You all *do* have rational points and correctly point out that it's your "prerogative" to keep showing.
But that doesn't mean that you look at the larger picture, even while you are being rational. Danceronice explains that better than I did.
IMO, the drug problem in the hunters has been around forever, but seems to be reaching a tipping point right about now. I'd like the USEF to be more on top of that than the complainers like me are. As I say, I'd be psyched to start paying and playing again when they take effective steps toward correcting that.
But as it stands now, there's just less and less to lose by not agreeing to show up and line the pockets of the industry. And really, show managers (a major constituency the USEF works for) does. not. care. whether the winners are cheating or not. Heck, they don't even care whether the contest the offer is fair. If people enter, they'll run the show... on whatever terms we all accept.
I'm not funding or endorsing the activities of anyone but myself. There IS a drug-testing system in place, and the drug fee I pay at every USEF show DOES go towards funding that system.
Is the drug-testing system perfect? No. Does it need improvement? Yes.
Is that more likely to be influenced by USEF members who get involved? Or by non-members who pack up and go elsewhere?
We may have to agree to disagree on the answers to those last questions.
In the meantime, I will still enjoy the horses, within the rules and with or without ribbons.
I have to agree with this. I will continue showing as I quite enjoy it. (Although you are more likely to find me in the jumper ring.) I will remain a USEF member, AND I will keep complaining, too!
Unfortunately, "voting with your feet" is not going to have any effect at all. Not unless there are about 20,000 people willing to do this all at once. (In which case, count me in). But until then, I would expect to be able to have more influence as a member than a non-member.
"A good horse and a good rider are only so in mutual trust."
I WISH he had done something silly! Each rider said that he was perfect, just what she needed to get a confidence boost. "We'll be in touch" said each trainer. Then - nothing.
I started to imagine the conversations the riders and trainers had in the car on their way home. "Sure, he's what you think you need. Just wait till that tranq wears off!"
Originally Posted by Ghazzu
I'd comment further, but mvp and Lucassb have pretty much said what I would.
And gumshoe--years ago, when I was a barn manager, a friend/boarder had a horse she was trying to sell as a small jr hunter.
The buyers came 3 times to try him out.
3rd time he dumped the kid after she caught him in the mouth over 3 fences in a row.
My friend was cringing, thinking that was the end of that.
Instead, the buyers were ecstatic--they said "well, he must not be drugged!"
Turns out they had been taken to the cleaners by former trainer who aced the kid's pony every time she rode it, and when they found out, they came very close to just quitting the sport.