NATIONS CUP FINAL IN MADRID TO INCLUDE U.S. REPRESENTATION
USA Equestrian (formerly AHSA) announced today that the World Final of the Samsung Nations Cup Series (Jumping), to be held this weekend in Madrid (ESP) will include representation of the United States. USA Equestrian is the National Equestrian Federation of the United States. The Nations Cup Final will be on Sunday, September 23, 2001.
Riders for the USA are scheduled to be Clare Bronfman (Charlton), Alice Debany Clero (CEO and Loro Piano Jumbo), and Richard Spooner (Robinson FRH and Incento). Debany Clero has been named Chef d'Equipe.
Sherry Frank, Assistant Executive Director-International Services for the Federation, explained, "The United States Equestrian Team last week announced that the riders and horses previously scheduled to compete would not be going, in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. "We were informed of strong interest in the Final by U.S. riders already competing in Europe, as well as our international federation (FEI) and the sponsors and organizers. Everyone wanted to know if a substitute team could be assembled. The FEI, the sponsors, and the organizers were very strong in their view that it was particularly important for the USA to be represented given what had happened, since to do otherwise would appear to be a victory for terrorism."
Frank and Athletes Services representatives, Cindy Stys and Lynn Lopez, immediately started making the necessary contacts, reaching out to all those involved, including USA Equestrian president Alan F. Balch.
"I am heartened and impressed with how thoroughly and quickly everyone responded," said Balch. "Clearly, the U.S. riders in Europe wanted to see our flag flying in the Final, and so did the organizers, sponsors, and the FEI. We were doubtful at first that under the difficult circumstances of travel whether this could be arranged, but everyone has come through. We are particularly grateful for the support of the FEI, and of Samsung, the sponsors, who really made this possible. This is the essence of sporting spirit."
Balch said he was aware of the possibility of controversy about fielding a team in this manner. "Of course, opinions will always differ about the right response in a situation like this. Our job as the National Federation is to maximize opportunities for qualified athletes to represent our country in international competition. When international organizers, our own IF, and the riders themselves take the initiative as they have here, particularly for such an important competition, we owe it to the sport to be responsive and help all we can. My own personal feeling, and their feeling, is that terrorists cannot ever be rewarded for their cowardly acts."
"For me personally it was very important to have the American team here for the global aspect of the World Final of the Samsung Nations Cup Series during this time. We have made a lot of effort for the American team to participate," said Ulf Rosengren, Director of the Samsung Nations Cup Series.
I think this is terrific, an important step. Can't wait to see how the audience reacts. Win or lose, just being there representing the U.S. makes us and the team winners. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]
"You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm."
Act Silly! Sing Loud! Create!
<<No word on this from USET as of yet, I can't help but notice...>>>
I am not bashing, but I agree...I have known about this for days (Alice is my sister) and I finally found the press release on Towerheads!
By the way, has anyone read Alice's account of showing in Italy last week on Towerheads? You need a box of tissues for that...she was the only American competing and happened to win two classes. She said that there were American flags waving in the stands-not for her but for all of us.
THIS IS ALICE'S DAY 1 ACCOUNT OF SHOWING IN ITALY.
SHE WROTE THIS TO ME AND KK (Towerheads) AND ASKED THAT I POST IT HERE: (SORRY FOR THE LENGTH, SCROLL DOWN FOR DAY 2)
<<I am showing here in Italy at a CSI-A in Pinerolo. It was a hard decision to come and ride here after all of the tragedies on Tuesday. On Tuesday, the horses were already three quarters of the way to Italy as the events of the day unfolded. At one point, I asked my groom, Manu, to turn around and come home. So he turned around on the highway. I thought about it again for a few minutes and decided that our lives must go on, and if they don't, it is exactly what the terrorists wanted: to paralize us as a nation. So I asked Manu to turn back around and continue to the show. We would hold our heads up and fight.
I decided to wear a black arm band with my red American coat when I am showing. I feel that it is a proper symbol of mourning, and it feels right to me to wear it. Today, all of Europe became silent for three minutes at noon in order to pay their respects to all of the vicims and their families and friends. At noon at the show, they lowered the flag to half mast and everything stopped. I cried my eyes out, which certainly was not the first time since all of this has happened. In fact, anytime I think of all of the people who have perished, tears are very nearby.
It is very touching and comforting to see the entire world's sympathy for what has happened. Thierry Pommel from France came up to me directly at the show to tell me how much people over here also feel the pain. He was not the only rider to do so, as this was an attack not only on America, but it was an attack to anyone in the world that believes in religious, political, and social freedom.
As it happens, I won the 1m40 class with my 8 year old, Filou Landais. In the prize giving ceremony, they raised the flag up to half mast as they played the Star Spangled Banner. Instead of putting my arm downward in a salut as is customary, I put my hand on my heart as I teared up yet again.
In the 1m50 class, I was second with Jumbo. I couldn't quite catch Thierry Pommel in the jump-off. I really want, more than I ever have, to raise that flag again. Which is what I vow to to do as often as I can, as the only American in Pinerolo, to show that they can not ever beat the Americans down
ALICE IN ITALY DAY 2:
<<Yet again an exciting day here in Pinerolo, in fact it was nearly a carbon copy of yesterday's performances. Filou Landais won again today in the jump-off class, and Jumbo was second again to Thierry Pommel in the 1m 50 time first round.
Call me emotional, but again I couldn't help but cry my eyes out during our national anthem while I watched the flag raise half way up the pole. I've always gotten a chill when hearing the Star Spangled Banner, but for now, it has a special double-meaning.
I'm very proud to be competing here this week especially. As the sole American representative here, I feel that people all over the world want to feel a connection with America more than they ever have. By raising the flag twice so far, I think I could be helping some people ease their pain. In the crowd, I have seen several people waving small American flags, not necessarily cheering for me, but cheering for my wounded country.
Tomorrow, just before the Grand Prix, I, and any other rider that wishes to, will enter the ring on horse back and collecively pay our respects to the vicims with another three minute silence. Afterwards, I will say a few words to express the sadness that we all feel. I don't yet know exactly what I will say, I think I will let it come straight from my heart.
The decision to send this particular team was not embraced by all. When I spoke to Alice I told her that I was very proud of her that she had made the decision to go, even if it may not be the most appropriate show for her horses at this time.
One of her horses does not fly well and had to fly without any tranquilizer (which was quite scary as I understand it) because it was so close to the time she had to compete.
I think that competing in a Nations Cup with physical and mental preparation is difficult at the best of times. This team is showing incredible courage and needs our support.
A land where classical riding and natural horsemanship have all but vanished, and must be revived for the greater good of all horses trapped in the human world...
Thank you, MAD! I found your sister's account of her days showing in Italy very touching. Tell her I wish her -- and the whole team -- luck in raising the American flag again!
[I]\"His [the horse\'s] is a power enhanced by pride, a courage heightened by challenge. His is a swiftness intensified by strength, a majesty magnified by grace. His is a timeless beauty touched with gentleness, a spirit that calls our hearts to dream
The following is from Horse & Hound: <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> USET pulls out of Nations Cup
There was outrage in some quarters at the thought of a second-string American team riding in the Samsung Nations Cup final in Madrid, after the US Equestrian Team cancelled its plans to send a squad following the terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon, writes Nancy Jaffer.
"It's an insult," said George Morris, who would have been the chef d'equip of the USET squad. "You want to send your best team to something like this. IF we can't send the team which deserves to go, it's better not to be represented."
The replacement team was to consist of riders already in Europe, regardless of their standing on the computer rankings.
The USET horses went into quarantine in preparation for the trip to Spain, even after Tuesday, but continued uncertainly about air travel abroad was one of the factors that led the organization to cancel travel plans.
"The safety of our horses and riders is always of utmost concern," said USET vice-chairman Armand Leone, jr. "There is an equally important reason not to send out athletes to participate at this time. Just as Major League Baseball and other sports organizations have cancelled their games and competitions in the wake of this week's terrorist attacks, so too is the USET doing this out of respect for the victims and the loved ones they've left behind." <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
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!
How dare George Morris be so mean spirited,especially at this time.
Good luck to the riders from USA.I'm glad they will be able to fly the flag,I know they will get probably the best reception ever.
I'm not going to say anymore,I'm disgusted with 'himself'[GM]and uset,they should encourage these riders who are willing to go.
"I have lived my life-it is nearly done-.I have played the game all round;But I freely admit that the best of my fun I owe it to Horse and Hound".
\"I have lived my life-it is nearly done-.I have played the game all round;But I freely admit that the best of my fun I owe it to Horse and Hound\".