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View Full Version : Sinead Halpin in Nancy Jaffer's column: "If they really wanted me...'



JER
Jul. 9, 2012, 02:11 PM
Rain washes out Halpin's chance to prove her Olympic mettle (http://www.nj.com/sports/njsports/index.ssf/2012/07/halpin_will_keep_on_trying.html)

Good interview with Sinead. Her frustration is both obvious and very deserved.

wildlifer
Jul. 9, 2012, 02:13 PM
Um, this links to some guitar boy story from Nashville.

Kadenz
Jul. 9, 2012, 02:18 PM
Correct link:
http://www.nj.com/sports/njsports/index.ssf/2012/07/halpin_will_keep_on_trying.html

wcporter
Jul. 9, 2012, 02:19 PM
http://www.nj.com/sports/njsports/index.ssf/2012/07/halpin_will_keep_on_trying.html

opps! double post - sorry!

Backstage
Jul. 9, 2012, 02:19 PM
The article can be found here: http://www.nj.com/sports/njsports/index.ssf/2012/07/halpin_will_keep_on_trying.html

Neigh-Neigh
Jul. 9, 2012, 04:46 PM
"That's something all of us are sensitive about on the world stage,'' she said, agreeing with the selectors' concern.

Ahhhhh...the Olympic politics, of having to worry about what the uneducated world will "think" about Tates bleeding issue. Really? He belongs there as much (or more) than any of them. Let the big horse run!!

runNjump86
Jul. 9, 2012, 04:54 PM
"That's something all of us are sensitive about on the world stage,'' she said, agreeing with the selectors' concern.

Ahhhhh...the Olympic politics, of having to worry about what the uneducated world will "think" about Tates bleeding issue. Really? He belongs there as much (or more) than any of them. Let the big horse run!!

I don't think it's necessarily an issue the uneducated masses will worry about. The PETA freaks and other animal right-wingnuts are the ones I'd be worried about. Wait a second...those ARE the uneducated masses! :lol:

That is a possible major sh!tstorm brewing...an Olympic horse bleeding after the event? Abuse allegations would be started like wildfire. I do agree that he belongs there. I do NOT claim to be nearly as educated about all the horse/rider pairs as most of you, but from what I have read and see they deserved the spot.

Hell, shove a couple of maxi pads up his nose...he'll be fine...:lol:

Kidding.

ACMEeventing
Jul. 9, 2012, 05:06 PM
The animal rights zealots ALREADY think we are abusing our animals by running them XC at all, especially at the UL. I really don't think a minor nose bleed will inflame their position on the issue, especially when we have the occasional on-course injuries (or worse) to feed their wrath.

Beam Me Up
Jul. 9, 2012, 05:23 PM
Is the issue about the public/PETA though?

I thought that horses seen bleeding at FEI events were eliminated, so it was a potential risk of non-completion.

As much as I would have loved to see her included, I didn't interpret the decision as exclusively a PR one.

ACMEeventing
Jul. 9, 2012, 05:35 PM
Is the issue about the public/PETA though?

I thought that horses seen bleeding at FEI events were eliminated, so it was a potential risk of non-completion.

As much as I would have loved to see her included, I didn't interpret the decision as exclusively a PR one.

Agreed. I was responding to runNjump's post.

We hashed the bleeding issue at length on the other thread (Olympic team announced).

JFCeventer
Jul. 9, 2012, 06:57 PM
If the horse pulled up after cross country with a nose bleed would he still be eliminated? I don't know the exact definition of the rule. Is it just during the duration of the course, or for the entire event?

JER
Jul. 9, 2012, 07:10 PM
Sinead points out that the bleeding issue is something she's investigated with vets and that they know how to control it.

Clearly, she wasn't wanted for the team.

I have zero idea what the situation is with the selectors but there was another odd incident of what looks like internecine warfare among those in charge. When Marilyn Little-Meredith withdrew from the short list, the Chronicle reported (http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/updated-marilyn-little-meredith-withdraws-olympic-short-list):


Rex passed USEF veterinary inspections prior to the naming of the short list on June 11, but a subsequent bone scan requested by a USEF representative on June 13 and a second veterinary opinion independent of USEF team veterinarians Dr. Catherine Kohn and Dr. Brendan Furlong was considered. Pursuant to that evaluation, the decision was made to withdraw Rex.

So there's evidence of discord and perhaps also a little backbiting. But then it's an Olympic year. :D

Divine Comedy
Jul. 9, 2012, 08:05 PM
Sinead points out that the bleeding issue is something she's investigated with vets and that they know how to control it.

Clearly, she wasn't wanted for the team.


That's pretty much conjecture, IMO. The selectors have not stated their reasoning to anyone. Sinead seems to be speculating, as are we all. No where has Sinead stated that the selectors specifically gave her a reason as to why she wasn't on the team.

The truth is that Sinead and Tate underperformed in dressage at Barbury. So did several other riders, but not as much as Sinead in my opinion. Everyone knows they are better, and consistently score much better on the flat. Before Barbury, I thought she had the spot locked up, but I was really worried for her after seeing her flat score.

I would have put her on the team over Will C. But I'm not a selector. I'd bet money that it truly was the bloody nose thing that kept her off the team, particularly because Sinead outright said that she never specifically discussed the issue with the selectors.

However, I'd be very, very careful if I were Sinead about what I said to the press and public before the Olympics. She's now written a blog, given a radio interview (I think), and been interviewed for a news article. In the blog, she sounds disappointed but gracious. In the article, on the other hand, her comments sound very, very close to verging on accusatory in my opinion. They aren't yet, but they feel like they are toeing the line to me.

There's still time before the Olympics. There's a good chance one of the horses will be forced to WD. I think Sinead really would only be a replacement for Will C or KOC. Mystery Whisper is replaced by Mighty Nice, Otis would be replaced by Neville, Ringwood Magister by Arthur. Still, Sinead needs to be really, really careful to not even appear to say anything negative about the process until after the Olympics. Then, she can say anything she wants. (Although, the selectors might have long memories if she says anything too drastic.)

As much as everyone hates it, being politically correct is important to make the team. Playing the game is part of that, and Sinead has been very good at what she says to the public so far. At this point though, I'd err on the side of silence until the fat lady sings, so to say. It ain't over 'til it's over.

starfish
Jul. 9, 2012, 08:25 PM
Sinead points out that the bleeding issue is something she's investigated with vets and that they know how to control it.

Clearly, she wasn't wanted for the team.



Except that it wasn't controlled at Barbury - the horse bled.

The reality is that we don't know if the bleeding issue was a factor at all when the selectors made their decision, or if it was THE deciding factor.

Sinead has indicated that she wishes she had had an opportunity to better explain the situation to the selectors. On the one hand, the fact that the selectors didn't ask her to provide an explanation prior to making the decision could suggest that it wasn't a factor in the decision, that she wasn't going to be selected either way.

On the other hand, the fact that it wasn't controlled at Barbury may just have been enough for them to conclude that the pair presented too high a risk. As was hashed out in another thread - one would imagine that the selectors had to wonder about what would happen if he bled on course.

VicariousRider
Jul. 9, 2012, 09:06 PM
Before Barbury, I thought she had the spot locked up, but I was really worried for her after seeing her flat score.

....

There's still time before the Olympics. There's a good chance one of the horses will be forced to WD. I think Sinead really would only be a replacement for Will C or KOC.

....

As much as everyone hates it, being politically correct is important to make the team. Playing the game is part of that, and Sinead has been very good at what she says to the public so far. At this point though, I'd err on the side of silence until the fat lady sings, so to say. It ain't over 'til it's over.

Divine: I could not agree more. There are three L-O-N-G weeks until the games. A lot can happen and I think that she is still a viable candidate. I can see why she would be initially devastated - after a lot of hard work not being chosen in the first string would sting. But a lot can happen and now it's time to bide her time. Which will not be easy... but the door has not closed yet.

retreadeventer
Jul. 9, 2012, 09:54 PM
Remember Paddy was pulled just before the first jog at WEG so anything can happen.

I think there are things that were learned. I have read all the interviews, blog posts, and facebook postings. Everyone seems to be on pins and needles. I wish I could tell them all to take a chill pill and have fun! Someone must be making them all nuts over there.

You know, I think it is actually a relief not to be actually named, as now they are free to go and shop for horses, socialize with other countries' riders, etc. and have some fun, but still keep riding the horses and keep them fit in the beautiful English countryside, it just couldn't more more heavenly. How fortunate these young riders are to be there at this time in the sport, no matter what, it is still a privilege, and I'd like to hear a bit more humbleness and bit less bitching. But that's just me.

JER
Jul. 9, 2012, 10:41 PM
I'd bet money that it truly was the bloody nose thing that kept her off the team, particularly because Sinead outright said that she never specifically discussed the issue with the selectors.

If the selectors wanted Sinead on the team, you'd think they'd have asked her about it. Or you'd think they'd have discovered it over the course of the several in-depth vetting sessions. Or, perhaps, it would have come up in the dozens of discussions Sinead had with CMP and the USEF entourage. There were also those coaching sessions, working on dressage with CMP and jumping with Lauren Hough.

I find it hard to believe that Sinead's horse was anything less than a known quantity to the USEFers. If he was, then they don't seem all that competent.

But then again, this is a team that was about to bring an unsound horse to the UK, if the Rovano Rex withdrawal is taken at face value. I wonder why that one unnamed 'USEF official' requested a veterinary opinion that was 'independent of USEF team veterinarians'.


However, I'd be very, very careful if I were Sinead about what I said to the press and public before the Olympics.

Why? Why not be straightforward and honest? It has to start somewhere in this process, so why not make it start with you?


There's still time before the Olympics. There's a good chance one of the horses will be forced to WD. ... Still, Sinead needs to be really, really careful to not even appear to say anything negative about the process until after the Olympics. Then, she can say anything she wants. (Although, the selectors might have long memories if she says anything too drastic.)

So what you're saying is the selectors will choose someone who plays the political game over the most qualified horse/rider combination. That says a lot about how you really feel about the integrity of the selection process and the ethics of those involved.

It's a fear-based system with serious ethical lapses. No point in perpetuating it or even playing along with it.

Sinead has been honest and open in her blogs and interviews. She's shared her life and dreams and self-criticism and high and lows with us, and she's continued to do so through this latest round of disappointment. That she can maintain this wonderful, generous attitude at a time like this makes me admire her all the more.

SnicklefritzG
Jul. 9, 2012, 10:48 PM
Sinead is the kind of person I'd gladly support through donations should she decide to do a fundraiser for whatever purpose. She is very classy, a very nice person and has done a lot of good for riders of all levels in her area.

I hope someday to see her have all the opportunities she so richly deserves.

Divine Comedy
Jul. 10, 2012, 12:17 AM
If the selectors wanted Sinead on the team, you'd think they'd have asked her about it.

Maybe. Maybe not. I don't get the impression that the selection process allows much room for explanations. On the other hand, maybe explanations could be given for so many things that the selectors prefer to draw conclusions on their own from the vet findings, an un-biased view of the horse in their view. But when you say, 'you'd think', you're assuming things.


Or you'd think they'd have discovered it over the course of the several in-depth vetting sessions.

How many times has Tate been vetted for the US Team? He never got vetted for 2010 WEG. The horses on the Short/Long/DR lists aren't vetted before being put on the training lists, so he wasn't vetted then. The first time Tate was probably vetted for the US Team was right before he shipped for England. So he's had two vettings. And the source of nose bleeds are tough to find spontaneously if they aren't actually flowing. I'd be surprised if a vet figured out the nose bleeding tendency if Tate didn't actually have an active bleed AND the vet was unaware that he was prone to them.


Or, perhaps, it would have come up in the dozens of discussions Sinead had with CMP and the USEF entourage.

Again, maybe. Maybe not. As I've said before, it may not have ever crossed Sinead's mind to even mention it, since it was well managed and hadn't been a concern since he ran 2*'s.


There were also those coaching sessions, working on dressage with CMP and jumping with Lauren Hough.

Those aren't generally a place or time to disclose minor medical facts about your horse that haven't been a factor. They are very much lessons. Also, CMP/Lauren Hough aren't selectors. Even if she told one of them, they may not have said anything to the selectors.


I find it hard to believe that Sinead's horse was anything less than a known quantity to the USEFers. If he was, then they don't seem all that competent.

Maybe they did have all the facts. Maybe they knew everything about the horse, but just decided in the end that the risk of a nose bleed causing an elimination was unacceptable. Maybe it WAS her dressage score that sunk her. While I realize politics plays into this, I believe Sinead has been very good at playing the game, and I don't believe they would have left her off simply because they didn't like her as a person. I think they DO like her.

However, to imply that they are incompetent if they didn't know all the facts is pretty arrogant of you, in my opinion. If Sinead never imparted that there was an issue, why would the selectors think to ask about a nose bleed specifically? And if all major vet issues from the past few years were required to be disclosed, perhaps Sinead felt it was minor enough to not really count. You never know, and you can never assume that anything was disclosed or said on either side unless someone specifically states that it was. And from all I've seen Sinead write, she has never said that the selectors were previously aware of the nose bleeding tendency. She often says she wishes she could have discussed it with them, which to me implies that it was a situation they were previously unaware of; otherwise, why would she need to explain it? However, even though the implication is there, I couldn't say definitively either way.


But then again, this is a team that was about to bring an unsound horse to the UK, if the Rovano Rex withdrawal is taken at face value. I wonder why that one unnamed 'USEF official' requested a veterinary opinion that was 'independent of USEF team veterinarians'.

Because vet checks aren't perfect. Just as with a nose bleed, unless you know there might be an issue in a certain area, it's impossible to know everything that is wrong with a horse, no matter how thoroughly you check it. Even when you buy a horse, a vet check doesn't rule out having a lame horse a few months down the road. As thorough as vet checks can be, it's impossible to examine everything. I believe there was something up with Rovano Rex that the selectors were initially unaware of. While there was an issue at Rolex, MLM stated it was merely a bump, and may have told the selectors it was resolved.

However, if you know there's an issue, you might want to vet check further into a particular area. I wouldn't be surprised if one of the selectors got a tip from an independent, reliable source that maybe not all was not right with Rex and called another vet check, pinpointing the specific area. Upon re-inspection, the injury was found because they were now specifically looking for it, and MLM withdrew.

That's a pretty straightforward possible explanation.




Why? Why not be straightforward and honest? It has to start somewhere in this process, so why not make it start with you?



That's all and well to say, but when it starts with you, you often don't reap the benefits of the path you are paving. If Sinead's goals in the near future include being on US Team's (as they obviously do), she needs to play the game that is in place now.

Also, one can be straightforward and honest without saying everything on their mind. I'm not saying she needs to lie, at all, or even twist the truth. I would never condone that. She simply needs to be careful about how she phrases her disappointment to avoid insinuating the selectors led her on, etc. Eve if she feels that they did, they may not have done it intentionally, and might feel offended that she thinks they would do that intentionally. This is not the time to air those concerns (and I'd be wary of doing so even after the Games if I were here, although it would certainly be a better time to do it.)

And really, let's be honest. The real world is this way. You can't just walk around saying anything you want. There will be consequences if you say something that offends someone who has power over you, even if it is honest. If the President makes an honest comment that offends people, he loses votes. If you make a comment in your workplace about your boss (even if everyone is thinking it), your boss could discipline or fire you. I'm not sure why you think the world is free of consequences for total honesty. If you simply think that people should be honest regardless of the consequences, well, not everyone wants to be a 'hero' and say damn the system. Sinead can be a 'hero' if she wants to, but if she says the wrong thing at the wrong time, then her goal is now to change the system, rather than to make the Olympics.


So what you're saying is the selectors will choose someone who plays the political game over the most qualified horse/rider combination. That says a lot about how you really feel about the integrity of the selection process and the ethics of those involved.

That's not at all what I said, but thank you for putting words into my mouth. What I am saying is that she shouldn't piss off the selectors with anything she says to the public.

If she were obviously the most qualified candidate, she could say whatever she wanted. But she's not. As I said multiple times, I thought she was until Barbury. But her dressage score at Barbury was the lowest of everyone. While everyone knows that the pair can put in a much better test, the final selection trials is there for a reason. A performance there can make or break you.

Take Shannon Lilley. Prior to the Pan Am selection trials at Richland, most people hadn't heard of her, and didn't expect her to make the team. However, by winning the selection trials, she made herself the obvious choice. Similarly, I believe that the selection trial at Barbury took Sinead from an obvious choice to a bit on par with both Will C and Will F. She finished last in the dressage of all the US horses, and last overall. And of course, the nosebleed. She might have gotten away with either the low dressage or the nosebleed, but not both.

So now she's on par with Will C and Will F. I'd have put Sinead over Will C based on past performance, but I can't crucify the selectors for choosing differently. Will C has been trying just as hard for as long as Sinead to make a team, and isn't any less deserving. All of them played the political game well, so I don't believe that was a factor.

The situation as it stands now is highly likely that Will F and Sinead are both alternates for KOC and Will C. It's unknown who will be the first called on to replace those riders, even Sinead and Will F don't know. The selectors cannot allow those horses to be let down, to have time off, because for all we know, both Mr. M and Twizzel could be injured before the Games. I understand Sinead's frustration; she wants to be able to move on. Unfortunately, that's what being an alternate is. You have to keep training as if you will compete because you might need to be subbed in at the midnight hour. If you assume you won't go and let the horse have time off, you really aren't acting as an alternate anymore.

However, if it comes time to choose between Sinead and Will F, AND if Sinead has crossed the lines and said something that has irritated the selectors (such as saying she was led on, etc.), AND if Sinead and Will F are considered equal risks by the selectors, then yeah, 'political forces' could be a factor. However, I 100% do not believe it would be a conscious decision. I simply believe that if the above situation occurs, the selectors might not even realize their perception has been colored by her comments but still be swayed into picking Will F. The selectors are human after all, and all things being even, I know I'd probably go with the person who made all the right moves politically instead of the person who accused me of things.

If her dream is the Olympics, why should she tip the scales against herself, when by staying silent she maintains a status quo? I don't believe there's much one can do to improve their chances by saying anything publicly other than a gracious statement (as Allison and Sinead and possibly others did after the announcement). If she can't gain anything by speaking publicly, and has the potential to decrease her standing in the subconscious of the selectors, then why say anything? Save it for after the games.

Again I must emphasize that I do not believe that Sinead has crossed the line into accusatory yet. However, I do think she is toeing the line closer than she should.


It's a fear-based system with serious ethical lapses. No point in perpetuating it or even playing along with it.

That's your opinion. No system is perfect, obviously. I don't consider it 'fear-based' at all, although it does have other flaws. And maybe you don't see the point of perpetuating or playing along, but if your goal is the Olympics in three weeks time, then this is the system you have to work with. If Sinead wants to work towards changing the system, she should do it after the Games. Somehow, I doubt that's really her goal though.

Besides, isn't DOC about to take over? I imagine we'll be seeing a rather large culture change in the US Team and selections when he takes over. Why don't we wait and see how the system changes under him before we start discussing revolution?


Sinead has been honest and open in her blogs and interviews. She's shared her life and dreams and self-criticism and high and lows with us, and she's continued to do so through this latest round of disappointment. That she can maintain this wonderful, generous attitude at a time like this makes me admire her all the more.

I completely agree with you on this. I actually very much enjoyed her blog for COTH and teared up a little at it. However, the article you linked left me a little uncomfortable, because as I said before, I feel like she's getting close to the edge.

I greatly admire Sinead as a person and rider. When I was thinking of moving to NJ, I was pretty convinced that I would want to train with her. I really feel for her at this time.

However, I know the selectors are doing the best they can. They must put together a team that they think can win, regardless of public opinion, and which in the end is merely an educated guess. They have to leave people off, which means there will ALWAYS be people unhappy with at least one choice. If the team falls apart, or does badly, the selectors are blamed, but if the team succeeds, they rarely get credit. They worry about their selection choices much more than the rest of us realize. I've personally seen how emotionally exhausting the selection process is to a selector, and it bothers me how much they are vilified. They are doing their best, but they are human, and subject to human foible.

Maybe they are working within a broken system, as some people feel. Regardless of the system, they are hard-working, educated people, trying to do a good job.

ADM7040
Jul. 10, 2012, 01:03 AM
JER, for someone with your high journalistic standards I am surprised by how easily you decided to take a quote completely out of context and re-arrange it to fit your agenda. Actually, you managed to do it so quickly that they appear on the same page of this post.

In post #12, you provided the below quote that you cited from the Chronicle:

Quote: "Rex passed USEF veterinary inspections prior to the naming of the short list on June 11, but a subsequent bone scan requested by a USEF representative on June 13 and a second veterinary opinion independent of USEF team veterinarians Dr. Catherine Kohn and Dr. Brendan Furlong was considered. Pursuant to that evaluation, the decision was made to withdraw Rex." End quote.

Then, in post #17 you wrote:

Quote: "But then again, this is a team that was about to bring an unsound horse to the UK, if the Rovano Rex withdrawal is taken at face value. I wonder why that one unnamed 'USEF official' requested a veterinary opinion that was 'independent of USEF team veterinarians'." End quote.

The Chronicle quote does NOT state that the USEF official requested an opinion independent of USEF team veterinarians. What it does state is that a bone scan requested by a USEF rep AND a 2nd independent vet opinion were considered.

You keep lambasting people about your high journalistic standards and how embellishing for the sake of a good story (or conspiracy theory) is wrong. Is it only wrong when Boyd M. and Heath R. do it, or is it wrong when you do it as well?

JER
Jul. 10, 2012, 01:29 AM
However, to imply that they are incompetent if they didn't know all the facts is pretty arrogant of you, in my opinion.

Arrogant of me? How so?

It's the selectors MANDATE to know all about the horses in the selection pipeline. That's their job. If they don't know that Rovano Rex has an injury that needs more time to heal, and then they don't know that Manoir de C has a bleeding issue -- well, at what point do you start thinking that a big part of their job is not being done very well?


That's not at all what I said, but thank you for putting words into my mouth.

I don't know why you're being snippy with me here. I made a logical inference from what you posted. While we may not agree on any number of things, I'd like to think we're both here discussing a topic of mutual interest, without personal rancor.



However, I know the selectors are doing the best they can.

Regardless of the system, they are hard-working, educated people, trying to do a good job.

Can I ask how you know the above? Seriously. I'm not being snippy. You're quick to tell me that I'm 'speculating' or 'that's your opinion' but then you make these statements, which are either the product of inside knowledge or a great big leap of faith.

I'm curious which it is. :)

JER
Jul. 10, 2012, 01:50 AM
JER, for someone with your high journalistic standards I am surprised by how easily you decided to take a quote completely out of context and re-arrange it to fit your agenda. Actually, you managed to do it so quickly that they appear on the same page of this post.

In post #12, you provided the below quote that you cited from the Chronicle:

Quote: "Rex passed USEF veterinary inspections prior to the naming of the short list on June 11, but a subsequent bone scan requested by a USEF representative on June 13 and a second veterinary opinion independent of USEF team veterinarians Dr. Catherine Kohn and Dr. Brendan Furlong was considered. Pursuant to that evaluation, the decision was made to withdraw Rex." End quote.

Then, in post #17 you wrote:

Quote: "But then again, this is a team that was about to bring an unsound horse to the UK, if the Rovano Rex withdrawal is taken at face value. I wonder why that one unnamed 'USEF official' requested a veterinary opinion that was 'independent of USEF team veterinarians'." End quote.

The Chronicle quote does NOT state that the USEF official requested an opinion independent of USEF team veterinarians. What it does state is that a bone scan requested by a USEF rep AND a 2nd independent vet opinion were considered.

You keep lambasting people about your high journalistic standards and how embellishing for the sake of a good story (or conspiracy theory) is wrong. Is it only wrong when Boyd M. and Heath R. do it, or is it wrong when you do it as well?

You're right. The way I characterized that was not accurate. I made a poor choice of words.

However, my reading of the quote is still the same. I will explain.

I got the impression from reading the COTH article that there was a difference of opinion among USEF officials regarding RR. One official requested a bone scan and an opinion was sought that was not the opinion of the team vets. We already know that the team vets had okayed the horse to go to the UK.

So there was an official who thought the horse was NQR. The team vets appeared to think the horse was QR because they were going to put him on a plane. For some reason, another veterinary opinion was sought from outside the team. Someone from within the team requested that opinion. This sequence of events registered on my odd meter.

I was trying to express that in my sentence that began with 'I wonder...'. And I actually rewrote it several times, including re-editing after my initial post, when it was posed as a question, with a question mark, and different word order. (There's no editing note because I did it just after I posted but someone might have seen it by then.)

I wasn't, by any stretch of the imagination, embellishing for the sake of a good story. I hope you can see that now.

Thank you for playing editor. :)

vineyridge
Jul. 10, 2012, 01:50 AM
Either I'm going nuts or discussions almost identical to this were had before WEG and before Hong Kong. Heck, we may have them before Athens and Aachen also.

It's not like the impenetrable fog that surrounds United States Eventing Team decisions isn't very longstanding and also (IMO) not getting any better.

The dressage people send their top riders from The Festival of Champions; the showjumpers have their trials and their observation events. Eventers really have nothing at all objective to go on. We could set up a point system based on results at 3* and 4* events for horses and riders. I'd like to think the 3* would be limited to CCIs. As it is, riders have no idea what they have to do to make the team. This is WRONG.

skydy
Jul. 10, 2012, 02:19 AM
Either I'm going nuts or discussions almost identical to this were had before WEG and before Hong Kong. Heck, we may have them before Athens and Aachen also.

It's not like the impenetrable fog that surrounds United States Eventing Team decisions isn't very longstanding and also (IMO) not getting any better.

The dressage people send their top riders from The Festival of Champions; the showjumpers have their trials and their observation events. Eventers really have nothing at all objective to go on. We could set up a point system based on results at 3* and 4* events for horses and riders. I'd like to think the 3* would be limited to CCIs. As it is, riders have no idea what they have to do to make the team. This is WRONG.

Oh, well, Margie Engle had a pointed complaint about the S/J team selection, having done well in the selection process, that she was then given vague suggestions, and having really nothing solid to "go on".
I don't think the uncertainty is limited to eventing...

vineyridge
Jul. 10, 2012, 03:02 AM
Margie Engel is the Arthur of SJ. Even though she did really well in the selection trials, she has a lot of baggage. It now becomes academic because she's broken.

ADM7040
Jul. 10, 2012, 03:03 AM
You're right. The way I characterized that was not accurate. I made a poor choice of words.

However, my reading of the quote is still the same. I will explain.

I got the impression from reading the COTH article that there was a difference of opinion among USEF officials regarding RR. One official requested a bone scan and an opinion was sought that was not the opinion of the team vets. We already know that the team vets had okayed the horse to go to the UK.

So there was an official who thought the horse was NQR. The team vets appeared to think the horse was QR because they were going to put him on a plane. For some reason, another veterinary opinion was sought from outside the team. Someone from within the team requested that opinion. This sequence of events registered on my odd meter.

I was trying to express that in my sentence that began with 'I wonder...'. And I actually rewrote it several times, including re-editing after my initial post, when it was posed as a question, with a question mark, and different word order. (There's no editing note because I did it just after I posted but someone might have seen it by then.)

I wasn't, by any stretch of the imagination, embellishing for the sake of a good story. I hope you can see that now.

Thank you for playing editor. :)

Thank you for your explanation, but I still think that you are reading far more into the situation than what is presented in the article. I assume that we are both talking about this Chronicle article that contains the quote that you originally referenced: http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/updated-marilyn-little-meredith-withdraws-olympic-short-list

Other than the quote you already provided, there is no other mention of the request of the bone scan, no mention of a difference of opinion among team vets/representatives or of someone from the team requesting an independant vet report. There is absolutely nothing in that article to support the sequence of events from your statement that:

"For some reason, another veterinary opinion was sought from outside the team. Someone from within the team requested that opinion. This sequence of events registered on my odd meter."

Nothing is stated or implied that someone from within the team requested the outside independant veterinary opinion (other than a bone scan). Did you base your opinion from some other article? If so, I would be interested in reading that article as well, please provide the link.

Janet
Jul. 10, 2012, 04:25 AM
.... and have some fun, but still keep riding the horses and keep them fit in the beautiful English countryside, it just couldn't more more heavenly. "Heavenly"?
In THIS weather?
With a month's worth of rain in 24 hours?

Jealoushe
Jul. 10, 2012, 08:36 AM
Did you hear this interview?

http://chrisstafford.podbean.com/2012/07/09/sinead-halpin-changes-direction/

Very interesting. She expresses her opinion on the way they have done things and they should perhaps make some tweaks before the next big team selection process.

ETA; she also comments on the nosebleed, and how they did not treat him for his allergies because he had been incident free for so long, but in hindsight she should have for precautionary measures. Sounds like it IS controlled with the meds they have.

starfish
Jul. 10, 2012, 08:47 AM
Arrogant of me? How so?

It's the selectors MANDATE to know all about the horses in the selection pipeline. That's their job. If they don't know that Rovano Rex has an injury that needs more time to heal, and then they don't know that Manoir de C has a bleeding issue -- well, at what point do you start thinking that a big part of their job is not being done very well?

Well, I suppose I'm simply willing to give them a reasonable benefit of the doubt as I believe that they want to put together a winning team. That doesn't mean that they don't err, of course, but you seem bent on ascribing something bordering on nefarious intent or gross negligence. I suppose I have difficulty with that, given the facts we have.

With respect to Tate, if the bleeding had not been an issue in years, I can absolutely understand why the issue was not ferreted out. I'm not a vet, but are you asserting it should have been obvious from a vet check earlier this year? Especially given that at least one of those vet checks would have been done after Tate had not run cross country? Are you suggesting that Sinead erred in not mentioning it? I don't, but perhaps you do. Perhaps going forwar it should be a standard question of all horses/riders that want to be selected, but I'd like to hear how exactly you believe that the selectors messed up on this issue and why it should have been so obvious.

As for Marilyn and Rex - it certainly was a curious development. But I fail to see how the selectors would benefit from putting an unsound horse on the plane. I'm not overly interested in dreaming up theoretical scenarios, but I can certainly recall instances where an experienced friend and I are not quite sure if a horse is quite right. Sometimes its obvious, sometimes its more subtle and is practically a gut reaction. I can even think of one horse offhand that, due to a mysterious and occasional stopping problem, has passed three rigorous vet checks without issue...yet simply looks NQR to me. Others disagree, btw. Perhaps there was some debate regarding Rex' soundness in light of whatever injury he sustained at Rolex, and he was named pending a second opinion. It would be nice if that sort of decision was more transparent, and perhaps thats something to push for.

ACMEeventing
Jul. 10, 2012, 08:51 AM
Was Sinead asked to be the test ride at Rolex? When she entered at A I remember thinking "How cool, she must be on the team". In hindsight it was faulty thinking on my part (obviously).

starfish
Jul. 10, 2012, 08:56 AM
Margie Engel is the Arthur of SJ. Even though she did really well in the selection trials, she has a lot of baggage. It now becomes academic because she's broken.

Sure, its academic as it relates to whether Margie should go to the Olympics. She clearly can't.

But your earlier post suggested that the show jumpers were somehow doing it better and in a more objective manner. The Margie situation, and her comments following the announcement of the team clearly speak to that notion.


The dressage people send their top riders from The Festival of Champions; the showjumpers have their trials and their observation events. Eventers really have nothing at all objective to go on. We could set up a point system based on results at 3* and 4* events for horses and riders. I'd like to think the 3* would be limited to CCIs. As it is, riders have no idea what they have to do to make the team. This is WRONG.

While I think putting in some objective criteria may have merit, let's not pretend its simple. Point system? Penalizes horses that don't need many runs and invites abuse by those that would over campaign their horses.

Having a trial like the Festival of Champions is problematic in my view and it fails to account for the higher number of variables involved in Eventing. Dressage is done in a 20x60 ring in a stadium, every single time. The heart of eventing, the cross-country, is the biggest variable and having the flexibility to pick horses well suited to the course is important.

Lord Helpus
Jul. 10, 2012, 09:29 AM
Except that it wasn't controlled at Barbury - the horse bled.

The reality is that we don't know if the bleeding issue was a factor at all when the selectors made their decision, or if it was THE deciding factor.

Sinead has indicated that she wishes she had had an opportunity to better explain the situation to the selectors. On the one hand, the fact that the selectors didn't ask her to provide an explanation prior to making the decision could suggest that it wasn't a factor in the decision, that she wasn't going to be selected either way.

On the other hand, the fact that it wasn't controlled at Barbury may just have been enough for them to conclude that the pair presented too high a risk. As was hashed out in another thread - one would imagine that the selectors had to wonder about what would happen if he bled on course.

^^ This. If Sinead could control the bleeding, then Tate should not have bled. If she didn't medicate him for it before the event, then she was being cavalier about her chances, and not preparing the horse as he needed to be prepared.

There are a lot of racehorses who bleed. The official name is "Exercised Induced Pulmonary Hemmorage" or EIPH for short. Right now there is an enormous battle going on in the racing world to decide if Lasix (Salix) (the only (currently) legal drug which controls the condition) should be allowed on race day.

I would be surprized if Lasix was allowed in Eventing, since there is a zero tolerance for other drugs. And if there was another treatment which was almost as good, then the racehorse people would be using it. Since Tate bled right through whatever is legal, I don't know if Sinead's belief that she can control the bleeding would have carried much weight.

Knowing about bleeders from the racetrack perspective, I think the selectors had no choice but to not name them to the team. Bleeding is a type of "unsoundness" which has an absolute penalty: elimination.

Bottom line: the selectors saw that Tate bled, and were not convinced that it was a controllable condition, despite what Sinead said. If all of the race horse people cannot control EIPH without Salix, then I don't know how Sinead could be 100% sure that she could.

ponysize
Jul. 10, 2012, 09:45 AM
But your earlier post suggested that the show jumpers were somehow doing it better and in a more objective manner. The Margie situation, and her comments following the announcement of the team clearly speak to that notion.

It's not perfect, but it is far more objective than what the eventers have. With show jumping, it part objective and part subjective. Some of the team is fielded by objective standards: trials results. Some spots on the team are left for subjective choosing.

FLeventer
Jul. 10, 2012, 09:48 AM
I was unable to read the article as it did not show up on my phone, but I have seen other articles after the selection and I really hope it does not hurt her chances. I would have made an offical statement and then stayed quiet about the rest. I cannot imagine her pain and it must be tough to have the feeling of false security about making the team to only be left off the lists.

It hurts, but there is still 3 weeks for horses to become lame. Dont voice every opinion that you have. Dont voice hurts. Then when a spot opens the selectors do not overlook you because of your recent interviews.

RacetrackReject
Jul. 10, 2012, 10:05 AM
^^ This. If Sinead could control the bleeding, then Tate should not have bled. If she didn't medicate him for it before the event, then she was being cavalier about her chances, and not preparing the horse as he needed to be prepared.

There are a lot of racehorses who bleed. The official name is "Exercised Induced Pulmonary Hemmorage" or EIPH for short. Right now there is an enormous battle going on in the racing world to decide if Lasix (Salix) (the only (currently) legal drug which controls the condition) should be allowed on race day.

I would be surprized if Lasix was allowed in Eventing, since there is a zero tolerance for other drugs. And if there was another treatment which was almost as good, then the racehorse people would be using it. Since Tate bled right through whatever is legal, I don't know if Sinead's belief that she can control the bleeding would have carried much weight.

Knowing about bleeders from the racetrack perspective, I think the selectors had no choice but to not name them to the team. Bleeding is a type of "unsoundness" which has an absolute penalty: elimination.

Bottom line: the selectors saw that Tate bled, and were not convinced that it was a controllable condition, despite what Sinead said. If all of the race horse people cannot control EIPH without Salix, then I don't know how Sinead could be 100% sure that she could.

As I understand it, Tate doesn't bleed like a racehorse and no you can't use Salix in Eventing. In reading the many blogs and articles, it seems ( and I could have read it wrong) that Tate's bleeding is believe to be allergy related and he has been treated with allergy medication for it.
"We treated him for allergies before Rolex in 2011 and he hasn't shown any issues since then. He competed at Rolex and Burghley without showing signs of any problems," she commented.

"In hindsight," Halpin conceded, "we need to treat him every run. He has that issue, but it hasn't happened in so long and he hasn't given any indication that he was not well."

vineyridge
Jul. 10, 2012, 10:14 AM
I think we all feel that Arthur was kind of shafted, but I think we all understand why.

The Germans took their top horses from Aachen this year to make their team.

There has be a fairer way with more objective components for Eventing. I think the way showjumping has done it is much fairer.

LH, doesn't every horse who is considered have to provide a list of medications? Surely if Tate had been on something in the past two or three years, it would have showed up in the medication reports.

Lasix is definitely banned, but it sounds as if Tate's problem is not EIPH but something else if it's allergy related.

starfish
Jul. 10, 2012, 10:41 AM
I think we all feel that Arthur was kind of shafted, but I think we all understand why.

The Germans took their top horses from Aachen this year to make their team.

There has be a fairer way with more objective components for Eventing. I think the way showjumping has done it is much fairer.


I actually don't feel that Arthur was shafted. If he was named to the team, it would be in the hopes that he would secure an individual medal. Among other things, he would have to jump two show jump rounds. He is probably going as well as he has in the past few years but had a rail at Rolex, a rail at Barbury and two down at Bromont. That's unfortunately consistent.

As for the Germans, they didn't just take their top horses from Aachen. Frank Osholt and Little Paint performed better than some who did make the team, but weren't named. Ingrid had a run-out yet still made the team.

Again, I'm not necessarily against some objective criteria, but I've yet to really see someone set out an approach that will work.

Divine Comedy
Jul. 10, 2012, 10:53 AM
Arrogant of me? How so?

It's the selectors MANDATE to know all about the horses in the selection pipeline. That's their job. If they don't know that Rovano Rex has an injury that needs more time to heal, and then they don't know that Manoir de C has a bleeding issue -- well, at what point do you start thinking that a big part of their job is not being done very well?




You're obviously an intelligent person, JER. Obviously more intelligent than most, and very well educated. However, you very often come across as impatient with the less intelligent, less educated masses. That's arrogance, in my opinion. And I admire you for your intelligence and eloquence, but I often feel that you have no tolerance for mistakes by anyone, ever. Tell me, how would you have known about Rex's injury if no one in the MLM/KOC camp mentioned it, and the horse seemed fine through the normal vet check? And would you specifically have asked Sinead if her horse had ever had a nosebleed during competition? No one at all in the US seemed to be aware of Tate's nosebleed until Sinead said something after the selection trial. You speak of Sinead being open (and she is) but she never wrote a blog about this health problem that was well managed but had the potential to keep her off the team, and her worries about it. People generally keep horse health issues close to their chest instead of airing them to the general public, particularly if they are well managed enough to not worry about them. For instance, if I had a horse who in 2009, had a tendency to abscess, but I found and resolved the issue of why he was abscess and he hadn't abscessed since, I probably wouldn't mention it to anyone, thinking the problem managed and resolved.


I don't know why you're being snippy with me here. I made a logical inference from what you posted. While we may not agree on any number of things, I'd like to think we're both here discussing a topic of mutual interest, without personal rancor.

I got snippy because I felt like you were accusing me of something mildly unethical, and that got my back up a little bit. I apologize if I was snippy there, but I do still dislike the implication.




Can I ask how you know the above? Seriously. I'm not being snippy. You're quick to tell me that I'm 'speculating' or 'that's your opinion' but then you make these statements, which are either the product of inside knowledge or a great big leap of faith.

I'm curious which it is. :)

The knowledge of how the selectors feel about this process is inside knowledge. Well, one selector at least, but I do prefer to give the benefit of the doubt to the others as well. I will PM you with what I can say if you like, but that's as much as I feel comfortable saying here.

Lord Helpus
Jul. 10, 2012, 11:16 AM
I think we all feel that Arthur was kind of shafted, but I think we all understand why.

The Germans took their top horses from Aachen this year to make their team.

There has be a fairer way with more objective components for Eventing. I think the way showjumping has done it is much fairer.

LH, doesn't every horse who is considered have to provide a list of medications? Surely if Tate had been on something in the past two or three years, it would have showed up in the medication reports.

Lasix is definitely banned, but it sounds as if Tate's problem is not EIPH but something else if it's allergy related.

I certainly do not have the answers, but I cannot think that any meds given 2 - 3 years ago would be relevant. However, the last 12 months might be, and Sinead said she has not given Tate any meds for his bleeding since spring of 2011. If so, then she had no legal obligation to disclose his problem. Moral obligation? Not up to me to say.


Whether or not Tate has allergies, the only time(s) he has bled (that we know of) are during x/c. Right?

Exercised Induced Pulmonary Hemmorage is a catchall term for anything which causes a horse to bleed at times when he is using his lungs to the max. (I guess you could call it a syndrome, rather than a cause?) Coming from my admittedly layman's viewpoint, since Tate has bled at least twice during times of maximum stress on his pulmonary system, he has EIPH. Not saying that allergies couldn't cause the EIPH, but it doesn't change the end result.

millerra
Jul. 10, 2012, 11:26 AM
while I understand and sympathize with Sinead, there was blood...

After what happened to Becky at Rolex and the dressage horse at the ?WEG?, no doubt the selectors are ultra paranoid about the risk of bleeding. Let me rephrase. I would be, if I were a selector. A little bleed = elimination. And perhaps, depending upon how everyone else on the team does, the end of the dream for a team metal.

While it sucks for Sinead, I think the decision is, at the very least, understandable w/out the need for nefarious dealing.

JER
Jul. 10, 2012, 11:29 AM
You're obviously an intelligent person, JER. Obviously more intelligent than most, and very well educated. However, you very often come across as impatient with the less intelligent, less educated masses.

Well, okay, but I was talking about the USEF selection cohort. I'd like to think that, when it comes to horses, the selectors aren't the 'less intelligent, less educated masses.' :)

There have been some head-scratching decisions. We have a horse who can skip around the toughest CCI**** in the world who was not on any training list. Perhaps that horse is average in dressage, but rather than choose to work with the horse/rider on their dressage, the team chose to ignore them entirely, despite the fact that the US comes up a bit short on horses with solid CCI**** completion records. Then we have the Rovano Rex withdrawal. Then one of three horses on the US A list, who has been working with the team all season and gets a bye on the spring CCI****s, isn't on the team.

Opinions will differ. I'm at most a casual observer. I admit I have little interest in teams or nations or cheering for one national entity over another. I like watching everyone go. But we're discussing selection here and I'm noting what's caught my attention.

Lord Helpus
Jul. 10, 2012, 11:36 AM
Re: method of selectiong a team: After Debby Dolan sued the USET for being left off the 1988(?) Olympic team, the USET changed the criteria to a completely objective one. It was a disaster. IIRC, a horse who should have been the first one named slipped on takeoff at a water jump and incurred enough fauts that he was not on the team. It was a travesty to leave that horse off but their was no wiggle room. There was also no need for selectors since the selection process was 100% objective.

I believe it was 4 years later that the criteria were modified again so that 2 - 3 members were automatically on the team based on thier placings in the named trials. But the selection committee had the discretion to name 1 or 2 horses that might not have been in the top 4.

It is hard to tell what the standard is now, since Rich Fellers and Reed Kessler would have been named anyway. It is the other 2 team members who might not have made the team based on 100% objective criteria. Beezie Madden had some "getting to know you" issues in the early trials, just as Karen O'Connor did. But, when you see how they progressed, how can you leave 2 such solid verteran riders at home?

You can't.

Equestrian events are not like track and field or swimming. Every day and every competition is different and it would (and was) not be fair to name a team without any expert input, based on such difficult-to-measure criteria as experience and bringing their A game on the world's biggest stage?

JER
Jul. 10, 2012, 11:42 AM
Other than the quote you already provided, there is no other mention of the request of the bone scan, no mention of a difference of opinion among team vets/representatives or of someone from the team requesting an independant vet report.

As I said before, 'one official' requested a bone scan and an independent reading was sought. The team vets had already passed the horse.

From the article I linked to, it would appear that the 'one official' and the team vets had a difference of opinion as to the horse's soundness. I haven't read anything else on the topic, although I did ask Molly Sorge a couple of questions/clarifications about her report in the previous thread.

You and I appear to have a difference of opinion on this matter based on what is written. That's fine.

Also, your earlier post accused me of 'lambasting' 'Heath R.' for 'embellishment'. I don't know what you're referring to here. Could you remind me, please?

vineyridge
Jul. 10, 2012, 12:20 PM
I'm with JER on the bleeding problem. The selectors had to know because they demand very detailed vet histories. Maybe they too thought the problem had "gone away", and were left with their pants down when it recurred.

Which brings up an interesting question: if all bleeding is considered EIPH to the FEI, would a horse be allowed to compete after having anti-bleeding medication. I seriously doubt that it would. If the problem is allergy related and not true lung bleeding, but rather a sinus or the insides of the nostrils, would the result be the same? Would the FEI permit a medicated horse to compete if the proper notice had been filed?

goodmorning
Jul. 10, 2012, 12:48 PM
Would the FEI permit a medicated horse to compete if the proper notice had been filed?

They must have for the horse to compete at Rolex in 2011. Either that, or the withdrawal time didn't impact an FEI competition.

It seems to me like this bleeding problem is a scapegoat. I think Sinead is being generous offering public insight into her horses condition, as it has nothing to do with 'making the team.' I bet they just didn't want her, for who knows what reason, and we probably will never know. Barbury dressage -- that's it? Hardly, and if it is, what short-sighted selectors we have.

vineyridge
Jul. 10, 2012, 01:03 PM
This is nothing compared to the Australian dressage flap.
Front page article:
http://www.smh.com.au/olympics/news-...708-21pcy.html

Follow up articles:
http://www.smh.com.au/olympics/news-...709-21rrc.html

http://www.smh.com.au/olympics/news-...709-21rs0.html

And the Australian eventing team flap.

Jealoushe
Jul. 10, 2012, 01:22 PM
They must have for the horse to compete at Rolex in 2011. Either that, or the withdrawal time didn't impact an FEI competition.

It seems to me like this bleeding problem is a scapegoat. I think Sinead is being generous offering public insight into her horses condition, as it has nothing to do with 'making the team.' I bet they just didn't want her, for who knows what reason, and we probably will never know. Barbury dressage -- that's it? Hardly, and if it is, what short-sighted selectors we have.

I tend to agree. She suggested in the radio interview they basically told her to go to the UK early and miss Rolex etc. She said she would have liked to do Rolex and the CIC CT at Bromont but they made a decision as a group with selectors and sounds like they pretty much told her. Which is why I also feel she was led on. She also mentioned they need changes in how they do things leading up to the Games.

She is truly outspoken and honest and I respect her so damn much for that. I really admire this woman!

Beam Me Up
Jul. 10, 2012, 01:28 PM
I'm not sure that all bleeding is considered EIPH--just grounds for E--the dressage horse was bleeding from the mouth.

I know nothing about the behind-the-scenes here, so this is ALL conjecture, but in this case I don't really see evidence that there was something nefarious (like, the selectors led her on all year knowing they would drop her last second because they didn't "want her" on the team).

But I do think that the 2 horses that were laying low this spring and saving it for the games, probably had been led to believe that they were locks, and then were not selected (less of a big deal for Boyd since he had a string). And if that had happened to me, I'd be pissed too.

I like that the selectors didn't run them into the ground, but it shows that a lot can change in ~6 months, and some who were not even on the radar when those 2 were frontrunners had great Spring seasons and pushed by them. In retrospect, I wonder if she had run Rolex well, say, if that would have helped or hurt her?



More broadly, team selection is tough. The 1992 totally objective experiment didn't work, but anytime selection is subjective bias is introduced and some aren't happy. Again, total conjecture, but the bias I *think* I see, and dislike, (nothing to do with Sinead, just generally) is toward those who have or can build eventing empires, as they provide better ROI. I would imagine that that logic would influence a choice of say, MLM over Colleen.

PonyGal08
Jul. 10, 2012, 01:33 PM
I tend to agree. She suggested in the radio interview they basically told her to go to the UK early and miss Rolex etc. She said she would have liked to do Rolex and the CIC CT at Bromont but they made a decision as a group with selectors and sounds like they pretty much told her. Which is why I also feel she was led on. She also mentioned they need changes in how they do things leading up to the Games.

She is truly outspoken and honest and I respect her so damn much for that. I really admire this woman!

I heard the radio interview too... I was immediately surprised and thought "that's not what you said in your blog (http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/decisions-determine-your-destiny…-no-pressure)". It seems her good performances last year afforded her, what I'm going to label as "trust", to do what she wanted because her plans were working.

I'm tending to go with what was said in her blog prior to the team announcement vs. a statement made after.

bornfreenowexpensive
Jul. 10, 2012, 02:10 PM
I think it was really one of life's lessons....there is no such thing as a lock in team competitions. I don't think Sinead did anything wrong....but making a team is a competition. You can do all the right things but if someone does better than you (or looks to be peaking better)...they may make the team instead of you. Those are things outside of your control.

I think part of the issue for Sinead was there was more competition for those spots than in the past. She took a gamble in her prepartions (saving her horse for London)...and it unfortunately didn't work out for her (at this moment).

I don't know how the selectors' minds work. Honestly....I still find leaving a horse like Colleen's off the training lists far more puzzling than Sinead not making the final team. But maybe that's just me.

Jealoushe
Jul. 10, 2012, 02:15 PM
I don't know how the selectors' minds work. Honestly....I still find leaving a horse like Colleen's off the training lists far more puzzling than Sinead not making the final team. But maybe that's just me.

I don't get that either....major mistake in my eyes too!

Dry Clean Only
Jul. 10, 2012, 02:38 PM
^^ This. If Sinead could control the bleeding, then Tate should not have bled. If she didn't medicate him for it before the event, then she was being cavalier about her chances, and not preparing the horse as he needed to be prepared.

There are a lot of racehorses who bleed. The official name is "Exercised Induced Pulmonary Hemmorage" or EIPH for short. Right now there is an enormous battle going on in the racing world to decide if Lasix (Salix) (the only (currently) legal drug which controls the condition) should be allowed on race day.

I would be surprized if Lasix was allowed in Eventing, since there is a zero tolerance for other drugs. And if there was another treatment which was almost as good, then the racehorse people would be using it. Since Tate bled right through whatever is legal, I don't know if Sinead's belief that she can control the bleeding would have carried much weight.

Knowing about bleeders from the racetrack perspective, I think the selectors had no choice but to not name them to the team. Bleeding is a type of "unsoundness" which has an absolute penalty: elimination.

Bottom line: the selectors saw that Tate bled, and were not convinced that it was a controllable condition, despite what Sinead said. If all of the race horse people cannot control EIPH without Salix, then I don't know how Sinead could be 100% sure that she could.

The 'P' in EIPH stands for pulmonary, which means the lungs. Sinead stated in her blog that there has been no bleeding in the lungs when scope on several occasions. It sounds like it originates in the sinuses or upper airway, so not the same thing at all.

starfish
Jul. 10, 2012, 02:49 PM
I like that the selectors didn't run them into the ground, but it shows that a lot can change in ~6 months, and some who were not even on the radar when those 2 were frontrunners had great Spring seasons and pushed by them. In retrospect, I wonder if she had run Rolex well, say, if that would have helped or hurt her?


That's largely how I view it. In comparison to the WEG run-up or the options back in 2008 for the Olympics, the US Team has a bunch of good options to pick from. And some of that has happened fairly quickly - the team that would have been picked in early 2012 would certainly have included Sinead. Back then, there were not that many known quantities. Take a look at the A & B lists from January 2012. The A list had 4 pairs - PD with Mighty Nice, Boyd with Neville & Otis and Sinead with Tate. Only two of those horses even had miles at the 4* level. The B list, however, was lengthy and included some very nice horses that were either short on experience or had spotty records for various reasons.

I don't think the selectors led Boyd/Sinead on, but I do think that it was clear to everyone that Neville and Tate were front runners. This allowed them to plan their own seasons - that can be a great advantage (your aren't jumping through someone else's hoops) but it can also present issues. Its a heavy responsibility as it becomes your responsibility to ensure that you are both ready and peaking at the appropriate time. Given that Tate seems to have historically done well on a light schedule, and seems to need some extra time to settle in after a flight, I think Sinead benefited from that flexibility, even if the end result was not as desired. Is there any reason to believe that a run at Rolex, a showing at Bromont and then Barbury would have left them on top of their game?

All that to say, that they were front runners. I think that much is clear, but the race isn't over until the winners actually cross the finish line. I don't think Boyd or Sinead (or Phillip), if asked, would have suggested that the work was over or that there was no need to show up and continually earn a spot.

retreadeventer
Jul. 10, 2012, 03:34 PM
Being a selector is a thankless job for no pay and hardly any reimbursement and involves being away from your family and traveling a lot. That being said, these guys live eventing anyway, and should know everything there is to know about these horses, top to bottom, inside and out. If not, they are not doing a good job, JER and I agree there.
Bear in mind very few of these horses are domestic. Two were recently imported and hardly on US soil long enough to get their feet dirty. What do they know about any of the horses? One hopes they are getting good, solid background information from the owners, riders, and rider's vets and farriers, but who knows if it's the truth?

Oh and so totally agreed with Bornfree on Colleen and Shiraz. I have heard the selectors were looking for "smooth" at Barbury Castle. Well, they must not watching the same Shiraz I've seen at Rolex, on video from Burghley, etc. When he clocked thru the Head of the Lake two years ago I was GASPING with awe at how professional he looked -- made it look like a junior hunter -- and I felt the same way when I watched both his Burghley and Luhmulen videos. For god's sake, somebody PLEASE put her on a list next year so she can get some dressage training for herself and her horse, and she'll ANCHOR our world team in two years.

ACMEeventing
Jul. 10, 2012, 03:38 PM
I believe it was 4 years later that the criteria were modified again so that 2 - 3 members were automatically on the team based on thier placings in the named trials. But the selection committee had the discretion to name 1 or 2 horses that might not have been in the top 4.

It is hard to tell what the standard is now, since Rich Fellers and Reed Kessler would have been named anyway. It is the other 2 team members who might not have made the team based on 100% objective criteria. Beezie Madden had some "getting to know you" issues in the early trials, just as Karen O'Connor did. But, when you see how they progressed, how can you leave 2 such solid verteran riders at home?

You can't.



I think you can. I admire KOC's history in the sport as much as the next person, but I think you absolutely CAN leave her at home if she doesn't have a current record to support her spot. She brought a young inexperienced horse to Beijing and said "it was a good learning experience for him". She's bringing an inexperienced partnership to London. And before anyone gets offended I already know the retort: he's very experienced at the level, she's very experienced at the level, if anyone can make it happen it's KOC . . .

I respectfully call bullish*t. If riders with a long standing and successful partnership are being left home because "it just wouldn't be a team without KOC" then I don't even care to watch. She is a phenomenal rider, obviously, but she isn't the be all, end all of the US Olympic Team. I guess I'm a bit of a sap, I'd much rather cheer on a team like Allison or Sinead who have been building their partnerships for years and finally get to experience the dream.

I think the day is coming when Eventing won't even be at the Olympics.

snoopy
Jul. 10, 2012, 03:58 PM
The 1992 totally objective experiment didn't work, but anytime selection is subjective bias is introduced and some aren't happy.


That is not all of the back story to that Championships/Selections. Sure, the USET were, in effect, forced into a totally objective selection due in part because of Debbie and her law suit which was a very ugly time. The larger issue with Barcelona was the fact that we did not have a management structure in place at the time. Lars was hired to coach the selected riders yet he was hardly around, had other commitments, and the team was basically left to their own devices without management/support. Mike stepped in as an unofficial coach/manager/supporter/mentor, but it was a bit too late by that point....and the results were pretty depressing. I feel that particular team was very let down. It is a tragedy that they will always be looked at in a negative way....very unfair on a talented group.

gully's pilot
Jul. 10, 2012, 04:02 PM
When Karen took Mandiba to the Beijing Olympics, they were the very last possible alternate--there was literally nobody else left in quarantine to send. Remember, it was the year Teddy died; he was the one considered to be her best horse at the time. Then so many horses fell out of quarantine for one reason or another. It would be like Mighty Nice going instead of Mystery Whisper, and turning out to be not quite ready--though, I think MN is an awfully good horse. We have a stronger team this year.

JER
Jul. 10, 2012, 04:13 PM
When Karen took Mandiba to the Beijing Olympics, they were the very last possible alternate--there was literally nobody else left in quarantine to send.

But the USEF also chose to leave the top horse from the selection 'trial' at home. That horse had completed a CCI**** with no jumping faults while Mandiba had not yet competed at that level.

Snaffle81
Jul. 10, 2012, 04:18 PM
I respectfully call bullish*t. If riders with a long standing and successful partnership are being left home because "it just wouldn't be a team without KOC" then I don't even care to watch. She is a phenomenal rider, obviously, but she isn't the be all, end all of the US Olympic Team. I guess I'm a bit of a sap, I'd much rather cheer on a team like Allison or Sinead who have been building their partnerships for years and finally get to experience the dream.

I think the day is coming when Eventing won't even be at the Olympics.

But if riders with a long standing and successful partnership can't beat KOC and MM then how do you justify adding them in lieu of KOC and MM?

mugsgame
Jul. 10, 2012, 04:27 PM
Selectors do have long memories. There is one UK rider who has never quite made it onto teams despite excellent results at top level mainly due to being very outspoken in the past.

I think Nicola Wilson showed supreme dignity in her circumstances yet must have been incredibly upset and unlike Sinead she has an amazing track record on teams and under pressure being the trail blazer. It has all paid off for her and the dignity she handled the whole affair will be remembered.

There are always tales of disappointment with team selection. But its how you handle it and then rise above it to carry on performing and prove them wrong.

ACMEeventing
Jul. 10, 2012, 04:58 PM
But if riders with a long standing and successful partnership can't beat KOC and MM then how do you justify adding them in lieu of KOC and MM?

It was not meant as an academic question. But for the record, Allison DID beat her at Rolex and Barbury.

Not wanting to derail this into a "why isn't Allison on the team" thread, just expressing my distaste at the lack of sentimentality of the selection process. Medals are nice. Going to the Olympics with a team that the we are excited to stand behind is a little bit nicer. And again, nothing against KOC or PD. They are iconic in the sport. But making room for them for the sake of making room leads to disappointment.

I would rather see other riders make a good run and come home with the pink coat and a smile. My guess is they would too.

snoopy
Jul. 10, 2012, 05:11 PM
It was not meant as an academic question. But for the record, Allison DID beat her at Rolex and Barbury.

Not wanting to derail this into a "why isn't Allison on the team" thread, just expressing my distaste at the lack of sentimentality of the selection process. Medals are nice. Going to the Olympics with a team that the we are excited to stand behind is a little bit nicer. And again, nothing against KOC or PD. They are iconic in the sport. But making room for them for the sake of making room leads to disappointment.

I would rather see other riders make a good run and come home with the pink coat and a smile. My guess is they would too.



That is all warm and fuzzy but it does not work that way...nor should it. This isn't the AEC's at Pre-training level. Save all that for the movies....then again even Sarah Brown was out for gold and won one. :lol:

Divine Comedy
Jul. 10, 2012, 05:23 PM
It was not meant as an academic question. But for the record, Allison DID beat her at Rolex and Barbury.

Not wanting to derail this into a "why isn't Allison on the team" thread, just expressing my distaste at the lack of sentimentality of the selection process. Medals are nice. Going to the Olympics with a team that the we are excited to stand behind is a little bit nicer. And again, nothing against KOC or PD. They are iconic in the sport. But making room for them for the sake of making room leads to disappointment.

I would rather see other riders make a good run and come home with the pink coat and a smile. My guess is they would too.

It's a very nice sentiment, but really, there is no room for sentimentality in team selection. The selectors job is to pick a team to bring home a medal. Preferably gold, and preferably multiple medals. Any competitive sport has no room for participation only at the Olympic level. Everyone is there to win.

(Well, maybe Nina is there to participate, which does in fact give me warm fuzzies. But she has the luxury of no pressure. The US does not have that. The US wants a medal or two in eventing.)

The selectors would be doing their job BADLY if they picked sentimental favorites. They picked KOC despite a new partnership because they believe she can finish better than those left off the team. Maybe that's not your opinion. Maybe, as you stated, you'd rather see your favorite rider on the team, regardless of their placing.

But that's not reality.

Like the above poster said, it's not the AECs.

It'll be interesting to see what these threads are discussing after the Olympics. Either the team will not do well, in which case the threads will be the same, the team will do ok, in which the threads might be the same, or the team will do great, and we won't talk that much about it because really, talking about this is much more interesting when there's conflict.

Robby Johnson
Jul. 10, 2012, 05:58 PM
Except that it wasn't controlled at Barbury - the horse bled.

The reality is that we don't know if the bleeding issue was a factor at all when the selectors made their decision, or if it was THE deciding factor.

Sinead has indicated that she wishes she had had an opportunity to better explain the situation to the selectors. On the one hand, the fact that the selectors didn't ask her to provide an explanation prior to making the decision could suggest that it wasn't a factor in the decision, that she wasn't going to be selected either way.

On the other hand, the fact that it wasn't controlled at Barbury may just have been enough for them to conclude that the pair presented too high a risk. As was hashed out in another thread - one would imagine that the selectors had to wonder about what would happen if he bled on course.

As someone with sinus issues and allergies, I infrequently have nosebleeds, despite following my treatment protocol. I actually think one of my nasal sprays (Flonase) contributes to this, so my EENT doc switched me to Patenase, which has helped tremendously, but hasn't resolved the issue completely. Other factors contribute (climate, level of hydration, etc.).

It REALLY sucks that Tate has this uncertain affliction, as it could most definitely be a public Waterloo if it were to appear at the London Games.

I will never forget Paula Abdul (yes, I went there) telling a contestant on an early season of "American Idol" that "When you're seeking a record deal, you must be prepared to give the performance of your life every time someone agrees to hear you sing." I know it's not the same thing exactly since the horse adds a different layer to the challenge (I sound like a horse when I sing or, as my dad says, "a dying calf in a hailstorm"), but the sentiment is the same and from an observation perspective, I think this is where the US falls short in terms of expectations and practices. Everyone of our riders - long-to-short list - could win a medal: the horses are quality, the rider skill is refined, and they are collectively supported by a fairly deep, hands-on program.

The sucky thing is that if you can't command it in the audition, you're not going on to the next phase. We need to revisit "How To Be A Competitor" and not "Wow, I Can't Believe I Just Did That Well."

JER
Jul. 10, 2012, 06:27 PM
I will never forget Paula Abdul (yes, I went there) telling a contestant on an early season of "American Idol" that "When you're seeking a record deal, you must be prepared to give the performance of your life every time someone agrees to hear you sing."

This is funny. Paula was one of those 'recording artists' who always had a lot of pre-recorded assistance whenever she danced in front of a microphone. Suffice it to say that 'performance of your life', in her case, did not include any actual real-time singing.

So, yes, definitely, performance of your life. :D

Which brings up the Olympic trials argument. The US has clung to those old methods in sports like swimming and track and field. There are always disappointments and odd results and fairy tales. But the US fills its allotment of Olympic places with (usually) those who perform on the day.

Why do we think it's different with horses?

IIRC, sailing uses a qualifying system that involves a series of qualification events leading to several 'trials' events, with the Olympic spots going to the top placings. While you can overcome a single poor outing with your boat, selection is still objective.

I don't have any issue with either subjective or objective selection, but I do feel very strongly that the process should be transparent and the selectors should be accountable. There's no need for fogs or shrouds of secrecy, not if everyone is following their job instructions. Just like Paula said (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=El1kgCqD7Xk).

PhoenixFarm
Jul. 10, 2012, 07:34 PM
Divine Comedy with all due respect, OF COURSE the team is a culture of fear. Of course it is. There is simply no other way to operate. This isn't an American phenomenon. It's not even an eventing phenomenon. It's a team phenomenon. (Ever chatted with any gymnastics folks? They've had their share of dramas).

Now, I absolutely give the selectors the benefit of the doubt that they both agonize over and do the best they can with the information they have, to make the best decisions. However, I think often times they are given information they must assimilate in to their thought process, which should NOT be taken in to consideration. Such as who owns a horse. Who has money. Who has other horses in the pipeline (based on the first two items). Who is a team player (in the sense of putting up and shutting up). Who is having a last hurrah. IMO, none of these things should be considered. And yet, I'm quite certain they are. I feel bad for the selectors, honestly, because I think that's a damn hard job already without having to deal with all the political BS.

But anybody who has been around the team thing knows, you shut up, you keep your eyes averted, and you keep your mouth shut. Anyone not able to do that, need not apply. As I said in another thread, the Team is Fight Club. And the number one rule about fight club is, don't talk about Fight Club.

I suspect you are right, that Sinead (or anyone) could be "punished" for being too candid. It's terrible and ludicrous, but it is the reality. But there is no way that's not part of a culture of fear. And, it's also not unusual to eventing.

When the Team isn't making me think of Edward Norton movies, it makes me think of House. "Everybody Lies."

The riders lie to the vets and the selectors. The selectors lie to the riders and owners. I won't go so far as to say the vets lie, but let's just say they are human like everybody else and have their favorites. And they ALL lie to us. Admittedly, it's more of a lie of omission than commission, and if you just don't say anything at all, then that gives you plausible deniability about the lie. The only honest ones are the horses, and they ain't talkin'.

I remember the big bad days of objective selection, and it didn't work. However, I am struck by the fact that dressage teams are pretty much objectively selected, and there have been a few "loose cannon" types selected in recent years, because when the rubber hit the road, they performed and couldn't be left home. As a fan, I might think, ugh, not my favorite person (or, when I've been sitting in the audience of a particularly awkward press conference, "SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP, dear GOD SOMEONE MAKE THEM SHUT UP), but I can't deny they deserve to be there. That's kind of a nice feeling--to KNOW why they are there, and what they are bringing to the table.

Carry on.

Snaffle81
Jul. 10, 2012, 07:40 PM
It was not meant as an academic question. But for the record, Allison DID beat her at Rolex and Barbury.

Not wanting to derail this into a "why isn't Allison on the team" thread, just expressing my distaste at the lack of sentimentality of the selection process. Medals are nice. Going to the Olympics with a team that the we are excited to stand behind is a little bit nicer. And again, nothing against KOC or PD. They are iconic in the sport. But making room for them for the sake of making room leads to disappointment.

I would rather see other riders make a good run and come home with the pink coat and a smile. My guess is they would too.

I don't want to derail the thread, but I think this ties in with the objective/subjective selection theories. Because this is where a bit of subjectivity is helpful.... Arthur will place better because his dressage score is consistently better, but his jumping record is not. Both of those events he had rails and at Barbury Samantha Clark wrote he "rubbed quite a few and finally Allison Springer's luck ran out". I don't think anyone would have been surprised if he had more rails or even if he had a run out on xc.

Considering eventing is 2/3 jumping.... I don't think it's a far jump to see that's why he fell into the "risky" category and others did not.

Divine Comedy
Jul. 10, 2012, 09:11 PM
Divine Comedy with all due respect, OF COURSE the team is a culture of fear. Of course it is. There is simply no other way to operate. This isn't an American phenomenon. It's not even an eventing phenomenon. It's a team phenomenon. (Ever chatted with any gymnastics folks? They've had their share of dramas).

Now, I absolutely give the selectors the benefit of the doubt that they both agonize over and do the best they can with the information they have, to make the best decisions. However, I think often times they are given information they must assimilate in to their thought process, which should NOT be taken in to consideration. Such as who owns a horse. Who has money. Who has other horses in the pipeline (based on the first two items). Who is a team player (in the sense of putting up and shutting up). Who is having a last hurrah. IMO, none of these things should be considered. And yet, I'm quite certain they are. I feel bad for the selectors, honestly, because I think that's a damn hard job already without having to deal with all the political BS.

But anybody who has been around the team thing knows, you shut up, you keep your eyes averted, and you keep your mouth shut. Anyone not able to do that, need not apply. As I said in another thread, the Team is Fight Club. And the number one rule about fight club is, don't talk about Fight Club.

I suspect you are right, that Sinead (or anyone) could be "punished" for being too candid. It's terrible and ludicrous, but it is the reality. But there is no way that's not part of a culture of fear. And, it's also not unusual to eventing.

When the Team isn't making me think of Edward Norton movies, it makes me think of House. "Everybody Lies."

The riders lie to the vets and the selectors. The selectors lie to the riders and owners. I won't go so far as to say the vets lie, but let's just say they are human like everybody else and have their favorites. And they ALL lie to us. Admittedly, it's more of a lie of omission than commission, and if you just don't say anything at all, then that gives you plausible deniability about the lie. The only honest ones are the horses, and they ain't talkin'.

I remember the big bad days of objective selection, and it didn't work. However, I am struck by the fact that dressage teams are pretty much objectively selected, and there have been a few "loose cannon" types selected in recent years, because when the rubber hit the road, they performed and couldn't be left home. As a fan, I might think, ugh, not my favorite person (or, when I've been sitting in the audience of a particularly awkward press conference, "SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP, dear GOD SOMEONE MAKE THEM SHUT UP), but I can't deny they deserve to be there. That's kind of a nice feeling--to KNOW why they are there, and what they are bringing to the table.

Carry on.

I guess I'm just not following on what makes a culture of fear. You're right, with anything subjective, you can't say anything without consequences. I completely agree with that, which is why I'm hoping Sinead doesn't forget that. But life is like that too. Anytime you let your mouth run unedited, it could say something that displeases someone somewhere and result in issues.

However, I don't think that is fear based. It's common sense. The whole world operates on lies of omission so to say. In a marriage, would a man ever tell his pregnant wife "Your ankles look particularly thick today, don't they?" No, unless he is stupid. If he thinks it, but refrains from saying it, does that mean he is lying by omission? I say no.

Only children (and possibly some elderly) don't have any edit function on what they say. In order to function in society, you generally have to learn how to edit yourself.

I personally don't believe that the system is fear based. Of course it has drama. Of course it has problems. I genuinely believe that everyone is trying their best to make the system work. If the team brings home medals, then the system works. That is the only goal of the system. The goal is not to give up and coming riders a chance, not to reward pairs that have been together for years, not to cater to the favorites of the public. The goal of the system is to put together a team of riders that has the best chance of winning medals, regardless of whether they bought or made the horse, regardless of whether they have a string or only one, regardless of anything.

(Sound horses coming home are a completely different issue, and I believe that after the pounding the selection process put on the horses in 2010 for WEG, giving more 'byes' out for horses like Neville and Tate was their attempt at helping out the horses with soundness. To me, there was evidence that they did attempt to try and change their system.)

I actually really like the objective selection process JER suggested, with a series of selection of events that one can gain points in. The problem is deciding how the system would implement to avoid people riding horses into the ground, having east and west coasters competing against each other, etc. It becomes difficult in implementation because of the vastness of the US.

PhoenixFarm
Jul. 10, 2012, 09:42 PM
I guess I'm just not following on what makes a culture of fear. You're right, with anything subjective, you can't say anything without consequences. I completely agree with that, which is why I'm hoping Sinead doesn't forget that. But life is like that too. Anytime you let your mouth run unedited, it could say something that displeases someone somewhere and result in issues.

However, I don't think that is fear based. It's common sense. The whole world operates on lies of omission so to say. In a marriage, would a man ever tell his pregnant wife "Your ankles look particularly thick today, don't they?" No, unless he is stupid. If he thinks it, but refrains from saying it, does that mean he is lying by omission? I say no.

Only children (and possibly some elderly) don't have any edit function on what they say. In order to function in society, you generally have to learn how to edit yourself.

I don't disagree with anything you posted here, I guess I just see the line in a different place. Someone with no filter who runs around saying "CMP is a right twat, and so-and-so's horse has an ankle held together with chewing gum and duct tape and only made the team because they're sleeping with [insert influential name here] should expect consequences. But you and I both know (and I do know who you are and where your perspective comes from--not to sound stalkerish, LOL) that the "consequences" occur for far, far less dramatic language than that.

And I know that one of the unsung hallmarks of a "good team member" is to keep it zipped and follow instructions, even to the potential detriment of the horse. The contract alone the owner's have to sign would take some long, hard thinking on my part. Let alone something in the heat of the moment.

I'm not saying "no filter". But if they can't discuss their experiences, and how things could be better, in an open, honest, forthright, and PUBLIC way, then there is a real problem.


I genuinely believe that everyone is trying their best to make the system work. If the team brings home medals, then the system works. That is the only goal of the system. The goal is not to give up and coming riders a chance, not to reward pairs that have been together for years, not to cater to the favorites of the public. The goal of the system is to put together a team of riders that has the best chance of winning medals, regardless of whether they bought or made the horse, regardless of whether they have a string or only one, regardless of anything.

Again, I agree with this. The problem is, they aren't--seemingly--achieving this goal. Because the selections made in recent memory would indicate that things like you list in your last sentence AREN'T being considered appropriately, and that the concerns I listed in my previous post are being given greater weight thatn the stated goal of "best team to medal, period. I'm not particularly freaking out about a pet rider of mine getting left off (I admire Allison and know her well enough to say hi, but I sadly felt the writing was on the wall for her sometime ago), or feeling like there has to be a specific type of story. But I just think there are criteria being put in the mix that have nothing to do with winning medals. I do not blame the selectors for this, I think it's much higher up.

We may very well medal these games. I don't feel despair over these pics, nor do I feel great about them. But it will take a great deal more luck than I am necessarily comfortable needing.

retreadeventer
Jul. 10, 2012, 09:56 PM
I think that in contrast to Hong Kong, there is much more of a focus on the equestrian sports in this Olympic venue, and therefore, I bet you're right, Heather, on the additional criteria.

starfish
Jul. 10, 2012, 11:13 PM
Again, I agree with this. The problem is, they aren't--seemingly--achieving this goal. Because the selections made in recent memory would indicate that things like you list in your last sentence AREN'T being considered appropriately, and that the concerns I listed in my previous post are being given greater weight thatn the stated goal of "best team to medal, period. I'm not particularly freaking out about a pet rider of mine getting left off (I admire Allison and know her well enough to say hi, but I sadly felt the writing was on the wall for her sometime ago), or feeling like there has to be a specific type of story. But I just think there are criteria being put in the mix that have nothing to do with winning medals. I do not blame the selectors for this, I think it's much higher up.

We may very well medal these games. I don't feel despair over these pics, nor do I feel great about them. But it will take a great deal more luck than I am necessarily comfortable needing.

I hear your concern, and I suppose my issue is that it is all a matter of perception - it isn't black and white. Let's say, for instance, that Mystery Whisper injures himself tomorrow. Everyone pretty much assumes that Phillip will remain on the team, and that Mighty Nice will replace him. Setting aside the bleeding issue, there would be a case to be made that Sinead/Tate should actually get that spot. Tate's record at the 4* level is superior to Mighty Nice's but not vastly so. If the selectors opt to stick with PD, you could conceivably make all sorts of accusations - that the selectors are picking him because he has a string, because he toes the party line, because he has numerous wealthy owners.

But at the end of the day, there would be an entirely reasonable if subjective rationale that doesn't involve the above considerations. Given that both have the potential to perform relatively similarly, and Mighty Nice is ridden by a veteran who has established he generally can be counted on under pressure...picking PD becomes a logical decision without all those additional factors. Which isn't to say that Sinead wouldn't withstand the pressure, just that she hasn't yet and PD has.

I suppose I'm just cautious about ascribing to the selectors all sorts of extra non-medal related criteria.

Newby
Jul. 11, 2012, 01:39 AM
Sinead points out that the bleeding issue is something she's investigated with vets and that they know how to control it.

Clearly, she wasn't wanted for the team.

I have zero idea what the situation is with the selectors but there was another odd incident of what looks like internecine warfare among those in charge. When Marilyn Little-Meredith withdrew from the short list, the Chronicle reported (http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/updated-marilyn-little-meredith-withdraws-olympic-short-list):



So there's evidence of discord and perhaps also a little backbiting. But then it's an Olympic year. :D

"This" is a question that requires answers! When will someone dig deep enough to find the answers to this! Somehting went on at Bromont that no one is speaking about, the horse was named then withdrawn very quickly and now was entered to run at Gatcombe.....was it really a soundness issue???think not

JER
Jul. 11, 2012, 02:28 AM
"This" is a question that requires answers! When will someone dig deep enough to find the answers to this! Somehting went on at Bromont that no one is speaking about, the horse was named then withdrawn very quickly and now was entered to run at Gatcombe.....was it really a soundness issue???think not

If something happened, then it happened.

So why not just say what it is?

We're all in this sport together. If you don't like a fear-based, rumour-cultivating, trades-in-gossip sport, then stop with the insinuations and hinting. But if that's what you prefer, then I totally understand why you wrote your post.

Almost every single one of us here is a USEF member. Most of us are adults. There is no sane reason to perpetuate this nonsense that allow the Team to be shrouded in fog and understood only by interpreting smoke signals from the Sistine Chapel. It's as if the word Team has an infantilizing effect on intelligent adults who'd never allow this degree of opacity in their working lives.

Robby Johnson
Jul. 11, 2012, 10:09 AM
Eagle's calling, and he's calling your name!

bornfreenowexpensive
Jul. 11, 2012, 10:22 AM
I hear your concern, and I suppose my issue is that it is all a matter of perception - it isn't black and white. Let's say, for instance, that Mystery Whisper injures himself tomorrow. Everyone pretty much assumes that Phillip will remain on the team, and that Mighty Nice will replace him. Setting aside the bleeding issue, there would be a case to be made that Sinead/Tate should actually get that spot. Tate's record at the 4* level is superior to Mighty Nice's but not vastly so.


I actually think MN is a better show jumper than Tate so I think I would still put him ahead...with a solid rider like Phillip on him. In the end, to me it looked like they picked the more consistent show jumpers that can also do well in dressage and are not gigantic risks around a solid 3* or soft 4*. I understand that reasoning....and just hope that they all get around clean xc.

If *I* was riding around that track...personally, I'd want to be stiting on either Tate or Shiraz but then that isn't how I would pick a team either;)

JP60
Jul. 11, 2012, 10:55 AM
Ah money, its stink can now reach even unto the hallowed halls of Eventing. After reading the Aussie news links about dressage I find that once again the USA is just not in the same caliper as Australia. We're all about subtleties, innuendos, and obfuscations while their fans just rip it out old school.



Sarah Yeomans said Equestrian Australia has ‘‘no credibility & assumes its members are voiceless idiots!’’
Now that's a statement.

I feel that Sinead should be Sinead, be true to who she is and how she feels. Life is bigger then the Olympics. Given the subjective nature of the selection process, she could sh#t on a selector this year and four years later be the queen. Rather live and be in today then worry about tomorrow.

My view again is that subjective selection reduces the value of what the Olympics represents (best of the best) and has come to be a Survivor like game of politics, backdoor deals and money. Some folks here think that is okay, I don't. It is said that objective is a bad way to choose because of the variable of eventing, and yet look what we got now. Nothing pretty from the cheap seats and lots of speculation.

Every athlete, human or otherwise runs the risk of injury each and every day they train. Our anointed team is one slip, one pasture/stall moment away from not making it to the big show so how does that compare to an objective list. Overwork of horses? Yet Europe runs multiple 4*s/3*s and their horses seem quite up to the task come O day. They also narrow team choices way further out which makes sense to me.

If a sport needs a selection committee to determine who/what gets to go then it should be questioned as to whether it belongs in the Olympics. We don't choose our best, we choose things like High Risk or competent..."Hey Joe, you're on the team not because you're the best, but just consistent or crazy enough to beat WFP", and let go those who clearly show more skill and all around capability. This does not make the Olympics about the best of the best, it makes it about who's got game. Why are we here?

If I have to root for a team it will be Canada or Sweden. Nothing connects me to the US team.
I will of course cheer for individuals and countries like
Jamaica, Austria, Thailand because I think it is cool they are fielding Eventers
I would have cheered for Boyd had he ridden Neville, but now...yeah, but not as much heart

I got interested in Eventing just before Hong Kong so missed any of the broohaha that may have occurred back then regarding "the team". What I did see were amazing *individuals* challenging themselves and their horse. I didn't give a crap about some "team", I cared about Becky, Gina, Amy, and Phillip (wow, men really do ride horses). Even as a US citizen I did not care aobut this idea of trying to win a "team" medal, because I was already learning that eventing is not a team sport, it is an individuals sport with wonderful cooperation amongst riders. The Olympics, in my view, tarnish that view with all the drama of subjective selection. Eventing is about one horse, one rider, a lot of tears and tons of heart.

Gracington
Jul. 11, 2012, 12:07 PM
My apologies if this has been covered previously, but who are the people on the selection committee?

Jealoushe
Jul. 11, 2012, 12:23 PM
They should do an American Idol type selection for 2 spots. Take the people that qualify and then have the "audience" vote for the remaining spots.

LOL joking...but I mean, would it be that far fetched?

PhoenixFarm
Jul. 11, 2012, 12:37 PM
I hear your concern, and I suppose my issue is that it is all a matter of perception - it isn't black and white. Let's say, for instance, that Mystery Whisper injures himself tomorrow. Everyone pretty much assumes that Phillip will remain on the team, and that Mighty Nice will replace him. Setting aside the bleeding issue, there would be a case to be made that Sinead/Tate should actually get that spot. Tate's record at the 4* level is superior to Mighty Nice's but not vastly so. If the selectors opt to stick with PD, you could conceivably make all sorts of accusations - that the selectors are picking him because he has a string, because he toes the party line, because he has numerous wealthy owners.

But at the end of the day, there would be an entirely reasonable if subjective rationale that doesn't involve the above considerations. Given that both have the potential to perform relatively similarly, and Mighty Nice is ridden by a veteran who has established he generally can be counted on under pressure...picking PD becomes a logical decision without all those additional factors. Which isn't to say that Sinead wouldn't withstand the pressure, just that she hasn't yet and PD has.

I suppose I'm just cautious about ascribing to the selectors all sorts of extra non-medal related criteria.

Again, I agree with everything written here, but Phillip is sorta the low hanging fruit [OK, WTF autocorrect, that just got changed to thong hanging fruit:eek::lol:], you know what I mean? The man is one of the most consistent CCI**** riders in the world, and has been for a decade. I certainly don't question his place on the team, even if the wonder horse gets hurt, because time and again, the man has proven he. gets. it. done. (Which is also the reason he has the owners, the string, etc.).

It gets a lot more murky when you are discussing those last several spots, and ESPECIALLY when discussing training lists (I know this thread was specifically about Sinead, but I'm thinking bigger picture here). That's where to me the head scratching gets a bit more, um, intense.

As an aside, to touch back on how much team stuff can and should be discussed: There was a recent kerfluffle in jumper land, when Margie Engle, co-winner of the selection trials, got left off the team. She gave what I felt was an honest and forthright interview where she said (paraphrasing) that she was under the impression that the selection trials results would carry more weight in the final selection, and that all of the observation trials would be viewed on equal footing, when it appears that the selection trials didn't carry much weight afterall, and that results at Spruce Meadows (which she didn't attend) ended up making the most difference.

She got flamed like a whore in church and ended up retracting her statements. She never said, "Those bastards screwed me." She DID say that she felt communication from the selectors hadn't been clear on several important points, and that she felt that it could have been handled better/differently.

Now, if someone of Margie's status can't say in public, "Hey, I think they could have done a better job explaining what they really wanted us to do (vs just giving them the guidelines and saying good luck) with out getting squashed, then what chance does anybody have?

Maybe Margie just screwed up and made bad choices (though the few interviews I've done with her she always struck me as being sharp as a tack and not one to leave stuff to chance), or maybe there were the criteria, and then there were the real criteria? Maybe the real criteria didn't get explained well. Maybe that was intentional, and maybe it just means they need to revisit their communications with their listed riders.

A rider voicing complaints or concerns about how something within the system was handled shouldn't be automatically viewed as them throwing anyone under the bus or sour grapes. If the people living it have a perspective, it should be voiced.

PrettyBayMare
Jul. 11, 2012, 02:20 PM
After reading Equestrian Australia's press release that *sort of* explains the lack of selection of dressage rider Hayley Beresford, and their subsequent press release that names someone (anyone??) other than Hayley as their reserve rider our eventing selection process looks pretty good.

While I'm really disappointed in Sinead not making our eventing team I am so thankful that we don't look like Australia right now and that our process doesn't carry the strong scent of mean-spirited-ness.

tle
Jul. 11, 2012, 02:28 PM
If a sport needs a selection committee to determine who/what gets to go then it should be questioned as to whether it belongs in the Olympics. We don't choose our best, we choose things like High Risk or competent..."Hey Joe, you're on the team not because you're the best, but just consistent or crazy enough to beat WFP", and let go those who clearly show more skill and all around capability. This does not make the Olympics about the best of the best, it makes it about who's got game. Why are we here?

So here's a thought I just had as to why we need a selection committee.

Yes, here in the states we have ACCESS to be able to fly overseas and compete against the biggest and brightest from other countries... just like they have ACCESS to come here. Not to mention how MANY events there are over there compared to here, at that level. Can our riders REALISTICALLY compete, head to head, for team spots without having to go overseas? Would there be enough events to showcase them? And if there are, then what about those that do go overseas -- would their additional experience count for anything? That's subjective but if you go head to head with WFP 4 times at the 3/4* level (not to mention the experience of other courses and course designers) because you spent the $$ to go overseas, then shouldn't that count for something? And if it does, how does that NOT then allow for the sport at the Team level to become NOTHING but a contest of who has the deepest pockets available to them? If it doesn't count for anything, why would anyone bother spending THOUSANDS more than they already do (other than bragging rights)?

I'm not up on what the USEF provides in terms of training grants and whatnot so maybe this is all covered and all our POTENTIAL team members this year have the same overseas experience so it's all a moot point and could be done objectively.

JER
Jul. 11, 2012, 02:35 PM
Can our riders REALISTICALLY compete, head to head, for team spots without having to go overseas?

The Germans do quite well on the world stage by preparing mostly at home. Michael Jung has never done Badminton or Burghley.

ponysize
Jul. 11, 2012, 03:37 PM
I think a selection committee is good, but I don't like that we've had some of the same committee members, games after games. That lends to too much bias. There are some sports where you can't have a completely objective selection process, but there does need to be some objectivity to it. That's one of the reasons I kinda like the show jumping selections. Some slots are filled objectively, some subjectively. Gymnastics is the same way. The trials winner gets a guaranteed spot, and they usually take the next few highest places, but they leave some room on the team to fill in with someone who may have been injured and couldn't compete at the trials or for a specialist, etc.

I don't see why eventing couldn't use Rolex as the trials. Give the top 2 finishers a guaranteed spot on the team, let the committee determine the rest.

tle
Jul. 11, 2012, 03:48 PM
The Germans do quite well on the world stage by preparing mostly at home. Michael Jung has never done Badminton or Burghley.

Quick google indicated that in 2009 alone Michael competed (and won) at no less than Luhmuhlen, the European Championships at Fontainebleau and the World Cup final in Poland.... NONE are in the same country. I don't think that qualifies as competing "mostly at home." Granted, he probably travelled for those 3 events alone less than some of our west coast based riders at that level, but thus my point/question/comment. We don't have the NUMBER of events, without EXTENSIVE ($$$) travelling to be able to judge strictly objectively... do we?

JER
Jul. 11, 2012, 04:16 PM
Luhmuhlen is in Germany. Those other two competitions you mentioned are season-ending championships/finals.

The World Cup series has several venues in Germany like Marbach, Aachen and Schenefeld. Earn enough points at those, and you can go to the final, wherever it is.

I agree that some of our riders do have to travel more within the US to get to events. But I don't agree that geography is an excuse for US lack of competitiveness on the global stage.

In the 70s and 80s, when the US was consistently up in the team standings at Olympics and WCs, there were not a whole lot of overseas expeditions. There wasn't even a 4* in the US at the time.

Put another way, I don't think Mike Plumb would subscribe to your theory. :)

tle
Jul. 11, 2012, 04:33 PM
I don't think you can compare eventing in the Mike Plumb era with eventing today. Apples and Oranges IMHO. Whether or not we as a group/sport feel our Team athletes HAVE to compete overseas or whether the selection process can objectively exist outside the influences of the experience that competing overseas (or that of simply being a veteran rider) is the question. It has been implied that KOC and even PD have a better chance of making the team with ANY Advanced horse than a non-Team experienced, up and coming rider with the same caliber horse. I'm not sure a completely objective system CAN exist because there ARE too many minute variables.

You have Rider A -- a KOC/PD Team veteran type with an ok Advanced level horse that finished 10th at Rolex.... and Rider B -- an up and coming younger rider with ZERO Team or european competition experience with an ok Advanced level horse that finished 8th at Rolex. This may be a "unicorn" hypothetical that would never exist, but the question should be asked of any system. I certainly woudl give the nod to the veteran rider at a Team competition (the up and coming one might get the nod for an overseas competition/training grant over the veteran in this case, but not for an event where medals are on the line). But an objective system based PURELY on results would give a different answer.

At best, the system could be changed to a mixed objective/subjective system. But I think coming up with a purely objective selection process is as much a pipe dream as thinking no one is going to be upset with the purely subjective one we have now. Whether the mixed system would yeild better back -end results (aka medals) is another story.

Robby Johnson
Jul. 11, 2012, 04:41 PM
Not sure if it's been answered yet, but I believe someone asked over the past few pages for the list of USEF High Performance Eventing Selectors.

http://www.usef.org/documents/highPerformance/eventing/SelectorMemo.pdf

Mike Huber, Chairman
Bea DiGrazia, Member
Kerry Millikin, Member
Julie Richards, Member and Eligible Athlete
Ann Taylor, European Observer
Mark Weissbecker, Member

Robby Johnson
Jul. 11, 2012, 04:46 PM
The only honest ones are the horses, and they ain't talkin'.

PREACH!

Best sentence I've read all year.

Lord Helpus
Jul. 11, 2012, 06:31 PM
Wait! You mean that Mark Phillips is NOT on the selection committee????:eek:

What happened to all the sturm und drang over on the Mark Phillips - Lauren Hough thread?!?!

There were PAGES written about the injustice of having MP on the selection committee.

:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

It would be funny of it weren't so sad.

Now that the ACTUAL selectors have been discovered, which one(s) do you all think are either crazy or on the take (meaning that they vote for the riders who are supported by the big buck sponsors)?

Which one(s) of them had it in for Sinead? Let's get down to particulars. To everyone who thinks there is some sort of conspiracy against her, which selectors are part of it?

JER
Jul. 11, 2012, 06:54 PM
Wait! You mean that Mark Phillips is NOT on the selection committee????:eek:

Maybe this is a surprise to you? This is not a surprise to most people here, at least not to those who participate in the sport and in these discussions.


What happened to all the sturm und drang over on the Mark Phillips - Lauren Hough thread?!?!

There were PAGES written about the injustice of having MP on the selection committee.

No, there weren't. I suggest you go back and read it. The complaint was the CMP was the chef d'equipe of the US eventing team and that he'd hired his mistress as show jumping coach. That is unethical in any known universe except yours, judging by your posts on that thread.


:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

It would be funny of it weren't so sad.

Why do you have such unrelenting disdain for eventers? You seem to love to wag your finger at everyone on this forum, even when it's quite clear that you have no idea what you're talking about.

goodmorning
Jul. 11, 2012, 07:05 PM
Well, if the caption holds any truth:

http://eventingnation.com/home/london-selection-predictions-too-many-good-options-for-the-usa.html

ponysize
Jul. 11, 2012, 09:53 PM
It has been implied that KOC and even PD have a better chance of making the team with ANY Advanced horse than a non-Team experienced, up and coming rider with the same caliber horse. I'm not sure a completely objective system CAN exist because there ARE too many minute variables.

You have Rider A -- a KOC/PD Team veteran type with an ok Advanced level horse that finished 10th at Rolex.... and Rider B -- an up and coming younger rider with ZERO Team or european competition experience with an ok Advanced level horse that finished 8th at Rolex. This may be a "unicorn" hypothetical that would never exist, but the question should be asked of any system. I certainly woudl give the nod to the veteran rider at a Team competition (the up and coming one might get the nod for an overseas competition/training grant over the veteran in this case, but not for an event where medals are on the line).

How do you ever expect to create "new" veterens if preference is always given to "old" vets?

Trak_Eventer
Jul. 11, 2012, 10:18 PM
Not sure if it's been answered yet, but I believe someone asked over the past few pages for the list of USEF High Performance Eventing Selectors.

http://www.usef.org/documents/highPerformance/eventing/SelectorMemo.pdf

Mike Huber, Chairman
Bea DiGrazia, Member
Kerry Millikin, Member
Julie Richards, Member and Eligible Athlete
Ann Taylor, European Observer
Mark Weissbecker, Member

I know most of the names on this list, but it would be interesting to know there direct connections to eventing at the UL right now. Several I know, but I don't know Ann Taylor or Mark Weissbecker.

Beam Me Up
Jul. 11, 2012, 10:25 PM
Mark W was a pretty big time UL/CCI**** eventer in the 90s from Mass. I think he was in contention for Atlanta?

I don't know Ann Taylor either.

CSU92
Jul. 11, 2012, 11:37 PM
Ann Hardaway

http://www.flickr.com/photos/11960375@N04/2812722684/

Napoles
Jul. 12, 2012, 05:36 AM
As I understand it, Tate doesn't bleed like a racehorse and no you can't use Salix in Eventing.

Yes, I understood it to be simply a burst blood vessel in his nose rather than pulmonery bleeding. I have one horse to whom the same thing has happened three times in the 6 years I have had him.

He is prone to allergic reactions and sensitivites to a number of things. He is also a chestnut Selle Francais incidentally, but there the similarities end! :lol:

Each time he had a nosebleed was on cross country and usually on hot, dusty days. The amount was tiny and one wipe of a sponge would remove it. The vets I consulted on the subject were unconcerned and concluded that it was simply a slightly weak blood vessel in his left nostril which broke while he was galloping and breathing more heavily.

Incidentally a product called Callophyll sorted the problem and he hasn't had one in two years. http://www.orchardequestrian.com/Su-Per-PulmoShield-Formerly-Calophyll-4lb.html

However, I can understand how even such a slight problem would give selectors pause because spectators and TV viewers around the world would be up in arms if they were to see a horse galloping around the Olympic cross country with blood in his nose.
It's a tough one. :(

VicariousRider
Jul. 12, 2012, 08:18 AM
Here's what I've found:
An article from 2010 (http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/taking-secrets-out-eventing-team-selection) from COTH on this exact topic.

It's worth noting that we have no idea how they really make decisions - ie: do they recuse themselves, etc.?

IMHO these people all appear to be well-versed in UL competitions and have experienced the highs and lows of what that entails. I doubt they take their decisions lightly.

Mike Huber, Chairman
http://www.goldchipstables.com/mikehuber.html
-Former USEA President, USEF High Performance Chaiman
-He appears to run his business with Heather Morris (rider of Slate River)
-Based in Texas
"Mike Huber has been a member of the United States Equestrian Team since 1978, where he finished 13th in the World Championships. He was a member of the 1980 Olympic Team and won the individual Gold Medal at the 1987 Pan American Games, leading the Team to a Gold Medal. In addition, Mike represented the U.S. at both the 1990 and 1994 World Equestrian Games."

Bea DiGrazia, Member
Stillwater Farm (http://digrazia.net/index.html)
-Based in Carmel Valley, CA
-Married to Derek DiGrazia - an accomplished eventer in his own right and designer of many x-c courses: Most notably Fair Hill 3*, Bromont 3* and Rolex (past 2 years).
-Bea's maiden name is "Perkins" and her sister, Beth Perkins, is an accomplished eventer who rode Sal Dali at Rolex this year. Beth's career highlights include being: " the youngest member ever selected for the United States Equestrian Team bringing home the Gold Medal from the 1975 Pan American Games in Mexico City. Beth also placed sixth in the World Championships in Burghley England."
- Bea and Derek met while working for Jimmy Wofford. They also rode with Jack LeGoff.
- Bea has extensive experience competing at 4*s in Europe.
- Derek's bio indicates that he knows the pain of the selection process with a horse not getting on a team due to soundness issues.
- Tiana Coudray trained with Bea and Derek up until a few years ago.

Kerry Millikin, Member
- Does not have a large web presence.
- The following comes from this site (http://www.horsechannel.com/horse-exclusives/olympic-moments.aspx): "Kerry Millikin of Pine Plains, N.Y., won the three-day eventing individual bronze medal in 1996 (Atlanta) with Out and About, a Thoroughbred gelding owned by Millikin.... After Atlanta, Millikin and Out and About went on to place 7th at the Open European Championships at Burghley (England) in 1997, and won team bronze at the World Games in 1998 (Rome), finishing as the highest-placed Americans on that team. In 1999, the pair finished third at the prestigious Badminton CCI**** three-day event."
- When she won her bronze medal she was working as a nurse (http://articles.latimes.com/1996-07-27/news/ss-28597_1_bronze-medal).

Julie Richards, Member and Eligible Athlete
- Competitive bio. (http://www.womenssportsnet.com/EditModule.aspx?tabid=161&mid=1605&def=News%20Article%20View&ItemId=4737)
- Located in Atlanta, GA.
- Owned Connaught before he was sold to Phillip Dutton's owners.

Ann Taylor, European Observer
- Based in England where she and her husband run Washbrook Farm - Home of the prestigious Aston-le-Walls (http://aston-le-walls.co.uk/) event.
- Rode in the 1988 Seoul Olympics

Mark Weissbecker, Member
http://markweissbecker.com (http://markweissbecker.com/index.htm)
- Based in Western MA and Southern Pines
- "His accomplishments include placing third at the Rolex Kentucky CCI****, placing eighth at the Burghley CCI**** and winning the USET Fall 3-Day Championships at Fair Hill in 1994 and again in 1998. Mark has represented the U.S. in the Open European Championships in England as a member the USET/USEF Team and was short-listed for the U.S. Olympic Team for Atlanta in 1996."
- "Mark has had the privilege of training under the likes of Jack LeGoff and Capt. Mark Phillips thanks to his involvement with the USET and USEF teams"

NeverTime
Jul. 12, 2012, 08:48 AM
Um, VicariousRider, arent you supposed to be studying right now?!? :winkgrin:

tle
Jul. 12, 2012, 08:56 AM
How do you ever expect to create "new" veterens if preference is always given to "old" vets?

Doesn't that prove the point about how objective only selection isn't going to be the answer? My example ONLY works at all if you ONLY look at that pairing, and not include the decision into how the selected Team works as a whole.... what their individual strengths/weaknesses are and who complimented whom. Yet another reason why objective only won't work.

ponysize
Jul. 12, 2012, 09:13 AM
Doesn't that prove the point about how objective only selection isn't going to be the answer? My example ONLY works at all if you ONLY look at that pairing, and not include the decision into how the selected Team works as a whole.... what their individual strengths/weaknesses are and who complimented whom. Yet another reason why objective only won't work.

No it doesn't. And no one was saying it should be entirely objective, but it should be clearer to those competing for spots, how the team is chosen and what they need to do to show they should be selected.

The 17 year old Reed Kessler for show jumping probably wouldn't be on the team if it weren't for her grabbing an objective spot---she outperformed everyone in the selection trials. On the flip side, she's green. She doesn't have "a lot" of experience at the senior level as compared to most of the people she beat out in the trials. Should someone with more experience have taken her spot? Your post implied you'd be in favor of that.

tle
Jul. 12, 2012, 09:28 AM
In a situation where you were looking for a Team competition, yes I do think WITH ALL ELSE BEING EQUAL, the subjectivity of experience should play a factor in selection for the team.

VicariousRider
Jul. 12, 2012, 09:32 AM
Um, VicariousRider, arent you supposed to be studying right now?!? :winkgrin:

YUP!

But a girl's got to take a break... Right??? :eek::lol:

ETA: If you only knew how long I've been up studying the break would seem more appropriate. xo

vineyridge
Jul. 12, 2012, 09:41 AM
The European Championships are a CCI3*; the World Cup Final is a CIC 3*. But when Jung did WEG, I think we'll all agree that the course was a 4* course, and he did win Luhmuhlen. So, except for Luhmuhlen in 2009 or 2010, he's done exactly one other 4*.

Keeping home and not doing any 4*s except on the home course might have bit the Germans in the butt at WEG 2010 or it might not have. It's just a totally different way of preparing and selecting their teams.

JP60
Jul. 12, 2012, 09:42 AM
In a situation where you were looking for a Team competition, yes I do think WITH ALL ELSE BEING EQUAL, the subjectivity of experience should play a factor in selection for the team.
I see, for you to get a job you need experience, but since you don't have experience you can't get a job.

What the hell does subjectivity of experience even mean? You think Sinead will just fall apart while PD sticks his chin out and says "bring it on".

This is not war, it is competition and anyone capable of riding at the Olympics has already put some miles between their but and their saddle. Colleen Rutledge and her horse tear up the joint in Germany while one of our "subjective experienced" riders falls at Barbary. I think it was KOC or Mary King who had stops in Hong Kong and withdrew...subjectivity of experience is horse poop. It is about getting the job done.

If a young rider routinely tops these "experienced" riders then that is who I'd want going to the games. No one should be anointed just because they've been around a while or it's their last hurrah.

tle
Jul. 12, 2012, 10:16 AM
JP... try putting away the chip on your shoulder and the sarcasm and read what I wrote... specifically the CAPS portion.... ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL. Meaning that if 2 riders are on equally experienced, equally performing, equally sound horses and have equally impressive results and equally demanding events AND there is no specific TEAM reason to choose one over the other (ie: we need a horse that does X exceptionally well because it will balance the rest of the team)... then yes, I would give the selection FOR THE TEAM to the rider who has been around longer and dealt with that kind of pressure against those (world wide excellent) kind of riders. Not saying the non-Team veteran couldn't very well pull it out, but they are, in THAT very specific environment, an "unknown". My comment is strictly based on how 2 riders CAN get the job done and if their results are the same, then subjectivity SHOULD play a part.

GotSpots
Jul. 12, 2012, 10:18 AM
YUP!

But a girl's got to take a break... Right??? :eek::lol:

ETA: If you only knew how long I've been up studying the break would seem more appropriate. xo Just remember that this one's graded on a curve! Two weeks left, right?

Ghazzu
Jul. 12, 2012, 10:21 AM
Re: method of selectiong a team: After Debby Dolan sued the USET for being left off the 1988(?) Olympic team, the USET changed the criteria to a completely objective one. It was a disaster.

Amen!

bornfreenowexpensive
Jul. 12, 2012, 10:42 AM
Mark W was a pretty big time UL/CCI**** eventer in the 90s from Mass. I think he was in contention for Atlanta?

I don't know Ann Taylor either.


All the selectors are very experienced eventers and still actively invovled in the sport--both nationally and internationally.

CMP may not be a selector....but he does have their ear and they do consider his opinion of riders/horses/team (as they should---whether you like him or not, the team coach's opinion should be considered by selectors)....and the opinion of many others.

I would not want that job for the world.

Someone posted how to you make new veteren team members....easy, you put them on teams at events less important than the WEG, Championship or Olympics. Young Riders have teams to give a start to "team" pressures and experience. Pan Am games...plus there are many other international events that have both official and unoffical team competitions. You get them on the training lists and developing rider lists...fund grants to compete at the larger events which have more pressure and atmospere. And those riders with drive...do what it takes themselves to get that experience and do not wait or expect it to be handed to them.


But for the big competitions...you put the best horses and riders you can together considering more subjective factors such as can that rider handle the pressure of the big competition. And the more experienced riders who have shown time and time and time again that they can...will (and should) have a significant leg up.

Just as in ANY profession--no matter how good young lawyer is...the more experienced one will get the tap on the shoulder to handle the high pressure situation and smaller transactions/cases will be give to the less experienced lawyer until they have proven themselves. And proving oneself takes TIME.

snoopy
Jul. 12, 2012, 11:06 AM
Re: method of selectiong a team: After Debby Dolan sued the USET for being left off the 1988(?) Olympic team, the USET changed the criteria to a completely objective one. It was a disaster. IIRC, a horse who should have been the first one named slipped on takeoff at a water jump and incurred enough fauts that he was not on the team. It was a travesty to leave that horse off but their was no wiggle room. There was also no need for selectors since the selection process was 100% objective.



If you are referring to 1992 then go back to page 3 post 56.
An entirely objective selection process was not only to blame for that team's performance. It need not have been a "disaster".

JP60
Jul. 12, 2012, 11:20 AM
...
But for the big competitions...you put the best horses and riders you can together considering more subjective factors such as can that rider handle the pressure of the big competition. And the more experienced riders who have shown time and time and time again that they can...will (and should) have a significant leg up. .
In competition there is no "should", there is performance and results. While I certainly agree that completely inexperienced riders need time in the saddle before tackling the big shows. Nothing at that level of riding or eventing need be considered "lesser" and I'll stand on my statement that any younger rider that consistently out performs the "experienced" rider at top events has proven capable at riding any event and any level. In fact, I'd say they would be the better choice for it would not be as "common" and they may put much more effort for excellence.

"experience" in pressure means little if you still fall off or your horse blows up in dressage for no reason. As I recall, MLM was the first rider to complete the course at Rolex with at least three "experienced" riders not getting to the finish. This is not a chip, it is frustration at people who cry foul at a biased selection process, yet advocate the selection process is the only way to go. I do agree that more could be done to help up and coming riders with better training options/support and more opportunities to compete globally. Yet were this to happen and a biased selection process is kept then the incentive and the hope to make "the team" is pushed down.

tle
Jul. 12, 2012, 11:25 AM
But the example you used, the inexperienced rider that consistently outperforms the veteran, is not the same as the example I used... where both pairs perform equally. In your example, I would also select the inexperienced rider. In my example, I still stand by the veteran. 2 totally different situations.

bornfreenowexpensive
Jul. 12, 2012, 11:26 AM
If you are referring to 1992 then go back to page 3 post 56.
An entirely objective selection process was not only to blame for that team's performance. It need not have been a "disaster".

I assumed they were referring the the completely objective system that was in place for the 1992 Games....and caused us to leave Gem Twist at home in his prime.....everyone was laughing at us for leaving at home one of the best SJ horses in the world at that time because the the "Objective" selection process.

bornfreenowexpensive
Jul. 12, 2012, 11:34 AM
As I recall, MLM was the first rider to complete the course at Rolex with at least three "experienced" riders not getting to the finish.


Erin Sylvester finished under the time either right before MLM or around then---she was the first rider to make the time (on her horse's first 4* too). Kate Hicks had time but a smooth beautiful trip also as a rookie on her horse's first 4*---and was competitive after dressage. Both developed their horses to this level, jumped around on Sunday and finished in the top 15. Neither rider is on any lists....but are putting themselves out there, getting the experience. That is what rookies should do. That was Rolex...and yes, MLM did well but she was not the only rookie to do well and in fact...I think these two looked better to me. But they don't quite have MLM's financial backing---and were not in contention for the team. I personally wouldn't have considered MLM for the eventing team this year....for the future, possibly.


But pressure in a team competition is VERY different than pressure in a competition. If you speak with any who have gone through the process...or seen what just going through the process does to them, you would understand. Just because someone finishes higher at a HT...or normal competition is NOT the same thing, nor should be given the same weight as someone riding on a team.

This is just my opinion....based on my experiences knowing many making the run for teams, working for the former Cheif d'equipe Frank Chapot for SJ and just seeing how the inner aspects work. Are there some politics involved....not as much as you think. The real politics and head scrating to me is NOT in the naming of the teams....but is in who gets put on what training lists. However, in the end, the training lists really don't mean as much as people seem to think they do. If a lesser known rider--not a veteren--does do consistently well in top company (NOT just on placing but how their riding and competition really went)---and has a sound horse, they are generally not completely ignored.

JER
Jul. 12, 2012, 11:38 AM
everyone was laughing at us for leaving at home one of the best SJ horses in the world at that time because the the "Objective" selection process.

But also remember that in 1988, GB had to leave the very best showjumper in the world at home due to their subjective selection process.

Having been snubbed by the team earlier in her career, Caroline Bradley wanted nothing to do with them, and after she died, her parents chose to follow her wishes with Milton.

fooler
Jul. 12, 2012, 11:47 AM
LeGoff was released/retired from 3Day coach in 1984 in large part because he had his core team of Davidson, Plumb, Torrance and Wofford. You had to hope they were unhorsed and/or right like crazy - as in Karen Stives. There were 'selection trials' where you were watched - BUT the team slots belonged to a select few and were theirs to lose - not yours to win.

Some 30 years later, it is the same. We have core team members and only a few opportunities for new blood.

Looking at the results in 1984, Team Gold, Individual Silver, 4th and 10th place - subjective.
To 1988, Team did not finish, best finish was 10th place - objective.
Since then it has been a blend of objective and subjective - has resulted in Team and/or Individual medals in all but 1992 Olympics (IIRC).

Face it - I can't remember any team that "Everyone" was totally happy with. The best we can do is to make certain the selectors know we are watching so they do the best they can. Knowing that as humans errors will be made and hindsight is 20/20.

VicariousRider
Jul. 12, 2012, 12:16 PM
Just remember that this one's graded on a curve! Two weeks left, right?

10 days, actually...

Oh jeez... I'm outta here. GAAAAAAHH!!!

Janet
Jul. 17, 2012, 11:45 AM
COTH summary of the selectors.
http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/taking-secrets-out-eventing-team-selection?page=3

Kerry had her own issues with the selection process.



Better Know A Selector
Mike Huber—Chairman
Age 50, Bartonville, Texas
Huber hit the U.S. team scene in 1978, when he finished 13th at the World Championships in Kentucky. He went on to ride on the 1980 Alternate Olympic Games (France) team and won individual and team gold at the 1987 Pan American Games (Ind.). Huber also represented the United States at the World Equestrian Games in 1990 (Sweden) and 1994 (the Netherlands). He’s a former president of the U.S. Combined Training Association and former chairman of the USEF Eventing High Performance Committee.
Bea di Grazia—Member
Age 52, Carmel Valley, Calif.
Di Grazia trained with legendary U.S. coach Jack Le Goff in the late 1970s and early ’80s and competed in Europe at top events such as Badminton (England), Burghley (England), Boekelo (the Netherlands) and Luhmühlen (Germany).
Kerry Millikin—Member
Age 47, Millbrook, N.Y.
After an up-and-down history with the team in the 1980s (see our full-length story in the Aug. 6 Eventing Issue of The Chronicle of the Horse), Millikin earned individual bronze at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and team bronze at the 1998 World Equestrian Games in Rome, in addition to team gold at the 1999 Pan American Games in Winnipeg. That year she also placed third at the Badminton CCI**** (England).
Mark Weissbecker—Member
Age 56, Richmond, Mass.
Weissbecker represented the United States in the 1997 Open European Championships (England) and was short-listed for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games team. He placed in the top 10 at the Rolex Kentucky, Badminton and Burghley CCI****s and won the Fair Hill CCI*** (Md.) twice.
Julie Richards—Member and Eligible Athlete
Age 39, Atlanta, Ga.
Richards’ membership on the selection committee satisfies the U.S. Olympic Committee’s mandate to have active athlete representation (meaning she’s represented the United States within the past 10 years). Richards rode at the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games in Sydney and Athens, respectively. In 2004, she was part of the bronze-medal team. She also placed fifth at Rolex Kentucky CCI that spring.
Ann Taylor—European Observer
Age 52, Daventry, Northants, Great Britain
Taylor, who represented the United States at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, has long been based in Great Britain and competed in every major three-day event there through the four-star level. She serves as the selection committee’s European observer, reporting on how U.S. riders perform abroad, but she doesn’t vote in the selection process.

fooler
Jul. 17, 2012, 12:23 PM
COTH summary of the selectors.
http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/taking-secrets-out-eventing-team-selection?page=3

Kerry had her own issues with the selection process.

Yeah this was objective selection as in anyone wishing to be the 1988 team "HAD TO COMPLETE X number of Selection Trials PLUS ROLEX". That was a requirement stated in the letter sent to all long listed individuals. Also this resulted in the first or one of the first 'legal' actions to earn a spot on the team.
Kerry was unable to complete Rolex due to a non-displaced broken leg. I saw this as she was stabled next to our rider. So she sued to be on the team based on her record in 1987 where she won Rolex and Chesterland LF on the same horse in the same year - something no one ever did before or after.
The suit went to arbitration and was disallowed.

Whether she should have been on the team or not is up for discussion. As it was, our team did not finish and the best US placing was 10th.

IFG
Jul. 17, 2012, 12:33 PM
Yeah this was objective selection as in anyone wishing to be the 1988 team "HAD TO COMPLETE X number of Selection Trials PLUS ROLEX". That was a requirement stated in the letter sent to all long listed individuals. Also this resulted in the first or one of the first 'legal' actions to earn a spot on the team.
Kerry was unable to complete Rolex due to a non-displaced broken leg. I saw this as she was stabled next to our rider. So she sued to be on the team based on her record in 1987 where she won Rolex and Chesterland LF on the same horse in the same year - something no one ever did before or after.
The suit went to arbitration and was disallowed.

Whether she should have been on the team or not is up for discussion. As it was, our team did not finish and the best US placing was 10th.

Watching the Olympic Eventing in 1988 was depressing, one US catastrophe after another. Kerry Milliken had far the best horses in The Pirate and HMS Dash, but the objective selection left her off the team.

pwynnnorman
Jul. 18, 2012, 05:50 AM
No it doesn't. And no one was saying it should be entirely objective, but it should be clearer to those competing for spots, how the team is chosen and what they need to do to show they should be selected.

The 17 year old Reed Kessler for show jumping probably wouldn't be on the team if it weren't for her grabbing an objective spot---she outperformed everyone in the selection trials. On the flip side, she's green. She doesn't have "a lot" of experience at the senior level as compared to most of the people she beat out in the trials. Should someone with more experience have taken her spot? Your post implied you'd be in favor of that.

I'm surprised that more folks haven't compared the situation to Reed Kessler's. (I did a search and found only three posts referring to it).

I was very surprised that Kessler made the Show Jumping team, given her lack of experience, but at the same time, I was pleased she did -- even more so now that I've learned she did so via an "objective" criteria. I see it as an instant "underdog-superdog" story that could really benefit the team in terms of publicity/promotion (and if she bombs, it's also an instant excuse, I suppose!).

Has anyone who was part of the team selection process for eventing provided an evaluation or explanation of that process to date? I think it would be interesting to hear how eventers consider an "objective slot" for team selection.

bornfreenowexpensive
Jul. 18, 2012, 06:35 AM
I'm surprised that more folks haven't compared the situation to Reed Kessler's. (I did a search and found only three posts referring to it).

I was very surprised that Kessler made the Show Jumping team, given her lack of experience, but at the same time, I was pleased she did -- even more so now that I've learned she did so via an "objective" criteria. I see it as an instant "underdog-superdog" story that could really benefit the team in terms of publicity/promotion (and if she bombs, it's also an instant excuse, I suppose!).


Not sure what to compare to Reed? She is very young but does have quite a bit of international experience and riding on teams (YR teams).. She's well mounted, well backed and a very good rider. She is a bit similar to Tiana although Reed has a more proven consistent record with her horses doing especially well during the selection process. While a bit of a surprise that she made the team...it wasn't out of left field.

NCRider
Jul. 18, 2012, 08:07 AM
I don't think it's really fair to Reed to compare her selection with Tiana's. The only negative to Reed is her age and relative lack of experience. She objectively kicked the tar out of the selection process and has proven herself to have nerves of steele. Picking her should have been a nobrainer that made the US selectors giddy at the thought of how many more teams she'll be on in the future.
Tiana, on the other hand, has a history of serious problems with pressure at the highest level, did not score well in the dressage at the last mandatory outing and did not participate in any of the other events this year with the other team candidates in front of the same judges, in the same conditions, in fact had cross country refusal at one of her own outings.

I've always thought she was a very good rider and an up and comer for future teams, but her Rolex 2011 cross country was really really really ugly and I definitely wanted to see her get it done for a lot longer than she has before they even entertained the thoughts of trusting her on a team.

But someone important goes giddy over her horse's gaits and the thought that she might be able to pull off a test that leaves at least one US rider in striking distance of the Germans after the dressage. Are they going to feel so thrilled about the choice if she's sitting on a 50 again? Maybe the course will be so short and under scope it won't matter. maybe she'll be able to use all of us doubters to help her focus and " prove us wrong" like she did at her last outing last year. Maybe that's what she needs to perform well and the selectors are counting on it...

bornfreenowexpensive
Jul. 18, 2012, 08:24 AM
I wasn't really comparing Reed to Tiana. Just that if you had to, that's a closer comparison than to Sinead in the selection process. I don't think Reed's selection for the SJ team is really relevant in a discussion about the eventing team selection.