we see hard data on this? Stats?

Swizz

Heather
Sep. 2, 2004, 06:38 AM
DC, you rock. Wanderlust, you totally rock too.

You both said exactly what I was thinking.

As far as the AEC's go--having them on the farthest eastern point possible, and yes, I know the VOLUMINOUS amount of reasons the venue was chosen, feels like a slap in the face to all of the membership not located on the eastern seaboard. I've read the statistics, I know why the venue was chosen, blah, blah blah. But honestly, how is someone from the west or midwest not supposed to think, Wow, they really don't give a crap about me out here, do they?

It seems to me, a tremendous good will step, would have been to either make a much stronger and earlier commitment tomove the championship around, OR instead of focusing on getting competitors fifty free smaples of fly spray and such, to try to arrange a sponsorship relationship with a shiping company and getting free or greatly discounted van trips to the venue for qualified horses.

I know there was an intern at the USEA this summer who did nothing but cold call companies for sponsorship and prizes for this thing. Why not focus that energy on getting sponsorships that would help the membership left out in the cold by the decision to hold it here?

As far as the CMP comments, and the late"supporter" here, I think DC about said it all. But seriously, I guess I do wonder, if that's what the higher ups really think? I mean I know some do believe that they are entitled to great things due to their own fabulousness. But I also wonder howmany other riders are horrified but what's said/written. I know my own trainer, most of her upper level horses are owned by lowerlevel amateurs students of hers, who wanted to help her out, who loved how she worked with the horses, etc. I can promise you she understands their contribution to the sport. Have the biggest of thebig fish really become so detached from the bottom that they can't see it. Sad.

deltawave
Sep. 2, 2004, 06:50 AM
Heather, your points are well taken on the location, etc...but honestly, in a country this big, this problem of geography simply CANNOT ever be overcome. Hold it in California or Arizona and a huge number of "east coasters" will be in the same boat.

The IDHSNA society went through (and STILL goes through, every year) the same thing when trying to hold a "National Show"...there are simply not enough horses everywhere in the country to justify moving the show around. The MAJORITY of ID breeders are in the East, therefore that's where the show has been for all but one year of its existence. The other time it was in Louisville, and by then the midwestern contingent was so alienated and pissed off that hardly any of them came ANYHOW. It's sad, depressing, political, but the reality is what it is. You will NEVER be able to hold a competition with "equal access" in a country this large.

I'm not at all surprised it's on the East Coast--am I wrong in thinking that's where the density of eventers is highest? They want to kick the thing off with good numbers and let it grow. Ahhh, I know you know all this! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif I just think this quibble on semantics is not worth worrying about.

We're a small community--we can all figure out what it will have meant for a rider to have won at the AEC. It's not like the QH world (which I don't even pretend to understand) where you have "World Champions", etc...what does THAT mean? http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif

And in spite of CMP's grumpiness and lack of apparent support for the AEC, just LOOK at how many of "his" Olympians are going! I don't care why--it's wonderful to see so many of them signed up! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif

Chaser
Sep. 2, 2004, 06:58 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by SwizzleStick:


I find it hard to take seriously the diatribe from the Captain's cheerleader in England (or so I presume from the time/date stamp on the Perspective-shift posting). It's just as arrogant as Phillips' original posting which is the topic of this thread!

Swizz <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Where do you see the time difference? On my screen it seems to fit in with what all the others show.

(After 3.5 years, I have finally found out how to do quotes! Go me! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif)

Heather
Sep. 2, 2004, 07:20 AM
I guess delta, at the end of the day, it's because I see it as a step back.

I remember when eventers on the west coast only got half points for their performances, compared to eventers on the east coast. I remember when we were told by selectors that we shouldn't bother with the paperwork, because we weren't going to get picked for any teams. I remember being asked, in snotty tones, at the national convention, "Do you even HAVE eventing out there?" or "Why would any one who events not want to live in (select one: South hamilton, Middleburg, Unionville). "

But then, after enough kicking and screaming, things got better. They did away with half points, west coast riders made some teams, and the lo and behold, someone from California actually got elected preident of the USCTA. OMG, what a miracle. We knew we'd always be a bit alien to the east coast amjority, what with our jumps made of palm tree and redwood logs, and our total absence of grass http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif, but we felt like we belonged. We felt like someone cared.

So after having gone through all that mess (wow, what an old fogey I feel like) it's hard to not feel like a this is a stepbackwards or a bit of a slap in the face.

If the championships move to a central location, I'll shut up. If they end up switiching back and forth between the coasts, I'll shut up (though not about the national championship thing), if they arrange affordable transportation for qualified horses and riders, I'll shut up.

I realize, really I do, that holding a single national championship show for the countryis nearly impossible. So, that's why i come back to, let's quit calling it that. let's call the winners in the eyar long point standing the national champions, and call these guys the AEC champions. More genuine. More honest. More fair.

canterlope
Sep. 2, 2004, 07:21 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by wanderlust:
How can you be a national champion if the competition is lacking participants from half of the country? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>I guess the question that comes to my mind is, if this is the standard that should be applied, how is it that any competition is called an area, regional, national, world, etc. championship and accepted as such? And I'm not talking about eventing competitions alone. I'm talking about every kind of competition there is.

Take beauty contests for example (I know, a goofy example, but it works). In the Miss Universe Pagent, the winner is given the title of the most beautiful woman in the Universe. Is this really the case? Does every woman on Earth either enter the competition or allow herself to be tracked down in her home, get looked over by the judges, and ranked according to her looks? Or, for that matter, is the same done with every woman in the Universe (for those of us who believe we are not alone)? Heck no. So why is it okay for the winner to be called Miss Universe when the competition is lacking participants from a whole lot more than half the Universe?

I think it is unreasonable to believe that there will ever be a competition of any sort where all of the best who participate in that activity will enter and vie for the opportunity to be called top dog. However, the majority of people out there have no problem with anointing the winners of "championship" competitions with a title that suggests they are the best.

If this be true, then it's a bit unfair to apply a standard to the AEC that isn't applied evenly and across the board. So what do you say to letting the winners of the AEC have their fifteen minutes of fame and bask in the glory of their accomplishments, knowing full well that there may have been someone who didn't enter, but could whip everybody's tail had they been there? It works for others, why not for us?

SwizzleStick
Sep. 2, 2004, 07:48 AM
posted Sep. 02, 2004 09:58 AM

"...Where do you see the time difference? On my screen it seems to fit in with what all the others show."

The posting came across last night (Sept. 1) with a date of Sept. 2, 7 hours later than it was here.

(How DO you do quotes? Stupid me!)

Swizz

Robby Johnson
Sep. 2, 2004, 07:50 AM
DC, you went there with beauty pageants (not goofy at all, I was going to do it earlier), and I nearly went there with Drag Queen Pageants.

I do think the USEA is the national organization for eventing. The AEC is their one national competition, which requires qualifying scores. I think it's fine to proclaim the winner the national champion.

Heather, at annual meetings, I still get those snotty comments about "what is it really like in Arkansas?" I agree the logistics suck, but that's the way it is and I do hope there can at least be an equitable distribution of the event over the years. We will never get rid of the miles as we live in such a large country!

Robby

Chaser
Sep. 2, 2004, 08:02 AM
Swizz... You've got sharp eyes! I never think to look out for things like that.

We are 5 hours ahead in the UK. It might have been posted by someone on the Continent. However, my posts show the board time and not what it is here (16:03).

To quote someone, go to the post you want to quote and click on the " symbol on the bottom right of that post.

Sorry for the digression, everyone.

canterlope
Sep. 2, 2004, 08:35 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Heather:
I remember when eventers on the west coast only got half points for their performances, compared to eventers on the east coast. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Heather, you've posted about this before and it piqued my curiosity so much that the last time I talked to Sharon Gallagher, USEA Director of Competitions, I asked her about it. She said that the National Office has no record of half points ever being awarded based on the geographic location of an event or rider. She did say that half points were, and still are, awarded if the number of starters in certain divisions falls below a certain level, but that this was and is applied evenly throughout the entire country.

I'm very interested to know if you have any documentation that shows points being unfairly applied to west coast eventers in the past. I know it's been a bit of time, but if this did indeed happen, maybe something could be done to make ammends.

Heather
Sep. 2, 2004, 09:16 AM
Documentation? No. However, this is what I remember: In the time around 1988 or so, selection for Olympic, WC, Pan Am Games, etc. was done completely objectively, and was done via something similar to the USET computer list the show jumpers use now. I noticed that virtually no west coast riders were ever making training lists, etc. and asked about it at a convention. I was told that our riders only got half points for their competitions, so that it was impossible for any non-eastern rider to make the list. When i asked why we only got half points, I was told, and I quote, "Becuase you live on the wrong coast."

I remember at all the levels, we never made the national ranking, exccept in obscure categories, like breed trophies--my trainer won the Sasquatch trophy one year on his Appy advanced horse. On the other hand that same Appy was consistently top five at Intermediate and advance for multiple years, and consistently got beat for the Sasquatch trophy by an Appy going training and prelim. I was told that too was due to half points.

Now, perhaps the justification was number of entries or something to that effect. But that is NOT what I/we were told when we asked people at the conventions. And considering the same rules now apply (number of points in relation to number of entires) yet you consistently see west coast riders making lists, winning national rankings, etc. I have to believe it wasn't just a number of competitiors thing, because the eventing community out there hasn't grown THAT much.

I remember sitting in a national convention (I want to say it was the one in las Vegas, though it's been quite some times so i couldn't swear to that), and being sarcastically thanked by a Canadian rider for our "fair and balanced selection system" that had allowed us to get our behinds handed to us by Canada in the Pan Am games.

I remember West Coast riders holding fund raising drives so they could run at one or two eastern horse trials so they could maybe, just maybe, get on a training list (I remember doing this with a friend of mine). And I remember that same friend, being told by the selection committee chair, "You want to make a team, get out of the wasteland." Never mind that she had a fmily and a life, and god forbid, LIKED living on the west coast. I also remember two west coast riders doin very well (say top five) a Rolex, and not making even a long list, because they had only recieved half points for their horse trials preps.

I'm having dinner this weekend with a friend who was much more on the frontlines of this than I was. I'll ask her if she has any of her old paperwork from that era saved.

I realize I'm a bit of a broke record on this topic. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/winkgrin.gif

But it's not about ammends per se, as much as I do think it's good for people who get to live in the center of eventing mecca here to understand just why people from other places can be a hair bitter. Or why we would feel slighted or offended over the AEC thing. We just want our fair shot. I think in the last decade, the USEA has done an excellent job of making sure they/we get one, and that is all the ammends I think anyone who went through that era needs. But I think vigilance to prevent a backslide is not innapropraite.

If my friend has any paperwork left, I'll have her send it on to you.

deltawave
Sep. 2, 2004, 09:30 AM
Heather, it's a damn shame that those things happened, but the AEC is a "done deal". Nothing can change the stuff that happened, and for better or for worse, the AEC is in NC for 3 years. If you want to see it as a step backwards, I can't blame you...though why not take the view that probably NONE of those things had anything to do with the selection of the venue site, and face FORWARD in supporting it? (I know you DO in a way, but it doesn't seem your heart is really in it) http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Heather
Sep. 2, 2004, 09:43 AM
You're right, I am supporting it, but my heart isn't totally in it. I feel like I've been the girl with the scarlet letter on my chest for the last month, but my bright red "a" stands for "ambivalent".

As I said, we debated long and hard about going. And we still aren't sure. But we'll go and see what's doing.

I fully support the AEC as an eventing showcase, a festival of the sport, and fantastic opportunity for lower level and/or amateur riders to expereince competition of this type. Love it, love it, love it.

The other stuff I can't quite let go of. But I'll try.

But just know I'll be rooting for riders like you and others from somewhere other than the east coast to take the prizes. That won't be wrong, will it?
http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

deltawave
Sep. 2, 2004, 09:53 AM
You can root for us! Michigan far enough west for ya? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif Of course, I grew up in NJ... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

pwynnnorman
Sep. 2, 2004, 10:08 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>No one is forcing me to do this sport - I support it because I love it.

And I sure as shootin' don't do it because I'm hoping for some payout at the end of a horse show. Because frankly, if I were in it just for the money, I'd have sold him to someone for lots of money or done the jumpers. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

GotSpots, you are preaching to the choir here. No one in this sport does it strictly for the money...but many DO have to THINK about money. I think you do other owners a disservice by implying it is a simple matter.

In fact, and frankly, I tire of those who act like its some character flaw to be anything other than magnanimous 24/7. Get real. Just because YOU "can" doesn't mean everyone "should" or that they are lessened by having to deal with REALITY sometimes.

I think that CMP was trying, in his less-that-tactful-way, to remind us of reality. And, frankly, why the heck are people so quick to jump onto someone who has the courage to speak his mind? DISAGREE, fine. But at least he isn't another wet noodle blathering away to appease the paying crowd. Hear anyone else out there publicly expressing strong opinions? Maybe a few more CMPs would get us all more accustomed to debating fact instead of style.

deltawave
Sep. 2, 2004, 10:11 AM
CMP spoke his mind loud and clear. So have all of us. We're not criticizing him for speaking his mind...it's the CONTENT we find offensive. "Wet noodles", it's true, don't cause much of a stir. You won't find too many of the wet noodle crowd bothering to post on these threads, either. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

And sure, there are lots of eventers that speak their minds....Heidi Antikatzides, anyone?

pwynnnorman
Sep. 2, 2004, 10:31 AM
Yup, which is why I think it's been a great thread...which we actually have CMP to thank for! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Deltawave, I missed your reference to Heidi A. What do you mean? Can you point me to the discussion? What'd she say? (Could you point me to the discussion? Must have been interesting.)

deltawave
Sep. 2, 2004, 10:35 AM
It wasn't here on the BB, but she's been pretty outspoken about the Olympic venue (God, not THAT again, LOL) being a "waste" since it will never get used again. And I believe she also caused a flap over in the UK by alleging that a lot of ULRs were "drugging" their horses. Not sure what the fallout was, but she's got quite a reputation as an outspoken rider!

Janet
Sep. 2, 2004, 10:46 AM
With regard to Heather's comments, maybe if the AEC is moderately sucessfule, but lacking in bi-coastal participation, they WOULD make it like the deBrooke, with an AEC East and AEC West.

deltawave
Sep. 2, 2004, 10:53 AM
Hey, Heather...at least you have the convention hitting the West Coast this year, eh? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Still haven't made it to one of those...dang.

wanderlust
Sep. 2, 2004, 11:11 AM
Sorry canterlope, I don't buy the beauty pageant analogy. Just like the beauty pageants aren't out scoping out every potential beauty, we are only looking at folks who present themselves to us. If you were going to use a beauty pageant analysis, I think you'd have to compare it more to something like 25-30% of national winners not being able to get to the finals due to logistical reasons... so then could someone reasonably call themselves "the most beautiful woman in the world" if she hadn't competed against that many other qualifiers?

I think of it more along the lines of track and field. You need a qualifying score to go to nationals. If you have that qualifying score, you are damn well going to put yourself on a plane and go compete. Now lets say that all of a sudden, the western half of the US is quarantined and 30% of qualified participants are now unable to travel east to the championships. Is it still a national championship? And is it fair to call yourself national champion under these circumstances?

Truthfully, the AEC is not something anyone out here has even discussed. I haven't heard one mention of it all season long. I can't even say folks are mad or upset because of the location, as the AEC just doesn't seem to apply to or have any relevance for us.

RAyers
Sep. 2, 2004, 11:25 AM
Now that I understand that the original gist of this thread is about the AEC, I agree with the idea that prize money should be equal. I also believe, as do others, that the AEC is a misnomer. While it is regrettable, the geography of the venue has severely limited the availability of the competition to those West of the Mississippi. I know when it was first announced that I decided I wasn't going becasue it was on the East Coast. I can not justify the expense and time since I have classes to teach (I am qualified for the AEC by the way in preliminary).

This brings up another problem with the idea of an AEC. I was qualified based on 1 (ONE) single competition. It was the only competition I did last year. That does not say much about it being a championship. Thus it really is a "Festival" in my mind. I actually would be more supportive if it was termed the AEF.

Reed

canterlope
Sep. 2, 2004, 12:46 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by pwynnnorman:
GotSpots, you are preaching to the choir here. No one in this sport does it strictly for the money...but many DO have to THINK about money. I think you do other owners a disservice by implying it is a simple matter.

In fact, and frankly, I tire of those who act like its some character flaw to be anything other than magnanimous 24/7. Get real. Just because YOU "can" doesn't mean everyone "should" or that they are lessened by having to deal with REALITY sometimes. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>You mean we have to get real. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif Okay, let's get real.

The reality of Eventing is that there is no money in it. The reality of the USEA is that it has precious little money to put into Eventing and must rely on the whims of others for financial support. The reality of owners is that they need money in order to continue being owners. When these three realities collide, what is owed the owners? As harsh as it may sound, nothing.

No one held a gun to their heads and forced them to become involved in eventing. No one showered them with false promises of unending wealth if they became involved in eventing. No one handcuffed them to eventing and they can leave and become involved in more lucrative equine endeavors if they so wish. It is of their own free will that they entered and remain in the sport, and with free will comes a personal responsibility that can not be passed onto the USEA or the sport itself.

Is this real enough for ya, pwynnnorman?

canterlope
Sep. 2, 2004, 01:37 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by wanderlust:
If you were going to use a beauty pageant analysis, I think you'd have to compare it more to something like 25-30% of national winners not being able to get to the finals due to logistical reasons... so then could someone reasonably call themselves "the most beautiful woman in the world" if she hadn't competed against that many other qualifiers? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>The title is "the most beautiful woman in the Universe." Not "the most beautiful woman who placed first in the pagent and every other woman who qualified was able to attend." There is no qualification on the title, yet people still accept it as being okay to label the winner with it. <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I think of it more along the lines of track and field. You need a qualifying score to go to nationals. If you have that qualifying score, you are damn well going to put yourself on a plane and go compete. Now lets say that all of a sudden, the western half of the US is quarantined and 30% of qualified participants are now unable to travel east to the championships. Is it still a national championship? And is it fair to call yourself national champion under these circumstances? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>If some restriction that was not of their own doing was being placed on the riders who qualified that disallowed their attendence, then yes, I would agree that it would be unfair to call anyone who won a national champion.

However, this is not the case with the AEC. Any rider who has qualified may attend if they so wish. Any restriction placed on the qualified riders and their ability to attend is being done by the riders themselves. Those who have qualified, but aren't going to attend, have made a personal decision to do so for any number of reasons. To hold others accountable for this and deem them unworthy of the title national champion if they win is really pretty unfair.

RAyers
Sep. 2, 2004, 01:46 PM
Canterlope,

I have to point out a MAJOR flaw in your reasoning.
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> However, this is not the case with the AEC. Any rider who has qualified may attend if they so wish. Any restriction placed on the qualified riders and their ability to attend is being done by the riders themselves. Those who have qualified, but aren't going to attend, have made a personal decision to do so for any number of reasons. To hold others accountable for this and deem them unworthy of the title national champion if they win is really pretty unfair. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

What you imply here is that is EVERY person that was qualified was to show up their entries would be accepted. You mean there is no limit on the entries? No, the management still gets the last say in who shows and who doesn't based on the number of entries so it is NOT strictly the riders' decision.

Reed

Boss Hoss
Sep. 2, 2004, 01:50 PM
UhOh! If the AEC is a beauty pageant I better stay home.

AEC has said they will take ALL entries..so if the Novice division takes 7 days to complete, I guess it will take that long http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

deltawave
Sep. 2, 2004, 02:02 PM
Well, allowing for the realities and all, the AEC organizers did say they were committed to accepting every single entry. Whether or not they COULD have if "all possible riders" who qualified decided to attend is another story. This is one of those unprovable points.

Robby Johnson
Sep. 2, 2004, 02:07 PM
Reed, every qualified entry would have been accepted from August 3-31, which is the enrollment period.

It was this anticipation that prompted the splits of divisions early-on in the planning process. As it has turned out, Advanced and Intermediate will be only one division; Preliminary will be the CH and H divisions; and Training/Novice will have CH, A/A, YR and H divisions.

It is absolutely the rider's decision. It sucks beans to have to haul 2000 miles. I know this - I'm hauling over 800.

Robby

JDufort
Sep. 2, 2004, 02:31 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Robby Johnson:
As it has turned out, Advanced and Intermediate will be only one division; Preliminary will be the CH and H divisions; and Training/Novice will have CH, A/A, YR and H divisions.
Robby <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

does this mean the goodies (prizes) intended for those multiple A and I divisions will be showered on the single division competitors?

RAyers
Sep. 2, 2004, 03:56 PM
Hey Robby,

Are you telling me that they would have allowed over 500 horses and riders to compete? How many folks actually did qualify? It really would be a festival if eveyone showed up!

Reed

wanderlust
Sep. 2, 2004, 04:05 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Robby Johnson:
It is absolutely the rider's decision. It sucks beans to have to haul 2000 miles. I know this - I'm hauling over 800. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

800 I wouldn't mind, Robby... thats about how far it is from us to Galway Downs, and we do it every year, and twice as far to get to Rebecca Farms in Montana. 3500 is how far it would take to get to the Carolinas, and no matter how anyone spins it, it is ludicrous unless you are headed out to stay for an extended period of time.

Canterlope, normally I agree with you and really like your posts. However, I don't think you can tell me that the AEC expected much, if any, participation from the Western states. It is exclusionary by nature, and your "boo-hoo, too bad for you that you can't come because you can't afford to ship your horse 3500 miles or take the time off to do so" is not endearing me to your cause. In fact, it is quite alienating.

So... *you* can call the winner whatever you want, but until it fits the model and has the prestige of the DeBroke, *I* am still going to hold the opinion that you are the winner of the AEC, and certainly not the national champion.

SwizzleStick
Sep. 2, 2004, 04:20 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by RAyers:

Are you telling me that they would have allowed over 500 horses and riders to compete? How many folks actually did qualify? It really would be a festival if eveyone showed up!

(Feeling very smug since Chaser taught me how to do quotes!)...
Being much too lazy at the moment to thumb through my AHSA/USEA/USEAF/Whatever rulebook, I dimly recall that in a Championship, all qualified entries must be accepted providing these entries fulfill all the required entrance criteria. That could potentially have been a s**tload of horses for the AEC, no?

Swizz

SwizzleStick
Sep. 2, 2004, 04:23 PM
...and what percentage of that s**tload of horses would have been ridden by - gasp - SMURFS?????

Swizz

canterlope
Sep. 2, 2004, 05:42 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by wanderlust:
Canterlope, normally I agree with you and really like your posts. However, I don't think you can tell me that the AEC expected much, if any, participation from the Western states. It is exclusionary by nature, and your "boo-hoo, too bad for you that you can't come because you can't afford to ship your horse 3500 miles or take the time off to do so" is not endearing me to your cause. In fact, it is quite alienating. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gif Wanderlust, I have gone back and read this entire thread to see where I've said anything close to what you describe. I just can't seem to find it and never intended to say anything of the sort, so please show it to me and I will be more than happy to apologize to you and anyone else I've offended by my words.

Boss Hoss
Sep. 2, 2004, 05:43 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>However, I don't think you can tell me that the AEC expected much, if any, participation from the Western states. It is exclusionary by nature, and your "boo-hoo, too bad for you that you can't come because you can't afford to ship your horse 3500 miles or take the time off to do so" is not endearing me to your cause. In fact, it is quite alienating. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

When I was doing Olympic Weightlifting I could drum up enough sponsorship to pay for my airline tickets and hotel expenses for National Level meets. So if the AEC is held in UTAH next year, and I have a chance of being competitive, then I would look to get sponsorship to haul my horse out there and back. People love this stuff, especially if you are in a smaller town and canget some PR in the paper about "an up and coming athlete..blah-blah".

And then find someone in yoru region who need a ride too, and then split the cost. Heck you might get a full truck, drop the costs and have it sponsored on top.

If this kind of thing is what you live for, then plan for it next year no matter where it is. People don't complain about Rolex's location..they get there anyway they can.

Sannois
Sep. 2, 2004, 06:17 PM
Sorry to butt in on this topic, But what are the qualifications for competing??

subk
Sep. 2, 2004, 06:31 PM
I have just muddled through 7 pages and probably should keep my mouth (keyboard) shut...but of course I won't.

I think most of you are very confused! Mark Phillips was not and is not employed by the PR department of the USEA.

Mark Phillips was hired to win medals. Goodness knows how critical we "smurfs" are when our national teams don't win medals. (That's the proverbial "we"--none of us on this BB would be consider being that harsh.)

Anyway, he's employed to advance the causes of the upper levels and to hopefully enlarge the pool of qualified riders so we can increase the likelihood of winning medals. I can surely understand how from his point of view how increasing the prize money for those that have to spend more to get there (see pwynnorman excellent post a few pages back) makes sense.

Mark Phillips is NOT a smooth PR oriented kind of guy. Noone reading his most basic bio would confuse him as such. That's not what he was hired to be. That people are occasionally insulted by him is not exactly a surprise. BUT the guy can coach. Our national teams are now winning medals and the complaints to HQ about our dry spell have ceased.

For those of you that think "money" has suddenly made the ULRs think they are "entitled" as competitors let me assure you that 20 years ago some previous Olympians destroyed my youthful innocence on that subject. If anything the URL across the board have improved in behavior!

Anyway take what Phillips says with a grain of salt he was never hired to be a PR guy.

KellyS
Sep. 2, 2004, 07:45 PM
Let's see...late here joining the party, but here nevertheless! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

First of all, I have to say that even taking CMP's comments "with a grain of salt," that as a lower level rider who will be going to the AECs, I was offended. I'm not going for the title or the money, and God knows I'll be estatic to break into the top half of my division, but it sounds like a wonderful and very different type of event, and I look forward to being there.

This event is about giving everyone the same unique experience whether you are a lowely Novice rider (like me) or an Olympic level Advanced rider. And I see absolutely no reason to not award the same amount of money in each division. If ULRs are going to snub the AEC just because they don't get a bigger piece of the pie, then shame on them. But, it looks as if the majority of them are going to be there which shows me that CMP is merely speaking for himself, not for "his" riders. That's good to know! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

I also don't understand why people are so bent out of shape about the term "championship." Anybody that knows anything is going to understand that this may not necessarily be the best of the best (of the best as Will Smith said in Men in Black http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif), but let the winners enjoy their moment (because it will be a brief moment). I'm sure there will be a flurry of activity announcing winners in equine publications, but they will quickly move onto the next big equestrian event. I've done the AQHYA World Shows and no one ever remembered the "World Champions" from the year before! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/winkgrin.gif

Also, while everyone can decry the location of the AECs, just remember that "Indoors" for the H/J circuit is always on the east coast (Washington International, Penn National, the National), as are the big 3-Days (Rolex, Foxhall, Radnor, Fair Hill). The AEC is not the first or last event/show of this caliber to be located on this side of the country. It is not a snub to West Coast riders (or MidWest riders), it is merely following the tradition of many other events. The good news is that you have a great group of people working to make this event accessible to everyone and I'm sure that it will make its way westward! Won't see that happening with the Devon or Rolex anytime soon. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Anyway, kudos to Deltawave, Robby, and Canterlope for all their excellent points. This is a sensitive subject and they've dared to touch it with a "ten foot pole." http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

AllyCat
Sep. 2, 2004, 09:15 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Heather:

I remember at all the levels, we never made the national ranking, exccept in obscure categories, like breed trophies--my trainer won the Sasquatch trophy one year on his Appy advanced horse. On the other hand that same Appy was consistently top five at Intermediate and advance for multiple years, and consistently got beat for the Sasquatch trophy by an Appy going training and prelim. I was told that too was due to half points.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hey! Derek di Grazia!! I have a videotape of the 1984 Rolex with him riding Sasquatch...and I think he won? Maybe second or third.

That was the first time I had EVER seen eventing and watching that tape over and over made me think I really wanted to try it sometime. It took 8 years, but I finally did and will never go back.

I was really inspired by Derek's ride and Kim Walnes' ride on the Grey Goose from the same competition.

DizzyMagic
Sep. 3, 2004, 12:25 AM
Heather - that is HILARIOUS!!! Love that!!!

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Heather:

I had one person tell me, point blank, that if "we" (apparently meaning lower level riders) didn't find a way to funnel more prize money into the upper levels of the sport, then most pros would probably end up leaving for the jumpers. My response, of, "OK, we'll miss them," apparently was not the repsonse they were looking for. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

DizzyMagic
Sep. 3, 2004, 12:30 AM
Wow, "that is" one of the most "condescending" things I have "ever heard anyone say."

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by perspective_shift:
So I am hearing, “it is the money you want at the amateur level” and “the bulk of the USEA members” are amateurs …then why not get “pro-active” and develop your own "prize fund" for the amateurs.

I know you would feel proud of this effort and all amateurs would enjoy the prize money you say is deserved.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

DizzyMagic
Sep. 3, 2004, 12:42 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by perspective_shift:
Did we forget that all other major sports reserves the higher prize money for the highest levels (pros)…I don’t recall golf, baseball, football, soccer, etc. giving “big $” prizes to its amateur divisions…yet I do recall “huge prize $$$” going to the Pros”…it is so obvious.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The problem with your analogy, Perspective, is that in golf, the big prize money is funded by corporate sponsors. Pro golfers don't get there on the backs of the beginners.

I'm late to the party and I know all these points have already been made - but I want to make them again.

In eventing, the bottom 90% supports the top 10%. I think that's why there is such an outcry over CMP's comments, because it feels like such an undeserved slap. There would be no eventing without volunteers; it is a labor intensive sport, from timers to fence judges to scribes for the dressage. Pro eventers couldn't AFFORD to event if their entries had to meet the cost of putting on an event. But yet it is the pony clubbers, the adult ammies, the wannabes who get out there and do it - not the ULRs, who are far too important and busy.

And as deltawave mentioned, eventing enthusiasts, who are frequently lowly-level riders, also donate significant amounts of money to help fund teams and monetarily support these riders. For that matter, I beg to differ that it's always the ULRs who get the funding for prize money - with few exceptions, they don't have the people skills to go out and sell the sport to potential sponsors. That also is done by people from the "real world" who may do PR for a living, who happen to love the sport, and who are most frequently lower-level riders.

As Heather mentioned, a lot of ULRs seem impressed with their own fabulousness. If I were being fair, I would say that most are really nice folks who are really focused on their own perspective. After all it is their business, it's their livlihood, and for me it's just a fun sport. But, you know what, I'm sick of seeing things from their perspective. It's one event. Sounds like it's going to be a nice one. Sounds like it's going to be a chance for a "regular joe" to get to know what it feels like to compete at a really major event. I recognize that some pro eventers are pocketbook driven, but I truly think they can afford one event, where there IS in fact prize money, to come to the party and show their support for the enthusiasts who make it possible for them the rest of the year. I think they ought not to have to feel extra special by getting "better prize money".

One prominent rider said to me recently, "What are YOU doing with an Advanced horse?" (I own a 19yo retired 4* horse) "He could be teaching a youngrider coming up the levels." It took me awhile to get past the rudeness of the comment, on so many levels. But I finally answered this: What am I doing with him? I am learning to ride. Why should I have him and not a young rider? Because I worship him. Because he seems to like me too. Because he's already given a lot - and truly loves the sport - but does he have to give absolutely everything? Does he have to be a stepping-stone - or has he earned the right to be someone's beloved pet? Because I will take care of him until the day he dies. Because his temperament and skill make him an entirely appropriate schoolmaster for me to learn this sport on - I do actually have goals, pathetic though they may be. Because I *might* actually be good for him. And because, did I mention, I absolutely adore him.

To be fair, I would say that some other ULRs who knew this horse in his day have told me that he has never looked happier and that they really enjoy seeing him doing a new job - aka "teacher." But it is the elitist nature of the comment that was made to me, and of the comments by CMP about lower level riders in general, that rankles. Why do ALL the resources (including MY d@mn horse) have to go to the upper levels?

I might be finished. I'm not sure. I actually didn't think I was particularly bothered by the whole thing until I started writing this post.

Emily

PS - He calls us smurfs???? Where's the fruitbat?

deltawave
Sep. 3, 2004, 05:41 AM
Emily, the one comment you attributed to me was made by canterlope, but otherwise RIGHT ON, girl! You should send that in, too. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif

The comments on your "ULH" (I believe we have coined a useful new set of acronyms) struck me, too. Gwen is far, FAR from that particular stratosphere, but I've gotten the odd handful of comments about how so-and-so could've gone so far with her, or whatever. My answer is "she was for sale for 2 years...why didn't you buy her?"

tle
Sep. 3, 2004, 05:57 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Boss Hoss:
When I was doing Olympic Weightlifting I could drum up enough sponsorship to pay for my airline tickets and hotel expenses for National Level meets. So if the AEC is held in UTAH next year, and I have a chance of being competitive, then I would look to get sponsorship to haul my horse out there and back. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Airfare for 1 plus week of hotel and food == what? roughly $1000 sound about right?

Gas alone for 7000 mile round trip (at roughly $1.85/gallon at 20 mpg (and my truck gets nowhere NEAR that not hauling!)) = $647 plus food for the now 2.5-3 week round trip, plus hotels for the now 2.5-3 week round trip (plus overnight lodging for the pony during the driving days) == quite a bit more money than in your example.

SwizzleStick
Sep. 3, 2004, 06:08 AM
Emily - you MUST send your good posting into USEA in letter form! Well said!

Swizz

oskaar
Sep. 3, 2004, 06:09 AM
Well, I've done the Salt Lake City-Charlotte drive 10 (count them, 10) times, and it's really not so bad. It's even cheaper if you're not moving and can actually stay in your trailer. And when the AEC does go to Utah, the party's at my house!

Mark makes a great point--I went to NAYRC with Area IX. We paled in comparison to some of the money that others (like Area II/III) had. We worked out butts off, and got sponsors to pay for the whole thing. Sundowner was excited to support some local kids. Bit of Britain generously donated saddle pads and helmet covers so we matched. We ended up getting enough "little guys" (smaller donations) to cover our entire trip (hotel, entries, shavings, etc).

If you really want to be there, you can make it happen. Many local EAs give out scholarships or grants. Dover Saddlery does the same.

Logistically, it makes sense to hold it in the East--that's where the majority of the riders are. That's where the majority of people in this country LIVE.

oskaar
Sep. 3, 2004, 06:10 AM
PS... I believe there is a sponsor shipping company. Not sure how discounted, but it was an option.

JDufort
Sep. 3, 2004, 06:44 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by oskaar:
I went to NAYRC with Area IX. We paled in comparison to some of the money that others (like Area II/III) had. We worked out butts off, and got sponsors to pay for the whole thing. Sundowner was excited to support some local kids. Bit of Britain generously donated saddle pads and helmet covers so we matched. We ended up getting enough "little guys" (smaller donations) to cover our entire trip (hotel, entries, shavings, etc).
QUOTE]

Area III may appear to be well-funded, but its really years of doing exactly what you described - getting sponsors to donate matching gear, running a raffle, begging for money from some corporate sponsors (almost always because some YR's Mom or Dad works for the company). Our YR's buy their own plane tickets, pay for their own hotel rooms. In good years, we can cover those expenses for our grooms, in bad years not. We frequently use airline miles to cover the tickets for our coach/vet. Its always a scramble, but our program has a rich tradition and we've been fortunate to have good leadership.

canterlope
Sep. 3, 2004, 07:22 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by JDufort:
Area III may appear to be well-funded, but its really years of doing exactly what you described - getting sponsors to donate matching gear, running a raffle, begging for money from some corporate sponsors (almost always because some YR's Mom or Dad works for the company). <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Ditto for Area II. It is always a struggle to fund the young rider program, but I think that every Area is in the exact same boat. It takes blood, sweat, tears, begging whining, badgering, and a bit of luck to get it done.

This year, among all of the donors who so graciously helped the team get to Wadsworth, Area II was extremely lucky to find a donor who, at first, stated he would match dollar for dollar what the kids raised themselves, but then ended up donating four times that amount. After all of the accounting is done, I believe this will be the first year in a long time that the program will carry over a significant amount of seed money into next year. Usually it has a zero (some years it's been a negative) balance.

It's hard, but as Jeanne said about Area III, the Area II Young Rider Program has a rich tradition and its leadership is very committed to the kids and the program itself. Plus, it has some very loyal sponsors who always come to bat for it. So, while it may take a village to raise a child, it takes six states worth of villages and a few others around the country to get our kids to the NAYRC.

Hony
Sep. 3, 2004, 10:03 AM
I must be confused because I thought that all CMP was saying was that if we want high profile rider's to come out we have to offer larger purses because the fact is that the higher the level the more it costs to get there. I think that probably high level riders chose the events with the biggest purses so that they can pay for competition the rest of the year. They may only win one purse a year so it had better be big to cover the rest of that year.

I may be waaaaaay of base but that's how I read it.

Hilary
Sep. 3, 2004, 10:15 AM
Well I have the mag right here and the line that made me steam is this:

"I was dismayed to read last week that the $50,000 in prize money being put up for the AEC in September is to be split equally five ways between A, I, P, T, and N. For sure you will have some ecstatic novice and training riders, and I know how much the USEA values that part of their membership. However, if we want our advanced level rders to show up to give the championships the profile it deserves, you have to reward them a little better than those at the lower levels."

Right there- the precis: I am dismayed that it is split evenly, and advanced riders have to be rewarded better than the lower levels.

At least that was how I read it.

colliemom
Sep. 3, 2004, 10:29 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> if we want high profile rider's to come out we have to offer larger purses <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes, by taking it away from the lower level divisions.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> because the fact is that the higher the level the more it costs to get there. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

He makes no reference to cost of the sport, only to giving the event the "profile it deserves". Apparently just having a championship for us little folk won't do that.

Dezi
Sep. 3, 2004, 11:00 AM
I also find it interesting that there are quite a few ULR's showing in the LL (Lower level) "Horse" divisions where there is no prize money at all!!! CMP definitely missed the boat on this one!

goobs
Sep. 3, 2004, 11:11 AM
Sadly, I don't think CMP cares if he missed the boat on this one or not.

subk
Sep. 3, 2004, 12:01 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Hilary:
..and I know how much the USEA values that part of their membership. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I think we're being WAY to sensitive about this. CMP is an ass. So. He's dense enough not recoginize the value of LL riders. He is NOT the USEA. The USEA and its volunteers are doing a GREAT job--don't let CMP take the focus away from all the people out there who ARE the USEA and are working their tails off because they know better.

Tom King
Sep. 3, 2004, 12:11 PM
Please explain:......."profile it deserves."

flyingchange
Sep. 3, 2004, 12:22 PM
I just wish the Chef D'Equipe was Jimmy Wofford. I don't understand why he is not the Chef D'Equipe for the US. It was weird to me to see him coaching Canada and not the US. Is there something I don't understand?

SwizzleStick
Sep. 3, 2004, 12:28 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by goobs:
Sadly, I don't think CMP cares if he missed the boat on this one or not. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'm afraid you've hit the nail on the head. What a pathetic situation when the coach of our Team/clinician/course designer/course advisor disses publicly the hand that feeds him.

Shame on him.

Swizz

SwizzleStick
Sep. 3, 2004, 12:33 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by flyingchange:
I just wish the Chef D'Equipe was Jimmy Wofford. I don't understand why he is not the Chef D'Equipe for the US. It was weird to me to see him coaching Canada and not the US. Is there something I don't understand? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I couldn't agree with you more F.C.! I do however suspect that Jimmy is enjoying working with the (comparatively) lower key group of Canadians over jumping head first into our more political atmosphere! And he does coach many of the U.S. Team riders.

Swizz

oskaar
Sep. 3, 2004, 01:16 PM
I didn't mean to imply that you don't have to work for your YR money in II/II, I was just looking for a comparison in traveling the distance.

I also see II/III with a lot more organization--part of it is that you all are just closer to each other than we are. Another is that you've had strong, consistent leadership by those closely associated with the program for a long time. Our coordinators and coaches change often, usually to a very hard working and willing parent, but also someone who doesn't know a whole lot about what they are getting into when they sign up!

emf
Sep. 3, 2004, 01:47 PM
this may already have been said, haven't had time to read all these comments, but I'd like to add two things:
1. THANKS to those who are keeping this somewhat emotional discussion at a reasonable level of civility.

2. Remember the CMP is (was) British royalty. In GB it's alright for riders not to invite grooms to the after-XC party! He's coming from a whole other social system that we colonists are thankfully free from.

I thank God I live in the USA--where everyone has a chance regardless of what they were born with.

canterlope
Sep. 3, 2004, 01:48 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by subk:
I think we're being WAY to sensitive about this. CMP is an ass. So. He's dense enough not recoginize the value of LL riders. He is NOT the USEA. The USEA and its volunteers are doing a GREAT job--don't let CMP take the focus away from all the people out there who ARE the USEA and are working their tails off because they know better. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>subk, I completely agree that CMP is not the USEA and that the USEA and its volunteers do a great job.

The rub for me is that CMP is a very high profile individual within our sport. Whether he likes it or not, he is a role model for many people. They look to him for guidance in forming their belief structure concerning the USEA and it members. This is intensified due to his position of team coach. It is also intensified due to that fact that he is a columnist for the Eventing USA magazine, the printed "voice" of the USEA.

I know that those of us on this bulletin board have a good understanding of the separation between CMP and the USEA. However, it's hard to say if this is true for the members of the USEA who are not as plugged into the sport. If they don't know he is an "ass" and "dense", what are they thinking when they read his comments?

Another rub for me is the negativity and ingratitude on his part. The AEC is brand new this year. I challenge him to name another first time horse trials in this country that offered $10,000 in prize money to its Advanced level competitors alone, much less every level. Would it have killed him to say something positive about the fact that there is prize money being offered? Or include a thank you for the efforts that have been made to get the AEC to the point where it is today?

In addition, I think it is very telling that he acknowledged the fact that the USEA values its novice and training level competitors, yet he never acknowledged that he values them as well. I know that the novice and training level competitors were not the main focus of his article, but he stepped on a very slippery slope when he made the decision to include comments about this group and he could have easily saved himself from falling had he offered them just a little bit of kindness and a pat on the back, instead of a kick in the teeth.

subk
Sep. 3, 2004, 03:04 PM
I'll say this and then bow out.

CMP is hired by the USEA (or whatever would now be the "new" USET) to fulfill a role that very, very few individuals in the world are qualified to do. Finding someone who can do the coaching job as well as the "political/PR" is nigh impossible. (Wofford, Emmerson and O'Connor were either not available or smart enough not to take the job when it became available.) Personally, I'd rather have someone that can coach, who's so focused on his own mission that he's not afraid to speak his mind.

Whether you like it or not there is a VERY good case that says that those rider/owners that spend the most money to compete, put the most value at risk, and at higher risk should have a highest pay off when they win. It is not an outrageous suggestion AT ALL. Is that the "right" attitude for this particular event? Maybe not, there is a very good case for that position! But BOTH positions are legitimate.

I loath the "role model" defense--it smacks of political correctness. Isn't it more valuable to know what he thinks, even if we don't like it, than to get a fluffy, verbal snow job?

SwizzleStick
Sep. 3, 2004, 03:08 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by emf:
2. Remember the CMP is (was) British royalty. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

He married royalty, he ain't royalty by birth. And no matter, his attitude is damn rude.

Swizz

canterlope
Sep. 3, 2004, 05:50 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by subk:
CMP is hired by the USEA (or whatever would now be the "new" USET) to fulfill a role that very, very few individuals in the world are qualified to do. Finding someone who can do the coaching job as well as the "political/PR" is nigh impossible. (Wofford, Emmerson and O'Connor were either not available or smart enough not to take the job when it became available.) Personally, I'd rather have someone that can coach, who's so focused on his own mission that he's not afraid to speak his mind. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>CMP was hired by the USEF/USET to coach the team. He has shown that he is capable of handling this position and has the skills necessary to be successful. I have no beef with this.

However, his involvement with the USEA is as a course advisor, a member of the Board of Governors, and a columnist for the Eventing USA magazine. These roles require very different skills from that of team coach. But, by accepting them, CMP implied that he possessed these skills.

As a result, I don't think it is too much to ask that he make good on this. If he is not able, then either he shouldn't have accepted the positions in the first place or he should step down from them once it is proven he doesn't have the right skills. Now, call me crazy, but I think that ticking off a large majority of the members of the USEA is a pretty good indicator that he doesn't have the skills it takes to be a columnist for the Eventing USA Magazine which does involve a certain amount of PR and political savvy.<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Whether you like it or not there is a VERY good case that says that those rider/owners that spend the most money to compete, put the most value at risk, and at higher risk should have a highest pay off when they win. It is not an outrageous suggestion AT ALL. Is that the "right" attitude for this particular event? Maybe not, there is a very good case for that position! But BOTH positions are legitimate. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>This is assuming that the upper level riders are the ones that are spending the most money and are at the greatest risk. Is this really the case? The prevailing assumption is that it is, but has anyone ever sat down and conclusively determined who is really ponying up the goods and risking it all for our sport?

One thing that can be said with assurance is that the upper level riders have a higher profile than the lower level riders. However, just because the upper level riders are more visible in our sport doesn't necessarily mean that they have greater financial obligations or face a higher level of risk than someone competing at the lower levels.<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I loath the "role model" defense--it smacks of political correctness. Isn't it more valuable to know what he thinks, even if we don't like it, than to get a fluffy, verbal snow job? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Political correctness!?! Being a role model has nothing to do with political correctness. It has everything to do with the fact that the personal achievements of certain individuals inspire others. And when these others are so inspired that they want to achieve the same thing, rightly or wrongly they will look to these individuals for guidance and conduct their lives as they see them conduct theirs.

When this happens, even though these individuals most likely did not ask to be made into a role model, the fact of the matter is they are and the position carries certain responsibilities that can not and should not be avoided. One of these responsibilities is to conduct yourself in a manner that allows others looking to you for guidance to move towards their goals in a positive manner.

In CMP's case, I think it is very valuable to know what he thinks. However, I also think that he does have a responsibility to voice his opinions in a manner that does not run counter to his responsibilities to those who look to him for guidance. This doesn't mean that he needs to give a fluffy, verbal snow job. But it does mean that he needs to pick the appropriate forum and keep his audience in mind. Was this the case in his most recent article where he spoke in a negative manner about the USEA and its lower level members given that the USEA provided the forum and his audience was most decidedly lower level riders? I just don't think so.

pwynnnorman
Sep. 4, 2004, 07:32 AM
Kudos, subk.

Meanwhile, I really do think that some may be being simply selectively perceptive. According to someone's post, THIS is what the man said:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>...if we want our advanced level rders to show up to give the championships the profile it deserves... <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


What I simply cannot understand is why people refuse to acknowledge the "IF" part of CMP's statement. That "if" says A LOT about his intent and surely, if he could come here and defend himself, the words in THIS statement are the ones--SURELY--he would focus on defending.

Meanwhile, other parts of his statement clearly acknowledge the role played by LLRs as well as the respect USEA has for those riders. Where does he say--or even vaguely imply--a lack of respect for LLRs?

I'm thinking that maybe what HE's thinking about is how it is in Europe, where big names draw bigger sponsor committment and thus establish and SECURE the future of the big-time events. (BTW, you've heard of "appearance money," haven't you--not uncommon in professional tennis and golf? I think the money shift he's suggesting is along the same lines of thinking as appearance money.)

I "think" his point is similar to one sometimes made about jumpers: if you want sponsorship, you have to draw a crowd (of spectators). The h-j world is notorious for catering to exhibitors rather than the public. In a way, AEC's prize-money decision kind of caters to exhibitors in the same way. One can see why, it being a first time event.

But in the future, if it IS to become a big-time "high profile" event...well, profiles aren't established by LLR stories. You don't attract the media by talking about the sacrifices made by the firefighter to ride at Novice level. The media comes to interview the Olympic bronze medalist. We all have setbacks, but setbacks followed by a bronze medal is the stuff that gets the sport EXPOSURE.

CMP is thinking about the health of the sport, looking at it from the OUTSIDE IN. I think too many arguments here are based, perhaps unconsciously, on the idea that it is "our" sport (because LLRs support it with their $$$) and ergo it should satify "our" needs first. But anyone is any OTHER sport will tell you that, if you want to call it an international sport, if you want it to have the respect and attention of other international level sports, you have to realize that it is only "your" sport if you DON'T CARE about the big picture.

CMP is addressing the big picture. I think his goal was to remind the organizers (and others) that the health and future of eventing, especially if it is to continue to compete against other sports for media and sponsor attention, depends in large part on its "profile" at the upper levels. (And hence the value in doing what it takes to attract the big names to what WANTS to be a "high profile" event..er, "high profile" BEYOND the sport, not just within it, that is).

colliemom
Sep. 4, 2004, 08:26 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Please explain:......."profile it deserves." <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You'd have to ask CMP that question, they were his words.

In my most humble opinion, I think this first time ever event of it's kind IS getting the profile it deserves, due to the incredible work of so many people -- and I wouldn't be surprised of most of those people are lower level riders. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif

KellyS
Sep. 4, 2004, 10:47 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by pwynnnorman:

But in the future, if it IS to become a big-time "high profile" event...well, profiles aren't established by LLR stories. You don't attract the media by talking about the sacrifices made by the firefighter to ride at Novice level. The media comes to interview the Olympic bronze medalist. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'm sorry Pwynnorman, but I think that whether or not the Olympic bronze medalist shows up that the AECs will be a "high profile" event. Maybe not "high profile" in the way that Rolex or Badminton are, but high profile in the fact that it has great sponsorship and is being supported by hundreds of riders (with the majority of riders being Novice/Training level). http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif

The AEC committee has done a wonderful job promoting this event and I think the media will be there whether or not they are interviewing an Olympic medalist. Every local and national horse publication I have seen lately has discussed the event and if you're talking about the mass media, I'm sure the local media will be there to cover it. Heck, our local media covers shows/events that are a 1/10 of that size. And the national media rarely makes mention of Rolex, so I won't be too offended if the AECs don't get a nod. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Personally, while I think it is great for our sport to get lots of media attention, I don't think it is the end all to be all. More attention means more money (sponsorship dollars) which in its turns just creates more problems. Here we finally have a big money event and look at how people are bickering all ready. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Anyway, just because the media might not want to interview the "firefighter riding at Novice level" doesn't mean that that person deserves any less note than the ULR. They have made the same amount of sacrifices to ride as anyone else, whether or not they are deemed worthy for an interview.

As a finishing note, my husband who is a firefighter/police officer, WAS interviewed for a large regional publication after winning a combined driving event at Training level (equivilant to Novice/Training at eventing). Obviously, the media didn't think he was too low profile to interview at this high profile event. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/winkgrin.gif

canterlope
Sep. 4, 2004, 11:31 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by pwynnnorman:
What I simply cannot understand is why people refuse to acknowledge the "IF" part of CMP's statement. That "if" says A LOT about his intent and surely, if he could come here and defend himself, the words in THIS statement are the ones--SURELY--he would focus on defending. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Mr. President, would you please define the word "is", er, I mean "if"? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

In the context that CMP used the word "if", Webster's II defines it to mean, "In the event that". If you substitute this definition into the sentence in question, you now get, "However, in the event that we want our advanced level riders to show up to give the Championships the profile it deserves, you have to reward them a little better than those at the lower levels." I dunno. Seems pretty clear to me what he was saying.<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Meanwhile, other parts of his statement clearly acknowledge the role played by LLRs as well as the respect USEA has for those riders. Where does he say--or even vaguely imply--a lack of respect for LLRs? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>I don't mean to disagree, but nowhere in his statement does he clearly acknowledge the role played by LLRs. He acknowledges how much the USEA values the LLRs, but, unless he thinks of himself as the USEA in sum total, he does not give any recognition to the important role LLRs play in the sport of Eventing. In addition, by taking possession of every other thought, belief, and feeling in his entire article except this one, he does imply that it is not a value that he holds.<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I'm thinking that maybe what HE's thinking about is how it is in Europe, where big names draw bigger sponsor committment and thus establish and SECURE the future of the big-time events. (BTW, you've heard of "appearance money," haven't you--not uncommon in professional tennis and golf? I think the money shift he's suggesting is along the same lines of thinking as appearance money.) <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>This may be true, but this isn't Europe. You just can't use a cookie-cutter approach when taking what works there and trying to apply it to the US. The differences are just too great. Besides, they're probably all in metric to begin with and who in the US has metric socket wrenches?<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> [QUOTE]CMP is thinking about the health of the sport, looking at it from the OUTSIDE IN. I think too many arguments here are based, perhaps unconsciously, on the idea that it is "our" sport (because LLRs support it with their $$$) and ergo it should satify "our" needs first. But anyone is any OTHER sport will tell you that, if you want to call it an international sport, if you want it to have the respect and attention of other international level sports, you have to realize that it is only "your" sport if you DON'T CARE about the big picture.

CMP is addressing the big picture. I think his goal was to remind the organizers (and others) that the health and future of eventing, especially if it is to continue to compete against other sports for media and sponsor attention, depends in large part on its "profile" at the upper levels. (And hence the value in doing what it takes to attract the big names to what WANTS to be a "high profile" event..er, "high profile" BEYOND the sport, not just within it, that is). <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>This may be what he was thinking, but it sure isn't what he wrote. If he wanted to make this point, then why did he write in such specific terms? Saying "However, if we want our advanced level riders to show up to give the Championships the profile it deserves,..." is very different than saying "However, if we want our advanced level riders to show up to give Championships the profile they deserve,...". Sorry. I just don't buy the theory that CMP was addressing the big picture. Way too many references to one single event for me to believe that the intent of his words was global in nature.

BTW, I'm not sure I completely understand what you meant when you wrote about unconsciously basing agruments on the idea that it is "our" sport. Could this be taken to mean that CMP believes they are his riders, thinks their needs should be satisfied first, and doesn't really care about the big picture when he says "our" advanced riders?

ideayoda
Sep. 4, 2004, 12:18 PM
I have not read the entire 9 pages....however, I have to say I know MP and he is not an ass. He is very devoted to the sport, can teach both beginner and advanced riders with equal alacrity and is willing to teach them which many top teachers/trainers are willing to do. All with a great sense of humor and perfected method. He cares about the horse and methodical training. He sees both the big pix and helps the grass roots, there he offers kindness. He also comes from a country where 3 day is high profile, and has expanded because it is...so he also know how to accomplish that. You all are way to sensative, and if you want change(s) work for them.

Robby Johnson
Sep. 4, 2004, 12:26 PM
I don't think it's way too sensitive, ideayoda.

Nobody likes it when the big sporting dog walks over, takes a dump, then walks off obliviously.

Robby

flyingchange
Sep. 4, 2004, 12:33 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Robby Johnson:
I don't think it's way too sensitive, ideayoda.

Nobody likes it when the big sporting dog walks over, takes a dump, then walks off obliviously.

Robby <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

OMG, LMAO. Thank you Robby.

ideayoda
Sep. 4, 2004, 01:28 PM
HOW do you get that out of "..."if we want our advanced level riders to show up to give the Championships the profile it deserves, you have to reward them a little better than those at the lower levels. " Its just common sense....works for jumping/hunters/dressage/ice skating/soccer/football/etc. There certainly must be a magnifying glass used on this yorkie sized comment. Sound bite criticism at its best.

cweimer
Sep. 4, 2004, 02:34 PM
I think if you go back and DO read the previous nine pages, you will find that the sensitivity comes from the comment being applied to THIS particular competition, the only one in the country (that I'm aware of, anyway) that is giving N/T riders a chance to win prize money, to be a part of a celebration on equal footing. Yes, the ULR's are - for the most part - more richly rewarded.

In this one case, it wasn't supposed to be that way.

pwynnnorman
Sep. 4, 2004, 06:00 PM
Given that his comments were made and published at a time when they could have no effect on the current AEC, I really do think it is reasonable to believe that he was talking about the future of the event. I hate to keep using the word "surely," but...surely, only the dumbest of the dumb would expect a FIRST TIME EVENT to follow some ideal model right from the start. I cannot imagine that anyone is criticizing AEC's organizers or volunteers. The question is, should the event "evolve" into an internal affair, presented to reward the LLRS who are the foundation of the sport, or should it become a showcase event for the entire sport, providing an opportunity for LLRs, but "featuring" URLs in order to attract the media and sponsors?

(BTW, when I'm saying "media," I'm NOT talking about the "horse press," KellyS--and I do think that, while you have every right to your perspective, it is exactly the troubling kind that severely restricts the audience/support of horse sports. Oh how I wish more horse owners could think BIG, instead of personal. Me, I think horse sports--eventing in particular--are some of the most uniquely inspiring competitions the world has to offer...which is why I want to see MORE PEOPLE supporting them--not just riding in them, but being spectators and owners and sponsors and volunteers and followers...you name it. To me, the insularity often expressed contributes to why those looking in from the outside think ALL horse sports (excluding western, that is) are "elitist."

KellyS
Sep. 4, 2004, 06:23 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by pwynnnorman:
(BTW, when I'm saying "media," I'm NOT talking about the "horse press," <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Please note that I also mentioned "mass media" i.e. non-horse press in my post. I truly believe that with an event the size of the AECs, the local press (non-horse) will be there whether an Olympic medalist is there or not. It is called good PR, and Gwen Parkins and the AEC Committee have done an excellent job with this! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

As to my "elitist" perspective - it is far from that! I truly believe that the lower level "everyday" riders need to be featured as they allow people to see that the "work 40 hours a week" amateur with a limited budget CAN compete in this sport. That you can particpate in equestrian events even if you're not an Advanced level rider with sponsors and expensive horses.

My boss absolutely hated horse people when she first hired me - she thought that all horse people were elitist snobs with tons of money and too much time on their hands. However, I made a huge effort to involve her in my world and she can she how hard I work (my day truly starts after work when I head out to the barn to ride and do all the barn chores - my husband and I have our own farm and do all the work ourselves) and the sacrifices I make financially to participate in this sport. She's had the opportunity to come out and meet my horses and even groom them. Slowy her opinion is changing and it's not because of being exposed to the "high profile" professionals.

My personal opinion is that the sport will gain recognition from the outside world when they see that it is much more accessible to them then they thought. Why is football, baseball, etc, so popular - because everyone has had the chance to participate in these sports and understands them. Equestrian sports may never enjoy this kind of popularity, BUT I believe that popularity will come when we show them a sport that is attainable for everyone.

RHdobes
Sep. 4, 2004, 06:26 PM
I don't know exactly how this applies to the topic in whole, but it does in my mind.

At the first Rolex invitational, there was a heavyish young woman who had a large, draftX looking Pinto horse. This horse was the "alternate" for the international riders in case one of the other "borrowed" horses was unable to compete.

Lucky for this young woman, all the horses could compete, and she was allowed to compete with her clunky-looking mount.

CMP on "Lincoln" (I believe) was eliminated on cross-country. This young woman and her draftX horse NOT ONLY made it cross country but FINISHED the entire competition. Sure, the two of them finished last, BUT THEY FINISHED, and they finished AHEAD of CMP.

This young woman and her horse have been one of the GREAT inspirations of my life, that has shaped my thoughts, dreams, and goals both towards eventing and showing in dog obedience. That is, to do your best with what you have and have great joy and pleasure in what you accomplish, no matter how small.

SHE is the person that I would liked to have known more about (and still do), not ANY of the international riders that showed there that day.

california rider
Sep. 4, 2004, 08:22 PM
GOOD GRIEF PEOPLE

By the time so many of you have taken to take huge offense to someone's opinions you could have lived your life and enjoyed your sport. I am not sure most of you have lives as the books and garbage some of you write would indicate many of you are hidden away in some hermit shacks writing your manifesto's

9 pages of grief over his comments is a wee bit much. More like people enjoying debate rather than any real problem. My hope he did what I did, read the first page of this topic and laughed his ass off and prayed you guys would learn to read between the lines.

Get off the computer

Go Ride (if you do)

And move on!

deltawave
Sep. 4, 2004, 08:40 PM
What a very classy thing to write, CR. Maybe, just maybe we ARE enjoying the debate...a huge proportion of this thread has been devoted to sidelines and tangents, IIRC. However, I must have missed the memo that appointed you as the arbiter of our allotted time for discussion...must be the darn leaky roof and/or lack of Postal Service up here in my hermit shack. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Part of the way we "enjoy our sport" is by discussing it with our COTH buddies. I'm tempted to dissect your rude and bad-tempered post point by point, but after a lovely long day of living my life and enjoying my horses, I think I'll skip and just say "go stuff yourself". In the nicest possible way, of course! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif Get some rest, come back when you can be civil. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

california rider
Sep. 4, 2004, 08:50 PM
my point exactly. Many of you do not really care what he wrote. Only that it gives you some reason to banter and argue moot points.

Was not mean spirited at all, just saying for all the arguing one might instead enjoy the sport in which you ride instead of the crap that one mortal man wrote!

canterlope
Sep. 5, 2004, 04:41 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by pwynnnorman:
Given that his comments were made and published at a time when they could have no effect on the current AEC, I really do think it is reasonable to believe that he was talking about the future of the event. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> Given that his comments were specific to and published at a time when the majority of the focus within the sport of eventing is on this year's AEC, I find it very had to believe that he was talking about the future of the event. And while they may have no effect on the mechanics of the current AEC, they certainly have an effect on the people who have worked so hard to organize them and/or participate in them. <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by pwynnnorman:
I hate to keep using the word "surely," but...surely, only the dumbest of the dumb would expect a FIRST TIME EVENT to follow some ideal model right from the start. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> Why, pwynnnorman, what a lovely thing to say. On behalf of all of us dumbest of dumb who do expect this AEC to follow the ideal model that was envisioned for it and have worked incredibly hard to make it happen, I want to thank you for your kind words and overwhelming support. They really touch the heart. Well, maybe not the heart and maybe not a touch. More like a kick in the @ss, but you get the picture.<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by pwynnnorman:
I cannot imagine that anyone is criticizing AEC's organizers or volunteers. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>So, calling them the dumbest of dumb isn't criticizing them? Interesting.<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by pwynnnorman:
The question is, should the event "evolve" into an internal affair, presented to reward the LLRS who are the foundation of the sport, or should it become a showcase event for the entire sport, providing an opportunity for LLRs, but "featuring" URLs in order to attract the media and sponsors? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Seeing as how this question has already been answered, it seems pretty clear what the AEC is and should be. From the USEA website:

We would like to take a moment to personally introduce you to the concept of the new American Eventing Championships (AEC). The vision behind it’s inception is the mutual benefit to everyone with a vested interest in the sport of Eventing through the development of such an event. The AEC will take place September 2004 at the Carolina Horse Park in Raeford, North Carolina. The championships will in fact be a “Festival of Eventing”, designed to celebrate the sport and to give all riders and horses a chance to aspire to a new goal and achieve a great accomplishment. To this end, the AEC will spotlight riders and horses of every level, from every background; no matter whether they aspire to compete in the Olympics or maybe just ride as an amateur in the occasional weekend competition, while balancing a full-time career on the side. This is an opportunity to recognize and reward the hours of dedication and commitment of time and money that every organizer, owner, competitor, breeder, volunteer or enthusiast puts into the sport that we all love. The vision behind this concept stems from the recognition that the greater 80 percent of our membership is comprised of the amateur horse enthusiast. What a great way to give something more to our members, while providing them with the invaluable experience of coming together with the top echelons of the sport on the same weekend and competing side by side with our international stars in a championship of equestrian sport. <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by california rider:
GOOD GRIEF PEOPLE

By the time so many of you have taken to take huge offense to someone's opinions you could have lived your life and enjoyed your sport. I am not sure most of you have lives as the books and garbage some of you write would indicate many of you are hidden away in some hermit shacks writing your manifesto's

9 pages of grief over his comments is a wee bit much. More like people enjoying debate rather than any real problem. My hope he did what I did, read the first page of this topic and laughed his ass off and prayed you guys would learn to read between the lines.

Get off the computer

Go Ride (if you do)

And move on! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>California rider, fortunately for most of us, we possess the ability to live our lives and ride our horses while at the same time engage in a debate and express passion for something we believe in. Reading your post, one could conclude that you do not have this same skill. I'm so sorry. Is there anything those of us who have mastered this art can do to help?<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by california rider:
Was not mean spirited at all, just saying for all the arguing one might instead enjoy the sport in which you ride instead of the crap that one mortal man wrote! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Not mean spirited!?! Hum. Well, who'd have thought that calling what some of us have written garbage, laughing one's ass off at what we've had to say, and ordering us to go ride "if we do" was not mean spirited? And this from a person jumping in late to the discussion who didn't even have the decency to read everything that has been written before passing judgement.

I'm with deltawave, although "go stuff yourself" wasn't quite the phrase that first came to my mind when I read your post. However, this is a fairly open forum and I don't think it is proper to write words like that in public.

Foxhunter1949
Sep. 5, 2004, 05:55 AM
Lets face it, eventing is expensive whatever grade you are riding at.
The people who are 'names' usually try to make a living at it and because of this have to suport a string of horses at the lower grades.
I have not read Mark Phillips' remarks but can understand where he is coming from.
If riders are going to event professionally then it has at least be financially viable.

No top rider is going to risk competing a good/top horse for little or no reward other than for a schooling session.

SwizzleStick
Sep. 5, 2004, 06:17 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by california rider:
my point exactly. Many of you do not really care what he wrote. Only that it gives you some reason to banter and argue moot points.

Was not mean spirited at all, just saying for all the arguing one might instead enjoy the sport in which you ride instead of the crap that one mortal man wrote! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Gee C.R., does somebody have a gun pointed at your head forcing you to read all the inane arguing and bantering that so offends you? Why don't you take your own advice and go ride your horse and move yourself on?

Swizz

deltawave
Sep. 5, 2004, 06:18 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>

No top rider is going to risk competing a good/top horse for little or no reward other than for a schooling session. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Then how do you explain their presence at the VAST majority of HT's that offer NO prize money at all?

Boss Hoss
Sep. 5, 2004, 06:31 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Then how do you explain their presence at the VAST majority of HT's that offer NO prize money at all? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Campaigning a client's horse = income. If there was more prize money, there might be more horse owners looking for trainers to go out and win it.

I appreciate the fairness of the prize money to start. I think the $ will go a lot further in a LLR's hands than an ULR..the ULR will get the money in the end when we go back to pay for more lessons and training. However the $ only goes through 5 places. Put the money into the sport at all levels and help it survive.

Personally I need to win some of it, I need gas money to get home..and pay the braider (unless he's trying to leverage me for a percentage http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif ) otherwise I'll be stuck in Southern Pines for another week cleaning stalls.

Gnep
Sep. 5, 2004, 06:54 AM
Robby

I like you rdog comparison. But I think the dog took a s... in the wrong place.

I think the Championship should be without the bigies, they should be there to reward the ribbons. The advanced and intermediat should represent the real upcoming riders, like tubbys daughter and not the riders that have won it al already.

Naturaly it would be nicer if the championship would have been some where in the middle of the country, from the cost and time factor. For me it was never a consideration, 2000 miles one way for one HT, no way, no matter how big the price money.

colliemom
Sep. 5, 2004, 07:17 AM
Canterlope, thanks for posting the description of the AEC from the USEA site. I think it should be clear to anyone who reads that (including non-rocket scientists, and anyone bored with our now 10 page banter) that the event is not intended to profile well known advanced level riders. So why CMP should think that the only way it can gain recognition is by attracting those riders at that level with more money is still beyond me. Perhaps HE should read that description. Clearly, from his comments, he has not.

And CR, in the several days that we have been having this discussion, I (as well as most of the others here) have gone to work full time at my job during the week, taken care of my household and other animals, ridden two horses several times, and had three lessons. I think I am doing just fine keeping up with it all, and I HAVE read every post. Apparently you would prefer to jump to your own conclusions about all of us, our opinions, and our ability to live our lives appropriately based on the first and last pages only. Sad.

canterlope
Sep. 5, 2004, 07:20 AM
Hey Heather. I found out some more information concerning half points.

As it was relayed to me, in 1988 after the Seoul Olympics, the USET instituted a point system to counteract litigation from riders who felt they should have made the team and objected to the subjective nature of the selection process in place at the time. Half points were used by the USET, but in the same way they were and are used by the USEA. Based on number of competitors, not geography.

This system proved to be a bit of a disaster as it allowed horses who were at the top of their game in the beginning of the year to gain sufficient points to make a team later in the year when they may have passed their peak. This was particularly evident at the 1991 Pan Am Games which was probably the impetus behind that Canadian rider's comments concerning our fair and balanced selection system.

With regards to the "Because you live on the wrong coast" and "You want to make a team, get out of the wasteland" comments that you and your friend were given, I haven't yet uncovered any information that suggests they were representative of a bias within the USET selection system against riders on the west coast. The general response I've been given from the people I've asked about this is that they were the personal feelings of those that made them and related to the number of eventers in the area, not the area itself.

It is unfortunate that the selection committee chair was one of the people who made comments of this nature since it could have been and was seen to be reflective of the actual guidelines used within the selection process. But, when someone in this type of position makes these kind of remarks, it can be pretty difficult to separate their personal opinions from that of the organization and/or people they represent. A bit like this current situation, eh?

RAyers
Sep. 5, 2004, 07:56 AM
I have to reply to California Rider.

It is obvious you actully have no idea about what eventing is about. Any and every activity, be it rocket science or horses is more than just doing something. It is about exploring the continuum, community and theory behind the activity. This debate, while founded on a single statement, actually displays a large area of differentiation between folks at all levels about the ramifications of prize money at horse trails. The ideas and opinions behind this thread go WAY beyond the AEC.

So, please do us a favor, go ride, remain ignorant about the constituency of those that compete and let others determine the direction this sport will take in the long run.

Reed

GotSpots
Sep. 5, 2004, 09:21 AM
In response to those who mention that owners shouldn't do this out of the good of their hearts, and the comment that perhaps if there was more prize money, more owners would be looking for BNRs to ride and compete their horses: Frankly, the amount of prize money would have to be larger by at least a couple orders of magnitude to ever make this a financially rewarding business as an owner - unless you sell the horse out from under the rider, it is darn near impossible to make money at it, no matter what the prize money is, because there are just too many variables here. Let's do a rough guess for this, just for the sake of argument. And yes, I know it is possible to do all of this quite a bit cheaper, and most of us do, but if you really want one of the super big names to ride and compete your horse, here are some of the approximate numbers.

Normal board/training fees for BNR barn: folks I know pay anywhere between $1200-$1800 month. Usually add a supply fee or miscellaneous supplements on top, to get you pretty near $2K month (averages out, since post three-day is less, but Florida is usually more expensive).

Vet/farrier. Skies the limits here, but I know top farriers shoeing Advanced horses who regularly charge $250/shoeing, and that's every four weeks or so (or roughly $3000/year). Add in regular Adequan (once per week when competing) and Legend (once per HT), hock injections if needed, and regular shots and meds and you're looking at an additional $3000 or so before you even get to anything fancy.

You'll likely not have to pay for extra tack or blankets as the pro will likely use his/her own, but you can happily spend all of that money on the first critical vet call you have when that upper level horse has a lesion, a strange cough, bungs himself, etc. Figure on $2000 just for emergencies, some of which might be covered by insurance, but don't forget that deductible.

Insurance - for an Advanced horse, it goes up quickly. Figure you insure them for 40K (not their real worth, but you've got to save some money somewhere) and it's about $2500/year.

So you're north of $30,000/year, and you've not even started to pay for entry fees, hotel rooms for your rider at shows, trailering, association and FEI fees, and any extras your pony needs. Don't forget too, that when there is prize money, you've often paid an additional amount in your entry that goes into the pot, so it's not like you're getting something above and beyond.

Unless we radically change the structure of eventing prize money, the average owners are not going to make that back unless they sell the horse. And if you are trying to sell a horse, I've had lots of buyers ask about the horse's x-c record, his rideability, his show jumping, his vet history. I have never, ever, had one ask about how much money he has won.

Prize money is a fun perk. So are cool gifts or sponsored awards when you win something. But given how the sport is, prize money is not any owners that I know of chief incentive for being in the game. Not sanctimonious, just the truth.

I'm going out now to go admire the $.99 cent ribbon my beast received this weekend and be incredibly pleased by how well he jumped, how happy he looked, how well he was ridden, and how he strutted as he came off of X-C all puffed up with himself. Because that's what it's all about.

SwizzleStick
Sep. 5, 2004, 09:47 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by GotSpots:
I'm going out now to go admire the $.99 cent ribbon my beast received this weekend and be incredibly pleased by how well he jumped, how happy he looked, how well he was ridden, and how he strutted as he came off of X-C all puffed up with himself. Because that's what it's all about. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

GS, you rock. Hug the big ol' spotted boy for me.

Swizz

Foxhunter1949
Sep. 5, 2004, 11:46 AM
Have none of you thought that Mark Phillips, by critising the hand that feeds him might well have put his neck on the line?
Also that by being a respected authority in eventing his words might well bear some weight and improve the prize money?
So, this might be at the top echelon of eventing to start with but it is a start!

pwynnnorman
Sep. 5, 2004, 01:42 PM
Canterlope, I don't know if you are being intentionally "thick" about this or just insisting on interpeting my words in whatever way will support your view.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> On behalf of all of us dumbest of dumb who do expect this AEC to follow the ideal model that was envisioned for it and have worked incredibly hard to make it happen, I want to thank you for your kind words and overwhelming support. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I will BET you that if you ask any of the organizers, they'll say something like "Well, we WISH we could have done this or that, but..." No, canterlope, not one single first-time event is EVER the perfect version of what its founders envisioned. Y'know, I wrote more a moment ago, but erased it. There is little point in trying to reason with you. Ach, well, I will just TRY one little hint to see if you can possibly get it.

The operative word in my statement was "expect," dear. Now, pray tell, perhaps that hint will enable you to understand who I was referring to?

Meanwhile, though, THANK YOU for posting the actual statement from USEA. I must admit that, although I have a horse entered in the event, I did not manage to find that statement--and now that I've read it, I wonder if CMP did since many of you are right, it DOES run counter to what would appear to be CMPs "vision" of what the event should be (i.e. "high profile").

Is there any possibility that this whole brouhaha is simply the result of a misunderstanding?

And, yeah, California Rider, do go away and leave us to enjoy our debate as we see fit.

SwizzleStick
Sep. 5, 2004, 03:19 PM
"...The operative word in my statement was "expect," dear. Now, pray tell, perhaps that hint will enable you to understand who I was referring to?"
__________________________________
Wow, pwn, this is about the most patronizing sentence I've ever read! Congratulations! You take the cake.

Swizz

GotSpots
Sep. 5, 2004, 04:07 PM
Nah, Swizz, it would have been more patronizing had it said "Now, pray tell, perhaps that hint will enable you to understand to whom I was referring?" http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

A dangling preposition can never be truly patronizing!

DizzyMagic
Sep. 5, 2004, 04:18 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by pwynnnorman:
What I simply cannot understand is why people refuse to acknowledge the "IF" part of CMP's statement.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Riiiiggghht - the IF is rhetorical. It's like saying "If you want to be successful in life, then you'll do x,y, and z." No one will answer no to that question - except to be a devil's advocate.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
Meanwhile, other parts of his statement clearly acknowledge the role played by LLRs as well as the respect USEA has for those riders. Where does he say--or even vaguely imply--a lack of respect for LLRs?
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

ummmm - the edited-out smurfs comment? The statement that he can see how the USEA values it's llr's - which I see as him saying that HE doesn't. The "dismay" at the equal prize money at the show coming up.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
I'm thinking that maybe what HE's thinking about is how it is in Europe, where big names draw bigger sponsor committment and thus establish and SECURE the future of the big-time events. (BTW, you've heard of "appearance money," haven't you--not uncommon in professional tennis and golf? I think the money shift he's suggesting is along the same lines of thinking as appearance money.)
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

And when the ULRs can EARN their appearance money - i.e. the sponsors donate prize money because of the fact that they're showing up - then I can see how they might get a bigger piece of the pie, at this particular show. But this sport ain't there yet - and pretending that it is there won't make it so.

Gnep
Sep. 5, 2004, 04:25 PM
I think one should measure the sucess of it not by who is riding, but by how many are riding and were they come from.


PS reed how is your boy doing

DizzyMagic
Sep. 5, 2004, 04:30 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by deltawave:
Emily, the one comment you attributed to me was made by canterlope, but otherwise RIGHT ON, girl! You should send that in, too. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Oops! I guess I got you guys mixed up!!

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
The comments on your "ULH" (I believe we have coined a useful new set of acronyms) struck me, too. Gwen is far, FAR from that particular stratosphere, but I've gotten the odd handful of comments about how so-and-so could've gone so far with her, or whatever. My answer is "she was for sale for 2 years...why didn't you buy her?" <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Right on!!

I've had many of those comments from folks, and I just put it down to people being envious. My pony is fancy and very special, due in no part to me, and I'm still overwhelmed by the good fortune that landed me in his path - I think I did nothing special to deserve it. But coming from this particular person, the comment really stung. I finally decided that it was tunnelvision about the sport - hyper-focus on the next generation of ULR's without thinking about the sport in a broader context. I hope I will be a valid part of this sport for a long time to come.

colliemom
Sep. 5, 2004, 05:04 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Originally posted by GotSpots:
I'm going out now to go admire the $.99 cent ribbon my beast received this weekend and be incredibly pleased by how well he jumped, how happy he looked, how well he was ridden, and how he strutted as he came off of X-C all puffed up with himself. Because that's what it's all about. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Perfect... absolutely perfect!

canterlope
Sep. 6, 2004, 02:41 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Foxhunter1949:
Have none of you thought that Mark Phillips, by critising the hand that feeds him might well have put his neck on the line?
Also that by being a respected authority in eventing his words might well bear some weight and improve the prize money?
So, this might be at the top echelon of eventing to start with but it is a start! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>FH194, I would agree with you except for the fact that, in this case, the hand that feeds him is the same hand that has been beating the bushs trying to raise the prize money to begin with. If the USEA was resisting the introduction of prize money into the sport or if those who were capable of giving prize money refused to do so based on the belief that prize money was unnecessary, thereby ignoring the needs of the competitors, owners, etc., then CMP would have been quite bold and brave in making the statements he did and probably would have motivated some to adjust their thinking.

However, when his comments are directed towards the very organization that already realizes improvements in prize money need to be made and is working hard to make it happen, it's pretty hard to see them as more than unnecessary and unfair criticism.

canterlope
Sep. 6, 2004, 03:43 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by pwynnnorman:
I will BET you that if you ask any of the organizers, they'll say something like "Well, we WISH we could have done this or that, but..." No, canterlope, not one single first-time event is EVER the perfect version of what its founders envisioned. Y'know, I wrote more a moment ago, but erased it. There is little point in trying to reason with you. Ach, well, I will just TRY one little hint to see if you can possibly get it.

The operative word in my statement was "expect," dear. Now, pray tell, perhaps that hint will enable you to understand who I was referring to? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>pwn, I'm trying to understand, really I am. But being this thick and all, it's very hard. Wait! It's almost there. (Puff, puff, pant, pant). One more synapse to go. Arrrrghhh,... ouch. Got it!

I completely agree that no one single first-time event is EVER the perfect version of what its founders envisioned, and it is reasonable to think that the organizers of the AEC will say something like "Well, we WISH we could have done this or that, but..." when it is all over. In fact, if you wanted to expand this to all organizers out there, no matter how long they have been putting on events, I would agree with this as well because I can't think of a single organizer who doesn't want to produce the best possible event they are capable of and improve upon what they have offered to their competitors in the past.

Where the stumbling block comes in is with statements like "surely, only the dumbest of the dumb would expect a FIRST TIME EVENT to follow some ideal model right from the start". I didn't realize that "some ideal model" meant that every idea and plan the organizers had for the event had to be perfectly executed and, at the end of the day, the organizer would be left with the feeling that nothing more could have been done to improve upon the event.

I thought that the "ideal model" in question was the over-arching principle envisioned for the AEC, being that it was set up to equally include and celebrate everyone who participates in this sport, not the fact that every nut and bolt had to be perfectly in place for the organizers to achieve this goal. Sorry. My bad.

LisaB
Sep. 6, 2004, 07:41 AM
Hmmm, I've been to 2 inaugural events, Menfelt and Surefire. While I was never behind the scenes, the events were fantastic. They seemed to be the organizers' vision and then some. So, given that So. Pines is always well organized and bid for this specifically, they will have their s- together and put on a good event.
Pwynn, wow, you're way off.
And about the pros going to this. My instructor was looking forward to going with this one particular horse but alas, he's sidelined for a little bit. Nothing serious and career ending, mind you. But it was a high profile breeder's horse and the a nice coup to have this title for the farm. She may still go with this other, I don't know as he's headed for Morven. But there's the title to consider as well. Especially for pros and breeders.

Heather
Sep. 6, 2004, 08:18 AM
Canterlope, i spent the weekend with an old friend from those days, and she laregly confirmed your findings, although needless to say her feeling was that the "corporate unfairness" (her words) was more "real" than "percieved." But thanks for the information, and I hope that your views are more ndicative of a culture of fairness within the orgnaization. Truly, in recent years, I felt really good about how things were going. A few things happeneing in the last 18 months, compounded by this situation with the AEC has made me and those I know out west, all twitchy again, LOL.

Captain Mark is what he is--a former member of British roaylty possessing a very narrow world view in terms of his expereince and interests. His comments don't surprise me, but they don't overly inlfame me. Mostly I guess because I don't expect him to gie a crap 'bout folks like me--he's not paid to think about us, and he has no reason to think about people he's not paid to think about. I've never been interested in riding with him because I've never seen any indication that he would have anything worthwhile to teach me. A smurf like me ain't his cup of tea, and the feeliing would be, I'm sure, mutual. But it's nothing to lose my mind over. Plenty of folks in this sport think like him. So avoid them.

As far as the owner thing (BTW GotSpots--I saw your boy this weekend--he looked like a million dollars!). Do I wish it wasn't so freakin' expensive to campaign a horse? God yes, I wish there was more help out there for people like me and GotSpots who just ended up with this fancy horse and are trying to do right by them. But right now, that's not reality, so I make do as best I can. it doesn't make me magnanimous, it just makes me sick in love with my horse.

SwizzleStick
Sep. 6, 2004, 08:51 AM
"...he has no reason to think about people he's not paid to think about."
_______________________________________
Sound of exception to above statement being taken...

CMP may not be paid by any association to give a s**t about the LLR, BUT he makes money on his own giving clinics and designing courses around the U.S. In the boonies, LLR's have to be included in his clinics in significant numbers to help pay his clinic fees whether he likes teaching them or not - and those who ask him to design LL courses (which he has said on several occasions he's not especially comfortable doing) rely on LL entries to jump and indirectly pay for those courses in competition.

My point? He IS receiving money, indirectly maybe, to give a s**t about the LLR in the States, so it would behoove him to act as if he cared - at least in public and in print!

This is the whole reason I was so offended by his statement in the magazine, and the reason I started this whole topic in the first place. I personally couldn't care less what he thinks, says or does. It doesn't effect me one way or the other. I DO however feel that as a person, like it or not, who is in a high profile position, a position that is looked up to by many, the attitude he projected is absolutely shameful. Spin his column any way you want folks - and I've seen more variations of the spin in the past week than I have in the entire Presidential campaign in the past year! - he's backed his proverbial fanny into a buzz saw!

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Swizz

hb
Sep. 6, 2004, 09:52 AM
Did anyone else notice the "USEA Executive Director's Note" following CMP's column? I didn't really notice it until the 3rd time I read the column. They added what is practically a disclaimer to his comments, reiterating that the AEC is for all USEA members, especially the 85% who are non-pro and LLRs. So someone noticed his tone even before it was printed.

It looks like CMP simply does not realize the purpose of the AEC, which is just a misunderstanding, doesn't mean he's a bad guy. Instead of adding the disclaimer, maybe they should have had him read the USEA statement explaining the philosophy of the AEC and asked if he wanted to change his comments. Or maybe they could have just deleted the last paragraph of his column, since the focus of his column is definitely the elite upper level rider (about whom I don't mind reading, as long as us LL folks aren't slammed) and the AEC just ain't about that (which is okay too).

Hey, I've got a better idea. Instead of writing for Eventing USA maybe CMP could write a column for "Top Level Eventer's Weekly". Oh, wait, that's right, there aren't enough of them to provide enough circulation to support their own magazine... Maybe a corporate sponsor could underwrite the printing?

canterlope
Sep. 6, 2004, 10:49 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by hb:
Did anyone else notice the "USEA Executive Director's Note" following CMP's column? I didn't really notice it until the 3rd time I read the column. They added what is practically a disclaimer to his comments, reiterating that the AEC is for all USEA members, especially the 85% who are non-pro and LLRs. So someone noticed his tone even before it was printed. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Interesting, isn't it? Maybe some of us hermits are actually on to something here. <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>It looks like CMP simply does not realize the purpose of the AEC, which is just a misunderstanding, doesn't mean he's a bad guy. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>CMP is a member of the USEA Board of Governors. I know for a fact that he has been attending the BOG meetings in the last two year because I have the minutes and he is listed as being present at most of them. So, unless he is sleeping through the proceedings or is as thick as I apparently am, it would be incredibly hard to believe that he simply does not realize the purpose of the AEC as it has been a topic of conversation for the BOG.<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Instead of adding the disclaimer, maybe they should have had him read the USEA statement explaining the philosophy of the AEC and asked if he wanted to change his comments. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Maybe they did and either he refused to change his comments or what was printed is his edited version.