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Drug use in professionals

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  • Drug use in professionals

    OK, I posted a similar message on the towerheads website and it was removed because it was "too personal." In the hunter-jumper world, there are professionals who use narcotics. It's a much "overlooked" problem, due mainly to people like the ones that removed my original post. This is not gossip. One of these trainers was found unconcious under the bleachers of the arena. She had overdosed on heroin. That's not an isolated problem, either. I've been to the parties in Gulfport, and I've seen what goes on. I'm just constantly amazed at the fact that people KNOW that this is a issue and don't do anything about it- mainly because it would cast a very grim shadow over the beautiful world of the showgrounds.
  • Original Poster

    #2
    OK, I posted a similar message on the towerheads website and it was removed because it was "too personal." In the hunter-jumper world, there are professionals who use narcotics. It's a much "overlooked" problem, due mainly to people like the ones that removed my original post. This is not gossip. One of these trainers was found unconcious under the bleachers of the arena. She had overdosed on heroin. That's not an isolated problem, either. I've been to the parties in Gulfport, and I've seen what goes on. I'm just constantly amazed at the fact that people KNOW that this is a issue and don't do anything about it- mainly because it would cast a very grim shadow over the beautiful world of the showgrounds.

    Comment


    • #3
      Oh, Firerider, you are absolutely right!

      It goes right along with the other abuses - including aneorexia, alcoholism, physical, and sexual abuse. All of which have been discussed at length here and will certainly CONTINUE to be discussed!

      Here are some of those threads (but ONLY some - aneorexia alone has at least five threads with many horror tales of the other abuses thrown in!)
      http://www.chronofhorse.com/ubb/Forum2/HTML/000581.html http://www.chronofhorse.com/ubb/Forum2/HTML/001146.html http://www.chronofhorse.com/ubb/Forum2/HTML/001486.html http://www.chronofhorse.com/ubb/Forum2/HTML/001569.html

      Addiction is not a simple problem, whatever the substance. True addicts are really, really good at hiding or denying their addiction(s), saying things like, "I only do it one weekends, do how can I be an addict" or going to recovery groups such as AA while still drinking/ doing drugs. (My father used to say, champagne or wine wasn't alcohol!)

      Addiction includes behaviours, as well as substance.

      Denial is a serious part of the problem, and that denial occurs on the part of us on the outside as well as those in the throes of the addiction.

      Someone elsewhere, in a now deleted thread, used the expression "rose coloured glasses" to chide the moderator who doesn't believe there is an equine drug problem.

      Lovely expression. True of most of us when we look at the horse world and our heros and heroines in it.

      I find it very, very sad.

      And, contrary to what has been reported, the drug testers CAN tell the difference between the amount of cocaine that might have come from the hands of someone unsuspectingly passing cocaine tainted dollar bills, and the amount that would have to be given to a horse to be detectable!
      co-author of 101 Jumping Exercises & The Rider's Fitness Program; Soon to come: Dead Ringer - a tale of equine mystery and intrique! Former Moderator!

      Comment


      • #4
        Well, look at what just happened with Eric Lamaze on the Canadian Team. The bloody fool KNEW he would have to pass a whiz quiz, I mean sheesh! This is The Olympics we're talking about. Yet, he had to (ahem) blow [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]this wonderful opportunity because he couldn't (ahem) keep his nose [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] clean for 3 lousy months. He was selected for the highest honour in sports, and he ruined it for some nose candy.

        Then the final coup de gras was his ultra-lame explanation; "Oh I only use it recreationally, not as a performance enhancer." Like the drug test can differentiate between the two uses! Puh-leeze! This is his SECOND offense. Must they really allow him all three strikes before booting him out for good?

        Comment


        • #5
          In my opinion, if you are over 18 you can do whatever you want, but don't cry about the consequences!
          That canadian obviously valued his drugs over his sport (you only need to be clean 1 week from coke to pass a drug test!). That is pretty sad if you ask me.
          I can understand why people with drudgery jobs and bad lives might turn to drugs as an escape, but I just don't comprehend people at the top of their game, living a life most of us dream of throwing it all away for a few minutes of high.
          Professionals can do what they want, but they are fools to waste their time and money on drugs.
          To any children on this board who are even thinking that drugs might be fun to try please read this part of my message and remember it:
          I had a friend that used pot, LSD, and mushrooms. He was a great athlete, artisit and musician. His parents had $$$$. Basically, he was set up for a very good life. He could have traveled, been a musician, artist, etc. He did not have to worry about a dull job. Well, too much LSD and tripping, and he is now basically a homeless psycho. He thinks the aliens are after him, and basically travels from town to town in an altered state of mind. He lives out of dumpsters. And, yes, he is clean now (no $$ for drugs). Occasionally he calls collect to ask for $. He blew a $40,000 trust gambling. He is now a loser.
          No, this doesn't happen to everyone, but would you want it to happen to you? And don't think that there aren't any former horse people that got into drugs leading this life...
          The witchy witch witch of south central NC.

          Comment


          • #6
            In fact, there is a very couragous young woman who was on top of the game as a junior (who I believe became a user as a junior), then got into real trouble with her addiction when she moved into the ammys. She pretty much disappeared from the scene. It took years, but with support of loving family and friends she is clean and back on top. The Chronicle ran an article on her. It was very inspiring, even to a non-drug addict like myself because I have other (slightly)less harmful addictions.
            ~Kryswyn~ Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo
            Check out my Kryswyn JRTs on Facebook

            "Life is merrier with a terrier!"

            Comment


            • #7
              Well not to worry, Eric is gone. Certainly proof of how powerful the lure of drug addiction is. He knew he would be tested and he knew that because of his past offense he could be called any time, day or night. So too his horses.

              I worked many years for a drug addict. I saw what it does to a life ( if you call it that)and denial by the user is the hardest thing to overcome. Chemical addiction is not as easy as the Just Say No people would have you believe.

              Recent research shows that cigarrette addiction may be triggered by the first cig, not by repeated use. It is a brain /chemical issue, not a habit issue. The more we learn about the brain, the more complex these issues become.

              Speaking out is vital. Tell management that you do not want to support these people. Tell management that you do not want your children in these environments. Speak with you lack of suport. In the end it is up to you to decide what is more important, going in that ring or endorseing the behavior.

              In the end the AHSA is going to have to become involved. Many professional organizations (AMA, ABA etc) have departments that deal with addicted members. The AHSA is the closest thing we have to a professional organization.

              There are rules on the AHSA books about "intemperance". For those of you who do not know that means 'habitual or excessive drinking of intoxicants" Perhaps the rule needs to be enforced or modified for other forms of chemical abuse.
              _\\]
              -- * > hoopoe
              Procrastinate NOW
              Introverted Since 1957

              Comment


              • #8
                Hoopoe, very well put.

                I'm wondering if those who are with a winning yet addicted trainer have the Rocky Mountain Oysters to yank their horse out and move to another non-addicted one?

                Comment


                • #9
                  enevtually that winning yet addicted trainer will be either a winning and recovered trainer or a washed up addict.
                  The witchy witch witch of south central NC.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    I'm SO glad that I'm getting good responses for this, and NOT just accusations for starting rumors. I think that the comment about having the "rocky mountain oysters" (hehehe) to get away from a winning but addicted trainer was very good. Sadly, at least in my area, when a trainer is successful, addictions are conveiently "overlooked," even though everyone knows that it's there.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      This is just so removed from where I am at. It really bothers me that folks are reporting some of these behaviors. As an owner I would be so worried about what is going on at the barn when I am not there. Who keeps watch at night? Are the extras I am paying for being carried out ( vitamines, treatments, training) or is the money going to something else?
                      _\\]
                      -- * > hoopoe
                      Procrastinate NOW
                      Introverted Since 1957

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by hoopoe:
                        This is just so removed from where I am at. It really bothers me that folks are reporting some of these behaviors. As an owner I would be so worried about what is going on at the barn when I am not there. Who keeps watch at night? Are the extras I am paying for being carried out ( vitamines, treatments, training) or is the money going to something else?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                        I have NEVER been able to "board" my horse and be relaxed. I have either kept them in my back yard where I am solely responsible for them, or on "self care" at a reputable barn. I don't do well on vacations because I worry about my horses -- except for my Virginia trip next week where I have a trusted friend staying at the house.

                        I have heard way too many horror stories -- drugs, alcohol, irresponsibility .... whatever. I just won't tolerate it with my "children"....NOT a chance! Expecially in the "horse business" it can be pretty bad. Quite a shame, I agree.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I guess I have been dumb lucky on the trainers I have been with.

                          Perhaps growing up in the inner city taught me more than I thought. I guess I have a good sense of who to avoid.
                          _\\]
                          -- * > hoopoe
                          Procrastinate NOW
                          Introverted Since 1957

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'm with you Hoopoe. But then, coming from a family that suffers from addiction, I have a very high sensitivity to detecting it, and a very, very short tolerance for it around me. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img]
                            "I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I can understand why people with drudgery jobs and bad lives might turn to drugs as an
                              escape, but I just don't comprehend people at the top of their game, living a life most of
                              us dream of throwing it all away for a few minutes of high.
                              Professionals can do what they want, but they are fools to waste their time and money
                              on drugs.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
                              What we might justify as "drudgery jobs" and bad lives may not be all that bad, just different. There are people who simply do not have aspirations and who are delighted to have a 9-5 so they get home on time, enjoy the family barbeque and just spending time with friends.

                              While those who have aspired may discover how lonely it is, how few friends you can have if you hop around from motel to motel, show after show, year after year. Addiction takes the place of that missing family and friends some of the time.

                              I think this is a symptom of what have been discussing so many times in so many ways. It's what happens when winning is not only everything but the only thing.

                              The past interview on Towerheads, I think it was Peter Wilde talked about how different it was in Europe. While he tried to be diplomatically correct about the huge extravaganza horse shows which have become a catch-all for all riders at all levels with all kinds of horses he certainly made the point for the European shows. Limited entries by invitation only, and a time schedule designed to give the riders and the horses a chance to behave normally.

                              These "stars" of our sport are actually just as deprived of good social contact as their horses. The horses are "campaigned" to produce income for the owners. The more clients the more difficult the job to be successful. Do you really think it is easy to get off at the end of the day and try and explain to an owner why you didn't win, why you weren't first?

                              As I said before in Europe the arenas are financed by the seat holders. The show manager is their employee. Yes, in order to make sure that the best will attend they don't charge entry fees. Their interest is in selling seats. They will bribe the best riders and the best horses to compete because it is a show. No different than when we pay entertainers to sing to us on broadway.

                              You see it is our perspective which has caused the drugging and abuse of both the horses and the riders. If we who are the 98% who should be buying the seats don't let ourselves be heard, then we are culpable for the distruction of the very people and horses we want to admire.

                              Push the envelope back a slot, let's not condemn but inspect and analyze the system we have permitted to be created in our name.

                              My daughter competed in a Jumper Derby in Canada, there was one class in the morning which had entries limited so as to time out the class for a luxurious lunch break. A buffet with music and dancing for two hours before an afternoon competition. A Show Manager can't do that without a generous sponsor. In that case it was Coca-Cola, you can't get a generous sponsor with out spectators.

                              So long as we feel that we must also compete instead of spectating it is an endless cycle of abuses of all kinds. The show managers in charge of our association have tremendous debts they need a huge income from the show just to service their loans. Sponsors might be found for the classes but not for the bills.

                              The way the system works now everyone is stressed, over loaded and in debt and no one is really enjoying what they do.
                              http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Coreene: I had the "oysters." After putting up with on- and off-again rehab, abuse, irresponsbility and just plain being a jerk, I removed my winning hunter from a cocaine-addicted trainer over a year ago. I believe this is one of the central issues surrounding drug abuse in the professional horse world. We, as owners, seem willing to tolerate the addiction and resulting behavior if the trainer is winning on our horses. The trainer I left continues, much like Eric does, to have a barn full of customers who choose not to acknowledge the drug use. That is their right, but I, for one, refused to be a party to supporting such illegal and destructive behavior.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Kryswyn, that was Frncine Steinwedell Carver (or something similar), wasn't it? She came back so far that she very nearly made the team, right? And didn't she do quite well at the World Cup, too?
                                  Sportponies Unlimited
                                  Athletic Thoroughbred crosses for the highly motivated, smaller rider.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Snowbird-
                                    That makes me sad. Riding should be fun! Perhaps it is too much of a business now. Is there really that much $$ to be made that it needs to be a business? Or is it about prestige, much like a political campaign?
                                    At any rate, it is sad that the pro's push themselves to the point they need drugs.
                                    Maybe customers need to be more understanding and put up with doing fewer shows? But then it seems like customer's complain about having to do all these shows, every weekend.
                                    A limit on showing seems to be the most humane thing to do for the pros, horses, owners, and grooms.
                                    The witchy witch witch of south central NC.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by magnolia:

                                      That makes me sad. Riding should be fun! Perhaps it is too much of a business now. Is there really that much $$ to be made that it needs to be a business? Or is it about prestige, much like a political campaign?
                                      <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                                      Ah, Magnolia it seems you have hit one of the major issues here. YES, for many trainers this is a business...and the key factor is earning the buck. I see it all the time in the racing industry. A horse is not your "pet" - it is an object that is used to reach an end...the end being a piece of the purse. Owner receives check, trainer receives percentage, and horse continues to run. Now before everyone gets in an uproar, understand that this is the way it is. No matter what discipline in the equine field we are talking about, there are owners and trainers that put the animal's welfare before the money...and those that don't. The price of success at any cost.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by lillian:
                                        Coreene: I had the "oysters." After putting up with on- and off-again rehab, abuse, irresponsbility and just plain being a jerk, I removed my winning hunter from a cocaine-addicted trainer over a year ago. I believe this is one of the central issues surrounding drug abuse in the professional horse world. We, as owners, seem willing to tolerate the addiction and resulting behavior if the trainer is winning on our horses. The trainer I left continues, much like Eric does, to have a barn full of customers who choose not to acknowledge the drug use. That is their right, but I, for one, refused to be a party to supporting such illegal and destructive behavior.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                                        Isn't this the point? Here we all are talking "around" the subject of drugs - isn't the biggest problem both in the US and Canada that we TOLERATE it and LOOK THE OTHER WAY?

                                        Not naming names but at least four of your top riders (we already know about ours) are known blowheads - I've been hearing about them for years. (and I'm thousands of miles away!)

                                        Yet nobody does anything about it. Why? If I saw someone breaking into a car I would call the police. If I saw someone acting suspiciously on a bridge, I would call the police. Believe me, if I ever see someone doing illegal drugs in a public place - ie barn or horse show, I will call the police. I don't care who they are. And I would NEVER board with someone whom I suspect has an alchol or drug problem. I love my horses way too much and winning a stupid class at a horse show with someone of such questionable moral fibre frankly isn't worth it.

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