More and more seems to appear on the other websites, and today I shall do a whizz 'round as many as I can think of. This is Ken's from today at Towerheads (www.towerheads.com):
Ken's column October 1:
There are still a bunch of people, that in my mind still don't get it, as far as this Nations Cup story goes. I'm going to chat with a few more folks, and hopefully they'll begin to come around. Bottom line, the USET needs a spokesman, out front, real quick, or they are going to get buried by this situation. Again, I reiterate, if rules were violated in sending this team then that needs to be pursued and the offender dealt with, if not, then the overwhelming positive reaction to the appearance by the team in Spain has to be accepted and dealt with. If not, the USET will find themselves actually enhancing an image they're trying to erase. In general, can I just say, that as I see it. Right now, EVERYTHING is different, and we all should try and adapt as quickly as we can. Not only are we in a different world, this new world hasn't really been defined yet, and is very liquid, and subject to immediate upheaval. One thing that has emerged out of this tragedy, is America, as a nation, has united and come together almost as one!!!...NOT US, THOUGH. WHY IS IT, THAT WE IN THIS HUNTER AND JUMPER INDUSTRY SEEM TO BE DRIFTING FURTHER APART? IT'S GOT TO STOP!!! SIT DOWN, AND BEGIN TALKING! TODAY, IF POSSIBLE. IN THE SCHEME OF THINGS, THIS BICKERING AND FIGHTING, TO ME, IS NOW BECOMING VERY ANNOYING. LET'S GET SOMETHING DONE, NOW!
Some interesting "stuff" on a few of the European sites as well, to follow.
"Again, I reiterate, if rules were violated in sending this team then that needs to be pursued and the offender dealt with, if not, then the overwhelming positive reaction to the appearance by the team in Spain has to be accepted and dealt with"
what rules?? I just don't understand that reference at all - what rules could have been violated? the competition/sponsors/FEI asked our NGB to send a team (or have I missed something?)-our NGB found riders willing/able to represent us and they did a wonderful job dispite difficult circumstances - so again, what rules?
Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)
The reports states, “Elizabeth reported that she accidently put down this pony, ........, at the show.”
let me separate my appreciation for Alice, Richard and Clare's efforts from what I am about to say. I AM glad we had representatives there and sincerely appreciate everything they went through to get there. And apparently, they were uaware of the controversy swirling back here.
Now, that said, I do not believe for an instant that the AHSA's efforts (not the folks who actually did the work, but those taking credit for it) were for any reason other than self gain, publicity wise. If anything has become clear in this whole ugly mess, it is that the AHSA's publicity machine is much better and effective than the USET's, which is why the comments coming from the USET regarding such things as their finances, and Armand's personal feelings on some things, were allowed to be published. A good understanding of "spin", or a publicist who is a master, would never have let things like that out. From what I have read of Alan Balch, including his sappy eulogy at Sallie Wheeler's funeral (I admired and respected her enormously), he is about HIM, and uses whatever he can to self-promote. The USET, for whatever reasons, left the door open for him here and he walked through it. This is not an attack, as this behavior is standard operating procedure at the corporate level. Just don't be fooled by it. Both organizations have huge problems facing them if either is awarded the NGB status; they are just mainly different problems. But egos run rampant in both.
And as far as the international level being about winning; learning how to lose and be a gracious loser is what you learn in Pony Club, junior classes, etc. At this level, it IS about winning. Do you think any of the Europeans go for any reason OTHER than to win? I have long thought that our lack of domination in the sport is due to a lack of killer instinct. This NC was an exceptional situation, and just being there was important. But on an overall basis, why go if you can't win? There is too much $$, risk, wear and tear on the horses and people to get there to not want the gold ring. Any other mindset causes you to lose.
Again, I reiterate that our team's participation in this out of the ordinary situation is to be commended without prejudice. But the reasons behind the scenes shouldn't be whitewashed over.
P.S. coreene, I love your contributions, but I think you should be careful about cutting and pasting stuff from Towerheads without Ken's permission. I think COTH said back when the subscription went into effect that that wouldn't be ethical or allowed.
Very long, yet worth reading because it gives you all the ins and outs - so when you get to the results at the bottom, you can see that combined time was much better than some teams, and it really was just a hair's breath separating a lot of the competition. You know, with our "second rate" team.
Madrid, 24 september 2001
Holland came out on top in a thrilling finish to the 2000/2001 Samsung Nations Cup series which went right down to the wire as the last rider into the ring decided the result.
And it was the hot-favourites from Germany, joint-leaders with the Dutch after the first round, who lost out as only a clear from Heinrich Hermann Engemann would clinch the title for his side but, last to go, he returned with four fences down to drop his side to fourth behind the host team from Spain in third.
Belgium finished a very close with Ludo Philippaerts and Parco, who claimed the Leading Horse and Rider titles in the year-long Samsung Nations Cup league, putting in yet another superb double-clear performance, and the three-strong American squad were last of the seven participating nations having put up a gallant performance against all the odds.
The Dutch and Germans had the advantage after the opening round over a 12-fence track which asked plenty of questions despite not being at maximum height.
The water jump came early on the track, at fence four, following a strong oxer and then led on to a tricky double of uprights while the dog-leg line from fences 7 to 9 asked plenty of questions but Gert Jan Bruggink riding Joel, and Rob Eras with Collezione Cesaro La Perla, both found the answers when coming home clear for Holland who completed their first effort carrying just the four faults collected by Leon Thijssen and Hot Shot as Piet Raymakers 8 faults with Van Schijndels Patrick were discarded.
Germany followed suit with clears from both Toni Hassmann and Mobilcom Goldika and Lutz Gripshover with Warren and the Germans their side was on level pegging with Holland when counting only the 4 faults picked up by Marcus Renzel and Carlos, as Heinrich Hermann Engemann and Iris lowered the upright at seven and then also dropped the final oxer to complete with eight faults this time out.
A single time fault for Stanny Van Paesschen and O De Pomme stopped the Belgians from also sharing the lead at this stage after Gilbert de Roock opened with a single mistake from Nero de la Tourelle and Ludo Philippaerts went clear, with Mark Van Dijck's Verelst Goliath clearly not on form when lowering two poles at his first attempt.
The USA were not far off the pace when joining Spain on a 7-fault tally as round two began.
"We know we are the underdogs" New Yorker Alice Debany-Clero had said during the draw the previous day, "but the terrorists tried to paralyse our country last week and by coming here to compete we want to show them that we will not lie down because of what they did" and, standing in as Chef d'Equipe, she kicked off the American attack with a foot-perfect round from CEO in the first round.
Claire Bronfman looked to be on the way to doing likewise until hitting the last with the big-jumping Charlton who also picked up a single time fault while Richard Spooner steered the handsome grey, Robinson, to a clean jumping round with just 2 time faults showing on the clock.
The French were just a single fault further behind but Italy were already struggling as they began round two with 16 faults on the board.
They rallied brilliantly but all too late with three clears at their second attempt while the French added another 8, but American chances faded when Alice dropped two fences second time out and although Clare, who has clearly built up an excellent partnership with the massive gelding Charlton despite her own diminutive stature, got it absolutely right this time, the US finishing score was 19 to leave them in seventh position when Richard and Robinson put a foot in the water.
The Spanish, who have had little exposure at Nations Cup level this year, put in a truly impressive performance on their home turf to add just another five to their score as Ricardo Jurado and Falcon Internet Gysmo made one mistake, Rutherford Latham and Frimousset added just one more time penalty to the two they picked up first time out, Cristino Torres and Danceur produced a great clear after providing the 7-fault discount score at their first attempt while Fernando Sarasola and Nikita de Laubry added 9 faults to the 5 they had collected in the previous round to leave the host team with a two-round total of 12.
Belgium stood firm with just four more faults to add when Gilbert and Ludo produced clears and both Stanny and Mark had one fence down this time and the pressure was rising fast when 20 year old Gert Jan Bruggink, winner of the European Young Rider Championship at Gijon earlier this summer, produced a second clear from his home-bred 10 year old Joel on his very first Nations Cup outing to keep Holland well in contention. Piet Raymakers made no mistake either this time out and the Dutch added just the four collected by Rob Eras when Leon Thijssen picked up six faults to leave them on a final total of eight.
Germany still looked strong when Toni Hassman returned to also go double-clear but one down for Lutz Gripshover and two on the floor for Marcus Renzel left Heinrich Hermann with the unenviable task of having to home clear and fast to save the day. It was not to be however and as four fences fell it was devastation for Germany but Dutch delight as The Netherlands, winners of the Samsung World Final in Spruce Meadows in 1997, did it again in fine style.
Dutch Chef d'Equipe, Bert Romp, was well-pleased with his squad which consisted of a mixture of great young talent and experienced campaigners and he sent out a warning shot for the 2002 World Equestrian Games - "when Jerez comes, we'll be ready" he said. "Holland always seems to do well in Spain and we showed today that we have many good riders to choose from now. For Gert Jan to jump double-clear in his first Nations Cup is really terrific and Leon showed that he is also ready to compete at top level too - and we saved the best until last. We competed in 15 Nations Cup competitions this year but this is our first victory - good eh?" he added.
As yet there is no venue confirmed for the Samsung Nations Cup World Final in 2002 but the 2000/2001 series has produced some superb sporting moments - none perhaps more touching than the minutes silence and the powerful ripple of applause which rippled around the stadium in Madrid as the United States team paraded before yesterday's competition began.
1, Holland - 8 faults in 220.31 seconds (Gert Jan Bruggink/Joel 0+0, Rob Eras/Collezione Cesaro la Perla 0+4, Piet Raymakers/Van Schijndels Patrick 8+0, Leon Thijssen/Hot Shot 4+6);
2, Belgium - 9 faults in 226.92 seconds (Gilbert de Roock/Nero de la Tourelle 4+0, Stanny Van Paesschen/O De Pomme 1+4, Marc Van Dijck/Verelst Goliath 8+4, Ludo Philippaerts/Parco 0+0);
3, Spain - 12 faults in 228.91 seconds (Ricardo Jurado/Falcon Internet Gysmo 0+4, Rutherford Latham/Frimousset 2+1, Cristino Torres/Danceur de Laverie 7+0, Fernando Sarasola/Nikita de Laubry 5+9);
4, Germany - 12 faults in 217.71 seconds (Toni Hassmann/mobilcom Goldika 0+0, Lutz Gripshover/Warren NRW 0+4, Marcus Renzel 4+8, Heinrich Hermann Engemann/Iris 8+16);
5, France - 16 faults in 225.11 seconds (Olivier Jouanneteau/Euleme 4+0, Edouard Couperie/Pro Pilot 4+4, Nicolas Delmotte/Discrette IV 12+4, Hubert Bourdy/Helios 0+4);
6, Italy - 16 faults in 226.89 seconds (Roberto Arioldi/Dime de la Cour 8+0, Massimo Grossato/Elkintot 4+0, Enrico Maria Frana/Dohitzun Guernica 13+0, Gianni Govoni/Loro Piana Las Vegas 4+4);
7, USA - 19 faults in 226.12 seconds (Alice Debany-Clero/CEO, Claire Bronfman/Charlton 5+0, Richard Spooner/Robinson 2+4).
Where am I and what am I doing in this handbasket?
Sgrey, as far as I know there is a protocol to be followed when sending a team to represent the United States. I would guess that the highest ranking available riders need to have right of first refusal. I will also assume that the protocol was followed to the best of the USAE's ability.
Lauriep and Emmett, although I do not share your view on the USET over the USAE in the overall picture, I greatly respect your opinions, as I know you know from where you speak (it's OK - I actually have some republican friends too [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] ). And I agree with you about assuming a state of total altruism on the part of the USAE. But I would add that ANY actions taken by the respective heads of the USAE or the USET have an overlay of WIIFM (what's in it for me). That is just the nature of executives. Their job - be they employed, elected, or appointed is to do the best by their respective organizations. Mostly they tend to get replaced - and quickly - if they fail in that regard.
So, no, I am not assuming there is a glowing light behind Alan Balch, but I doubt there is one behind Armand Leone, either [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]
sorry I projected the image that I am partial to either; I'm not at this time. USET has done a great job IN THE PAST; AHSA has done a great job doing what they do for the masses. I do not have a good idea for how to solve the problem, which is why I haven't offered up a solution. And I am apalled at some of the statements that Armand has made, hence my assumption that their "spin" control is less than up to snuff.
My gut feeling is that both organizations continue to embarass themselves with this free-for-all, and that the mudslinging will only intensify. I just believe that AHSA coves its tracks better!
Where am I and what am I doing in this handbasket?
Laurie - it's OK to take a position, lord knows I have a few! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]
But I know you guys have been a lot closer to exactly what the USET does for international caliber riders than I will EVER be, so I do pay attention when you do offer opinions. Now of course, I might not agree with all of 'em, but I do listen!!
But I guess what I also try to do is to look past the spin - or lack thereof - and try to see the substance, and make my judgements based on that. Can't say that is a particularly easy task on any given day!!
With all due respect (and I mean that!), exactly what response did you want when the FEI, the event organisers and the sponsors called USA Eq and strongly urged the US to send a team? Something like:
"Oh, no, absolutely not. We think we might be able to field a team, but if we do, a lot of people might agree with us--heck, we might even be praised for making and executing a good decision. Nope, forget it, even though we think it's possible, and right, we just won't do it. Our motives are pure. Let you guys down? Sorry, we can't afford the risk of people approving of us. We will not make any good decisions, just in case they make us look good." [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]
Seriously, did USA Eq field the team only because, primarily because, or even with consideration, of the generally high approval with which, it turns out, the choice has met? Who knows which it was? I sure don't, but choose not to be entirely cynical about it.
Are they happy that many people support the decision? Probably! Why shouldn't they be? (No, I'm not entirely naive and I'm not missing the point--just pointing out that you can't read anyone's mind.)
As far as it making the USET look bad--I don't see how that necessarily follows. The USET, owners, riders, etc. made what they believed was the best decision for the riders and horses in the US. And no matter what their motives were or were not, you can't fly over there without a plane, can you? [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]
I haven't heard anyone say that the event organisers and sponsors called the USET and suggested fielding a team from US riders in Europe and that the USET then declined. If that were the case, then, yes, they might feel they have to defend the latter decision, and perhaps that is where the negative remarks stem from. But we don't know that.
Of course international competitions are about winning. But, I can't help feeling that, under these particular, and it is to be hoped, once in a lifetime circumstances, participation was the essential thing--like that de Coubertin fella said [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]
were showing during that period which they are now complaining about?
They were happy to step up and slag off the people who rode in Madrid, and were right there a few days after the tragedy, showing away.
Now I am not under any circumstances complaining about this at all, because it is up to each individual as to what they do. But to trash someone for showing in Madrid because it is "not patriotic" when they themselves were showing at the Gold Cup etc., well ... it's just so shortsighted.
I am in my late forties, but I am still a huge Guns n Roses fan - I used to annoy one of my former bosses by turning the lab radio up full blast every time they came on [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_cool.gif[/img]
I may have to subscribe to Towerheads now to read all these additional comments you are referring to.
Hey, Coreene - "dude" is the story of my life. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]
I'm in my early 40's, born in Fresno, but raised in Chula Vista, with a close familiarity with Coronado, OB, PB, and La Jolla -- and vacations at Newport. If it's in California and mentioned in a Beach Boys' song, I've been there. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]
"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