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  1. #1
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    Jul. 10, 2001
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    6,712

    Default It's time for a little revolution

    Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? NO! Did we fold when Napoleon attacked Custer at Warterloo? NO!

    The FEI has a strangle hold on us and we have forgotten that we are a bunch of drunken American eventers! Good god, when was the last time the US did ANYTHING anybody told us? So why are we giving in now? Where is the classic American "Go screw yourself and the pate that you rode in on attitude?" Where is the "I've been drunk and vomiting for three days. It's XC day! Where's my horse damnit?!" spunk?

    I am ashamed of us and our supposed top brass riders and coaches. What a bunch of wusses. "Ew, Reed, I am so afraid to run long format! The FEI doesn't want us to. We have to be like everybody else so we can go to the Olympics." Ooooo, a world class two-f@#king two star horse trial. I thought we were tougher than that. At least the carnage is on TV.

    But, Reed, the FEI said the short format and tight twisty courses is good for the horses and TV revenue. Yeah, and blowing out the tires of a car with no brakes will help it stop too. What the HELL has happened when lines in XC have gotten TOUGHER than a GRAND PRIX jumper course!!!!!!!!?????

    Of course expecting any change at the top levels of this sport is like trying to power the Titanic with an Evinrude outboard motor if you decide to sit by and watch the pretty horses. Of course even with that motor, having leadership it did still ran it into an iceberg. We all have watched or had friends (human and horse) severely hurt or killed. It's time to stop accepting it a "part of the sport" as those who are supposed to be the gatekeepers keep telling us.

    We ALL really do have the power to make good come from all of this so sometimes a little revolution is good.

    Reed

    P.S. this rant is even better with a John Belushi accent.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2000
    Location
    Greenville, MI,
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    Thumbs up Amen Reed!

    Quote Originally Posted by RAyers View Post
    Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? NO! Did we fold when Napoleon attacked Custer at Warterloo? NO!

    The FEI has a strangle hold on us and we have forgotten that we are a bunch of drunken American eventers! Good god, when was the last time the US did ANYTHING anybody told us? So why are we giving in now? Where is the classic American "Go screw yourself and the pate that you rode in on attitude?" Where is the "I've been drunk and vomiting for three days. It's XC day! Where's my horse damnit?!" spunk?

    I am ashamed of us and our supposed top brass riders and coaches. What a bunch of wusses. "Ew, Reed, I am so afraid to run long format! The FEI doesn't want us to. We have to be like everybody else so we can go to the Olympics." Ooooo, a world class two-f@#king two star horse trial. I thought we were tougher than that. At least the carnage is on TV.

    But, Reed, the FEI said the short format and tight twisty courses is good for the horses and TV revenue. Yeah, and blowing out the tires of a car with no brakes will help it stop too. What the HELL has happened when lines in XC have gotten TOUGHER than a GRAND PRIX jumper course!!!!!!!!?????

    Of course expecting any change at the top levels of this sport is like trying to power the Titanic with an Evinrude outboard motor if you decide to sit by and watch the pretty horses. Of course even with that motor, having leadership it did still ran it into an iceberg. We all have watched or had friends (human and horse) severely hurt or killed. It's time to stop accepting it a "part of the sport" as those who are supposed to be the gatekeepers keep telling us.

    We ALL really do have the power to make good come from all of this so sometimes a little revolution is good.

    Reed

    P.S. this rant is even better with a John Belushi accent.
    You hit it dead on.
    It will never change till we all stand up and get mad as hell.
    Just going with the flow and hoping it will all be ok will NEVER work.
    WHERE are the gate keepers???
    A long time ago when they were just threatening to change the classic format and we had so many threads about it, My husband, who is no horse person, said what the hell is wrong with all of you, just tell the FEI to get stuffed, start your own american version, besides the USEA, Too true.
    I was a damn the olympics person then as well.
    "you can only ride the drama llama so hard before it decides to spit in your face." ?Caffeinated.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 1999
    Location
    Tuscaloosa, Alabama
    Posts
    11,209

    Default My personal favorite ...

    Picture it, USEA Convention, San Francisco, 2004.

    Amy Tryon, in her whiney voice ...

    "But you don't understand. Our horses can become stars if they can get out more."

    That was the moment wherein I just stared blankly and thought, "Shit. It's over."

    I am horseless at the moment (well riding horse, that is) but I am cooking something. Sure, it will take 4 years before I can sit on it, but if things change as radically over the next 4 years as they have over the past, I am pretty sure I'll be putting something in the hunter ring. Hey, there's something to be said about safety and consistency.
    When blood is the beverage of choice, the sharpest fangs feed first.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000
    Posts
    22,444

    Default

    Amen, brother.

    I want to get back into eventing - but farm work gets in the way during the summer.

    However - I'm wondering if I'm better off on the tractor instead of the xc course. Seems that the sport has become a cariacture of what it once was.

    I'd be sad to see 3-Day removed from the Olympics - but it does seem the long format is the fairest and most reasonable test of horse and rider. If that isn't compatible with what the Olympics has become - so be it.

    It's a high risk sport even at the lower levels. I think it's possible to keep horses and riders safe to the extent possible - without dumbing the sport down. But this short format funkiness just ain't cutting it.

    Good luck, everyone.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2000
    Location
    Greenville, MI,
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    Default What I want to know

    is Where are the big old time eventers? The ones I idolized in the late 70s and 80s? When the sport was so awesome and impressive and showed the ultimate test of horse and rider? I know there will be folks that say, Nothing can be done, Well not if you just sit back and wring your hands and say what can we do?
    Robbie! You do exist! Yay!
    It breaks my heart that eventing has become what it is. The statement you quoted Amy saying is just really pathetic. I cannot believe eventers really all feel that way! But they went with the flow and kept quiet, WHY is it really more important to have your horse be a superstar at that cost?
    Explain it to me?? The olympics? Phooey! What? I dont know I am just an old amateur rider who will probably never get past Novice, but I do care about this sport, or the sport that once was!
    "you can only ride the drama llama so hard before it decides to spit in your face." ?Caffeinated.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000
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    22,444

    Default

    Robby - it's nice to see you posting.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 16, 2002
    Posts
    1,771

    Default

    Many of the current upper level riders are hoping that eventing becomes more and more commercialized, like the hunter/jumper industry.
    This is not my conspiracy theory at work, it`s a fact. Many have big client lists, multiple horses, lots of clinics, etc.
    They will not get involved in change, I don`t think, unless that change helps their pocketbooks.
    We ask, why don`t they speak out? They don`t want to have this a particularly amateur based sport, unless they are teaching/selling horses/boarding, etc, those amateurs.
    They are USEF people, not so much USEA people.
    For a true revolution to succeed, we may have to cut them loose from the USEA. I never, in the past 47 years of my competing in this sport, have thought I`d say this, but there it is.
    Let the USEF have the advanced level, to use and abuse as it sees fit. There are fewer than 200 of them in all of North America.
    Let our USEA run everything else, the other 15,000, give or take.
    If the few hundred intermediate riders squawk, cut them loose, too.
    Why should their needs wreck it for the enormous majority?



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep. 6, 1999
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
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    5,249

    Default

    Damn, Denny and Reed. You're absolutely right. If the USEA 'splits' and we have nationally more long formats, we have the x-c courses that we want, we gain popularity and numbers, then maybe through example the USEF and FEI will take note. Of course other countries would have to follow suit and do the same thing (notably, the UK). They aren't listening so might as well show them how it's done.
    If the USEA is getting strangled by the USEF and FEI and they really really want to do what we want, then yes, cut us loose. How much money do they generate from us? I know I renew my membership just to be in prelim but that's about it. I don't support anything else.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 16, 2002
    Posts
    1,771

    Default Addendum to previous post

    Back in the golden era of Le Goff and Ayer, the various levels of he sport were mutually supportive.
    Never in a million years would Jack have been so stupid as to call lower level riders demeaning names.
    Jack moved from France to the United States, became a US citizen. He was involved in ALL aspects and levels, knew riders, organizers, officials, supported our entire infrastructure.
    A far cry from the aloof, absentee situation of our present USEF hiararchy, who seem not to care what happens to the lower levels as long as the "top 20" are being served.
    Makes me appreciate 1776.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 12, 2006
    Posts
    4,343

    Default

    FEI said the short format and tight twisty courses is good for the horses and TV revenue.
    The problem is that their "safer" format is not working so well for them, now is it? And nothing helps ratings and good will in this day and age then reports that one rider is in the hospital and two horses died. Average Joe has no more appreciation for negotiating a skinny complex set on a odd striding then they do for galloping a big old hedge.

    There is nothing wrong with making money- but if you keep having bad weekends that include losses of horses, you'll make a lot of people not really want to own and pay for you to event their horse. If the courses keep intimidating riders, they won't want to go compete.

    Hunter/jumpers got EASIER to accomodate making money. (or at least lowered the jumps so the "weekend weekend warrior" could participate). Eventing seems to be getting harder. It's interesting to hear that people are considering pulling back from the sport. I know I won't watch at the Fork this year. I don't WANT to see a horse hurt or struggle.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
    Location
    West Coast of Michigan
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    36,321

    Default

    Great thread.

    Thinking along the lines of what, exactly, us "Smurfs" can do to effect change: let's make a commitment this year to filling out event evaluation forms in detail, with commentary on the cross country courses. If you feel a course is unfair, too technical, etc. SPEAK UP, right then and there, by filling out the form AND (if you're so inclined) talking to the TD. Be specific, be concise, be professional, but SPEAK UP. If you've ridden at Prelim and are only going Novice now, and think the Prelim course is bad, SPEAK UP. If you're going Intermediate but even your experienced students are all rattled by the Training course, SPEAK UP.

    Not everyone is or wants to be a "mover and a shaker" but this is something EVERY event rider can do at EVERY event he/she enters. If you could take the 5 minutes to do this, it would be yet another layer of input. If you will not, please don't be one of the people who shows up only to piss and moan about the state of the sport and how nothing ever gets done.
    Click here before you buy.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec. 27, 1999
    Location
    Midland, NC, USA
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    7,249

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by denny View Post
    Many of the current upper level riders are hoping that eventing becomes more and more commercialized, like the hunter/jumper industry.
    This is not my conspiracy theory at work, it`s a fact. Many have big client lists, multiple horses, lots of clinics, etc.

    Fact there!!! There were ULRs putting clients on uber-fancy $20K Novice horses at the event horse sale that I would not have put on a 15h BN packer. GM woulda had a coronary and sent them back to xrails, but that doesn't pay the bills.....

    Jennifer



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb. 10, 2003
    Location
    Frederick MD
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    238

    Default Cave in..

    Another example of an earlier.. maybe the first "cave in"... Go back to 2002 Radnor ** competitors meeting night.... FEI was meeting in November... discussions were held in the tent regarding what riders were going to accept to keep the eventing in the olympics. American representatives were to be attending the FEI meeting in November.... All the "big names" were there.. including current team officials and current International and American 2008 olympic hopefuls. I won't name names here.. but everyone except ONE rider said "we have to do what ever it takes to keep us in the Olympics".. (This was a factor for decisions on the games in China-- Interesting.. because now the horse venue isn't even going to be held at the main venue). One ONE brave Int. rider stood up and said we have to fight this.. we cave in.. and eventing as we know it is over......... he was pretty emotional about it.. but he couldn't rally anyone.....

    Funny thing.. is that this is the same event.. that because of days of torrential downpours.. the event was very close to being cancelled after dressage.. we all "approved" .. we All marched like an army of ants down to the grass stadium course, and moved the whole thing in about 2 hours up the big hill to the sand ring.. "We" riders, officials, competitors, family and friends did something and made was was important " happen"...


    I don't know what happened to that same energy and spirit from those same people - who wouldnt stand up with that one rider and fight for our sport... this was my husbands' first Radnor ** and ammies and pretty intimidated by all the "big names".. we were afraid/intimidated to say anything

    I also remember turning to my husband and saying "it's over for the long format..." rest is history



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun. 6, 2007
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    1,962

    Default

    Voting only works if you vote with your feet....walk away if you think the course is dangerous.
    However...in the grand old tradition of eventing, if you think it's too difficult...you're a chicken. How do you solve that? (seriously)
    * <-- RR Certified Gold Star {) <-- RR Golden Croissant Award
    Training Tip of the Day: If you can’t beat your best competitor, buy his horse.
    NO! What was the question?



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2000
    Location
    Greenville, MI,
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    Unhappy How sad is that!

    Quote Originally Posted by ThirdCharm View Post
    Fact there!!! There were ULRs putting clients on uber-fancy $20K Novice horses at the event horse sale that I would not have put on a 15h BN packer. GM woulda had a coronary and sent them back to xrails, but that doesn't pay the bills.....

    Jennifer
    I never thought I would see eventing become another version of the hunters!
    Just wow...
    "you can only ride the drama llama so hard before it decides to spit in your face." ?Caffeinated.



  16. #16
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    Sep. 13, 2000
    Location
    Greenville, MI,
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    Question I would like that

    Quote Originally Posted by Fixerupper View Post
    Voting only works if you vote with your feet....walk away if you think the course is dangerous.
    However...in the grand old tradition of eventing, if you think it's too difficult...you're a chicken. How do you solve that? (seriously)
    to hear Dennys opinion on that. I do not think the old timers had that mind set!
    "you can only ride the drama llama so hard before it decides to spit in your face." ?Caffeinated.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr. 3, 2007
    Posts
    323

    Default Buzz-worthy

    Reed,

    You have inspired me. I usally stick to a "no alcohol while competing” mantra, but clearly - I need to start drinking more!! It is more fun when the fences move while galloping toward them?



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct. 1, 2003
    Location
    Nonsuch House
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    3,507

    Default Flame suit on. . .

    ERRRRR, flame suit on, can someone explain to me the OP's statement on The Germans attacking Pearl Harbor and Custer vs Napoleon? I think this thread is great, but I don't get the opening remark. . . I'm a little dense.


    The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and Napoleon fought The Duke of Wellington at Waterloo.
    RIP Kelly 1977-2007 "Wither thou goest, so shall I"

    "To tilt when you should withdraw is Knightly too."



  19. #19
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    Aug. 26, 2006
    Location
    North Central Florida
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    1,380

    Default

    Reed and Denny,

    Thank you so much for your EXTREME words of wisdom on this matter!

    When I was a pre-teen (a few moons ago ) I often daydreamed of competing in the Olympics a la "International Velvet". Now I have absolutely NO inclination to try to ever compete above Prelim... Why, well the answer is obvious...I don't have a death wish.

    To the powers that be: Please bring back the long format and "true" cross country fences, not impossible Grand Prix twisty immovable horse and rider eating fences!



  20. #20
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    Dec. 10, 2004
    Location
    Canada
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    Default

    Amen Reed!

    My coach in Canada who has competed at Rolex CCI**** (long format) and the WEGS is writing a letter in. He is disgusted by what is becoming of this sport. Even us Canadians (although we are USEA members) are going to start voting with our feet. What's the point in us crossing the boarder to walk away after dressage?



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