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Media ban on arriving horses?!?

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  • Media ban on arriving horses?!?

    This was also linked in the arriving horses thread, but thought that it added enough to the general weirdness of this WEG to merit its own thread.

    "Although the combined world championships of eight equestrian disciplines is one of if not the biggest sports event in the Americas this year, federal officials forcefully followed up a decision by the Switzerland-based International Equestrian Federation (FEI) to restrict news coverage to itself and imposed a total news blackout of the arrival of the horses in an air amarda from Europe and at the Tryon International Equestrian Center.

    The initial FEI restrictions and the U.S. Department of Agriculture ban for which no reasons were provided and was extended to ordering grooms and national federation officials to cease taking videos on their phones and to delete any images of their horses injected a sour note into what had been expected to be a festive kickoff for the WEG with photos of the finest sport horses before competition begins Sept. 11."<snip>
    The Evil Chem Prof

  • #2
    "Random capitAlization really Makes my day." -- AndNirina


    • #3
      This is so bizarre, I can not imagine why.
      Boss Mare Eventing Blog


      • #4
        Maybe in anticipation of shady ness with the identity of certain endurance horses or other horse welfare issues (RK in dressage, bloody mouths in eventing, whatever they get up to in reining etc) and they want to set precedent for complete media blackout other than official PR from day 1. maybe the facility is still under construction and they don’t want unflattering pictures getting out.
        A cynical mind can come up with many options.

        ETA maybe they’re not actually following the bio security protocols and they don’t want evidence of their failure.


        • #5
          Will these restrictions also be in place in all non public areas during the competition? Ie Barns etc?


          • #6
            I thought it was likely to make it harder for a terrorist attack of some sort? Dunno, that's what came to mind, in which case all they can do to protect the horses is good with me.


            • #7
              Doesn't this defeat the purpose of trying to attract a more mainstream audience to the various disciplines?
              "Do what you can't do"


              • #8
                It could be as simple as the FEI wanting control over media to ensure the sponsors logos etc are in the right place and only the right images are put out there and possibly they have deals in place with media outlets so they get the exclusive/story first

                Everyone knows how the internet can go crazy over the smallest thing, so a horse that might not have travelled as well won't look fantastic coming off the crate but may look fine a few hours later - but a picture of a horse looking less than perfect can fly round the internet quickly and cause outrage (and no-one will bother with the follow up pic where it looks in fine health)


                • #9
                  The media blackout is likely due to concerns of terrorist activity. These major international events commonly receieve threats. Plus there are some really sick people out there. I personally would not want someone to be able to track the movements of my horse other than me and my team/grooms.vets.
                  Shoulders back, hands down, leg ON!



                  • #10
                    Good reason or not, it seems weird that they are not allowing people to take photos of their own horse.


                    • #11
                      From my reading of the article, it sounded like it was federal/USDA officials that were imposing the media blackout, not FEI or WEG officials. It's not uncommon for federal agencies (rightly or wrongly) to restrict media access, whether to protect procedures (so nefarious characters don't exploit them?) or to protect confidentiality of horses in transit (like groom A takes a picture of someone else's horse looking sick and it affects public opinion on whether that horse should show without knowing the story, etc). I've worked in some veterinary referral centers that deal with big name horses that have similar no cellphone rules (other than your own horse, and then only in stall so you don't accidentally get another horse in background).

                      It's also a temporary quarantine/equine arrival set up, not at one of the established ports like JFK, so they may have less experienced and very 'by the book' staff. There was a line in the article "This correspondent who has covered the arrival and departure of horses for numerous championships in the United States and Europe has never previously experienced a blackout that was enforced..." which to me implies that this rule is not new, it's just being enforced this time.

                      I do agree it's odd not to let grooms take photos or video of their own horse.


                      • #12
                        Could this have anything to do with it?

                        Boss Mare Eventing Blog


                        • #13
                          It probably has more to do with the fact that they landed at Greenville/Spartanburg, and had to be transported to quarantine barns at Tryon. News sources have been mentioning that their feet did not touch the ground before entering the trailers. Most of the other horses came in to airports with on site quarantine facilities, and then trailered overland to Tryon. GSP is not a "port of entry".
                          Biosecurity manual;

                          PAQ Post Arrival Quarantine – this will occur in TIEC Barn 5 exclusively, and in the adjacent PAQ Isolation Stalls.

                          • The arrivals schedule for international horses has been coordinated by Peden Bloodstock GmbH and The Dutta Corporation, who are the Official International Shipping Agents for WEG and are the equine transport logistics managers for international horse movements to and from TIEC for the WEG. In addition, some horses arriving at TIEC will be shipped IRT (International Racehorse Transport).

                          • Full details of shipping arrangements can be found in the Equestrian Freight Manual (available from the FEI website1 ).

                          • International FEI Competition horses flying direct to North Carolina for WEG will arrive at Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP). Note that international horses flying to other US airports (New York, Miami and Chicago) will clear PAQ at the port of entry and will move to the venue as Domestic FEI Competition Horses to go through the same entry procedure as horses that are resident in the USA. International horses being imported under CEM-waiver that have cleared PAQ at the port of entry will be monitored by USDA and will be shipped to TIEC in sealed trailers. Details of USDA procedures for international arrivals, including horses under CEMwaiver, can be found in the USDA WEG Arrival SOP.

                          • On arrival at GSP, horses will be unloaded and the required blood samples for PAQ testing (EIA, Equine Piroplasmosis, Dourine and Glanders) will be collected by USDA personnel. Horses will then be transferred to trucks for transport to TIEC under the supervision of USDA personnel. Trucks will be escorted to TIEC by State Police vehicles and USDA.

                          • On arrival at TIEC, trucks will clear security at the venue entry point and then move to the secure PAQ area (Barn 5) where horses will be unloaded under the supervision of Peden Bloodstock personnel and transferred into the relevant ‘pod’ within PAQ.

                          • Once horses are in the PAQ barn, they become the responsibility of, and are under the jurisdiction of, the USDA team.

                          • Grooms will have access to the pod to assist with settling horses into their stables and assisting with initial clinical examination. Once this is complete, grooms will leave the pod, the pod will be sealed and the 42 h PAQ period begins. Grooms and treating vets will have access to the pod only with the approval of the USDA. Details of USDA procedures for PAQ can be found in the USDA WEG PAQ SOP.

                          • Horses will receive a minimum of four rectal temperature checks during PAQ (the first at initial arrival and then every 12 hours) as specified in the USDA WEG PAQ SOP. Horses will be released from PAQ once the 42 hour period is completed provided they have remained clinically normal and all test results are negative (or, in the case of Piroplasmosis, the PAQ test result matches the horse’s expected Piroplasmosis status). Further details about import testing protocols can be found in the USDA Equine Import testing Protocol2 .

                          • Once released from PAQ, grooms will walk horses across to the FEI Venue Barns under the direction of the Stables Manager. International horses under the CEM-waiver are subject to USDA monitoring (see USDA WEG SOP for monitoring CEM-waiver horses).
                          Last edited by Equibrit; Sep. 5, 2018, 07:32 PM.
                          ... _. ._ .._. .._


                          • #14
                            I did see the pictures from the airport with the trailers parked side by side with the ramps connecting them so the horses literally don’t set foot on the tarmac; the post above detailing the quarantine procedures explained that thoroughly.
                            Leap, and the net will appear


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by trubandloki View Post
                              Good reason or not, it seems weird that they are not allowing people to take photos of their own horse.
                              The FEI seems to excel at being heavy-handed. (Also they seem to suck at PR.)

                              As for why, the article seems pretty clear: "federal officials forcefully followed up a decision by the Switzerland-based International Equestrian Federation (FEI) to restrict news coverage to itself"--the FEI wants to provide all coverage. I can't imagine how that's legal, but they seem to have gotten away with it.


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by amb View Post

                                The FEI seems to excel at being heavy-handed. (Also they seem to suck at PR.)

                                As for why, the article seems pretty clear: "federal officials forcefully followed up a decision by the Switzerland-based International Equestrian Federation (FEI) to restrict news coverage to itself"--the FEI wants to provide all coverage. I can't imagine how that's legal, but they seem to have gotten away with it.
                                I saw a blurb somewhere (not sure where) that Isabell Werth was complaining about the USDA procedures. Don't know the specifics, so not sure if it was because of the media blackout rule or something else. I think the same article mentioned that her horse wouldn't drink the water at TIEC and her support crew was seen buying crates of bottled water at Wal-Mart.