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  1. #41
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    Well Wynn that's the whole point as you said an employee can be told what to do and how to do it. That's just fine for data and filing but in other capacities I prefer the free thinker and creative innovator who volunteers and does it for a good cause. The best people who have guided this sport through the associations did it for free.

    The real problem is how to eliminate those who are incompetent but can buy their position.

    Well, the point is that like the dog shows which make prime time regularly, you would start with a standard within each breed. Then the leaders of each breed would compete as per a best of show.

    The problem is the create the proper definitions for a hunter. Did you know that in the southeast the hunters were all saddlebreds? They were superb at the job. Maybe the style was different but they got the job done safely and well. While we in the northeast are hooked on the English Hunt and pattern our aspect of the sport from that in the south they didn't reverence the english.

    We make an assumption that what we do is the proper and only best, but for many the style is quite different so what if the style was not the issue but the purpose was the issue. Down south the hunt was not organized so elegantly by the gentry with whipper-in and protocol and their target was raccoon which was eaten and not just killed. Coon tails are still considered for decoration and trophies. Our consideration should be the suitability for purpose.

    Hunting is actually a time honored sport using horses for so many purposes. Out west I'm sure the predators were more dangerous coyotes and mountain cats. How about a fresh approach and then measure somehow the suitability for the purposes needed. That's where it might be possible to value competition between the breeds for "hunters". Courage, safety, dependability and intelligence vrs. beauty and style.

    Granted the western flatlands didn't need the agility over fences but strength and courage. I'm sure that ditch jumps, mountain climbing and such would add a great deal of excitement to our competition. Why do we limit ourselves to the "english" hunt patterns and not design an American hunter?

    Our fences and courses have gotten boring. If we're going to make change let's make it a real change. Bull riding, reining and rodeo have done very well because they are exciting. Perhaps, we should lose some of the english "stiff upper lip" conservatism. Perhaps, now is the time to think NEW.

    Rituals for their own sake seem hollow. Think about some kind of competition for the west against the north and the south as leagues. Challenges to see which is best the fox hunter, the coon hunter or the cat hunter.

    [This message was edited by Snowbird on Jan. 06, 2001 at 08:19 PM.]



  2. #42
    Weatherford is offline Schoolmaster Premium Member
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    Check the AHSA web site to read more about the SPI. http://www.ahsa.org/EquestrianGovernance/index.html

    There are several new letters and informational articles posted which are very interesting. The NGB Fact Sheet is of primary importance, and the letter from Alan Balch to Armand Leone also interesting.

    They will be posting news from yesterday's meeting later.
    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!



  3. #43
    Weatherford is offline Schoolmaster Premium Member
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    AHSA & USET Press Release

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> STRATEGIC PLANNING INITIATIVE HOLDS THIRD MEETING

    The members of the Equestrian Strategic Planning Initiative met yesterday in Colorado Springs, CO, at the United States Olympic Training Center. After much fruitful discussion it was agreed that there were two viable proposals, which have been developed to satisfy the governance issue with which the sport is faced. It was decided to take both proposals to the Boards of the American Horse Shows Association (AHSA) and the United States Equestrian Team (USET) and to seek the input of these Boards on the differences and potentials for convergence. Our joint efforts toward the creation of U.S.A. Equestrian continues.
    <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!



  4. #44
    Weatherford is offline Schoolmaster Premium Member
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    A few days ago the USET issued a press release that basically said the same things the AHSA said in their original NOVEMBER proposal.

    Yes, we need a new federation - but not with the USET running it! IMHO! Nor the ASHA, for that matter!

    Here is a link to some information:

    http://www.ahsa.org/EquestrianGovernance/index.html

    There is also a link on to press releases on the USET web site:

    http://www.uset.org/html/spi.html
    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!



  5. #45
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    Oops, I've been away from the internet for a while and didn't see this thread until after I started a topic which really belongs here...how many other threads are there also covering this territory?

    I'm unable to cut and paste into the reply boxes for some reason, but I really dislike twenty duplicate threads on the same subject, so if someone can consolidate the info on my topic, please do so!
    Tinwhistle Farm



  6. #46
    Weatherford is offline Schoolmaster Premium Member
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    This is the NGB Fact Sheet issued before the last meeting. I apologize for its length.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
    FACT SHEET - The NGB Issue




    1. Federal Law dictates that every sport that is represented in Olympic Games must be governed by an organization that the US Olympic Committee (USOC) recognizes as the National Governing Body (NGB). The same organization is also a member of the international federation for the sport, representing the USA as its National Federation (NF).

    2. One, and only one, organization may be so designated by the USOC for each Olympic sport.

    3. The NGB must be responsible for all disciplines within that sport recognized by their International Federation (for equestrian sport, the FEI); it may also include other national programs, and must recognize qualified Affiliate Sports Organizations.

    4. The USOC Constitution outlines the duties and responsibilities of the NGB. This document also makes clear that matters central to the governance of the sport may not be delegated to any other organization.

    5. Areas of duties, responsibilities, and authority for a sport include:
    a. Demonstrating the organizational and financial ability to fulfill governance.
    b. Responsibility for creation, distribution, and enforcement of National Rules, including Hearing and Grievance processes for handling issues of rule violations or unfairness to athletes.
    c. Sanctioning of National competitions and coordination of the competition calendar.
    d. Sanctioning of all National Championships.
    e. Submission of applications for all U.S. competitions wishing to be sanctioned by the FEI.
    f. Assuring the opportunity to compete for athletes at all levels, with oversight of the sport from entry level to Olympic level � assuring an unobstructed path from bottom to top for aspiring athletes.
    g. Educating and licensing of officials, including recommendations for FEI licenses and promotions.
    h. Creating and executing High Performance Plans for developing and sustaining excellence at the Olympic, Pan American, and World Championship level, including the logistical management of the participation in these events.
    i. Providing a method of selection, that meets with USOC approval, for the determination of U.S. representation at Games and Championships.
    j. Receipt, review, and formal acceptance of all invitations extended by other countries for US athletes to participate.
    k. Issuance of documentation for athletes (licenses) and their horses (passports) to participate in International competition.
    l. Insurance that disabled athletes have the ability to participate in the sport up to and including the Paralympic Games.
    m. Communication of all relevant information regarding the sport to its athletes, officials, and organizers, including information on the Athlete Anti-Doping program.
    n. Provide for representation of the sport within the USOC and the FEI, including election of Eligible Athletes to the AAC.
    o. Encourage and support research, as well as disseminate information, on issues of training, fitness, health, and safety for competitors.
    p. Support the mission of the FEI to assure the welfare of the horses (including the administration of a Drugs and Medications program), increase both the universality and the public�s awareness of the sport.

    6. To date, Equestrian sport has functioned under the auspices of two different organizations: the AHSA (designated as the NGB since federal law codified the term in 1978) that has dealt with the majority of governance issues; and the USET that has focused on providing financial and logistical support for much US representation (in 6 of the 7 FEI disciplines), as well as various programs for training and development of international level competitors. This arrangement predates the 1978 Ted Stevens Act by 28 years.

    7. While the USOC never approved of the �division of labor� between 2 organizations, prior to 1997 the issue of �delegation� was handled (with the USOC�s tacit consent) by means of agreements among the leaderships of both the AHSA and USET. These pre-1997 agreements provided for direct and meaningful AHSA oversight of USET actions, including drafting of selection procedures, naming of teams, all foreign participation by American athletes, and all communication with either the USOC or the FEI.

    8. For a number of years the USOC has reviewed the status of compliance of the AHSA as NGB on a regular basis.

    9. With the election of new Presidents for both the AHSA and the USET in 1997, a formal Operating Agreement was requested by the USET. It was negotiated over a 7-month period under the oversight of the Vice Chairman of the USOC. This OA was an attempt to simplify the complexities of dealing with two organizations with regard to participation in foreign international competitions by US athletes. Its terms provided for less AHSA oversight of USET programs, including selection of Teams, than ever before. It also created an AHSA Athlete Services Desk in the Gladstone headquarters of the USET so that all international competitors would receive improved service, even when not participating in USET supported programs or competitions.

    10. That Operating Agreement extended only through the Olympic Games of 2000. Attempts to extend it (for an additional one or two Quadrennia) were unsuccessful. In the Spring of 2000 the USOC indicated that the terms of the Agreement would no longer be acceptable to them, due to issues of whether matters central to the governance of the sport had been delegated.

    11. Discussions between the two organizations regarding the future governance of the sport did not begin until after the completion of the Sydney Games. This was in spite of the urging of the AHSA Officers who repeatedly requested the USET to begin discussions before the expiration of the OA and the notification to both groups that a joint presentation to the USOC had to be made on Nov. 18-19th.

    12. Representatives of both the AHSA and the USET met with representatives of the USOC on October 12th agreeing to jointly tackle how to achieve governance in order to meet the USOC mandate. The method agreed to by both the USET and the AHSA was a professionally facilitated Strategic Planning Initiative (SPI) with 10 participants to be designated by each of the 2 organizations, along with a senior staff person from each. It was agreed that the Operating Agreement would continue in effect until the SPI had met and a review of its progress had been made by the USOC.

    13. The first facilitated meeting of the SPI took place on Nov. 6th in Newark, NJ, where the issues were identified and it was voted to proceed with the process.

    14. On Nov. 22th the AHSA was officially notified that compliance issues, primarily concerning the terms of the Operating Agreement, would be addressed by the Membership and Credentials Committee in late February, with the possibility of its recommendation to the Executive Committee that the NGB for Equestrian be found �out of compliance.� The letter acknowledged the SPI process underway and put a February 1st deadline on reaching mutual agreement on how to approach the governance issues, prior to making that recommendation.

    15. The second meeting of the SPI, again in Newark, NJ, on Dec. 5-6 identified a number of different potential solutions, which were narrowed down to two different scenarios. These are currently being further developed (one by each group). One is the USET becoming the NGB for Equestrian sport and assuming all the functions that that entails, the second is the formation of an entirely new and modern NGB � best accomplished through an amalgamation or consolidation of both existing corporations, thus preserving the strengths and experience of each.

    16. The third meeting of the SPI � to receive, study, and discuss both fully �fleshed-out� options � takes place on January 9th in hopes of reaching a consensus within the sport. An inability to do so could mean putting our sport through public hearings in front of the USOC, potentially followed by an expensive arbitration process, to arrive at the mandated single organization able to successfully undertake ALL the required governance functions. <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!



  7. #47
    Weatherford is offline Schoolmaster Premium Member
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    This is the USET's answer to the AHSA's proposal. Again, apologies for being long.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> An Open Letter from the United States Equestrian Team

    From the USET SPI Steering Committee (Armand Leone, Jr. and Robert Standish)

    To the Equestrian Community:

    There is growing anxiety in the print and electronic press about the status of the negotiations between the American Horse Shows Association (AHSA) and the U.S. Equestrian Team (USET) on the designation of national governing
    body for equestrian sport by the U.S. Olympic Committee. In the spirit of openness, the USET presents this letter describing the issues and explaining its solution.

    The Strategic Planning sessions were necessary, because the USOC ordered the
    AHSA and USET to comply with the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act
    and end the splitting of NGB functions that has existed for over 50 years.
    The AHSA has had the official title of NGB, while for the last 50 years the
    USET has done the work of the NGB for the AHSA. The USET has been the de
    facto NGB by working to fund, train and organize our country's equestrian
    athletes. The result has been medals for Equestrian in every Olympic Games
    except one. In fact, the importance of the Olympic effort caused the USOC to
    request that both organizations hold off discussing resolution of the NGB
    non-compliance until after the Sydney Games.

    The USET came to the second SPI session with a detailed proposal in hand.
    Contrary to some published comments and Internet chatting, our proposal was
    put out as a tangible first step to spur an open dialogue on how to
    formalize the NGB status. Our proposal has the USET assuming the title of
    the National Governing Body (NGB) and National Federation (NF) for
    Equestrian Sport in the United States. To do so, the USET would take over
    the international administrative functions currently handled by AHSA. The
    AHSA would be an Affiliate Member sport organization (much like the USET was
    for the last 50 years) and continue to provide all its current services for
    its national breeds and discipline organizations. Under the USET Proposal,
    both organizations retain their headquarters, assets and infrastructure, and
    the continuity of programs at the national and international levels is
    ensured. The AHSA Board would remain intact without any reduction in the
    proportionate representation of its constituent groups.

    The USET Proposal is modeled after other NGBs that are similarly situated,
    such as USA Track & Field, USA Baseball, USA Wrestling and USA Basketball.
    For instance, USA Wrestling has 49 state associations that focus on
    providing state and local competitions and are comprised of volunteers,
    coaches, officials, athletes and parents. These associations conduct tournaments, run clubs, organize trips and coach athletes in their area. USA Track & Field is comprised of 56 Member associations that oversee the sport at the local level.


    The AHSA very capably regulates equestrian sports for the multiple breeds and disciplines that exist in the United States. However, the USOC mandate for an NGB is to focus on maximizing international competitive excellence in equestrian sports and to coordinate affiliate member organizations that run national, local and non-international equestrian programs. The NGB also should ensure that a clear pathway exists for athletes to progress from the grassroots to the Olympic level competition.

    While the USET values the expertise and services of the AHSA, the NGB situation as it stands cannot continue. By allowing the USET to assume the NGB title and the few remaining NGB functions, continuity of services to Equestrian athletes is ensured with the lowest cost and the least upheaval to both organizations.

    Equestrian activity at the local, grassroots level is the heart of our sport, and the AHSA should continue to conduct horse events under its auspices at this level. As riders and drivers develop and graduate to higher levels of competition, the NGB then assumes responsibility for their continued success. The NGB cannot be all things to all people in the equestrian disciplines without jeopardizing the USOC mandate of maximizing sustained international competitive excellence. A merged organization of the AHSA and USET would be too large, too cumbersome and unable to focus on this mandate, because there are too many disciplines and matters for which it would be responsible but are not related to international competition. An Affiliate Organization structure to regulate the sport on the national and local level is viable, as is the case with USA Track and Field, USA Baseball, USA Wrestling, and USA Basketball.

    Logic and economic prudence dictate the USET should be NGB:

    * The USET has raised funds for and administered the training, selection, coaching and sending of U.S. athletes competing in the internationally recognized disciplines to the Olympic Games, the World Championships and other International Equestrian competitions for more than 50 years.
    The result has been a multiplicity of Olympic medals in equestrian events.
    * Both organizations' assets, infrastructure and boards continue to exist.
    * The USET Bylaws comply with USOC requirements for NCB.
    * Athletes recognize USET as the organization that addresses their needs.
    * The USET as NGB will ensure the continuity of the athletes' programs.
    * The USET has facilities and well-trained staff presently up and running
    * Lower transaction costs resulting from this solution and resultant NGB structure allow more funding to support the athletes.

    The USET would undergo a transformation into USA Equestrian upon becoming the NGB. This would include a reconstitution and refocusing of the current USET board and committees to more completely represent the interests of the sport and to maximize the potential for our sustained competitive excellence in international equestrian sports. While other solutions might be conceivable, no other solution is able to provide a more efficient and effective structure for fulfilling the USOC mandate. No other solution has fewer costs to the athletes, the organizations and the equestrian world in the United States. For the overall good of the sport and for sustained competitive excellence in international events, the USET's plan to assume the NGB title for equestrian as USA Equestrian is the solution.

    # # #

    Following is USA EQUESTRIAN Executive Summary:
    A Solution for the Governance of Equestrian

    As a follow up to the presentation made to the Board of the American Horse Shows Association on Thursday, January 11th, 2000 as well as previous presentations to the Active Athletes and the Board of the United States Equestrian Team, we wish to provide you with the attached proposed organizational charts. We welcome your questions and comments.

    The Equestrian NGB must fulfill the USOC Mandate to achieve sustained international competitive excellence, by focusing on the support and development of equestrian's international athletes, coordinating affiliate sport organizations that run programs at the local level, and ensuring a pipeline for athletes from grass roots competitions to the Olympic level.

    We are proposing that The United States Equestrian Team assume the title of NGB and change its name to USA Equestrian as part of this process. The USA Equestrian Board and Committee structure will be reorganized so as to maximize the efficiency of the organization and to ensure the organization is athlete driven. Representation on the board and committees will include the interests of the athletes, the affiliate sport organizations, the paralympic athletes and the international discipline coordinators. USA Equestrian will be responsible for managing all aspects of Protected Competitions and interfacing with the USOC and the FEI.

    The American Horse Shows Association would be a vital affiliate partner as the organization responsible for managing all aspects of its competitions at the local, regional and national levels. The AHSA would have direct representation on the board and committees of USA Equestrian. The AHSA would continue to promulgate rules concerning its events and enforce them through its existing hearing and sanction procedures. The AHSA would remain responsible for competition date allocation for its recognized competitions. Other organizations that hold equestrian competitions at the local level,such as the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association and the Virginia Horse Show Association could continue to hold events under their rules.

    The Seven National Discipline Associations (ADS, AERC, AVA, NHJA, NRHA, USCTA, and USDF) will be Affiliate Members of USA Equestrian and will continue their direct representation on the board plus all relevant committees of USA Equestrian. These organizations will continue to fulfill their mandates according to the will of their memberships and provide programs for developing athletes in the pespective disciplines.

    The USET's plan integrates the current organizations in a way that is compliant with the USOC requirements and is optimal for fulfilling the USOC mandate with preservation of assets and infrastructure and without dissolution of the organizations. There would be no disenfranchisement of any disciplines or breeds, since proportionate representation would remain unchanged on the AHSA board and committees. Most importantly, continuity of breed specific, national and international programs would be ensured. The time for implementation of this plan is short. Staffing changes would be minimal, and there would be no changes in the board or committees required at the AHSA level.

    The result is in the best interest of the sport with a focused NGB that fosters sustained competitive excellence, that maximizes the expertise of existing personnel serving all disciplines and breeds, that preserves the
    infrastructure and membership of both organizations and that provides a pipeline for athletes at the grass roots level to progress to the Olympic level. <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!



  8. #48

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    The USET sounds like it is saying exactly what the AHSA already proposed. Except, they seem to still want to be head honchos (unlike the AHSA).

    Hmmm - sounds like someone just wants some power. And what happens when those bigwigs who keep the USET in the black decide to take their money elsewhere? They have a location and staff - yeah, small location, very small staff. Who would actually manage what will be a multimillion dollar corporation? Do they have the knowhow?

    Start over, I think, is the only answer. New structure, bring in new people. Buy the AHSA's headquarters in Lexington to be closer to the middle of the country. Get EVERY horse organization involved at some level. Reexamine the fee structures; reexamine the place for smaller orgs involvement, as well as huge ones (ie AQHA).

    Reexamine the system from the bottom up, not the top down.



  9. #49
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    Get out your flame throwers but I think it is absolutely necessary for our sport to have an organization that represents our elite riders.

    I do not think that either the USET or the AHSA is without fault. However, I do sense that the AHSA is too large, too multi-disciplined, too all encompassing to efficiently handle the nuances of international athletes.

    On the other hand, the USET must learn to respond to riders whose names may be unfamiliar to them as well as to recognizable riders.

    Since both these organizations are already in place, it seems ridiculous to start over. Each one needs some tweaking, some new blood and to get on with the business of governing our sport and fielding competitive teams in the international arena.

    Enough of the ego wars and on to the next logical step.



  10. #50
    Weatherford is offline Schoolmaster Premium Member
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    Emmett, but the problem is IOC demands that the National Federation represent ALL layers and aspects of the sport.

    The "New Organization" as orignally proposed by the AHSA would have it's International arm as well as other arms representing other aspects of Equestrian Sports.

    See the Fact Sheet and the IOC information (on both the AHSA & USET's web sites) and read Linda Allen's articles - which have appeared in a variety of places. (I will try to provide links.)

    If we are going to work within the guidelines of the IOC/USOC, then a new organization is the only logical way to do it. A TOTALLY new organization, not just a rehash of old orgs.
    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!



  11. #51
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    Maybe the real key is the definition of "all aspects of the sport". Are we focusing on the international teams or are we including ALL aspects, even the grass roots. My feeling is they want the international, not your home grown variety.

    Unfortunately, another impasse.



  12. #52
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    Well, I was there at the Convention and I heard Armond Leone make the presentation for the USET and Jim Wofford for the merger.

    I sure didn't hear any compromise. At first I liked what Armand was saying it sounded fine even though he proposed that the USET would be in charge and they would delegate to the AHSA as one of it's committees somewhere around the third level.

    What blew my mind was when someone asked him some tangible management questions regarding us peasants and what we do Armand said "we're not interested in all those petty little factors you can all do whatever you want, we're just interested in the big issues." Not an exact phrasing but it made my hair curl.

    Without question the least unconciliatory attitude I would ever expect to hear from someone proposing to take over our sport and manage it for us. It was pompous and self serving and illustrated clearly the "elitist" attitude of those involved and exactly how unimportant and demeaning it was for him to even waste his time on the question.

    I say the AHSA should field it's own Olympic program, cut the USET loose and then in four years we'll see who has an Olympic team and organization that suits the USOC. If they win the NGB status what will they do with it, without us? They don't deserve us! And, they sure don't need our money or support. I'm sure they can find some little country without a team that they can represent.



  13. #53
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    I too just returned from the Annual Meeting. (Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to meet Snowbird in person, I didn't know who was who until the last day while the board meeting was going on.) I too was distinctly unimpressed with the USET proposal, and with what Dr. Armand Leone Jr. had to say about the way the USET is run.

    At the International open forum, Dr. Leone stated that the USET was worried about losing its brand name and the good will that goes along with the USET trademark, and losing sponsorship because of it. I introduced myself to the meeting as a member of both the AHSA and USET, and asked whether any of the sponsors had threatened to withdraw if there was a merged organization. Dr. Leone's reply was yes, but he then explained that what he was talking about were certain unidentified major individual contributors. He confirmed that none of the corporate sponsors have made any threats or given any indication that they would withdraw support from a merged organization.

    This discussion led to Dr. Leone explaining the way the USET budget and financing works. As he and USET staff person Jim Wolfe explained it, the various disciplines tell the USET how much they need to accomplish their goals, the USET estimates how much they will be able to raise in fundraising efforts (all of which is typical for non-profits), and they set their budget. What shocked me, however, was when Dr. Leone then explained that at the end of the year if there is a shortfall (which, according to records there virtually always is), the USET Board members pull out their checkbooks and pay the difference so there is no deficit on the books. And that is what they are expected to do as Board members. In other words, the people who want to run our Equestrian NGB are the individuals who have the money to pay for the privilege of wielding such power.

    Frankly, that idea put me squarely against the USET ever being our NGB, and put me squarely against donating any money to the USET in its present form. Unfortunately, I got the distinct impression that at least some of the Board of the USET does not care one bit what the lesser folks like me think or do.

    On top of that, looking at the USET proposed organizational chart and explanation of its proposal, it is apparent the USET wants to be in the position of power over the AHSA and all of the other state and local organizations in horse sports. The USET's proposed org chart has the USOC on top, the USET underneath, and the AHSA and FEI discipline organizations under that. The USET plan also involves the AHSA largely continuing to perform (and pay for) the day-to-day functions of dealing with licensing officials and equine drug testing, etc. -- the same situation the USOC currently finds objectionable, except that the USET thinks it will be OK because the AHSA will be an underling affiliate of the USET. This is not a plan that appeals to me at all.
    "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



  14. #54
    Weatherford is offline Schoolmaster Premium Member
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    And thank you Portia and Vikki!! And what happens when the individual sponsors (Casperson and Clark?) decide to close their wallets?

    What great insight into a frighteningly elitist process! One that may have worked 40 years ago, but certainly is not appropriate today. I suppose you have considered writing this to the USOC?

    A new org - reorganized from the bottom up, is, to my mind, the only solution.
    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!



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    The top scholars in the field (of fundraising) agree that the most successful NPOs are those whose boards are the leading donors. Here's a few revealing statements from Thomas Broce's book, Fund Raising--The Guide to Raising Money from Private Sources:

    "...Finally, they saw the wisdom of involving people who expected to both give and get..."

    "To be successful, the board must commit itself to contribute 20% of whatever dollar goal is selected..."

    "One responsibilities of trusteeship [board membership] is to support the organization with gifts...the latter is a common weakness in many volunteer-based, non-profits."

    "No one else can be expected to give until the leadership express their committment to the program [through significant giving]."

    I, frankly, was shocked when I read this, but it makes sense. Broce also repeats ad infinitum that 90% of funds donated come from only 10% of donors. I think his point is that, if the NPO wants to success, a goodly percent of that 10% should sit on the board.

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  16. #56
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> What shocked me, however, was when Dr. Leone then explained that at the end of the year if there is a shortfall (which, according to records there virtually always is), the USET Board members pull out their checkbooks and pay the difference so there is no deficit on the books. And that is what they are expected to do as Board members. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    How... ummm... provincial...

    I wonder if the same can be said of other countries or other olympic disciplines?

    To your point, Pwynn, I think there is a bit of a difference in committing to personally contribute to a NFP organization and making up the budget shortfall (probably in addition to the original contribution).

    Thanks for the insight and asking the pointed question, Portia!

    And as an additional thought... something must be horribly wrong with a system that produces a budget shortfall every year, in spite of the fact that the rest of the industry is just unbelievably succesful, from a financial viewpoint...
    Definition of "Horse": a 4 legged mammal looking for an inconvenient place and expensive way to die. Any day they choose not to execute the Master Plan is just more time to perfect it. Be Very Afraid.



  17. #57
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    How come they (the USET) are hiring professional fundraisers, rather than soliciting legions of volunteers, and giving themselves exhorbinant salaries.

    Or is the employee who drives a Mercedes SUV independently wealthy? Friends of mine who knew him eons ago say he certainly wasn't then.

    And Pwynn, granted 90% of the money comes from 10% of the sponsors, but does that give them the right to dictate policy? Or, as appears to be more the case, does that give a select few of them the right to dictate policy over the others in that 10% bracket?



  18. #58
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    I dream that if we all work together, little kids from families without a lot of money will grow up and have the chance to be on our Olympic Team.

    I dream that somehow we can all put together a system that let's the coaches find the best riders, no matter who they are and put them on the best horses no matter who they belong to and send them to the Olympics under the United States of America Flag and those kids who love this country will be proud to represent it and not be snobs because they bought it and compete for themselves alone.

    These people have enough money to buy their own country to show under since this country isn't important but being there is for them and not any country.

    At least they might do some good if they buy some poor country and support it so they can be on a team, any team.



  19. #59

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    You can afford one if you are making %250,000 per year! Evidently one assistant in the org was recruited by another org and the USET matched that offer - then had to make his boss and co-worker equivalent. In a year where the USET was $1.5 MILLION in the hole - before the powers stepped in to fill that hole. (No wonder they think they can run it!)

    The USET makes acccusations about the AHSA's poor financial condition, when, in fact, since Jane Clark left the helm in 1997, they have gotten themselves SQUARELY in the black and even has significant investments that have not been used. NO INDIVIDUAL or individuals now has to reach into their pockets to bail out the AHSA at the end of the year!

    What about that proposed rule change that added $2 to EVERY entry fee for the USET??? It got vetoed - but do we really want to pay any more obligatory fees? How about cutting back on the fees we DO pay!

    There are several web sites out there that list information about non-profits - I will post them when I find them.



  20. #60
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    The USET says its primary concern is not to lose focus on the elite portion of the sport and on fielding winning teams. From what I've seen, that should be the least of their worries.

    One of the people who spoke at the International open forum at the Annual Meeting was Peter Alkalay (apologies if I misspelled his name), a sports law lawyer who represents several major amateur sports organizations in connection with organization, governance, and USOC matters. For example, he represents the newly reorganized USA Track and Field, an organization that covers hundreds of thousands of atheletes at all levels, from the Olympics down to little track meets for 6 year olds.

    Mr. Alkalay made it very clear that in all his experience with these amateur sports organizations that serve all levels, not a single one of them has ever had a problem with losing focus on or failing to provide needed services to the elite levels of the sport. He explained that in fact, in his experience, having a comprehensive organization helps to enhance the services at the highest levels. In those other sports, the organization is set up to have a division or divisions to serve the highest levels of the sport, and they get all the attention they need, while the grass roots that feed those elite levels are also nurtured by other divisions of the organization.

    The AHSA merged organization proposal follows that model. That proposal would have the umbrella organization divided into three divisions each with its own Executive Vice President, one to handle administrative matters, one to handle national breed and discipline matters, and one to handle -- and focus entirely upon -- the international competition matters.

    I also don't understand the USET argument that it would somehow be cheaper to maintain two separate organizations. One of the drivers behind most mergers is the economies of scale achieved by a merger, particularly when the two entities have overlapping functions. The USET has not yet explained, at least as far as I've seen, why they think those same economies of scale would not be achieved in a merger between the AHSA and the USET to form a new organization.
    "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



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