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View Full Version : Who is going to the USOC HEARINGS in NY? or Now Austin?



Weatherford
Sep. 8, 2001, 12:52 AM
I will be home from Ireland for them - I have extra floor/couch space in my NJ house - the beds are taken, I'm afraid.

I think a show of support for the NF is a must! Besides, I am dying to hear how the USET spins its monetary and other problems.

[Edited to update title of thread to include Austin as hearing location]

[This message was edited by Portia on Sep. 28, 2001 at 04:51 PM.]

Weatherford
Sep. 8, 2001, 12:52 AM
I will be home from Ireland for them - I have extra floor/couch space in my NJ house - the beds are taken, I'm afraid.

I think a show of support for the NF is a must! Besides, I am dying to hear how the USET spins its monetary and other problems.

[Edited to update title of thread to include Austin as hearing location]

[This message was edited by Portia on Sep. 28, 2001 at 04:51 PM.]

Jumphigh83
Sep. 8, 2001, 06:20 AM
Details Weatherford! When where how?? I am but a train ride away!

Betsy
Lead, follow, or get out of the way...

Weatherford
Sep. 8, 2001, 07:51 AM
The hearings are open to the public and are being held on Sept 24 - 25 at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. I do not have the TIMES yet.

I get in from Ireland on Monday, so will miss the first day - it had originally been scheduled to start on Tuesday, thus I arranged my plane rides.

Someone will have to take detailed notes for me on Monday.

See you there!

Snowbird
Sep. 8, 2001, 10:16 AM
I'm too old to tangle with New York traffic with my car. I wonder if we can round up a bus load?

Weatherford
Sep. 8, 2001, 11:55 AM
Drive down to Hopewell and we can all take the train to NY from Princeton or Hamilton. Easy!

JR*
Sep. 8, 2001, 12:30 PM
I live a taxi ride away, so if I'm in the city I might go...

Portia
Sep. 9, 2001, 10:13 AM
The hearing is only 2 days? I thought they had allocated at least 3, which is not enough time to present a full case that the USOC can understand anyway. /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

The good news is that the USET has the burden of proof that (a) USA Equestrian cannot fulfill all of the functions of the NGB and (b) the USET can better fulfill all of the functions of the NGB. Given the USET's current state of disarray and financial woes -- not to mention that it does not perform the vast majority of the core NGB functions and never has -- I'm hoping the USOC will see that the USET cannot meet that burden.

Weatherford
Sep. 9, 2001, 01:01 PM
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, poss Thursday (24 - 27) Starting at 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM. Marriott Marquis in Times Square, NYC.

Weatherford
Sep. 10, 2001, 09:26 AM
OK - it's just lucassb, jumphi, jr*, snowbird, and me??

What about anyone else?

(I will not be there on Monday, as I get in from Ireland that day.)

We MUST have lunch - even if all we can afford is a hot dog in the park - no, hot dogs in NYC are VERY expensive! /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Lucassb
Sep. 10, 2001, 12:25 PM
If I am going all the way back to civilization (NYC) then I want something a bit more exotic than a hot dog, though... I am hoping for some real roasted chestnuts...

<grin>

SGray
Sep. 24, 2001, 08:49 AM
any of the six that were planning on the meeting on 24th going to make it to Austin?

SGray
Sep. 26, 2001, 09:54 AM
shall we invite AB and AL,Jr to lunch with us?

we could try Texian mediation - how about feeding them jalepenos or habaneros until they agree

Portia
Sep. 28, 2001, 09:04 AM
S., AL is strictly an East Coaster, and Alan Balch is a Southern California boy. I'm afraid he'd have a big advantage in the "ability to handle chile peppers" department -- But it might be fun to watch. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

SGray
Sep. 28, 2001, 09:54 AM
even better Portia - even better

Linda Allen
Sep. 28, 2001, 01:37 PM
I am curious to know how many could get to some or all of the USOC hearings, scheduled in Austin, TX (exact location undetermined by USOC as of today), running from Oct. 13th thru 15th?

This is a good opportunity to show the USOC representatives that our sport is far more than "a few rich people riding around on $$$$ horses in the Olympic Games." It is hard to get the point across about the actual number of us out there that love and participate in the sport(plus care about and help support ALL the levels even if we only are personally active regionally or at the 'old fashioned' amateur level).

I am convinced that the result of this hearing will shape the future (and thus the generations of riders we don't yet know the names of)far more than it will actually impact on the current 'crop' of competitors.

Having NF members and supporters - of all ages and levels of participation - THERE has to make an impression on people who know NOTHING about our sport, but can determine what it looks like from here on out.

Who is close enough and willing? with air fares are as low as they get, and Austin probably one of the safest places to fly into.... think about it.

Linda Allen

Portia
Sep. 28, 2001, 01:45 PM
Oct. 13-15 is Saturday-Sunday-Monday. So they're having the hearing on equestrian over the weekend, in the middle of one of the busiest times of the competition season for almost every horse sport? Sigh -- not good timing, is it?

Anyway -- I am going to try to attend, if work cooperates.

Besides, Austin is always beautiful, and particularly nice this time of year. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif And I have an old boyfriend there. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

SGray
Sep. 28, 2001, 02:42 PM
Linda A

re: I am curious to know how many could get to some or all of the USOC hearings, scheduled in Austin, TX (exact location undetermined by USOC as of today), running from Oct. 13th thru 15th?

Have you received confirmation of those dates? And have you heard what the location will be?

If I will need to take vacation days from office I need to try to put in for them as soon as possible - have been waiting on firm dates.

Please advise.

Thanks.

spaz
Sep. 28, 2001, 03:51 PM
Yes, Austin is beautiful! Not just now, all year long too! /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Actually, it should be in the low 70's by then. Is anyone coming down for that one?

http://user.boardnation.com/ythejuniorsclique/board.cgi
Junior Clique!

Linda Allen
Sep. 28, 2001, 11:26 PM
it is as solid as anything can be in our crazy world. USOC gave everyone the week that they would do it and where, after they postponed from NY date and location.

since it is a conflict for MANY (most?), compromise was the weekend - which was probably best for the (volunteer) hearing panel members and running into Monday (perhaps, for convenience of those that had major conflicts?)

That week is Radnor (major international level event) a World Cup Qualifier on West Coast, and Harrisburg Junior weekend, amongst many others. but USOC Board meets very shortly after and options weren't many.

Do hope we'll see people there, weekend or Monday depending on what is "do-able"....

Linda Allen

Jo
Sep. 29, 2001, 08:27 AM
I'm here, I'm here! let's do a COTH dinner! I have a digital camera so I can be like ETBW and take lots of pictures! Muhahahahahahaa.

Weatherford
Sep. 29, 2001, 07:03 PM
HEarings are 13-14-15, with a possibility (I just heard) of opening statements on Friday teh 12th.

I will be there, or so it appears...

Snowbird
Sep. 29, 2001, 07:23 PM
Good go! Weatherford you can carry our state flag. Bless you! I wish I could get there but I know I can depend on you to represent us. If you want a letter from me you have it!

Texas we're depending on you now that we have heard the call to arms. Why not get to all those pony clubs and round up some little kids who dream of going to the Olympics and bring them with you?

Weatherford
Sep. 29, 2001, 07:33 PM
GREAT IDEA, Snowbird!!!

ANy Texas PC'ers out there???

Jo
Sep. 29, 2001, 07:47 PM
If somebody can explain to me what the meeting is about and what position I'm supposed to take I'll try to go. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Ruby G. Weber
Sep. 30, 2001, 08:52 AM
I certainly hope those of you who attend such meeting formulate your own educated opinion before jumping on any bandwagon.

Snowbird
Sep. 30, 2001, 09:56 AM
There are lots of threads out here which cover the whole history of this fiasco.

The USET and the AHSA worked together for 50 years to field Olympic Teams when the Army was no longer mounted. The USOC has to be compliant with the Ted Stevens Athletic Act which requires that there be only one NGB(National Governing Body) for each sport in the Olympics. That body has to have total management and cannot delegate it's authority.

About 3 years ago the USET requested and was granted an Operating Agreement from the AHSA so they could do their own fund raising etc. Then the USET got mad because Alan Balch as President of the AHSA requested financial statements and business plans which he was required to have under the Ted Stevens Act. The USET filed a complaint againt the AHSA saying that AHSA was in violation because the operating agreement proved they had delegated their authority. Then the USET filed a challenge to request they be made the NGB.

AHSA offered them a merger where both the AHSA and the USET would be equally important. That offer was refused by the USET aand they then began to try an reorganize to be eligible to be NGB. All of their meetings motions etc. were found to have be done in violation of New Jersey State Corporate laws and found null and void.

So here we are the USET needs to present it's case to the USOC and the AHSA will present their case to the USOC in Texas.

The USET has clearly indicated they are only interested in the elite athletes and will not be bothered with us little folks. That is in violation of the Federal Ted Stevens Act. They have nothing in place, no financial stability and no history for sanctioning horse shows, setting up hearing committees and drug testing at competitions.

The Ted Stevens Act clearly states that the NGB must be in control and have a program so that every little kid in America who rides a horse can know they could be selected to ride in the Olympics. The AHSA has changed over the past year from a horse shows association to USA Equestrian and has in place all the necessary parts to fulfill the requirements of an NGB which it has been for 50 years and which it is now as we speak.

The USET has not "and without opinions" just based on the facts has not proved it can even operate under the rule of law. Here it is only 2 weeks before the hearing which has been postponed from September 24,25,26 in New York in a state of total disarray and financially in a hole taking money from their endowment funds and with a $2 million debt obligation.

They have been required to reinstate all the Directors and Trustees who they dumped because they disagreed back in their positions. At best they have had one teleconference to reorganize and try to comply. They have no one to staff all the necessary departments which would have to be created no finances to cover such a big investment without sacrificing the welfare of the elite athletes they are supposed to be helping.

The Team headquarters is still in limbo because all the necessary easements have not been filed to make it possible for them to operate on their farm.

Therefore, I think it is a simple issue and without concern for who is who or who is what it seems clear that they are just not capable. The USOC at the hearing in Texas will make the final decision which will be forwarded to the Board of the USOC.

It's important that the USOC understand that this sport is not one limited to multi millionaires but full of little folks like us. There are 1.9 million horse owners involved in showing in this sport, 80,000 of them belong to USA Equestrian. The USET represents at best 1% of the 80,000. I believe their membership is much less than 8,000 which would be 1% of just the USAEQ members.

So for all the new children who will be born and who will learn to ride this generation has the responsibility to protect them and make sure that they can ride with hope and the dream that if they wish and can, they can become an Olympian. They need to know that their selection does not depend on who they know but how they ride. /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

SGray
Oct. 1, 2001, 06:51 AM
Weatherford - any news on where?

okay - I putting in for a vacation day on the 15th - let me know if you hear more re 12th

Weatherford
Oct. 1, 2001, 07:02 AM
Nothing yet - just the bad news that (contrary to all reports) plane fares are NOT cheap from this area! /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Will post when I hear.

SGray
Oct. 3, 2001, 07:13 AM
W - if you find any cheaper to Houston I'd be glad to ferry you to Austin from here

Weatherford
Oct. 3, 2001, 07:30 AM
Thanks, SGray - I have to go from Austin to CA, and discovered it was significantly cheaper to go to CA first, spend the night, THEN go to Austin and back to CA (spend a few days) then home to NJ...

Of course, to GET to CA, I have to go through about 4 stops - no cheap non-stops to San Jose anymore! As a matter of fact, I think I am going through Dallas to get to SJ?!! Yikes!

See you then!

SGray
Oct. 3, 2001, 07:53 AM
Great W - I'm excited at the prospect of meeting you

So who likes what kind of food - so we can go to dinner together - I'll quiz my sister (lives in Austin) about restaurants if you tell me what your preference is

dublin
Oct. 3, 2001, 08:16 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Of course, to GET to CA, I have to go through about 4 stops - no cheap non-stops to
San Jose anymore! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Living near San Jose, and having taken several flights this year, I can vouch for that statement.... /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Seriously though, if you are going to be staying overnight in the San Jose area when you fly to CA, I would be more than happy to pick you up and have you stay overnight with us - we live close by. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Weatherford
Oct. 3, 2001, 12:02 PM
Thanks, Dublin, taken care of already - work that needs to be done!

Perhaps, however, we could do dinner the following week? I will be in Salinas.

Weatherford
Oct. 3, 2001, 12:07 PM
SGray - email me! thanks!

SGray
Oct. 3, 2001, 12:34 PM
W - check your email

Jo
Oct. 3, 2001, 12:58 PM
Langshaw/Nickelodian and I live in Austin so we've got the 411 on all the restaurants here. Please don't forget about us even though we (I) aren't going to the meeting. /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Lucassb
Oct. 3, 2001, 01:01 PM
Since it is over a weekend for the most part and I wouldn't have to take MORE time off work, I want to see if there is a way I can swing going to the Austin meetings.

I am in the same category of "can't get there from here" without spending a huge amount on plane fare. I want to go, but have already had to eat my plane fare from ATL to NY, so can't spend a fortune... I got a credit rather than a refund, so am stuck with the options on that one airline.

They don't fly to Austin, but I can get to Houston for a reasonable amount, if it is not too far to drive??? Can someone tell me how long it will take?

And can anyone recommend an inexpensive place to stay over the weekend in the Austin area, relatively close to the hearings?

**********
To appreciate heaven well
'Tis good for a man to have some fifteen minutes of hell.
Will Carleton (1845-1912)

SGray
Oct. 3, 2001, 01:15 PM
Lucassb - approx. 3.5 hours Houston to Austin
I likely won't drive up until Sat. am. due to constraints of caring for beasts here

Houston Intercontinental is about 45 minutes from me (Houston Hobby is alot more) - plenty of room in my F250 or check with Portia, she is probably going to go up before I will be able to get away

I will be sleeping on couch at my sister's place(with her dogs and cats) - it sounded like Portia was gonna shack-up with old boyfriend ;-}
(uh-oh, I'm gonna get slapped by Portia - joke Portia, just a joke)

surely there could be some roomie available...... folks? how about it?

Portia
Oct. 3, 2001, 01:21 PM
Lucassb and Weatherford -- and SGray! -- hmmph! I guess you missed my post offering the car pool from Houston to Austin, or were you all just ignoring me? Or maybe I thought I posted it and I was hallucinating? /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Anyway, depending one where you start in Houston and where you're going in Austin, it is about a 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hour drive, and a rather pretty one as drives around Texas go. Not too painful at all, and I've done it back and forth on the same day several times.

Does anybody yet have word on exactly where the hearing is going to be held? I don't have to worry about flights but do have to think about where to stay. Our firm's Austin office can always find me a room somewhere, but I'd like it to be somewhere near the hearing.

Lucassb, Austin is both the home to a major university and the capital of Texas, so there are plenty of hotel and motel rooms in a variety of price ranges all over the city. When we find out where the hearing is, I'm sure we Texans will be able to recommend a place.

And S, much as he and I are still dear friends, I don't think the ex-boyfriend's wife would approve of us shacking up for the weekend. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif He and I can have dinner together, but that's about all that's allowed. /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

SGray
Oct. 3, 2001, 01:27 PM
assignments for hearings

Weatherford is to be head cheerleader

SGray is to be head jeerleader

SGray
Oct. 4, 2001, 07:11 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Portia:
Lucassb and Weatherford -- and SGray! -- hmmph! I guess you missed my post offering the car pool from Houston to Austin, or were you all just ignoring me? Or maybe I thought I posted it and I was hallucinating? /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif ==== the beasts at home create speed bumps for me - none of these polite folks would be so presumptuous as to ask to impose upon your generosity - except me, little do you know but I already referred Lucassb to you via email =====

Not too painful at all, and I've done it back and forth on the same day several times.=====which may be my lot depending upon who I may or may not be able to convince to come take care of the horde====

Does anybody yet have word on exactly where the hearing is going to be held? Our firm's Austin office can always find me a room somewhere, but I'd like it to be somewhere near the hearing.===and near Lucassb, Weatherford, Linda Allen, and the other illustrious visitors to our fair state ========

Lucassb, Austin is both the home to a major university ............so there are plenty of hotel and motel rooms =====am asking brother-in-law whether there will be a football game that weekend which always makes life in Austin more crowded======in a variety of price ranges all over the city. When we find out where the hearing is, I'm sure we Texans will be able to recommend a place.=====Texians for us natives

And S, much as he and I are still dear friends, I don't think the ex-boyfriend's wife would approve of us shacking up for the weekend. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif He and I can have dinner together, but that's about all that's allowed. /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>==== oh, minor little details that you left out at the first mention of "old boyfriend"

Jo
Oct. 4, 2001, 07:13 AM
Ho hum... two Austin people here can also offer advice... sigh. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

BTW, for all your AARP, Candlewood (a hotel) is doing 50% off. I just saw the sign when I drove by yesterday.

Hey Lucassb, if you come, you can just bring my saddle with you. /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

SGray
Oct. 4, 2001, 08:02 AM
be nice Jo or I'll have my b-i-l arrest you

Portia
Oct. 4, 2001, 08:30 AM
For anyone who wants a ride from Houston, I feel it necessary to make full disclosure. I have an Audi A-4 and the following CDs in my CD player in the car right now:

Mandy Patinkin, "Oscar & Steve"
Barenaked Ladies, "Stunt"
Al Jarreau, "This Time"
Original Broadway Cast, "The Producers"
Jimmy Buffett, "Last Mango in Paris"
Sarah McLaughlin, "Surfacing"

I can't guarantee that any of these might not be switched out with Clint Black or Garth Brooks.

Now if the USOC would just decide WHERE in Austin they are holding the damn thing, and WHEN they are going to start it (Friday or Saturday) we could have Jo and Langshaw give advice on places to stay and restaurants and make plans.

SGray
Oct. 4, 2001, 08:38 AM
F-250 SuperDuty SuperCab/Best of Van Morrison (okay *joke* - just another joke)

Portia is probably your best bet since she does not have to worry about "pet" sitters (for lots of pets) - which is the only reason that I did not take her up on her offer from way back of "carpooling" to Austin - which, by the way, I'm disappointed about as Portia is a good conversationalist

[This message was edited by SGray on Oct. 04, 2001 at 11:48 AM.]

Jo
Oct. 4, 2001, 10:09 AM
maybe I should fly to Houston just so I can carpool with you guys back to Austin and feel more "connected." /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

SGray
Oct. 4, 2001, 10:16 AM
LOL Jo

SGray
Oct. 4, 2001, 01:10 PM
thankfully, the football fans will not be taking all the hotel rooms next weekend as the Univ. of Texas will be playing out of town

SGray
Oct. 5, 2001, 11:36 AM
drat it all, Lucassb can't come

but SGray will be there

Portia
Weatherford
Linda Allen

who else

SGray
Oct. 8, 2001, 07:10 AM
anyone else?

Portia
Oct. 8, 2001, 07:55 AM
The USOC finally set the exact location for the hearing in Austin. It will be at:

Four Seasons Hotel
98 San Jacinto Blvd
Austin, TX 78701-4039
Tel: 512/478-4500
Fax: 512/477-0704

The Four Seasons is located on Town Lake, which is really part of the river that runs through Austin. I've stayed there many times on business and it's a beautiful hotel with excellent facilities, but it is the most expensive in town (of course). One of those hotels that is the home of the $18 room service hamburger.

Still no word that I have heard on exactly when the hearing is going to start, either Friday afternoon or Saturday morning.

SGray
Oct. 8, 2001, 08:08 AM
convenient for me - my sister's place is a couple of blocks away on the other side of Town Lake

let us know when you hear more - and thanks for the info

SGray
Oct. 8, 2001, 09:29 AM
Jo/Langshaw/Nickelodian/Spaz00

since it is at 4Seasons you are going to have to take a shower after riding before you come to the sessions

SGray
Oct. 8, 2001, 10:08 AM
other hotel info from my sibling

Four Seasons is nice.

The Radisson is just next door and maybe less expensive.

There is an Omni at 8th Street, a Holiday Inn at Town Lake and a Sheraton at 5th and IH 35.

Supposedly, you can negotiate rates b/c occupancy is way down.

Jo
Oct. 8, 2001, 10:15 AM
I *always* shower after riding. But I can't make any guarentees for Nickelodian or Spaz. /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Jo
Oct. 8, 2001, 10:26 AM
Also, if you guys wanted some cheapy place to stay, there's places like the Red Roof Inn (stayed there before), La Quinta, some Marriot thing, and Candlewood Suites (for the 50+ set).

SGray
Oct. 9, 2001, 07:08 AM
gee Jo, I thought that everyone was going to stay at your house ;-}

Jo
Oct. 9, 2001, 07:35 AM
Nope, that's Nickelodian's department, SHE's the one with the house, I'm just a college kid with an apartment. /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

SGray
Oct. 9, 2001, 11:49 AM
Any word on what time the sessions will start?

Nickelodian
Oct. 9, 2001, 11:54 AM
So, since I'm to lazy to read through the whole thread, can I have a recap???

When is it, where, and who all is coming!!!!!!!

I do have a house, and if any one needs a bed, they're welcome to it!

And now we are officially on to month 5....which reminds me, its Pneumabort time!!!!!

SGray
Oct. 9, 2001, 02:49 PM
Four Seasons is the place

time is not yet known

may begin Friday or may not start until Sat.

scheduled to run through Monday

that's all I know at the moment

Snowbird
Oct. 9, 2001, 07:42 PM
Is anyone going so they can tell us what happens?

Weatherford
Oct. 10, 2001, 06:51 AM
If you haven't found anyone to assign your proxy to, assign it to Alan Balch and FAX it to the USET with a note to alan at th AHSA. (abalch@ahsa.org)

SGray
Oct. 10, 2001, 07:57 AM
well, they have now changed address so what was www.ahsa.org (http://www.ahsa.org) is now www.equestrian.org (http://www.equestrian.org) (not to worry, you are automatically forwarded)

and AB's email address is now abalch@equestrian.org

Tiramit
Oct. 10, 2001, 08:49 AM
In Austin?

Where can I find out the details - who can attend, etc? I wouldn't mind sitting in on some of it!

Tiramit
Oct. 10, 2001, 08:57 AM
By the way Jo, I'm feeling VERY left out of your little Austin group... /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif Anyway, please let me know when you all are getting together!

Jo
Oct. 10, 2001, 09:11 AM
Tiramit, don't worry, you and me have our own little tennising Austin group. /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Tiramit
Oct. 10, 2001, 09:47 AM
Ok, I feel better now that I belong to some sort of group. Let me know when you all go - I'm free most of the weekend (except for a caving expedition Sat. afternoon...).

Or, we could play tennis! /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Jo
Oct. 10, 2001, 09:51 AM
Is it THIS weekend? I'm so messed up. /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

SGray
Oct. 10, 2001, 11:24 AM
yes Jo 13th-15th

Weatherford
Oct. 10, 2001, 10:36 PM
dates and places have been posted - starting time is 8:30 Saturday Morning at the 4 Seasons Hotel.

Don't know what room, but I am sure there will be a sign.

SEE YOU THERE!!

SGray
Oct. 11, 2001, 07:50 AM
W - have a safe trip!

Jo
Oct. 11, 2001, 08:06 AM
Are we still meeting for dinner or such? I need a distraction from my broken heart.

Portia
Oct. 11, 2001, 09:21 AM
Jo, come to the hearing and we'll all get together! I'm not sure we'll be able to find you and the former Langshaw otherwise.

Here's the announcement from USA Eq:

USA Equestrian (formerly American Horse Shows Association) announced today that the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has made arrangements for the formal, public hearing on National Governing Body (NGB) status to begin on Saturday morning in Austin, Texas. The United States Equestrian Team (USET) filed a formal USOC challenge against AHSA in February, commencing litigation in an attempt to take over the NGB status, which has always been held by AHSA.

The hearing is scheduled to begin Saturday morning, October 13, 2001 at 8:30 a.m. local time (Central) at the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin, TX. The hotel is located at 98 San Jacinto Boulevard, and the hearing will continue through Monday, October 15, 2001. It is required by law to be open to the public. Members of the public and media who wish to attend are not required to make any formal or advance reservation or arrangements.

USA Equestrian, the only organization recognized as the National Equestrian Federation of the United States by the sport's international federation, the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) headquartered in Switzerland, will provide continuous coverage of the hearing on its website, at USA Eq Hearing Updates (http://www.equestrian.org/legal/hearings/index.asp) Updates will be provided following each morning and afternoon session, and questions will be answered as permitted by available time and personnel. Email questions should be sent to: questions@equestrian.org.

Following the conclusion of the hearing, a written ruling is expected to be issued following deliberations by a 5-member hearing panel of the USOC. That ruling is in the form of a recommendation to the full Board of Directors of the USOC, which is scheduled to consider it at its next meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah, on October 27 and 28, 2001. Following that consideration, the decision of the USOC is subject to arbitration under USOC procedures.

The president of USA Equestrian, Alan F. Balch, commented, "We very much regret that we could not settle this matter within the equestrian family. We tried every conceivable method of communication with the current leadership of the USET, but even the simplest of meetings were difficult to arrange. Those who have followed this issue for the last several months are well aware that we did not instigate these very expensive proceedings, but we have had to defend the integrity of our organization, and the sport, from this aggressive challenge. We believe this to be a wasteful, divisive, and destructive effort by the USET, but we are now going to see some definitive steps taken. Holding the hearing in itself is a signal that the conflict is finally moving toward a conclusion."

Balch said that a meeting of the Executive Committee of USA Equestrian, and possibly the full board, would be held in early November to evaluate the result of the hearing and make future plans depending on its outcome.

[This message was edited by Portia on Oct. 12, 2001 at 12:17 PM.]

SGray
Oct. 12, 2001, 06:34 AM
all you Austinites should try to come to at least some of the sessions

Tiramit
Oct. 12, 2001, 11:00 AM
I'm going to try to make it in the morning.

Just to let everyone from out-of-town know, we're expecting a huge storm tonight after midnight. Sorry, but it probably won't be sunny weather while you're here...

Jo
Oct. 12, 2001, 11:49 AM
Yes yes, huge storms. Not good when you haven't ridden since Tuesday and your boyfriend breaks up with you on Wednesday. Not good at all.

Portia
Oct. 12, 2001, 11:52 AM
Jo, come to the hearing. We'll take your mind off mean ex-boyfriends (who you are too good for anyway). /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Tiramit, be sure to try to find us and introduce yourself. I have no idea how many people will attend, but our little group of BBs should be easy enough to find.

SGray
Oct. 12, 2001, 12:07 PM
in case anyone needs it - phone number at Four Seasons is 512-478-4500

Jo
Oct. 12, 2001, 12:15 PM
I'll go if Langshaw/Nickelodian goes. I'll have to see what her plans are. Or if Tiramit comes to pick me up, then I'll go. I just don't wanna go by myself. Whine whine. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

SGray
Oct. 12, 2001, 01:53 PM
gosh

Denny Emerson
David O'Connor
Robert Ridland
Jimmy Wofford

== would it be uncool to ask for autographs?

SGray
Oct. 12, 2001, 02:53 PM
Portia should be on her way to Austin (or will be soon)

I leave EARLY in the morning

We'll report Tuesday

Weatherford
Oct. 12, 2001, 04:28 PM
I am here!

I am sure they will be happy to give you autographs - especially if you ask Jim Wofford to sign his excellent book!

Now to find Portia...

Duffy
Oct. 12, 2001, 05:30 PM
I'm one of the biggest wusses and if I can fly to Toronto all by my little lonesome on the "off chance" /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif that our Heidi would be there to meet me, then you can go to the USOC meeting! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Hopefully, all will be resolved soon!!! In the meantime, I hope our BB'ers in Austin have a vondervar time!! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Portia
Oct. 12, 2001, 08:29 PM
They have moved the start time to 7:30 am Saturday morning. So if you see this, S..... Don't worry if you can't make it on time. They will start with opening statements, then the USET will present its witnesses. USA Eq will present its witnesses after that, probably starting around mid-day Sunday.

Jo, Langshaw/Nickelodian, Tiramit, and whoever else -- We hope to see you here!

I had dinner with Weatherford and it was like being with an old friend. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Too bad it took this dispute to get us together in person, but I'm looking on it as a silver lining.

Weatherford
Oct. 13, 2001, 04:42 AM
Difference between Portia & me is that SHE had the energy to go back to the hotel room and POST!!

Will report shortly.

/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Tiramit
Oct. 13, 2001, 08:46 AM
Shoot. I've been wrangled into an earlier start for the caving trip today and with everything else pushed back, I can't make it. PLEASE tell me you all are meeting on Sunday? I want to meet you all!!!

Portia
Oct. 13, 2001, 06:11 PM
Starting at 7:30 am on Sunday also. It was an interesting day, although too many details to go into. Both parties did their opening statements and then Bonnie Jenkins testified for the USET, followed by Robert Standish. He hasn't been cross-examined yet.

John Strassburger is here and will be posting a summary on the COTH site tonight. The AHSA will have a report on its site also.

Jo
Oct. 13, 2001, 06:14 PM
Can you come in late and leave early? Sunday's looking like a busy busy day. Must go take care of my mare, then do a TON of reading, maybe take a pair of jeans back, then go pick up stuff from the ex's house (gulp), then work...

Weatherford
Oct. 13, 2001, 06:28 PM
YES - come in late and leave early - or at least check in with us! We are down in one of the ballrooms.

/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

And Portia's notes are unbelievable!!!

Bostonian
Oct. 13, 2001, 06:31 PM
looking forward to your reports, couldn't stay away.

still helping friends deal with the 11th. Wish I could be there!

Portia
Oct. 13, 2001, 06:44 PM
Yes, I have 25 pages of notes but after typing them all day long, I can't bear to edit them and repeat them now. There were no big surprises today, no Perry Mason moments (not that there ever are in real life).

Both the COTH and USA Eq summaries should be up soon, if not already.

Jo
Oct. 13, 2001, 06:47 PM
Are you guys all still going to be around on Monday or are you heading back to work? Maybe we could meet for dinner on Monday?

Bostonian
Oct. 13, 2001, 06:53 PM
Go Portia!

Somebody get some ice on that hand - unless of course you were typing, then better ice those wrists!

Can you give give us an idea of who the rest of the witnesses are? Who cares about jenkins and standish - we all know what they're going to say -PLEASE don't take away our 239k/year salaries!

Nothing posted on USA equestrian's web site yet, but I'll bet Portia's notes will be much better.

My husband is in Chicago for the weekend, so I'll be waiting by my computer!

Melinda
Oct. 13, 2001, 07:00 PM
The Day 1 Report from John Strassburger is now posted on COTH - www.chronofhorse.com (http://www.chronofhorse.com)

Portia
Oct. 13, 2001, 07:19 PM
I was using my laptop all day -- which is why more typing is not appealing. And the set up isn't very good for it -- laptop is literal this time.

I'm not sure about the other USET witnesses. They didn't announce them today, except that they said Mark Leone and Armand Leone would both testify. Given the limited time available, that may be the extent of their witness list.

The USA Eq witness list includes a forensic accountant who has reviewed the USET finances, David O'Connor, Robert Ridland, and Jim Wofford, along with others. I don't know if all of those people will testify or not, as each side only has 7.5 hours to present their evidence, including time spent in cross-examination. A lot of the case is being presented on pre-hearing memoranda and briefing by the parties.

The USET will finish with its witnesses sometime after mid-day tomorrow probably, then USA Eq will start with its witnesses. Both sides will present one hour each of closing argument at the end of the day on Monday.

Jo, we'll be here Monday, but I don't know about anybody else's travel plans. I have to drive bak to Houston, and it depends when we get done on Monday.

Bostonian
Oct. 13, 2001, 07:25 PM
very interesting, thank you Melinda and Mr. Strassburger.

Question, isn't the last point mute since USAE already has its own directors and assistant directors of USET's six disciplines?

Tiramit
Oct. 13, 2001, 08:11 PM
Hi Portia,

I'm trying to pull Jo away from her busy schedule tomorrow so we can go to the meeting, probably mid-morning. What / when are you all doing for lunch?

Weatherford
Oct. 14, 2001, 04:29 AM
Hey, Tirament -

Lunch break tomorrow is ONLY a half an hour - so, pack some sandwiches...Let's see, there are three of us who are not being fed by USA Eq - that is Portia, John Strass (COTH), and me...

Peanut butter will be just fine (am having withdrawals) /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Do come!!

W.

Tiramit
Oct. 14, 2001, 06:14 AM
Ok Weatherford, I'll bring sandwiches for you three, and hopefully will have Jo in tow! I'm assuming the break is around 11:30, so I'll bring them at 11:00. See you then!

Tiramit
Oct. 14, 2001, 10:37 AM
Well, I made it to the hearing, but I realized that I didn't know what you, Portia and Weatherford, look like /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif ! Anyway, I brought lunch for you three, but I didn't know who to stop, so if you noticed a slightly confused looking woman in a yellow sweater by the exit door, that was me!

Jo
Oct. 14, 2001, 11:22 AM
And I finally got to ride today. Sorry guys, but I needed my reality check. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

JustaLurker
Oct. 14, 2001, 12:51 PM
Am I the only one who can't access the 3 pages of Saturday testimony on the USA Eq site? I am able to get to the Day 2 Morning session page with no problem. Here are the links from the that I can't access from the Index page:

Day 1 Setting the Scene at
http://www.equestrian.org/legal/hearings/Austin Hearings Report 1.asp

Day 1 Morning session at
http://www.equestrian.org/legal/hearings/Austin 2.asp

Day 1 Afternoon session at
http://www.equestrian.org/legal/hearings/Austin 3.asp

I get the following error message:

HTTP Error 400

400 Bad Request

Due to malformed syntax, the request could not be understood by the server.
The client should not repeat the request without modifications.

Message Update #1
If you notice, there are spaces in the URL. But, removing the spaces doesn't work either. Oh, I just thought that perhaps underscores are needed. I'll try that.

Message Update #2:
Nope. That doesn't work either.

Cheers, Maggi

SoEasy
Oct. 14, 2001, 01:00 PM
Your browser is not picking up the whole line as a link, if the last part is not underlined ...

Do a copy of the whole thing, then paste it into the address line of the browser ...

(those links worked fine for me last night)

Snowbird
Oct. 14, 2001, 01:00 PM
Just open from the home page of ahsa.org

This is the url of the opening page.

http://www.equestrian.org/legal/hearings/index.asp

It's really worth while and good reading, Portia did an awesome job.
Report from Austin (http://www.equestrian.org/legal/hearings/index.asp)

JustaLurker
Oct. 14, 2001, 02:33 PM
Where did I go wrong in explaining that I couldn't get to the 3 Day 1 pages from the links provided from the USA Eq main page? I did get to the index page at
http://www.equestrian.org/legal/hearings/index.asp
and could access the Day 2 morning set at
http://www.equestrian.org/legal/hearings/MorningSessionDay2.asp

I selected each of the 3 links for the first day that were given as follows:
Day 1 Setting the Scene at
http://www.equestrian.org/legal/hearings/Austin Hearings Report 1.asp
Day 1 Morning session at
http://www.equestrian.org/legal/hearings/Austin 2.asp
Day 1 Afternoon session at
http://www.equestrian.org/legal/hearings/Austin 3.asp
This was to no avail.

Yes, it was obvious that the URL addresses were constructed wrong -- with spaces in the addresses. So, I tried removing the spaces in the address line of my browser and went for:
http://www.equestrian.org/legal/hearings/AustinHearingsReport1.asp
http://www.equestrian.org/legal/hearings/Austin2.asp
http://www.equestrian.org/legal/hearings/Austin3.asp
respectively. This also was to no avail.

I then tried underscores in place of the spaces in the address line of my browser and went for:
http://www.equestrian.org/legal/hearings/Austin_Hearings_Report_1.asp
http://www.equestrian.org/legal/hearings/Austin_2.asp
http://www.equestrian.org/legal/hearings/Austin_3.asp
respectively. Alas, this also was to no avail.

I even tried links similar to the successful Day 2 Morning set at:
http://www.equestrian.org/legal/hearings/MorningSessionDay2.asp
by using:
http://www.equestrian.org/legal/hearings/MorningSessionDay1.asp
http://www.equestrian.org/legal/hearings/AfternoonSessionDay1.asp
with the expected failure.

Keep the suggestions coming, though. Maybe something will work for me. I guess USA Eq isn't interested in those of us who use Netscape's almost latest brower, v4.78.

SoEasy
Oct. 14, 2001, 03:10 PM
Setting the Scene (http://www.equestrian.org/legal/hearings/Austin%20Hearings%20Report%201.asp)
Morning 1 (http://www.equestrian.org/legal/hearings/Austin%202.asp)

afternoon 1 (http://www.equestrian.org/legal/hearings/Austin%203.asp)
morning 2 (http://www.equestrian.org/legal/hearings/MorningSessionDay2.asp)

tis worth a try this way - what i see on the pages doesn't actually match what you are posting ... http://www.equestrian.org/legal/hearings/Austin%202.asp is the saturday morning address

kmoffitt
Oct. 14, 2001, 03:33 PM
I was not able to get the reports with my 4.7 Netscapte Communicator program, but was able to access everything with Netscape 6.0.

If you can't access the reports, you probably need to upgrade your browser (you can probably do this online).

JustaLurker
Oct. 14, 2001, 04:30 PM
Aha! The problem is solved.

I see that somehow the "blank/space" is translated into the special character equivalent, "%20" without the quote marks, of course. When I replace the blanks with %20, voila, up comes the page.

I don't ever install from a download, just in case I need to reinstall, but order a CD and finally have the Netscape v6.01 CD on order. Unfortunately it hasn't arrived yet. I do have the v6.0 CD, but it was supposedly so poorly done, I never installed it. I've kept up with the v4.7x upgrades, but guess they missed this little inconsistency.

Thanks to both of you, SoEasy and kmoffit. It seems all is well in my little world now. /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

poltroon
Oct. 14, 2001, 05:23 PM
Thanks for the fix - I was having trouble too. They're good articles.

(Humph! It's bad, bad, bad to put spaces in a URL. Very naughty!)

Melinda
Oct. 14, 2001, 07:13 PM
The recap for Day 2 from John Strassburger is now available on: www.chronofhorse.com (http://www.chronofhorse.com)

Duffy
Oct. 14, 2001, 07:20 PM
Oooooh la la! /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Portia
Oct. 14, 2001, 08:00 PM
Tiramit, I'm so sorry we missed you! It was only a quick 1/2 hour for lunch, and I was working over it.

I haven't read John's report yet. I'm sure it is as well done as yesterday's was. The day 2 afternoon report on the USA Eq site should be up soon -- at least, I e-mailed it to them awhile ago. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif It's plain vanilla, just the bare facts Ma'me. I do have another 20 something pages of typewritten notes from today though, so once again sorry you won't get much more from me tonight.

Robert Standish's testimony finished up, followed by Armand Leone, then Robert Dover. Then after lunch USA Eq started its case with Robert Ridland, who was a wonderful witness. He was very honest and had no axes to grind on either side, IMHO. Then Kate Jackson testified (also very good), followed by Denny Emerson, who was very strong in his convictions and wasn't taking any guff from the USET's lawyer. It was pretty entertaining, from my view at least. Linda Allen then testified, mostly about the structure of other successful national federations, like Germany, that govern everythihng from breeding to the Olympic riders.

Tomorrow USET will call Dian Steinrotter at some point to finish up its case. USA Eq will continue, with the forensic accountant, David O'Connor, Jimmy Wofford, Linden Gray, and maybe others depending on time available.

[This message was edited by Portia on Oct. 14, 2001 at 11:25 PM.]

Beans
Oct. 14, 2001, 08:09 PM
that Leone indicated the USET had taken 750,000 out of the endowment fund? I'm horrified at the manner in which the money has been handled and disbursements made so much in excess of receipts. The salary for the ED was shocking!

But the worst part is how embarassing this whole matter is and how terrible some of the testimony is coming across. Was Dover just rendering an opinion or providing credible testimony?

Portia
Oct. 14, 2001, 08:22 PM
Probably in the eye of the beholder, Ilona. Dover was largely offering his opinion, but then so too were Robert Ridland, Denny Emerson, and Linda Allen. Their opinions are very educated ones, however, and they all testified to fact matters in addition to their opinions.

For example, regarding the athlete poll that Mark Leone conducted before the USOC Commitee met in February, his brother testified about it and said that a vast majority of the active athletes who returned the polls voted in favor of the USET being the NGB. (Armand Leone admitted on cross-exam that the athletes had to sign the poll and were not offered the chance to vote on a blind basis -- so the USET would know exactly how each athlete had voted -- and that the USET did not provide the athletes with any copies of the proposed plans or even a brief explanation of them before asking them to vote.) Robert Ridland explained that most of the West Coast show jumping athletes at least didn't have any idea of what the details of the plans were when they were asked to fill out the poll, and that at a later meeting at La Quinta in CA during the Desert Circuit, the West Coast show jumping riders voted unanimously in favor of the AHSA merger plan. There were lots of other highlights.

Oh, I guess I left Armand Leone out of my mention of who testified today. How could I forget?

I, personally, am looking forward to the testimony of the forensic accountant tomorrow with his factual analysis of the USET's finances.

poltroon
Oct. 14, 2001, 08:29 PM
So, the endowment has been decimated? It sounds like less than a quarter of the account remains...

Any idea on why USET is calling Diann Steinrotter? Is she comparing skiing to eventing, or does she have some other specific expertise to offer?

The reports are great - but I find them slow reading because I keep having to look back to the top to figure out who is who. I can never remember which attorney is which, for example. Can perhaps someone make a little floating Javascript window with a list of all the players and their affiliations? I'd be happy to code it, even, if I had the list.

Snowbird
Oct. 14, 2001, 08:30 PM
But, in fact from what I have read in your accounts, Straussburger and Nancy Jaffer, I can see no legal way that the USET has proved any case for themselves.

The financial situation by itself should show that they have no capacity to manage funds. They used up their reserve funds so they have no hedge accounts at all. If something happened they surely would not be able to cover the salary of Standish who exposed himself as someone without a clue about management for such a hefty salary.

From what I read they don't even have a weeks salary in the hole to cover themselves. If they lose how do they expect to even pay off their debts. Certainly, no a reassuring prospect for a sponsor.

Wouldn't you think that the FEI organizers and the sponsor in Madrid would be a little upset with them not going to Madrid and then making a stink because some Americans did go. In reading the dispute they seem very upset they were not called for approval, when they had already decided to cop out and left the hole there themselves.

I wonder what your read is of the USOC hearing the evidence.

Weatherford
Oct. 14, 2001, 09:01 PM
One thing John missed in this paragraph: <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Under Finkelstein's cross-examination, Leone said that the USET's capital fund was now down to $110,000 and that this year they'd withdrawn $720,000 from their endowment fund to meet expenses. He also admitted that in 1999 Caspersen had written a letter to the late Sallie Wheeler, asking for a substantial donation because the USET trustees had passed a budget of $7 million with $4 million in projected income. And he admitted that the USET trustees had not been told about the $2 million line-of-credit loan they received in June until he sent a letter to the trustees on Aug. 28. By then, the loan had been spent "to meet our obligations to our athletes."

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Admitted by Leone while under cross-examination by Finkelstein was the fact that the Board of Trustees was only informed AFTER Mr. Balch WON the NJ lawsuit guarenteeing him the full access to the finacial records that he is allowed (and has fiduciary responsibility for) under NJ law.

Bostonian
Oct. 14, 2001, 09:10 PM
I don't know where to begin...
245k/year and Standish really doesn't have a clue!

All I can say is BRING ON THE FORENSIC ACCOUNTANT!!!!!

Weatherford
Oct. 15, 2001, 03:47 AM
Yes, Bostonian, between the two Olympians (David O'COnnor & Jimmy Wofford), the Marketing person (who is really dynamite), and the INCREDIBLE forensic accountant, today should be VERY interesting.

JulieMontgomery
Oct. 15, 2001, 05:38 AM
USET financials are pathetic.

So are the clowns who are supposed to be minding the store.

And the board members who have their collective heads stuck, um, in the sand.......

A-U-D-I-T.

When USA Eq remains the NGB, USET should just dissolve in a puddle of blatant ineptitude.

Beans
Oct. 15, 2001, 07:05 AM
We won't get the COTH report on today until tomorrow - this is going to be an important report especially on the audit issue.

MHM
Oct. 15, 2001, 12:41 PM
The financial questions reminded me that a few years ago, I got a phone call from a USET fundraiser asking me to pledge about 6 times my usual donation. When I said I was not planning to donate that much, he told me I didn't need to actually PAY it, just pledge it so they could get matching funds from another source.

Hello?!?

William Adams
Oct. 15, 2001, 01:44 PM
FYI...

The Monday morning session report is up on the USA Equestrian website.

Here is the link to the main page of the coverage if you don't already have it bookmarked. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

http://www.equestrian.org/legal/hearings/index.asp

Thanks.

William Adams
Assistant Executive Director, Information Technology
USA Equestrian

Duffy
Oct. 15, 2001, 01:50 PM
Thank you, Mr. Adams, and welcome to the BB. We hope that you'll join us on a regular basis, not just during this hearing. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Snowbird
Oct. 15, 2001, 01:56 PM
We had yesterday a perfect example of spoiler views that if the USA Equestrian stays on as NGB the USET will disappear.

If you don't let me win, I'll pick up my ball and go home strategy.

versus

We can all do our best job together!

Considering that the USET can only last 3 months financially I don't see that gives the USOC much choice really.

JustaLurker
Oct. 15, 2001, 08:27 PM
How very appropriate that this information should come in today's Goodies to Go newsletter from HTML Goodies to Go. It explains the "%20" substitution for the space/blank aka white space in URLs. I would have been happier to see this a couple of days ago, but it shows that Internet Explorer accepts invalid codes and ass-u-mes what was probably meant, substituting the %20 for the invalid space.

Read all about it at:
http://www.netmechanic.com/news/vol4/html_no18.htm

Unfortunately, the coders at USA Equestrian made the error when coding the links for their pages. It has, however, been corrected.

Cheers, Maggi

PMJ
Oct. 16, 2001, 03:28 AM
Does it seem interesting that several witnesses stated that USAEQ could step in and financially take over where USET is (in the event they run out of money) but the same cannot be said for USET? Just struck me as very interesting because it does not sound like from a business point USET is very stable. Also, I am wondering if certain individuals donate large amounts of money to the USET and also compete horses which are in contention for team selection, while I do not question the integrity of the selectors, does this not seem to be a conflict of interest? I am just posing this because my husband is an attorney and he goes to great lengths for things not even to seem to cause this conflict, and it seems odd to me.

Weatherford
Oct. 16, 2001, 08:19 AM
Ela - YUP!

Even when the selection is done on an "objective" basis, conflicts of interest can cloud the judgment of people involved with checking horses' soundness and readiness to compete on any given day.

The big problem that I see right now is the fact that the USET is SO far into the hole, why WOULD ANYONE want them?? They have depleted their capital fund, dipped into their endowment fund, mis-accounted for their assets, spent their $2mm line of credit, not received some major gifts promised, etc. With all these problems, they are for all intents and purposes bankrupt; their only assets are their wonderful staff!! Many of whom are FORBIDDEN by CONTRACT to work for a "competing" organization!

YIKES!!! /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Ruby G. Weber
Oct. 16, 2001, 08:24 AM
For those of you asking questions about selection, at least in the discipline I am familiar with-show jumping...

In non Olympic, World Championship years, the Computer list is used for selection.

In Olympic and WC years, trials are conducted.

There is no subjectivity in these selection processes.

Beans
Oct. 16, 2001, 08:30 AM
I thought in Dressage there is latitude when it comes to selecting horse/rider combinations to compete at international competitions or to train in Europe when it isn't Olympics or Pan AM.

I think this spending "spree" on the part of the USET and ED's salary is shocking. I've been a gold medal club member and I won't be donating to it this year with this lack of financial oversight.

Weatherford
Oct. 16, 2001, 08:33 AM
Absolutely, Emmett, and that is a great thing!

As I mentioned, in that case, the problem is when decisions have to be made regarding a horse's soundness and readiness to compete - which is a judgment call, and that is seldom one that is black & white.

Beans
Oct. 16, 2001, 08:33 AM
By the way these can be very hard to enforce. If a person can prove that the covenant basicly prevents them from finding gainful employment they would have a very strong case. The AHSA is located in KY - to try to enforce the covenant on people who are employed in NJ who would be willing to locate to KY seems onerous at the very least.

Sleepy
Oct. 16, 2001, 08:34 AM
regarding these non-compete clauses in the contracts.

If the organization becomes defunct would this not render the contract null and void? I don't see how a non-existent organization could enforce a contract that it basically defaulted on.

Portia
Oct. 16, 2001, 10:06 AM
Sleepy, I think you are basically right about the non-compete clauses. If the org dissolves, the non-compete clauses would probably be unenforceable.

I have about 75 pages of type-written notes from the 3 days. I took them mostly for USA Eq's lawyers since they had to submit a brief by 7:00 am this morning and did not have time to get and review the hearing transcripts before then. NOBODY wants to read all of them I'm sure! Besides, both John S. and Nancy Jaffer were there taking massive amounts of notes themselve and have been given great reports.

Here are some of my personal observations and feelings for what they're worth, and I'm not pretending to be objective here -- I support the USA Eq position whole-heartedly, if possible even more than I did prior to sitting through this hearing and seeing the witnesses and hearing the testimony.

1. In my personal opinion, having the USET made NGB would be a disaster for the sport, and I personally don't see how there is any way the USOC could do so given there managerial and financial history and condition. One of the basic requirements to become NGB is that the challenger must have "the managerial and financial capability to plan and execute its obligations."

2. USET is very deep in debt and has used up virtually all of its funds, including its investments and about 1/3 of its restricted endowment. Phil Kleckner, the forensic accountant, testified that without donations of a few million dollars, the USET will be completely broke in less a 3 months -- and you should all know that the USET lawyers did not even try, at all, to challenge those numbers and that conclusion.

3. All of the horsepeople called as witnesses by USA Equestrian (Robert Ridland, Denny Emerson, Linda Allen, Kate Jackson, Jimmy Wofford, Linden Gray, David O'Connor, Dr. Kent Allen, and Alan Balch) testified about the horse as our partner and as an athlete on an equal footing with the human athletes, and about the extreme importance of protecting the horse in all circumstances. Few of the USET witnesses even mentioned the role of the horse or the welfare of the horse.

4. In his opening statement, the USET's lawyer criticized USA Eq for being too diverse, and being "burdened" with having to govern the 15 non-FEI breeds and disciplines. In response, USA Eq's lawyer said that "it is not a burden, it is a privilege."

5. USET showed about a 3 minute film supposedly illustrating the FEI and the non-FEI breeds and disciplines for the panel, each for only about 15 seconds. For Arabs, it showed only a halter class. For Roadsters, it showed a Fine Harness class. For Parade, it showed a Rodeo grand entry. For National Show Horse, it instead showed a cross between a Missiouri Fox Trotter and a Tennesee Walking Horse. For Hunters, it showed somebody cantering around a schooling ring, without a fence in sight. For Welsh and for Shetland Ponies, it only showed a still photo of a Welsh and a Shetland that looked like they were taken out of the Encyclopedia of Horse Breeds or some similar book. For Western, it showed only one horse in a Western Pleasure class. Overall, it was pathetic and insulting to much of the sport. As Alan Balch said in his testimony, that film will only reenforce the perceived lack of respect for the other elements of the horse community by some in the USET.

6. The USET lawyer kept asking all the witnesses how things would be worse if the USET were made the NGB and the AHSA kept doing everything it does now on a national basis. The witnesses gave various examples of how things would be worse and the potential for harm to the sport and to the welfare of the horses. What the lawyer never asksed, and what the USET never explained, is how things would be any better for the sport if the USET was made the NGB.

7. In his vision statement for future of the sport, Alan Balch spoke about inclusiveness, fairness, development, dynamic growth, protecting our horses, and strength through unity. Asked to define success, he said he didn't think it was winning medals, or just winning medals, it was about doing so with honor and integrity, and his belief that have a strong, unified sport and increasing the base and the grass roots will inevitably lead to winning medals. Armand Leone's vision statement was about how the NGB cannot be all things to all people and must use the limited time and resources available to focus on the goal of international competitive excellence and winning.

Duffy
Oct. 16, 2001, 10:14 AM
Hmmmm...I said something to the effect, when posting over on Towerheads, that just maybe, Alan Balch was doing something to pave the way for some much needed change within our industry... (And that he certainly wasn't going through this s##t for the money.) /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

PMJ
Oct. 16, 2001, 10:34 AM
I don't think I knew enough about this--except to be dangerous /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif --until reading all of the posts and the reports. I have to say that the conduct of the USET people in charge and their view seems incredibly self-serving and not beneficial for the smaller rider, who to be blunt is who I am concerned with since that is who and what I am. I want to do well, strive to do well, but I'm not going to be on a national team. USAEQ appears to have a vision to include all with the resourses and programs to back them up. It is a shame that the two could not come to a merger; however, am I correct in thinking that the USET called the US Ski team person who talked about how their two associations merged? and was is not USAEQ who has been more than willing to work with these folks to come up with what is best.

As far as the contracts go, it seems that you would not want to limit your people for the betterment of the organization and except for feeling threatened, I don't understand why.

Weatherford
Oct. 16, 2001, 12:19 PM
Portia did an INCREDIBLE job taking notes on her laptop during the proceedings. She also lent her tremendous insight to some of the behind the scenes discussions.

SGray wound up being a great gopher for the USA Eq side, helping run errands and double check statistics. She also brought chocolate and drove us to dinner!

I was the lump on the proverbial log - watching and thinking and dreaming of a better sport for all of us. I am now conjuring up ideas for programs and incentives to create opportunities within the USA Eq for those talented kids with don't necessarily have the money to "make it". Of course, I am assuming some kind of merger will happen and the USA Eq will be able to implement these programs.

Frankly, the USET's financials are SO frightening that I simply can't imagine WHY ANY organization would want to merge with them. Their only assets are some of their staff members (not including their ED who proved he was clueless about the managerial aspects of the USET at the hearing) - and I wish/hope the new organization will include those experts and not the incompetents.

It was a fascinating experience. There is no doubt in my mind that the USET's case held no merit - especially since MOST of the committees and active riders are involved with BOTH organizations.

We shall see what happens next.

Thanks again, Portia and Susan. And thanks to John S for an incredible reporting job!

Portia
Oct. 16, 2001, 01:07 PM
No thanks needed for me, Weatherford. Getting to experience a small part of the Denny Emerson joke collection was thanks enough. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif (Not to mention getting to see Linda, Jimmy, David, Robert, and Nancy Jaffer again, and meeting Lendon Gray, Dr. Allen, and John S. for the first time.) /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

I drove home last night. SGray, however, stayed in the trenches until 5:00 am this morning, helping the lawyers by proof reading the papers they had to file by 7:00 am, then she drove home to Houston. That deserves some thanks! /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Portia
Oct. 16, 2001, 01:31 PM
She seemed like a very nice person in my contact with her, and seemed that she really cares about horses and the future of the sport. After she finished her competitive skiing career, she switched to eventing (she's ridden since she was a kid). She testified about her experiences in the USET Developing Rider program, and her main point was that she just wants to make sure that the athletes receive the service and support that they need.

The strange thing about the USET having her testify, at least to me looking at the litigation strategy, is that it was bound to come out on cross-examination, and did, that the NGB of the sport she came from is broad-based org that resulted from a merger of two separate orgs, one for the elite athletes and one for the grass roots -- exactly what USA Eq says should happen with the NGB of equestrian.

There used to be the US Ski Team and the United States Ski Association, which she said were the equivalents of the USET and the AHSA, respectively, as far as the roles they each had in the sport. In the late 80's, those two orgs merged to become USA Skiing, the NGB for skiing that covers everything from the grass roots to the top of the elite athlete pyramid.

So, as I saw it, her testimony ended up being more helpful to USA Eq than to the USET, since she admitted that USA Skiing is a successful NGB, and it is structured exactly how USA Eq says the equestrian NGB should be structured and not at all how the USET wants it.

Also, it's just a guess, but I don't think Armand Leone's statement about how an NGB needs to be a small org that concentrates only on top level athletes went over very well with the panel member who is on the executive committee of USA Tennis -- one of the largest NGBs and one which starts with the littlest kids with a tennis racquet in their hands and goes all the way up to the top pros. After his vision statement, she asked him (not an exact quote, but close) -- "Did I hear you right that you do not believe that a large NGB can be effective? Did I understand you right on that?"

Weatherford
Oct. 16, 2001, 01:38 PM
WOW - SGRAY!!!!

THANK YOU!!!

Hastie
Oct. 16, 2001, 01:46 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Weatherford:
the USET's financials are SO frightening that I simply can't imagine WHY ANY organization would want to merge with them.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Those that initiate mergers typically believe that operating efficiencies are improved when management, facilities, other assets (staff) are combined - rather than left to continue as separate, or competitive entities.

Often parties interested in preventing mergers will add debt in hopes that the burden of servicing loans through interest payments; or the consequential depletion of cash for loan pay-off (and retiring other obligations like executive contracts, current liabilities, etc.) - makes it a far less attractive target to acquire.

Beezer
Oct. 16, 2001, 02:01 PM
An interesting strategy, Hastie, and yes, you're correct: It's a tactic often used to thwart hostile takeovers. But, basically, in this case it smacks of them wanting to bankrupt the barn because they don't want anyone else to play with their toys.

How very sad. Big wallets, bigger egos and our sport is the one that pays. /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

****Bulletin Board Goddess****

Weatherford
Oct. 16, 2001, 02:01 PM
True in the real world, Hastie, but in this case, the financials AS presented by the USET were just fine - it was only AFTER the forensic accountant got through with them that the truth emerged...

Remember, it took a LAWSUIT for Alan Balch to even get to SEE the books!!

Do not think that is the strategy here.

Hastie
Oct. 16, 2001, 02:15 PM
Just thought I would pose the question in order to gain your perspectives; mission accomplished.

thank you.

poltroon
Oct. 16, 2001, 02:19 PM
Thanks to everyone who attended and/or particpated in the hearing, for reporting to us unwashed masses about the proceedings, and for generally caring enough to make the effort to try to improve and maintain equestrian sports.

JustaLurker
Oct. 16, 2001, 02:33 PM
I give my heartfelt thanks to those of you who took so much of your own time and did so much work to keep us all abreast of the situation. These accounts, in conjunction with the USA Eq brief accounts on their web site, and the Chronicle more extensive reports on their web site have certainly kept us almost as well informed as those who actually attended.


Thank you, Portia, for your 75 pages of notes -- an outstanding job! Is the keyboard on your laptop a silent one?

Thank you, SGray, for being the wonderful gopher that you were, especially helping the lawyers get things together for the 7:00 a.m. deadline. And, I'm sure everyone appreciated the chocolates.

Thank you, USA Eq witnesses, for your wonderful testimony stressing the importance of the partnership with the horse and for building a bottom to top pyramid -- all without doing any character assassination.

And, last but not least, thank you, USET witnesses for testimony that certainly would seem to sink your ship. How the USOC could possibly pick them for the NGB designate is beyond my understanding.

Cheers, Maggi

[This message was edited by JustaLurker on Oct. 16, 2001 at 05:52 PM.]

Portia
Oct. 16, 2001, 02:39 PM
If only you were right, Hastie. Unfortunately, the testimony and the statistics made clear that its a result of mismanagement, not an intentional plan.

Even Standish and Leone testified that one reason for the problem is that starting at least 6 years ago, every year the USET has budgeted to spend far more than it anticipated to receive as income. They said it was because they wanted to pursue an aggressive program to result in competitive success, so the Board approved discipline committee budgets that were consistently well above what the org anticipated bringing in. They decided to spend their capital to meet operating expenses. Then, at the end of the year, they would ask certain major donors (who Leone said they called their "Santa Clauses") to make pledges to make up for the shortfall and make it look like the books were balanced.

The problem was that the major donor pledges and the contributions from the corporate sponsors were booked on an accrual basis, meaning that the entire amount of the pledge or sponsorship commitment was booked in the year made -- even though the pledge or contribution would be paid in installments over the next 4 years. Accrual accounting is perfectly proper, but the accrual income has to be offset against expenses, and the USET didn't do that.

For example, Robert Standish testified that USET keeps only about 20% "profit" from the corporate contributions. Whatever Rolex Watch pays for the Rolex Kentucky 3 Day, at least 80% of it goes to Equestrian Events, Inc., to put on the event. Same with the other sponsors -- the USET may get 20%, and the rest goes to the event organizers. However, as the forensic accountant explained, the USET books the entire amount of the pledged contribution as revenue in the year made -- even though it knows it is only going to be able to keep a small portion of it when the money actually comes in.

That consistent overspending and accrual basis accounting without offsetting expenses has finally caught up to the USET -- but it is definately not something that has happened just in the last few months since they started the Challenge and their donations have dropped significantly. The problem has been brewing for a long time. Seems pretty basic -- you can't keep spending more than you have coming in and expect to be able to do it forever. They took money from capital every year, until the capital accounts were depleted from millions down to slightly over $20,000 currently.

Because of the accrual based accounting, the USET was largely able to downplay the seriousness of the problem in the very limited financial data it made available to its trustees (other than that handful who are in the inner circle) and to the public. Weatherford is right that the testimony confirmed that the USET did not tell most of its trustees, even executive committe members, about the $2 million line of credit until after the loan had already been spent, and only after Alan Balch won his lawsuit and they knew it was going to become public. I have little doubt that none of us would know the dire state of the USET finances had it not been for the success of the Balch lawsuit.

Like I posted above, the most damning thing about the financial data is that the USET lawyers did not even try to challenge the forensic accountant's findings about its debt and spending, or his conclusion that -- unless somebody hands over a few million dollars in cash -- the USET will be completely broke in less than 3 months.

[This message was edited by Portia on Oct. 17, 2001 at 09:02 PM.]

SoEasy
Oct. 16, 2001, 04:28 PM
Did they seriously think that asking for help from Harvard B School could possibly get them out of this mess ????

Or was that one another ploy? Because I am sure that without ALL the information, even Harvard couldn't help, and with it all, they would have started by firing the (mis)managers. (I hope!!)

Snowbird
Oct. 16, 2001, 04:46 PM
As little as a year ago we would have never had any information. Thanks to the dedication of those who have been persistent we have proved once again that each of us can make a difference.

Is't it wonderful that we can actually have enough facts and figures to have an opinion. That we can fully understand the issues and the problems.

Freedom to have knowledge is a wonderful thing and the true secret weapon of a democratic society. So yes! please let me thank all of you who were kind enough to care enough to go and be present. And, thank you to all of you who have responded with interest to the information.

A Republic depends on full disclosure and the rule of law. We are getting there with our sport, a little closer every day.

Don't forget guys, there are a lot of poor countries up for sale. The USET can buy themselves a country and have their own team if they don't want to play in our sandbox.

Hastie
Oct. 16, 2001, 04:46 PM
Thank you for the additional detail Portia!

Weatherford
Oct. 16, 2001, 08:19 PM
Well, the HBS volunteers would have done the best they could with what they were given - whether or not they would have questioned the published financials (which had, after all, been given a "clean stamp of approval" by the auditors - and everyone at the USET was gloating over that at the meeting I attended in May. Everyone BUT the audit committee who continued to raise the question of accrual vs cash basis - but they were not heard or not loud enough.)

Anyway, the HBS types will LOVE this, as it will make a GREAT CASE (HBS teaches its classes in the case method - students read a case situation, then try to figure out and solve the problems.)

Yep - GREAT stuff for a case, AND if it is considered proprietary or they have signed a non-disclose contract, you can still bet they will write a case using a DIFFERENT but similar industry and changing the names. (I went to the case method school for my MBA, and know the scenario quite well! /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif )

Actually, I knew of several HBS cases where the author wrote one case for the client, and another one for the school. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

JulieMontgomery
Oct. 16, 2001, 11:23 PM
Yes, now that we have heard the inside skinny from those who were there and who can explain it all in plain English........

where are all of the rabid USET defenders? We all know who they are. Perhaps even they cannot gloss over such fiscal ineptitude.

/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Beans
Oct. 17, 2001, 08:04 AM
I cannot state how deeply disturbed I am about the financial management of the USET. I find Leone's reference to the Santa Claus's to be irresponsible at the very least. The purpose of having a Board and Management is oversight on this corporation. Their task is to provide the services to the members that the by-laws require and going off year after year with spending levels that will over shoot receipts is a disgrace. ASSUMING that the people with the fat checks books will always be there is not oversight - it's free falling and leaves the athletes (human and equine) in a dangerous position. If the tap is turned off for whatever reason or one or two people pull their financial life preservers - the entire house of cards flattens. Could it be we are precariously close to that now??

Using accrual accounting for receipts and not for disbursements - while not fraudulant is questionable as far as responsible accounting and SHOULD HAVE BEEN DISCLOSED IN ALL FINANCIAL STATEMENTS. Fidicuary responsible is critical to the ongoing financial health of any corporation even if it is non-profit. The USET seems to feel non-profit means deficit spending - au contraire.

The investments and endowment funds are to exist to create income to maintain the organization over the long haul NOT FOR OPERATING EXPENSES - except in catastrophic situations or capitol projects. Neither of which seems to be the case here. The NGB issue, in my opinion, was not a catastrophe until the people running the USET failed to live up to their managerial and stewarship duties. Further, they had a responsibility to reveal to the members and those making large and small donations exactly what was happening with pulling funds from the endowment and cashing in investments from their portfolio. No wonder they wouldn't provide copies of financials to ANYONE who asked for them.

We all believed in Santa Claus - but we aren't kids anymore and presuming you can field world class teams in several disciplines with this type of plan is just plain dangerous. Our teams need to know the planning and funding exists NOW and on into the future to assure them that their investment in time, talent and horses is matched by a financial commitment from the organization providing them with backing.

While the USET is falling back on the position that the endowment fund was not a "restricted fund" - someone who donated to that should push the issue. Perhaps the specific wording wasn't there in the description but it was certainly IMPLIED and a reasonable person would have PRESUMED that the monies would have been restricted to the uses described in the fund raising and NOT for day to day operating expenses or legal bills. I never contributed to it so I can't ask the questions perhaps some other BB posters did and could.

SGray
Oct. 17, 2001, 08:38 AM
I wish more people could have come to the hearing to hear for themselves. It was enlightening, it was scary, it was inspiring (god, I wanted to cheer and clap when Ridland, Emerson, Wofford and O'Connor left the stand - not to mention Balch).

The things that came out about the practices of the USET were devastating (and thank you so much John S. for the fair and accurate reporting!) - those that were not spoken of publicly but were understood privately were staggering.

I'm afraid that after having arisen at 2 am on Sat. (that is when a big storm hit at my house and I was afraid of losing electricity so I got up to finish packing, etc - actually left my place about 4:30 am), getting to bed at midnight Sat., up at 6 and to bed at 10 Sunday, up at 5:30 and up 24 hours (we finished up at 5:00am Tuesday and from 5:30 - 8:00 I took a little nap before driving home) - that I am still a bit brain-dead.

Four very long days leave me unable to distinguish between what I heard privately and what I heard publically so I cannot in good conscience say anything more about what I heard.

Let me just state, as Portia before me, that though I believed in the rightousness of USA Eq.'s stance prior to this weekend - I now cannot fathom how anyone that still own's their own soul could think otherwise.

(I am now going to have to attend to the working world so that I can support myself and my animals.)

JulieMontgomery
Oct. 17, 2001, 08:50 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by JulieMontgomery:
where are all of the rabid USET defenders? We all know who they are. Perhaps even they cannot gloss over such fiscal ineptitude.

/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

dublin
Oct. 17, 2001, 08:59 AM
to Portia, Weatherford, SGray (and anyone else that I inadvertently may have left out) for all your hard work reporting what was happening at the meetings for the rest of us. And of course, John Strassburger also! I wish I could have been there, but all your efforts and the information that you provided were certainly the very next best thing!! /infopop/emoticons/icon_cool.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

"Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong." - Dennis Miller
UCLA football RULES....Undefeated and #6 in the nation, baby!!

SGray
Oct. 17, 2001, 10:05 AM
I have never felt so privilaged as I did this past weekend. The ladies and gentlemen that I got to meet and associate with was the most amazing group of people that you could ever imagine assembled in one place.

Alan Balch
Peter Alkalay
Ira Finklestein
Bill Roos
Kate Jackson
Jennifer Price
Cindy Stys
Kent Allen
Denny Emerson
Linda Allen
Robert Ridland
Lendon Gray
David O'Connor
Jim Host
Jimmy Wofford
Mike Harrigan
Phil Kleckner
Dianna Dennis

Truly wonderful people who have done and continue to do so much for all equestrian sports.

I am still in awe that I was so fortunate as to be able to meet them!

Weatherford
Oct. 17, 2001, 10:36 AM
Thanks, SGray - what an incredible group of people, I feel honored to have been included.

And Denny's dirty jokes are hysterical!

[This message was edited by Weatherford on Oct. 17, 2001 at 07:15 PM.]

SGray
Oct. 17, 2001, 12:51 PM
on a lighter note - our male witnesses were very masculine and very easy on the eyes

[This message was edited by SGray on Oct. 17, 2001 at 05:31 PM.]

SGray
Oct. 17, 2001, 02:36 PM
oh and by the way, Weatherford is much younger than I had imagined her to be - from reading her input to the boards I had a picture of someone about 100 years old and very weather-beaten

imagine my surprise when Portia introduces me to a lovely, stylish, healthy, outdoorsy-looking woman --- I never would have guessed

vineyridge
Oct. 17, 2001, 03:12 PM
Are "Denny's jokes" dry or dirty?

Weatherford
Oct. 17, 2001, 04:18 PM
well, thank you sGray - you really didn't HAVE to say that to get the invite to Ireland! /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

And I felt like I have known SGray and Portia forever!

And Denny's jokes are definitely DIRTY!

(Now, remember, he was my 4th & 5th grade Social Studies teacher - so this never ceases to amaze me! /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif )

Portia
Oct. 17, 2001, 06:19 PM
Oh yeah, Denny's jokes were dirty! /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif Hysterically funny, too. The man can also do a great New England accent.

I'd already met SGray, and it was great finally meeting Weatherford in person. S, like Weatherford, I feel honored to be included in your list of the people from the hearing.

And SGray is right -- It was a great weekend for being around horsey men! All of them are very thoughtful, intelligent, articulate, and care deeply about horses and about the sport. Their wives are all lucky to have them.

And yes, I have to say it -- John S. is a real cutie too! /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

SGray
Oct. 18, 2001, 06:46 AM
Portia is just not willing to admit in public the comments that she was making in private - she checked out more than just their intellect ;-)

and JS is a cutie (as well as having all the other aforementioned attributes) - didn't want to impugn his journalistic integrity by putting him in "our" group

Snowbird
Oct. 18, 2001, 08:36 PM
We don't want to alarm Erin. She could be concerned with dialog that indicates our judgement is not limited to the brain and intelligence of the opposite sex.

You know how angry we get if all they admire is the boobs and not the brain!

I know this forum is called Off Course but Erin keeps reminding us that we go a little too far off course!

Weatherford
Oct. 18, 2001, 09:07 PM
And John is TOTALLY devoted to his wife (who is an active poster here) - so, there is no hope, Portia & SGray! /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

SGray
Oct. 19, 2001, 06:44 AM
No harm in speaking of the fact that there were so many gentlemen there that possess the whole package (intelligence, passion, dedication,......as well as being attractive).

We admire from afar and would only express to their wives that they should be appreciated.

Rest assured, we are women of integrity.

SGray
Oct. 19, 2001, 07:48 AM
It would be nice to see the new uset bylaws and draft rules posted on their website

PMJ
Oct. 19, 2001, 08:13 AM
If so many riders support the USET (as stated by Robert Dover), how come so many qualified riders testified for the USAE?

Weatherford
Oct. 19, 2001, 09:40 AM
Good question, Ela, good question...

SGray
Oct. 19, 2001, 10:42 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Ela:
If so many riders support the USET (as stated by Robert Dover), how come so many qualified riders testified for the USAE?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


from the COTH coverage of day 3: "(After this petition, with the vast majority in favor of the USET plan, was published in an advertisement in the Chronicle, both Mark Weissbecker and Carol Lavell said they had never indicated a preference for the USET plan and that their names should not have been there.)"

Weissbecker and Lavell must be commended for standing up to pressure from the uset

PMJ
Oct. 19, 2001, 11:46 AM
If I am also correct, there was some confusion over the poll (as far as having to put your name on it), which to me questions it's validity especially when the USET puts down rider's names and they come out and say they do not agree.

It just seems like this is along the lines of their argument on the document which allowed USET the delegation to choose teams. A good government/leader does choose to delegate responsibility because not one person/orginization can do everything. I poor argument in my opinion.

Snowbird
Oct. 20, 2001, 01:57 PM
We know that the West Coast riders are not supportive of the USET and at least half of their own were either ambivilent, in favor of the merger or at last recourse in favor of the USAE.

That signified to me a lack of communication within their own ranks. When you dump people from the boards because they don't agree that's not going to create an open atmosphere.

Financially they have mismanaged their funds and therefore the future of the athletes.

That being said and taken for granted what can the USAE do to now permit them to save something and be within the USAE?

Weatherford made a good suggestion on another thread that they declare bankruptcy and re-organize as a foundation. Then they could perhaps offer individual support to athletes that warranted financial assistance. And, they could continue fundraising for the general benefit of the International competitors.

Hickstead
Oct. 20, 2001, 04:07 PM
I just heard a rumour - that I suspect is true - that Mr. Dover has quit all his committees (or at least his USA Eq committees.) Hmm, is this any way to build the sport? Reminds me of his behaviour toward Lendon Gray and her wonderful project for kids.

Personally, I think it is no loss to the NF.

Weatherford
Oct. 20, 2001, 04:59 PM
One of the complaints about the NF by the USET is "lack of international experience" - forgetting, of course, that all international entries, arrangments for invitations, etc are handled by Cindy Stys who is based in Gladstone (as per the original OA).

Watching the jaws of the panel drop when Cindy testified that she is fluent in French and her previous job was working for the FEI in Switzerland - was great!

No experience??

Snowbird
Oct. 20, 2001, 07:22 PM
I'm not surprised, the really good people don't do that sort of thing. Dover is in our neck of the woods and I can tell you that it wasn't very long ago his people were trying to find a barn that would take them with Dover.

He's become rather self centered since Jane Clark took him under her wing. What is it? it says in the Bible "Pride goeth before a fall". Last I heard his resumee was repleet with the most number of Olympics as a competitor, and the least number of ribbons won.

Hickstead
Oct. 20, 2001, 07:55 PM
Oh, Snowbird, you mean "Drop Score Dover"??

poltroon
Oct. 20, 2001, 09:20 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Weatherford:
One of the complaints about the NF by the USET is "lack of international experience" - forgetting, of course, that all international entries, arrangments for invitations, etc are handled by Cindy Stys who is based in Gladstone (as per the original OA).

Watching the jaws of the panel drop when Cindy testified that she is fluent in French and her previous job was working for _ the FEI in Switzerland _ - was great!

No experience??<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ah, but Weatherford, surely you'd agree that she has no experience actually selecting and fielding a team.... /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif I mean, surely dealing with the FEI has nothing to do with selecting and training athletes! /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

I personally liked the part where they admit that the people the USET hire for key positions generally have no international experience either when they start.

Ruby G. Weber
Oct. 21, 2001, 08:25 AM
While it is true that USAE handles all the paperwork for International competition, they have no experience handling the logistical aspect of international competition.

They have never booked a flight, hired a coach, a stable manager, a vet, selected a Team (except Madrid), seen to Health Papers, etc. They do not have the physical infrastructure to do so. Heck, they don't even have control over the saddle pads.

This is not to say that USAE cannot step in and do the job, but as of this now, they have never done anything but the paperwork.

This transition, should it arrive, is not going to be as easy as some posters envision.

Duffy
Oct. 21, 2001, 09:00 AM
No transition is without it's hiccups, Emmet. However, I hardly see this job as needing genius level intelligence either. I believe an organized person, with access to a telephone, fax and computer might just get it done.

Also, one might hope to retain the same experienced staff. Obviously, that would be ideal.

[This message was edited by Duffy on Oct. 21, 2001 at 12:18 PM.]

[This message was edited by Duffy on Oct. 21, 2001 at 12:19 PM.]

Louise
Oct. 21, 2001, 09:24 AM
the goal was still to find a way to compromise here and avoid making the USOC make the final decision.

Whatever the decision, I am sure there will be people in both organizations who, after this is all over, will be willing to work together to get down to the real business at hand. There may be some "upper management" lost, but, heck, in most businesses, they are interchangable anyway. It is the everyday people, in the everyday jobs at both organizations, who actually do the work, and I can't imagine they will depart en-mass.

So, I don't think the transition, while not without "hiccups" as Duffy said, will be as hard as some people think.

Oh, and by the way, we need to avoid picking on Robert Dover (never thought I'd have to say that outside of the dressage forum). Remember, issues, not individuals.

Linda Allen
Oct. 21, 2001, 09:41 AM
while I certainly have no illusions that ANY transition is ever EASY, are you saying that the experienced people that act as vets, stable managers, (saddle pad makers!) won't be available unless one particular Board makes the final decisions on matters that concern approximately 200 TOTAL 'athletes' (just the human ones at that)?

Obviously all the continuity that can be accomplished is in everyone's best interest here. But, to my knowledge anyway, 98% of the kind of things you are talking about have been handled by the FIRST CLASS group of discipline directors at the USET. These are the people who for the most part are the least appreciated by the USET leadership, at least financially -- while they are always the most appreciated by the riders themselves. When was the last time any rider called Bob Standish about a matter of training or competition?

I think the key here will be EVERYONE'S willingness and sincerity in first accepting the new reality that the USOC (along with the passage of time and the glorious growth in our sport) has dictated -- and then being willing to devote their own time and energy into creating a NEW unified structure that can provide everything we've been lucky enough to have in the past, plus lots more. No, this won't happen overnight, but it must happen and the quickest and least painful way to get to that point will be for people to forget characterizing individuals as 'evil' or 'Santa Claus' and get on with building a new structure that can minimize conflicts (of interest and otherwise), and maximize the promotion of our whole sport.

It never ceases to amaze me the strength and determination people in our sport always display when it comes to resisting ANY KIND of change. Or, their willingness to accept and believe 100% what "someone told them" at the in-gate, when the clearly demonstrable FACTS say something totally different.

Are that many people so enamored of getting further by virtue of having friends in high places? or should they need to worry about somehow having their career sabotaged should they not be part of an in-group?

Isn't this supposed to be all about SPORT; and doesn't the very definition of sport dictate that its "elite" roster be made up of those who demonstrate the skill and determination to prevail in the actual competition? if you are good, who is going to stand in your way? and if you aren't that good yet (or ever), do you really think that you are likely to beat the best of our international competition, and, do you really want to be occupying a position that precludes someone better able to do so (at that time) from having the chance to win?

Honest self-analysis can be a better aid in any selection process than any computer list.....

Linda Allen

[This message was edited by Linda Allen on Oct. 21, 2001 at 12:56 PM.]

Snowbird
Oct. 21, 2001, 10:53 AM
While no one right now has the job of checking the saddle pads and equipment in the USAE, I am sure there are 100's out there that have experience with preparing horses and riders to take a long trip away from home.

New is not necessarily not as good, new ideas can even be better. And, in agreement with Linda those people who have been doing the nitty gritty chores are I am sure not the ones who are signed to any sort of contract since few of the Team Officinados even know who they are.

I think the beauty of this sport and the people are there are many great an wonderful people you have never heard of or known that are very capable and talented. Since, from the sounds of it the Team members all have their own coaches or are coaches the transition should be very seamless.

It is possible that once the box is open we will discover how many knowledgable and talented people really participate in this sport and in the international events. Certainly, the riders from the west coast who have never relied on the USET have a great deal of experience and would be happy to share their knowledge and experience.

It would be in everyone's best interest to cooperate and to share responsibilities. It is never a good idea in any enterprise to have a department so restrictive that no one knows what they do or how they do it.

Ruby G. Weber
Oct. 21, 2001, 12:41 PM
I am not implying nor do I have any first hand knowledge that those who have been part of the human infrastruture of USET in the past will not continue to do so under a different umbrella.

What I was attempting to point out for the benefit of readers of this thread who may not be privy to the inner workings of both organizations, was just what I said. Although USAE has always done the paperwork, they do not have experience in the other aspects I mentioned. That I know to be fact.

I felt like some readers had been led to believe that the transition was going to be an easy one and merely pointed out that I do not share that opinion.

I salute all the "out of the box" thinkers in our industry. Yourself included.

I started out thinking USET should be the NGB but quite some time ago I came to the conclusion, mostly from what I have read here, that the most workable solution, long term, would be a merger.

And while we are cleaning house, it is my belief, as I have stated previously, both the head of the USET and the head of USAE should resign. There is apparently so much bad blood, that even if the two organizations merge, nothing significant is likely to get accomplished. Unfortunately the us v. them mentality is likely to prevail.

And I FIRMLY believe that the President of our NGB should be a salaried position. (It is my understanding that, at present, it is not.)

Since I consider you an "insider", you inference to the Computer List makes me wonder if something is up someone's sleeve.

[This message was edited by Emmet on Oct. 21, 2001 at 03:50 PM.]

vineyridge
Oct. 21, 2001, 07:22 PM
Somewhere in one of these threads, Portia posted a time line.

If my memory serves, the decision of the hearing panel is due October 24? Then the USOC meets in Salt Lake City on October 27 & 28.

Time does fly when you're having fun.

Weatherford
Oct. 21, 2001, 10:30 PM
I am afraid that a "merger" is not the magic solution, as much as I wish it were. It would mean comprimise on both sides - but IMHO there cannot be comprimise on important issues, which I see as:

1) the welfare of the horse. (And I think no one will dispute that one /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

2) Personal intergrity and ethics - that includes a VERY serious look at ALL the conflict of interest issues which are very thorny indeed. From coaches selling potential Team members horses & being involved with Team decisions regarding soundness, how the Computer list is set up, etc, to owners being involved in same sorts of decisions. Not a good reflection on our sport, IMHO.

3) Democracy - that is properly signed secret ballots for elections to Committees, Committee Chairs, and Boards. Open elections for some positions and committees. Infomration about candidates as well as things like by-law changes out to the membership as quickly as possible so it can be discussed.

4) Honesty in working habits - HOW many people on committees actually DO anything? If you are elected to a committee (from EITHER organization) you need to take it seriously.

5) Salaries and expenses. I have stated before, and I will state again, I find many of the salaries at the USET unconscionable, and I find their expenses for fielding and funding Teams the same.

6) Behaviour - I have heard not very nice comments about certain US representatives at Sydney, and I have no tolerance for it. If the NF is paying your way to represent us, you need to behave like a proud representative. Actually, we need to behave that way ANY time we represent our country abroad, as riders or non-riders!

I probably could go on, but those are the things that are on my mind tonight. And they are JUST MY (rather jaded at this point) OPINIONS!

/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

((edited to give Weatherford a 'mind' rather than a 'ming'))

[This message was edited by SoEasy on Oct. 22, 2001 at 08:11 AM.]

Ruby G. Weber
Oct. 22, 2001, 05:57 AM
Do I read you right?

You are against a merger and think USET should fold?

Weatherford
Oct. 22, 2001, 07:33 AM
Yeah, Emmet - as I posted before, I think the USET should become a foundation for raising private fund to support a new "International High Performance Division" within the USA Eq. I some of the same people should populate some of the same role, and I think committees and committe chairs should be duly elected (secret ballots), as well as reps to things like the USOC, FEI, etc.

(I posted these thoughts somewhere else, I think.)

I really believe that, while Gladstone could continue to be headquarters for such a Foundation, there needs to be an overhaul of personel there in the Foundation - fund raising areas. Salaries closer to the norm for non-fo-profits with bonuses based on actual performance, and maybe a bit of knowlege?

It hurts to feel this strongly about my warm fuzzy wonderful USET of my childhood years. But I truly believe it is a "ole boys' club" money pit dinosaur who needs to be put to rest.

I also suspect I am in a small minority here, and I know that minority does NOT include the biggest movers and shakers at the USA Eq who are working very hard right now for compromise.

Weatherford
Oct. 22, 2001, 07:37 AM
And, really, WHY CAN'T the organization adhere to the principals I stated a few posts above?? Why DOES it have to be an "in crowd"/ old-boys network??

Why can't elections be secret ballots? Why can't people behave properly (especially those who are the most vocal about it?) Why can't Conflicts of Interest be out in the open and people recuse themselves when they are apparent???

These issues, to me, seem BASIC!

Ruby G. Weber
Oct. 22, 2001, 08:03 AM
History has proved that radical views, although infrequently adopted, do help bring about change.

Weatherford
Oct. 22, 2001, 12:45 PM
Thank you, Emmet. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Snowbird
Oct. 22, 2001, 12:57 PM
There is no reason why those things can't be done at all. What puts sand in the gears is those who have been accustomed to making the decisions and choices privately and quietly usually do no go away quietly and privately.

Power is a seductive thing. People with a lot of money are well aware of their ability to buy people as well as things. We all have things we want and it is said we all have a price. They try to find out what our price is, and then deal with our favorite dreams. Perhaps, a really good horse for an affordable price, perhaps aan introduction to very important people or one of a million other possibilities.

Now, if you want to unseat that power it can be costly and painful. Who wants to be shunned? Who wants to be publicly accused of dastardly behavior? True or not these days seems irrelevant, concession and appeasement is so much more comfortable and pleasant.

Just as on the issue of the hearing committee, how many can afford to take off 3 or 4 days for meetings and pay the extra expenses of traveling and hotels? Then to be chastised publicly for what some think is a bad decision whatever the outcome. The Licensed officials committee struggles to stay impartial but there are errors because others don't want to be the one with the black ball.

Volunteerism has it's problems because with the least financial stability those members might be the most susceptible to intimidation.