Where am I and what am I doing in this handbasket?
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>2. NO MENTION was made by the AHSA of the other illegal drugs alledgedly in the Temprelax. Why? If they had needed a reason to set these people down, wouldn't the presence of these drugs have provided it? BTW, has anyone actually SEEN the label on this supplement listing the valerian and triptophan?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Very good point, Laurie... unless of course, "Conspiracy Theory" was your favorite movie, and you choose to look right past logic for deeper, darker things. Personally, I just can't do that without imagining that I am on the road to being some wild haired whacko living in a cellar in some run down part of the city... And since I already have pretty wild hair, I don't want to take that next step...
As for the ingredients listed on the website, yes it does include valerian. Today. Who's to say what it included over 2 years ago. Who's to say they don't make a valerian free version? To assume it had valerian is to assume facts not in evidence, I think.
Also, when did the AHSA add valerian to the list? Maybe it was in 2000? Tough to retroactively convict someone if that was the case, regardless of your opinion on the stuff (my opinion is that it smells and doesn't work well on horses or people). I honestly don't have a clue when it was added to the list, but I can tell you that the letter and notices cautioning against the use of herbal substances were issued after this issue came to light...
I find this thread very sad. Isn't it all about what has happened to our horse shows, our judging, our expectations. 40 years ago I showed a large pony jumper. We raced around courses and then I switched her to hunters and we raced over great outside courses and had a grand time. Stop her - hardly - I was 8. Drug her? Unheard of. could I win and have fun - sometimes I did and sometimes I didn't.
I left riding for 30 years and came back 9 years ago. What the heck happened???? Judges now pin the big gallump, also comatose, horses in the hunters, the horses that often go so slowly in the corners it gets scary; trainers drug, tie, lunge, whatever to get that dead look. Whatever happened to a real hunter gallop?
I read a judge's interview on Towerheads and the question was about Strapless losing two working hunter classes because the judge thought she looked "too fresh"....Woopee, the horse was a real horse: fresh! If horses came out as nature made them, sometimes fresh, sometimes quiet, sometimes....and no drugs had been pumped in, or their heads hadn't been tied up in the stall all night (one trainer's method), then guess what: judges might have to pin on a whole new level. Best horse: might have to go with one that plays in the corners.
I am demoralized....
they took away most of the outside courses, and created distances usually off of a 11' stride, and most of the bigger horses, can't do the number if they are "fresh". No one want's to take the time to teach a horse how to come back to the rider nicely after it jumps in with any pace, I think there is entirely to much emphasis put on the whole number in the line thing. And most horse shows don't take the time to change the distances properly from the 3' to the 3'6" height, etc. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img]
we do need to remember that this was two years ago, and I don't know what may or may not have changed. But HAS ANYONE SEEN THE ACTUAL LABEL???
Labeling is an inexact science if not audited by the FDA, and if this came from Europe, who knows what standards were followed. Were these substances actually LISTED ON THE LABEL, were they not there at all, or were they parts of other ingredients? This is what I am curious about. I have read all that has been written and mentioned here. But I want to know what was on the label that these people read. The AHSA didn't make a case of it, so there must be more to it.
2dogs, it is indeed a shame that hunters must be nearly comatose to win. No tail swishing (so we nerve block tails, another perfectly acceptable procedure), lunge them til they drop (how many of you have seen the "new generation" grooms who have no clue about proper lunging out there chasing these horses by the hour because they were told to), starve them, tie them up all night so there is no playing in the corners, NOTHING! But they aren't drugged!! So, brilliance,spirit, call it what you will, is gone. And people who don't want to lunge their horses to their graves look for other means to satisfy the judges. Our judges need to lighten up in their expectations of these ANIMALS, and allow a little leniency for being a healthy, well-conditioned, horse!
Where am I and what am I doing in this handbasket?
2dogs - I agree with you 100% in that the standard we expect for our hunters is unrealistic and has led us to this place. God forbid an athletic horse should be allowed to be a horse without endangering his chances...
But I don't entirely subscribe to the theory that using drugs to alter something is a "new" evil. For some reason the AHSA felt compelled to introduce drug testing procedures in the 70's. I wan't showing in AHSA recognized shows back then and can't speak to the politics, but my many years of being around rule making procedures and politics tells me they just didn't wake up one day and say "Gee, trainer X uses a lot of bute to get their horses to the ring! Let's implement a test as soon as possible"... No, more likely, the problem was known and widespread for many years before it was effectively regulated.
And from all accounts this was when hunters were grand and galloping, but yet abuses were obviously out there, and as I said, extensive enough to warrant rule making. So while I think that changing the standard is critical, it isn't going to be the magic bullet.
Laurie - you are SO right about that new generation of grooms...
Yes, Portia I know that right now the USET does not do the drug testing, etc. but YES I do believe they would be more in line with the FEI in their approach to penalties regardless of who is who or how much money they have.
I suppose the defendents spent quite a large sum with their attorney(s) to prove they DID NOT give their horses Resurpine. Isn't that what the American system of justice is based on? And aren't you a lawyer?
Case in point. As Laurie mentioned in a previous post Rodney was suspended in 1978. He was meant to go to the World Championships that year with the great horse Idle Dice. Don't you think the USET would have stepped in then, so that Rodney (who obviously had a better than average shot of winning the whole shootin' match)if they could have?
I think this whole Temprelax issue speaks to what SS was trying to say in her interview. Today's ultra sophisticated drug tests obviously go beyond our current rules and regulations.
And for those of you who believe that show horses should compete on nothing but hay and oats, I hope I don't come back in my next life as an equine in your barn.
Where am I and what am I doing in this handbasket?
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>As the evidence before the Panel demonstrated, we had done substantial due diligence on this product including consultation with the manufacturer, veterinarians, having the product tested at the same laboratory the AHSA uses and qualifying the product by discussions with fellow competitors in Europe where it has been used for sometime. (emphasis added) <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
This is another interesting statement, especially given that the product label states "FEI approved"... Assuming that it IS being used in Europe (I do think that it is, but I have no evidence to back it up), why is this problem only occurring here? Or is it banned under the FEI too? Since the FEI has a zero tolerance policy, theoretically this stuff should show up in their tests too, right?
I really wonder how this disparity has come about, especially since the Europeans do look down a bit at us and our "liberal" drug policy, and yet an American rider is penalized for using a European calmative agent. Very interesting. Years ago someone a bit more in the "know" than me told me the "Germans had better drugs". I honestly believed that was not true, but this does make me think twice about that statement...
I am going to be very honest here, no flames please. I am going to tell you that in the 70s we ALL used alot of bute and ace. They really were the 2 drugs of choice. There were others, but these were VERY COMMON. The worst thing was many sale horses were aced when you tried them across the country. And you know what else?
I give my daughters pony ace at home when we ride out in the field, or if she hasn't ridden a few days. I don't care what anyone thinks either. I
have no problem doing it at all. I start every horse off the track on a cc the first time on them, and every baby I have. Life is too short to waste falling off and dying with head trauma.
I do however get things in order before showing, and do not break any rules, and do not medicate.
I do use drugs and medications and I am not ashamed of it. They serve a purpose.
I do not knowingly break any rules for horseshowing. Isox is legal now, I use that.
2 grams of bute AFTER a hard horse show. Banamine when they colic, maybe we show 10 days later.
This is a difficult subject and we should all realize that.
I have expressed my dissatisfaction with the outcome of this fiasco, HOWEVER, I think we all (including me) need to look at the system, and, if we think it is broke, FIX IT!
First, the ASHA is not to blame here; it has a SYSTEM in place and the system did its job, like it or not.
The hearing committee consists of volunteers. YUP, volunteers who act according to the way the regulations are written, and are independent of the AHSA bureaucracy.
That is, NO ONE in the AHSA can tell the hearings panel how they MUST or SHOULD vote. Rather like a JURY decision, it may or may not be right, you might not like it, but it STANDS. Now, you may also have a dissenting vote on that jury, and no one will ever know. The vote may have been very very close, and no one will ever know, and that is, if you think about it, a good thing.
In this case, the perception may be there that big shots walk, but I doubt if Margie thinks she walked, because she (or her owners) has to GIVE BACK $45,000. PLUS they all had tremendous legal defense costs.
A rule violation WAS found. But the rule specifically requires that the Hearing Committee give weight to evidence which permits a mitigating penalty, and that is what they relied on.
We can continue to discuss it here, the drugs and the system. However, our voices should be heard elsewhere: write the panel members directly. Not the AHSA, not people who were NOT on the panel, but those who were. It might not make a difference now, but might in the future.
Despite thinking long and hard about this, I still believe the panel made a mistake in judgment. That is MY opinion. I do believe they were swayed by the legal forces and the names involved. Think about it, how many of us (on our non-cynical days) would really believe people such as Margie and the Maddens would be using this stuff, especially if the label reads (as posted above) valerian root? That definitely strikes to the heart of credibility.
And having said that, I agree with the poster(s) who state that this is still clearly a violation, as they were attempting to change their horses' behaviour. which is a clear violation of the spirit, if not the letter of the rules.
Sorry this is so long, but I think it is important that we all recognize the INDEPENDENCE of the hearing panel and the structure of the system.
[This message was edited by Weatherford on Mar. 16, 2001 at 02:52 PM.]
co-author of 101 Jumping Exercises & The Rider's Fitness Program; Soon to come: Dead Ringer - a tale of equine mystery and intrique! Former Moderator!
if all of you are so dead set against ANY performance altering drug, then how can you justify the performance altering PROCEDURES, which happen to use DRUGS, like joint injections and nerving? I cannot understand the double standard, or why no one will answer my numerous requests for responses.
And we did NOT ascertain that the LABEL listed these illegal substances, nor that they were illegal at the time of the administration. Let's not be creating facts where there are none. No one who actually read a label at the time has posted here.
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> if all of you are so dead set against ANY performance altering drug, then how can you justify the performance altering PROCEDURES, which happen to use DRUGS, like joint injections and nerving? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Good Point Laurie! - I never thought of it that way [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img]
I hope no one got the idea that I oppose the use (judicious)of drugs..As Jane mentioned there is a time and a place. What I am so angry about is the fact that those who were "caught" have YET to take responsibility for their actions. They have a hundred and one excuses but never have they acknowledged that they used bad judgement and/or used the preparation to alter their horses' performance. Accountablity..something that is missing alot not only in the horse world but in the world in general. I also don't fancy myself morally superior to ANYONE, BUT, I would like to think that if I make a mistake or do something wrong, that I am "man" enough to take the consequenses. "I didn't know" is such a cop out! How about "I did a dumb thing and I shouldn't have given my horses something that I wasn't sure was permissible"??? Why is it so hard to assume the burden of truth for your actions???
The thing about smart people, is they look like crazy people, to dumb people.
I do agree that the Panel is not to blame, and the AHSA is not to blame.
I posted the quotes from Ms.Schoelkoff so that you would be able to judge the general environment in which that Panel has to function. It was a very weak line and there were mitigating circumstances.
I regret that a "Jury" had to be placed in such a position. I have served on such boards and know exactly how difficult it is to be totally objective and not let your personal opinions affect your capacity for "justice" under the rules.
And, I agree with Weatherford, the voices of those who agree that there was a violation of the intent of the rules have not been heard. The voices of those who believe in chemical and medical means to enhance a performance have been heard.
And, Laurie I believe in medical relief to prevent discomfort and pain to any animal at any time that it is required, that does not mean that once the pain is relieved they should be in competition.
Certainly, those horses with navicular and other ailments should never be permitted to suffer, but is it fair to the horse, the rider or the other competitors if even those horses are permitted to compete? Is that the only reason for having a horse? I think if so people take better care of the motor carts.
My understanding of competition is that the horse is judged for soundness and performance. If the horse has had surgery that enhances it's ability to compete, that to me is equally indefensible as bending the rules to permit attitude adjusters, and other medication to alter performance.
Either we have horse shows to measure the skills of the horses, and to establish the value of their blood lines for breeding or we have a phony circus to gratify the egos of otherwise incompetent people.
The letter of the law, and the intention of the law are many times quite different. But, those of you who believe as I do that competition should be level and that the animal should be performing on his merit, then email Dr. Lengel. If several hundred people all notified the AHSA that they don't believe the solution is to raise the minimum standards allowing increased medication the Veterinary Committee might not be over-ruled next time.
We don't have the right to expect that Dr.Lengel and the AHSA will protect us and the horses to the best of their ability unless we are willing to be heard.
If there had been even 10 people with me at the Convention, perhaps all our ideas and concerns would not have been ignored. I have written Dr. Lengel and my emails were published for the world to see because I do believe that we are avoiding the intention of the law.
I agree with suggestions by Linda Allan and George Morris that our horses might have performed better if they were more accustomed to showing under the FEI Drug Rules.
I cannot comprehend why it is alright to medicate a horse on it's way up to elite, and make it go cold turkey.
Just think about it, if the contestants in a beauty contest have been altered by surgery, then the beauty contest is just determining which has the most artistic and creative plastic surgeon.
I've hesitated to say anything about the substance of this mostly because I don't know the facts and didn't see the evidence.
However, I did want to echo what Weatherford said about the way the process works. The people on who sit on the hearings panels are volunteers who are members of the Hearings Committee, and the process is set up to ensure, as much as possible, that their decisions are independent and unbiased. I believe the decisions of the hearing panel are also by a majority vote, so there may be up to just less than 1/2 the people on the panel who disagree with the final outcome, one way or the other.
As I understand it, no matter how much anyone may disagree with those final decisions, even if that included every member of the AHSA Board, the AHSA cannot interfere with the decisions of the hearing panel. There's no provision in the rules for the Board or officers to interfere or change a decision. The only way those decisions can be altered is if the charged parties challenge the decision in arbitration or the courts and wins.
Also, according to the AHSA Constitution, at least 20% of the members of the Hearing Committee have to be members of the Board of Trustees of the USET (including athlete members), and 20% of the members of the Hearing Committee have to be Eligible Athletes (as defined in the USOC Constitution for athletes eligible to sit on committees of the NGB).
[This message was edited by Portia on Mar. 16, 2001 at 04:09 PM.]
"I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry