No doubt about the fact that CP is a showboat who loves the limelight.
But I will also make this comment - CP is a client of Mary Phelps (DressageDaily). He pays her for favorable publicity. Dressage-news.com, OTOH, is run by a competitor of Mary Phelps. DressageDaily.com is going to gloss over some things regarding its clients, while Dressage-news.com is going to try to make a big fanfare about them. It's journalism in today's world.
It seems quite clear that Parra received the warning...
Gundersen seems to have been discrete....
or are you questioning the veracity of www.dressage-news.com?
An eyewitness posted earlier that there was no verbal warning:
"I was observing the warm up and there was no verbal warning from the steward, and certainly there was no intentional behavior from Cesar Parra: the steward simply walked over and placed herself between the two horses. Mikala seemed to be having difficulty with her mare prior to this "incident", riding the horse with the chin to the chest."
Dressage News said there was a warning: "...dressage-news.com witnessed the horse and rider as Van the Man ridden by Cesar Parra of the United States. The pair received a verbal warning from the CDI steward...."
I believe CP has also paid eurodressage ( connected to dressage daily?) for warm and glowing stuff aka a walk around his stables.
I believe the two sites - Eurodressage and Dressage Daily - are independant of each other.
Astrid (of ED) is certainly independant when it comes to voicing her opinions. She calls it as she sees it, and is not afraid to take an unpopular position. Human interest stories (stable walk) may be paid for, may be not.
The DD site is not a news site, each story has been paid for, including horse show coverage. Meaning she will not accept press releases for publication unless you are a client of hers.
I also heard that CP sends all of his insurance business to Phelps. That works well, I give you my insurance business you give me good press. It looks like Parra has hired one of the "clean up your reputation" companies to try and get rid of negative press. He actually did an article on "Dressage Bling". Good for Dressage News.
Dressage News has a history of antagonism with CP. They run the most unflattering photo possible to go with a story. It doesn't seem very objective to me and I assume there's some personal history. Dressage news outlets are hardly the New York Times. The photo in the new story doesn't look as though deliberate intimidation is taking place. Why is a tractor parked in or near warm-up and so close to a fence? The situation in the photo doesn't look like anything more than a traffic jam to me while two riders are trying to get around the tractor. High performance horses tend to be very hot and putting an obstacle in their way doesn't seem like a good idea. The woman on the ground is probably trying to help but might have made matters worse in tight quarters.
Why is a tractor parked in or near warm-up and so close to a fence? The situation in the photo doesn't look like anything more than a traffic jam to me while two riders are trying to get around the tractor.
The tractor is parked on the other side of the fence for the horse's lane. The photo looks like it was shot with a long lens, so the distance appears a bit compressed.
OMG really this happens at all shows of alll levels and disciplines. People get carried away with their ride and don't want to move off their track. Hardly requires an internet witch hunt.
I have met and spoken with C.P. a few times. The man was lovely. He obviously loves his horses. His staff adore him and from what I have seen of other upper level riders behavior he is not one who should be drawing all this venom.
I have heard of quite a few instances where various UL riders acted like jerks in the warm-up ring - a few that come to mind from past years are Michelle Gibson, Leslie Morse, Tina Konyot, Evi Strasser, Robert Dover. I also know of other *very* highly lauded HP riders who have ripped off clients in sales, in much the same way CP is accused of doing in that case we keep hearing about. In one such case, the rider’s super wealthy sponsor stepped in and paid off the scammed client to keep the case out of court and out of the press, so her rider’s “golden boy” aura would not be tarnished by bad publicity.
That said, there does seem to be a fair amount of jealousy toward CP on the part of various other riders. Some seem to really resent the fact that he hasn’t had to spend decades working his way to the top like most other HP riders. He comes from old Columbia money, he gave up a highly lucrative practice in cosmetic dentistry/oral surgery to pursue his riding career, and he has shot to the upper echelon by purchasing very high end horses in Europe, attracting very wealthy clients and sponsors, and building a solid team of young riders and assistants who make his operation run like clockwork. And then he added salt to the wound by becoming a U.S. citizen, so other riders have to contend against him for a spot on U.S. teams – and some feel that is grossly unfair, because many of them are scrapping for every $$$ to keep going, while funding is never an issue for him (and TPTB at USEF tend to have a soft spot for HP riders who don’t have to struggle to raise funds, esp. when it comes time to select teams for international competition).
And yes, there is a bit of "history" between him and Ken Braddick, which is why dressage-news.com publishes such unflattering photos and news stories about him.
Human interest stories (stable walk) may be paid for, may be not.
Well, yes exactly and that is why publications should be clear on what is advertising and what is not advertising. In the better publications (in my opinion) advertisement is stated somewhere in the piece so there is full disclosure to the reader that the smarmy piece was paid for by the smarmee(sic).