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  1. #81
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    Yes! except we've been trying to figure out what the motivations are. The fact is that as has been proposed one problem with the AHSA was the predominace of the hunter people and their issues.

    It is therefore logical that they would be treated the same as all the other disciplines. The USOC also requires a smaller board so it's really a matter of semantics I think. There just has to be different titles and structure.

    The USET would only be expanding so they would be where the AHSA was a while back. The USET and the athletes have to be on the Board.

    Certainly, while jumpers and the other International sports have to be on the board, the hunters which are not an international discipline would have to drop down a rung on the ladder.

    I just coundn't figure out the reasons for the dilemma and I thought the article was rather revealing of what the powers of the NHJC were thinking. I still do think it is a matter of ego and turf.

    I wish there was more of an appreciation for what's in the best interests of the sport rather than just the hunters. I can't imagine how the NHJC thinks they are entitled to be supported by our membership money and then pay homage to the USET.

    Perhaps, the answer is to split the NHJC into two parts and have jumpers and hunters separately. The jumpers certainly would need to be with the USET is they win the contest and the hunters would have to stay with the AHSA.



  2. #82
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    I finally got into the site through a back door (my computer refuses to enter the usual way for some reason).

    Struzzieri said this: "And if you ask why does the AHSA want to�reinvent itself just to accommodate this issue [overseeing international competition, I think] I think every member has a right to ask."

    He was talking in the context of Saddlebreds and Arabians. I think he was asking why THEY would care. And he seemed to imply that they aren't happy about all the fuss or something.

    Has anyone heard from non-H-J factions about how they feel? Why shouldn't there be a wing of AHSA that deals with international issues? Who does that hurt in the other areas? And who says there won't ever be any international competitions within the breeds? NRHA already has some plans, I believe. Why is it assumed that SAddlebred or Arabian or Morgan enthusiasts don't care about how the US represents itself abroad, regardless of the actual discipline (which could also be driving, reining or endurance riding, BTW).

    I realize that because it is the USOC, that the Olympic sports are the focus, but jumpers, dressage and eventing aren't the only international disciplines. It doesn't sound like the USET reps are thinking about anything except the Olympic disciplines. Surely even USOC has more than that in mind?

    I find this subject very frustrating.

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  3. #83
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    I have just read TS's interview.

    To me it read, the NHJC will go with either organization but I think I also read that if the USET (USA Equestrian) were to become the NGB, that could, quite possibly put the NHJC in a better position to represent the Hunter/Jumper discipline.

    Wasn't the idea of the NHJC born of the AHSA desire to have an association affiliated with it to represent Hunters and Jumpers? I believe so. The AHSA WANTED the Hunter/Jumper industry to have it's own representation, similar to USDF, USCTA, NPHA, etc. All under AHSA's umbrella.

    Part of the problem with all this is economics. The largest chunk of membership in the AHSA is Hunter/Jumper. We pay the most in annual dues. Percentage wise, we should have the largest representation on the Board, no none.

    An example...to compete at sanctioned events, the rider must be member of the AHSA as well as the USCTA. To compete at Hunter/Jumper shows, one merely has to be a member of the AHSA, not also the USET. Statewide associations, are optional.

    Snowbird says the USET board members make up the difference at the end of the fiscal year. Portia says that is not unusual for a non profit. Isn't that what the AHSA is? Why should we think that those board members are not anteing up as well? A charitable donation looks the same to the IRS, no matter what non profit it went to.

    After reading the TS interview, I'm not sure the Hunter/Jumper industry would not be better off with representation solely from within the Hunter/Jumper industry.



  4. #84
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    From what I was told, check books were gotten out at the AHSA for many years. Whether this is still being done, only an audit might tell. Yes, these are non profit org. but what's wrong with this picture when board members are paying to keep them out of the red. No wonder so many ego's are involved. There's an ownership identity crisis occuring.

    What makes us think that with a new organization this might change?



  5. #85
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    Right on! We finally got our toe in the door and we who pay the bills got a chance to be heard. I didn't see the same interest or concern for "hunters" from the USET presentation, Board seat or not. Maybe they would care about the jumpers but since we are not an International Discipline I think we fit into the "I don't care" part of the presentation.

    I agree with Wynn, I don't know why anyone should assume that all horse people are not interested in the Olympics. Whether or not you participate in an international discipline I think all horse people do care and will care and have the right to be included.

    I wouldn't like a caste system that left anyone out.

    I also wondered what the "monkey in the middle" thing was? It's been a very long time since I played any childrens games and maybe I missed this one. Does anyone understand what that was all about? All I can think of is the three monkeys, hear no evil, see no evil and say no evil. Is TS trying to tell us all to look the other way and keep our mouth shut or was that some bad attempt at humor. I guess he's a lot younger than he looks.



  6. #86
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    The interview with TS is very disheartening, as it appears he doesn't/didn't have any understanding of the facts and the proposals on the table.

    First he says <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> "the USET changes it name, it?s semantics, but changes its name to USA Equestrian and puts together a board of directors and has offered us representation on that board of directors. So that is unique." <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    If you check the AHSA presentation, called USA Equestrian (which was FIRST proposed by the AHSA at the first meeting in November), you will see that first, on the Board of Directors are the seven VP's in charge of FEI desciplines - one of which is JUMPERs. 8 active atheletes (not more than 3 from each discipline) (so that is 3 more Jumpers, conceivably), plus the Chair of the Show Management Committee, Breeders Committee, Owners committee (who could all be H/J people), and Nine Directors (9) from non-FEI disciplines, whose primary affiliation shall be determined according to a proportional share of the total Individual Senior Membership (excluding the FEI disciplines), and One Director Nominated by the NNC from among the Breeds and Disciplines not.

    There could be a lot of H/J people in that mix, which would not be the exclusive "ownership" of the organization that we now have. This also leaves room for groups that are currently disenfranchised - those who LEFT the AHSA because of its pandering to strictly H/J disciplines. (Such as the AQHA).

    From what I am reading, it looks as if TS got his organizations mixed up.

    [This message was edited by Weatherford on Jan. 20, 2001 at 06:43 PM.]
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  7. #87
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    and I have to say that parts of it were so convoluted that I more often than not couldn't make head or tail of it. (Lots of coherence was lost in the rush to print, I think!) Monkey in the middle, though, is a keep-away game, Snowbird, in which the ball gets passed between two players over the head of a third player, who is the "monkey in the middle." If the monkey is able to snatch the ball, the player that the ball is kept away from becomes the new monkey. Understanding this helps me not at all in understanding the NGB issue, other than knowing that nothing I possibly do or say or think will affect the outcome. Better to focus on the day to day struggles of wintertime horsekeeping. He did raise some interesting points. Certainly the flak has been flying at a great rate from within both organizations as is demonstrated by the ever increasing volume and rate of tit-for-tat PR missives directed to my mailbox from both sides on almost a daily rate (I being an occaisional journalist in real life). At this point my take on it is that it amounts to not much more than "spin" from both sides which is not only not at all constructive as far as moving towards a resolution, but is in fact beginning to sound more than a bit desparate.



  8. #88
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    So the NHJC is the monkey in the middle and the USET and the AHSA keep passing the ball over his head and he can't catch it. That's makes the analogy workable, I get it he's mad because he can't catch the ball.

    You're right Weatherford and TS just doesn't follow the trail of the bouncing ball.

    It makes sense to me that Show Management, Breeders and Owners should be represented that deal with issues for all breeds. That's how a PR program can be developed. I have always felt that the disciplines should be the base units and all the breeds would fit in with those disciplines which they develop. Morgans for example do hunters, saddle seat and stock seat as well as driving and so do the Arabs. I think they have been very patient.

    The 9 non-FEI disciplines fit into the above pattern, and certainly based on proportional numbers the hunters and jumpers would have a good place.

    So you are absolutely right TS just wasn't listening. All he heard was what he wanted to hear not was actually on the table.



  9. #89
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    he may not be on your channel, but I am among those who are of an opinion that the man does not miss a trick. Strangely, while he is not "one of us" he is certainly not "one of them!" I think he has his eyes firmly on the big picture, which is more than can be said for those who have been charged with solving the NGB issue. Whatever the problems of our sport/ industry, they won't vanish whatever the outcome; there is no magic potion that will suddenly make all these very powerful and egotisitical people become reasonable and open to compromise. Think about it, elite athletes / top level managers by their nature are not compromisers after all--they did not get where they are by giving in, and it is wishful thinking to delude ourselves that a compromise is likely. Hard to imagine any outcome at all other than the USOC directing the resolution from outside the sport; I think that TS, as an establishment "outsider" sees this more clearly than those who have been mired in this issue all along.



  10. #90
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    But one also must see through his own personal "spin" on things.

    NHJC would end up independent regardless of who got the NGB. Then, if, as Weatherford pointed out, representation in "it" was done as proposed--by the numbers--that's the end of that, as well. Both of these points made by TS are really non-issues being used, possibly, to hide the interpersonal issues that may be driving his perspectives.

    If I'm wrong about this, then someone tell me exactly what difference it makes to NHJC whether AHSA or USET is the NGB? If it makes no difference, then, IMO, NHJC should just stay out of it and not use it's position to try to sway anyone. "It" after all, is supposed to be a representative council, not one man's domain.

    It is, in my opinion, unseemly for someone at heading a supposedly representative organization to "weigh in" on an issue, as though on behalf of the organization, even though the organization is not significantly impacted by the issue. I believe such opinions should be stated as representative of the individual's views, not the organization's.

    Part of this whole problem has to do with too much that is personal and subjective and not enough that is professional and objective.

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  11. #91
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    Emmet, seems I need to clarify something, and thanks for pointing it out so I could. What I meant is "not unusual for a non-profit" is to make an annual budget based on projected income from fundraising, not to make a budget that may well project a shortfall, with the expectation that the board of directors of the org are then to make up the shortfall at the end of the year so the numbers look good when they exceed their budget. That's what the USET does (according to Dr. Leone's public statements at the AHSA Annual Meeting), and in my mind that is both unusual and fiscally dangerous. It also guarantees that only those who have the money will ever make any decisions.

    According to what I've been told, the AHSA used to operate in somewhat the same way, that is, the board wrote checks at the end of the year. But the AHSA does not operate that way any longer and has not for many years. The AHSA is an organization that depends on its broad base of membership and corporate support, not on a few select individuals who control the purse strings -- which is what the USET does.

    As Wynn (or Lucian, can't remember now) pointed out, it is common to have big contributors on non-profit boards, and I have no problem with that. They are the people who support the org and they should have a voice. But this isn't the local symphony we're talking about here. It's the group that wants to take control of horse sports in this country. The USET's proposed organizational chart has it above the AHSA and all the other horse organizations in the US.

    As for the H/J community not having a say in the board of any new organization, that's ridiculous. The H/J community is a huge part of horse sports and it's just plain deceptive to say they won't have substantial representation on the board of a new merged or revamped org. Maybe Mr. Struzzieri wouldn't have the power he wants to have, but that is not the same as the H/J world not having a strong voice into the future. I saw and met many people at the Annual Meeting who are in the H/J world and who will ensure these disciplines are heard and well represented into the future.

    As for the other disciplines, I personally spoke about the issue with several people in the leadership of other disciplines, such as the Andalusians, and what I heard from them is that they care about our international disciplines as much as anyone else. They support driving and dressage and jumping and eventing. They are worried about the USET being placed in a position above the AHSA when the USET's focus is to care only about the FEI disciplines and only at the elite level. I'm certainly not saying others in those breed and non-FEI disciplines wouldn't have other opinions, but it is not fair to say they all are worried about what will happen if the AHSA is the NGB. Geez, the AHSA is and always has been the NGB and the breeds and disciplines haven't been neglected.

    It may be harsh of me to say, but the comment in Mr. Struzzieri's interview that rang the most true to me was when he said the details were "all in one ear and out the other" to him. He doesn't know how process will work or how the USOC will make the decisions and apparently doesn't care to learn. Personally, I found his assessment of the proposals and the possibilities for the future uninformed.

    Also. just my personal opinion of course, but I was at the board meeting on Sunday and did not in any way perceive it as the "disorganized" "embarassement" Mr. Struzzieri describes. They were introducing a new system that made sure that rule change proposals from the grass roots could not be discarded by the committees without ever being addressed by the board, and they had a new system for tracking the proposed rules changes, so that may have caused some confusion with some of the directors who are used to the way things were always done before. I haven't been to other meetings so I can't compare them, but I thought the AHSA people did very well in organizing a very complex meeting with hundreds of individual rules changes to be voted on by every director.

    JMHO.

    [This message was edited by Portia on Jan. 21, 2001 at 02:12 PM.]
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  12. #92
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    My take is exactly the same. I do not write as eloquently and concisely as you which talent I really admire but we are on the same page.

    The Struzzeri take on the USET format is self serving perhaps but not in the best interests of us as participants in an industry.

    For example he was operating under the old system when he ignored the fact that the proposed rule change passed by a vote of 57 or 52(anyway it was unanimous) and then turned the vote down cold and went in opposition.

    There were in addition four of our proposals which were never discussed in the forum and yet they were turned down. At the Board of Governors meeting where this happened the Governors did not have a clue what they were voting for or against. He read off his mantra of opposed and they not wanting to appear difficult just went along not knowing which vote was for what and there was no discussion. He was so rude to me that I received apologies from at least four of the Governors afterwards.

    So, perhaps he feels it will be acceptable to function this way under the USET plan, and yet keep getting the money from the AHSA. Certainly I did not see any place where "hunters" which is not an international discipline would be tolerated in any way to have some voice. If he in fact was offered a seat on the board I'm sure it was as a show manager of competitions that offer the high paying Prix classes.



  13. #93
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    I think you have made more sense about this issue that anyone. You are absolutely correct in your analogy of the personalities involved. And, unfortunate as it may be, you are probably correct in stating that no one is going to give.

    I also completely agree with your take on TS. He is quite the business person.

    As far as USET v AHSA...at this point, only time will tell, although even if the USOC does have to had down a decision, I doubt that will end it.

    Back to dealing with horses in winter.



  14. #94
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    Emmet,
    It's really a shame that you don't see that you and everyone else needs to have more confidence in your right to be heard.

    The reason I went to the convention was to try and show you all that you can make a difference if you have an opinion and you let it be heard.

    It is the cynicism and inevitability of the members that can do the most damage. A lot of drops of water can make a flood.

    You can give encouragement to either side that you choose. You may just write the letter or make the phone call that helps make that final decision. It's evenly matched and evenly tied so any number of responses can push the scale either way.



  15. #95
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    "Closed communities everywhere have a common characteristic: dialogues between their members are carried out on the background of a system of assumptions, which are never themselves subject to possible discussion, and are therefore sheltered from refutation, modification or renewal. Conversations, wherever they are instantiated, exemplify passive negations of the fallibility of the assumptions upon which they are carried out. Challenges of these assumptions, whenever they are attempted, are met with impatient maxims; with the retort that the assumptions are "self-evident"; with a challenge to the challenger to justify his position (i.e. "from what social or moral position do you criticize our position"); with psychoanalytic explanation of the challenger's motives which essentially reduces him or her to a self-deceived person or a deviant; or with stated suspicion that the fallibilist is attempting to use a strategy for undermining the premises of dialogue for the purpose of introducing his own agenda..."

    "...[There is a] need to differentiate dialogue from parallel monologues, which represent passive negations of the interactive nature of dialogue. The introduction of new claims "on the sly" is usually undertaken for two purposes--both defensive: the first is to strengthen what seems to be a losing argument without having to acknowledge one's own position in that argument...The second purpose is to effect a nimble "change of subject" and is a frequently used device in everyday conversation...Both of the above examples of the "naive introduction" of new claims entail implicit negations of the position entailed by one's involvement in the dialogue. In the first case, the introduction of "new evidence" is usually undertaken for the benefit of an audience...and represents a theatrical act, not a communicative one. In the second case, the positions of the discussants in a dialogue--as partakers of a particular argument or line of inquiry--are passively denied. A new dialogue is "smuggled in" as if this was the dialogue that was carried on to being with."

    From Communications: On the paradigm guiding industrial relations theory and research, by Thomas A Kochan.

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  16. #96
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    Whoa Wynn,

    Can you explain a little more simply. I think I agree.



  17. #97
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    Uh, well, let's see...it is pretty heavy reading.

    Number One: We need to examine assumptions, not just accept them.

    Number Two: There is a tendency to criticize those who challenge assumptions (like the recent round of ad hominem attacks I received).

    Number Three: People talk "at" each other, but not "to" (or "with") each other (e.g. "parallel monologues"), especially when they have an audience.

    Number Four: People slip new stuff into an old argument in order to confuse things so no one will notice how weak their positions are.

    Number Five: People with weak arguments also tend to try to change the subject and then pretend that their new subject was the real subject all along.

    Number Six: People who are trying to have a useful discussion are shut out by these techniques, which are used by those who know they hold weak positions.

    None of these behaviors leads to constructive dialogue, but those who are too lazy (my contribution) to care just sit back and let it happen anyway (passive negation).

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  18. #98
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    I knew I agreed.

    Yes, the diversionary tactics and exagerated examples do create the smoke behind which they hide. And, I do think many times we all talk at each other and not to each other.

    I just finished reading the total interview of TS and while I found it personally revealing of his total lack of comprehension of the issues, it was also totally revealing of his self-serving need to feel important and to lock out opposition to his continuing efforts to monopolize the market share of the potential competitors.

    There was nothing there that indicated any kind of concern for those who believe in the sport of raising and training healthy happy horses. He is catering exclusively to those whose ego requires that they compete at what is described as a prestigious level, and horsemanship is as irrelevant as the horse was until we got it put back into the Misiion Statement.

    What a sad pity that someone who might have been a constructive leader has disclosed himself publicly as a player in the world of ego-centric rider instead of the huge potential that is out there for real sportsmen.

    It makes me wonder what breeds he considers acceptable since he discounts all the breed associations as if they didn't care who was on our Olympic Team. Are we not all horse people or in the book of TS are only some deserving of being horse people.



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    Snowbird, not to start an arguement, but we both know that what people say and do, often are very different. One has to believe that actions do speak louder than words. Especially in this situation. When people tell us, "Oh yes, it has to be done that way" I wait for the next foot to fall. Usually, they are being polite, and trying not to have a confrontation. I truly want to "believe", but there is more involved in this then we see on the surface. TS is most diffinitely a businessman. As Justjump stated, do not underestimate him. This is a business, and should be run as one. Something which is hard for many of us to grasp. As a business, the bottom line will be what we look at. If it's profitable, good, if not then big changes are needed. Currently, what organizations are profitable? Just some food for thought [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif[/img]



  20. #100
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    I do not underestimate Mr. Struzzeri at all. And yes, he is a businessman. I think it has been made very clear that he is tending to business. The problem is that it is his business and not ours.

    He certainly is not opposed to cutting corners to get his way when he wants to, and he uses the system to say no when he wants to.

    It is relatively certain that a relationship with the USET will not hurt his business which is the HITS shows. If he is successful and he can butter his bread on both sides then certainly that would be his preference.

    What makes me wonder is that the new By-Laws which the NHJC just got passed doesnot give AHSA members who are mandated to belong to NHJC and credibility unless they are willing to pay another $30.00 for a full Council membership. I will post those passed revisions shortly. You will be surprised at the plan for autonomy which they have in place. It will certainly cost us all more money.



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