Tina Konyot was issued a Fédération Equestre Internationale yellow card citing “incorrect behavior” for using profanity at the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships in Lexington, Ky., on July 14.
Konyot was coaching Chloe Taylor on Konyot’s former Olympic and World Games ride Calecto V in the Junior division at NAJYRC. “I absolutely accept my yellow card for profanity,” Konyot said. “And I would do it again.”
According to Konyot, a number of different interactions with the chef d’equipe of Region 9, Ed Lavallee, and the parent of another Region 9 rider, Inez Campbell, led to her heated exchange with the chef, which ended in profanity.
Konyot said that her offers to provide Region 9 with free saddle pads and polos were turned down, as was her request to have her stallion, Calecto V, housed in an end stall. Konyot said she also offered to help coach the Region 9 riders, in conjunction with their own trainers, and that offer also was turned down.
Konyot described the responses from Region 9 as a “slap in the face. We were right on top with everything, but had very little information coming from our region and were really feeling like an outsider,” Konyot said.
The final straw for Konyot came when, according to her, another rider told her student, Chloe Taylor, not to ask questions at a U.S. Dressage Federation town-hall style meeting for NAJYRC dressage riders. When Konyot was discussing this with Lavallee, Campbell was seated next to him. According to Konyot, Campbell told Konyot that she and the Taylor family, “have been difficult from the beginning,” Konyot said.
“If you ask horse people who know me, I’m a very passionate outspoken woman,” Konyot continued. “I’m fun, I’m alive, I can curse like a sailor, and I said to the steward [who issued the yellow card that] I did in that moment call [Campbell] a [f***ing b****], I did it. I used profanity, which is clearly written in the code of conduct. By FEI rules they must follow the rules [and penalize me], it’s very important that they do so. I’ve never received anything like that in my life.”
Lavallee, the chef d’equipe for Region 9, did not immediately respond to a request for an interview. The chief steward, Elisabeth Williams, refrained from commenting on the matter.
Also at the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships, the Mexican individual Heidi Blendl was also issued an FEI yellow card for “incorrect behavior.”