Just a note. The first article I read in the Times was about racing, drugging and casinos. The timing of that article - also front and center - was pre Kentucky Derby. Interestingly this article surfaces just before the beginning of WEF.
I hope USEF - whose own convention is but a few weeks away - will address the issue of equine death at show venues. Seems they - if nothing else - will be shamed into doing so.
To the poster who noted the feature article in a recent equine publication - I'm in total agreement.
I wish and hope Julie Winkel is correct in that judges will arrive at the point where they forgive "freshness" although it was status quo at indoors.
Noticed the vet from the Gulfport shows is pictured in the online version for selling Carolina Gold, could this affect his practice at all?
I hate to say it, but probably not. The big hunter trainers know what vets to use, and they LOVE vets that will simply do whatever it takes. It's big business for certain vets to be the barn vet of these big barns, and the trainers want vets who will give them whatever drugs they ask for, and inject whatever they want injected...etc. Along with the trainers and owners we need to police these vets! Some vets are nothing but drug dealers, and they make a lot of money doing it, no questions asked.
[QUOTE]Also, just want to say that i think it is disheartening to see industry magazines published by our federation and its affiliates include cover photos of professionals that have been fined/ set down in the current year.[y/QUOTE]
Agreed. Absolutely ridiculous and an error in judgment.
I, too, am pleased that the NYT covered the death of Humble and the larger issue of drug use at competitions. As a former competitor at shows like WEF, VT, etc. who showed with some big name barns, I can attest that the drug use is rampant and abusive, as are the lunging and excessive showing. In my experience, integrity and concern for the animals are rarer than we would like to think, at least in the upper echelons of competition. I left showing years ago, and am so glad that I did. USEF needs to put some teeth in its enforcement efforts and use those astronomical dues and fees to clean up the show industry.
that is an amazing list of drugs for a pony to show under. wow!
its nice that julie winkel has said that we need to judge the horses differently, but until they are actually rewarded for brilliance and not automaton behavoir, nothing is going to change.
and another problem is that the average rider cant handle these big athletic animals. so even if the judging was changed, i still think trainers would want to drug the horses because the rider would be scared to ride the horse without it being drugged. it takes alot of learning to learn how to ride a fresh athletic horse. i just dont see that many people wanting to learn this skill. the trainers give the riders what they want. an easy horse! even i want to ride an easy horse and not a hard one. and hey if there is a short cut to get there, why not?
i think the whole thing is really sad. it will take alot of change by USEF and i dont think they want to go about making these changes.
this ponys death really illustrated how sad things really are. i hope people come to realize that no ribbon is worth the death of a horse or pony. why take a chance?
at one of the small show associations I belong to/show at, their policy is that if you have a horse test positive for a banned substance, every. single. horse/rider associated with that barn/trainer is disqualified for that year, and one year following. as a result, every single one of us has to be very careful if one of the horses needs a bute, etc, and we've been known to break out the calculators to figure how much bute a horse could get within the allowable time before the next show time. horses are tested at random, but every one of us is accountable for the actions of anyone on the team. this is a non rated show series.
I think this is a GREAT idea. The USEF should adopt this policy now. If a horse tests positive for a banned substance, every horse and rider associated with that trainer and barn is then disqualified for an ENTIRE year. (I don't think an additional year would be needed.) Owners and pony moms would learn quickly how to be involved with their horses' care.
The USEF's inability to act in the case of Humble is abhorrent. The USEF has been complacent to horse abuse for too long. They need to stand up for the horses! The members no longer want the "United States Horse Shows Association." We want a Federation that stands for the horse's well-being and fairness in competition, not just for gains by horse show managers. WAKE UP USEF!
I love my sport but I am embarrassed to be a member of the USEF.
"A good horse and a good rider are only so in mutual trust."
What an excellent video. I am glad an article that portrays our sport in a negative (and unfortunately truthful) manner is paired with a video that highlights a great horseman and displays the sport in a positive manner. A great balance was achieved and I hope this causes some positive and necessary change in our sport.
I hope people learn that riding a fresh horse can be fun! Because a horse is fresh doesn't mean they are bad. A fresh horse that has been trained properly and has an excellent foundation can be a joy. I have had my horse since he was 4. He is now 8 and has become such a fun and easy ride. The days where he has a little more pep and throws in a playful buck brings a smile to my face. He still gets excited to do his job and seems to be enjoying his life with me. Granted he is a jumper so freshness is a bit more "acceptable". But I believe the same mentality is needed for all equine disciplines. The horses physical AND mental soundness is of most importance
There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the
inside of a man.
-Sir Winston Churchill
The New York Times story is visual and will, no doubt, be covered by network news programs because many in the media have kids in that ring or know people whose kids ride. This scrutiny is critical and I hope that it also drags the Magnesium issue into the open, too. If Ms. M continues her litigious ways, her lawyer may never need another client in her lifetime. (How the woman can be allowed anywhere near a show ring defies logic and why anyone would trust her with a pony, horse or rider is even more baffling.) I really hope this story raises awareness among clients who've subscribed to the "ignorance is bliss" code when paying bills without demanding explanation or support. The Times' reporters did a great job of getting detailed information (including asking why the USEF/horse show management didn't immediately confiscate the syringe/vials used for Humble's injection) and very strong quotes from clients. Mag and other similar injections have been swept under shavings for too long. I also applaud Julie W and other judges who are calling for substantive change. But the reality is that the system is weighted against the horses and as long as year-end cumulative points determine HOTY and Indoors' invites, illegal meds will be the norm.
My biggest concern with all riders from a barn being banned from the ring is this: Susie goes against trainer's advice, and drugs her horse. We use the same trainer, and now I'm SOL because of something my trainer couldn't control Ban my trainer, fine. Ban the owner? Sure. But ban me over something that could not possibly be my fault? OH HELL NO.
I'm thrilled to see this in the main stream media, hopefully the USEF will take action before outside interests get involved.
Why not add language to the show entry form, stating any medical/necrospy reports are to be turned over to the governing body - directly from the vet, and trainer/owner has the responsibility of answering federation inquiries. Why have rules at all if you have no means to enforce them?
Make this a requirement of becoming a USEF member, and entering any sanctioned show. Of course the litigious cheaters will engage attorneys to fight it, but no one is forcing them to become members, nor compete - so either agree to conditions that are good for the horses & competitors, or piss off.
If anyone has an issue with that, they can decline entering the show. Failure to produce requested reports would result in suspension, ie 1 year. I would also include a provision stating anyone who involves a lawyer trying to get around this requirement will also be suspended, 1-2 years seems fair to me.
Last edited by 2BayPonies; Dec. 28, 2012 at 12:49 PM.
Reason: spelling doh!
The video was filmed right down the street from me, and I only wish I'd been on hand at the time. Would love to have seen the reaction of onlookers! David Wright did an excellent job, and while I don't know him, I certainly have enjoyed watching him show. I hope this article brings some pressure to bear on the USEF. Our horses will try their hearts out for us and they truly do not deserve what they are subjected to purely in the name of the almighty dollar...
(Now, when will Joe Drape tackle the Walking Horse Big Lickers... THAT would be something to see!)
I'm a re-rider who left the horse world for 35 years and am now back, in a very small way. I had NO idea that parents could lease a pony for one show. What a terrible idea. Who knows whether these kids can ride or not? The temptation to drug must be powerful, just on the hope it will prevent injuries to these "riders". Of course all this doping is wrong, but it seems to me that the whole system of horse showing has gone seriously off the tracks, and this is one of the symptoms of that. Too bad for horses, too bad for kids who don't really learn to ride.