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Is anyone else as ashamed of what happened at the WEG Endurance race as I am?

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  • Is anyone else as ashamed of what happened at the WEG Endurance race as I am?

    I think the title of this thread says it all. I was revolted and embarrassed by what happened during the Endurance race on the 12th. That event should NEVER have been scheduled the way it was, and for the time it was. Even without the pressure from the approaching hurricane ( which was bad enough by itself) holding an event like that one in conditions which were as bad as the ones present last Wednesday was simply WRONG. I'm not sure who I feel the most sympathy for, other than the poor HORSES who were made so ILL by being forced to work in such inhumane conditions. One of these animals DIED, folks. And he died (was euthanized) from kidney failure secondary to dehydration, undoubtedly from overwork in conditions which were never suited for what he was being asked to do. And then there was the matter of the riders' conduct when they learned that the race had been cancelled because of extreme conditions. THAT was what upset me the most. These riders were acting like HOOLIGANS, they really were. Their conduct was so bad that the local and state POLICE were called in to restore order, thus diverting precious resources which were badly needed elsewhere in the state to the WEG site. What the riders in question apparently don't or didn't get is that they are endangering the reputation of ALL HORSE SPORTS by acting the way they did. The whole world is WATCHING YOU, folks. Really, it is. Especially the powers that be who will be deciding in the coming months and years whether or not horse sports will continue to be included in the Olympic Games, as well as whether or not there will even BE a future WEG elsewhere in the world. I have little sympathy and even less patience for people who whine and complain about a decision which was fully WARRANTED and justified by the conditions. And the conduct of some of you ( and I'm speaking directly to the athletes here, you all know who you are) was just appalling.

    As of this morning, the DEATH TOLL from the hurricane and its aftermath stands at 32, and that number is expected to keep rising. By acting the way all of you did, you forced the officials to call the cops on you, at a time when they were already overwhelmed by other emergencies elsewhere in the state. That this was necessary speaks VERY POORLY of all of you, and you should be ASHAMED of yourselves. I certainly know that I'm ashamed of you and your conduct. What an embarrassment to the FEI, to the sponsors of the race, the organizers in Tryon, and to the American horse community as a whole. I'm sure that there are plenty of people around who feel as I do, and I invite them to respond to this thread.

  • #2
    Probably the end of Endurance competition as a part of WEG. Maybe even the end of WEG?

    Comment


    • #3
      Bingo!

      Comment


      • #4
        You seem to be putting an awful lot of blame on Tryon, the organizers (who are certainly at least responsible for the whole 'misdirection' fiasco), and the "American horse community" while lately ignoring the fact that it is ultimately the competitors themselves that have the most important role in upholding their horses' welfare.

        I know very little about endurance, but common sense and good horsemanship would seem to indicate that if someone else is setting an unsafe, inappropriately fast pace, you should maintain your own correct pace to save your horse, and if your horse seems to be struggling you should withdraw regardless of whether the race itself continues.

        I think the real embarrassment should lie with those who were unable to recognize that their horses were struggling and/or unwilling to put aside their own competitive desires for their horses' welfare, until the cancellation of the competition forced them to.

        Comment


        • #5
          https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/getj...aracktoweg2018

          Comment


          • #6
            I can see endurance getting removed from WEG if only for the logistics constraints. It's too much to ask to have a 100 mile race and all of these other events, too. It makes for a circus.

            Comment


            • #7
              I am not up on WEG team procedures. The owners pay the shipping? Not the national federation or organization?

              Comment


              • #8
                Why should you, a spectator who had no hand in the running of the event, feel ashamed? It didn't go as planned, but I didn't have anything to do with it, success or failure, so no, I don't feel ashamed.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Watershed moment 55 View Post
                  I think the title of this thread says it all. I was revolted and embarrassed by what happened during the Endurance race on the 12th. That event should NEVER have been scheduled the way it was, and for the time it was. Even without the pressure from the approaching hurricane ( which was bad enough by itself) holding an event like that one in conditions which were as bad as the ones present last Wednesday was simply WRONG. I'm not sure who I feel the most sympathy for, other than the poor HORSES who were made so ILL by being forced to work in such inhumane conditions. One of these animals DIED, folks. And he died (was euthanized) from kidney failure secondary to dehydration, undoubtedly from overwork in conditions which were never suited for what he was being asked to do. And then there was the matter of the riders' conduct when they learned that the race had been cancelled because of extreme conditions. THAT was what upset me the most. These riders were acting like HOOLIGANS, they really were. Their conduct was so bad that the local and state POLICE were called in to restore order, thus diverting precious resources which were badly needed elsewhere in the state to the WEG site. What the riders in question apparently don't or didn't get is that they are endangering the reputation of ALL HORSE SPORTS by acting the way they did. The whole world is WATCHING YOU, folks. Really, it is. Especially the powers that be who will be deciding in the coming months and years whether or not horse sports will continue to be included in the Olympic Games, as well as whether or not there will even BE a future WEG elsewhere in the world. I have little sympathy and even less patience for people who whine and complain about a decision which was fully WARRANTED and justified by the conditions. And the conduct of some of you ( and I'm speaking directly to the athletes here, you all know who you are) was just appalling.

                  As of this morning, the DEATH TOLL from the hurricane and its aftermath stands at 32, and that number is expected to keep rising. By acting the way all of you did, you forced the officials to call the cops on you, at a time when they were already overwhelmed by other emergencies elsewhere in the state. That this was necessary speaks VERY POORLY of all of you, and you should be ASHAMED of yourselves. I certainly know that I'm ashamed of you and your conduct. What an embarrassment to the FEI, to the sponsors of the race, the organizers in Tryon, and to the American horse community as a whole. I'm sure that there are plenty of people around who feel as I do, and I invite them to respond to this thread.
                  Do I think the whole thing was a fiasco? Most certainly.

                  But I do not lump thing together the way you do.

                  A horse dying because the owner/rider did the wrong thing does not mean the conditions were not doable for those that planned and were prepared for them and rode appropriately. It also does not paint a whole sport with a broad brush of horribleness.

                  Did people act like jerks? Yep. But I doubt the amount of police presence there was taken from other places. With an international event this large a certain amount of police are scheduled to be there even if a bunch of tempers do not get ugly.

                  People dying because of the storm is horrible and sad. But it really has nothing to do with WEG or the problems with the cancelled Endurance race.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Maythehorsebewithme View Post

                    I am not up on WEG team procedures. The owners pay the shipping? Not the national federation or organization?
                    Accrding to this, https://inside.fei.org/system/files/...ryon%20USA.pdf the NF is responsible for costs getting the horse, equipment and groom to the US and back (groom and equipment all the way to Tryon and back), and the WEG OC is responsible for transportation of the horse to the venue and back to the airport. So how was it going to cost the owners $70 grand? Maybe they couldn't use the official shippers from where they are?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Watershed moment 55 curious, is this an alter or are you a new poster?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Sticky Situation View Post
                        I think the real embarrassment should lie with those who were unable to recognize that their horses were struggling and/or unwilling to put aside their own competitive desires for their horses' welfare, until the cancellation of the competition forced them to.
                        Exactly.

                        "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
                        that's even remotely true."

                        Homer Simpson

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I googled to get some facts and found this for perspective from 2014.

                          https://www.horsetalk.co.nz/2014/08/...weg-endurance/

                          I do think that when your horse show venue gets hit by a hurricane, things like condition of footing are perhaps out of the organizers control.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Sonoma City View Post
                            And about that poor horse that died. They were quoted before the Games that they were going to leave that poor horse here after the competition was complete. Foreboding?
                            Jenny had organised to retire him in the States so it wasn't really a case of foreboding as you claim it to be. It wasn't like she was going to tie him to a tree and walk away. Not everyone can afford to fly their horses to a competition and fly them home again. Sometimes they're sold, sometimes they're retired.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by yaya View Post

                              Accrding to this, https://inside.fei.org/system/files/...ryon%20USA.pdf the NF is responsible for costs getting the horse, equipment and groom to the US and back (groom and equipment all the way to Tryon and back), and the WEG OC is responsible for transportation of the horse to the venue and back to the airport. So how was it going to cost the owners $70 grand? Maybe they couldn't use the official shippers from where they are?
                              By saying the national federation is responsible, they actually just mean not the Fei, not that the national federation must pay. Equestrian sports nz literally does not have enough money to pay to ship horses to/from Olympics and world champs. Plus none of the official flights leave from the antipodes so you have to pay to fly your horse to Europe, then pay again to fly to the USA, or I think they can also go some crazy route to the USA that ends up way up north, not just a tidy hop to the closest point in the west coast of the US. Either way, its probably close to twice as much as anyone else is paying in flights!
                              Then there is the fairly lengthy quarantine before they can come home again. Also expensive.

                              Our eventers are probably at least subsidised though, if not fully funded to travel to champs, but that money comes from a completely different organisation and can only be spent on eventing, not dressage showjumping or endurance.


                              ???
                              ????

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I too am very frustrated with how the endurance went, though keep in mind I am not especially knowledgeable about the discipline.

                                However, I don't think all the pieces that went wrong were related.

                                Why the horses were misdirected? That sucks. They'll investigate. One stupid person or the failure of the organization?

                                Hurricane? That's no one's fault.

                                That some people rode too hard - that is the fault of the riders and it's something the sport as a whole needs to solve. If those horses had been walking they would have been fine. So the sport, internally, needs to understand when horses were in distress and how that could have been detected sooner so those riders could have been pulled. If that means 3/4 of the horses are pulled to me personally that's not necessarily unacceptable in terms of how the competition is run, if the horses recover easily. (Obviously it means the riders need to do better on conditioning or on choosing their horses.)

                                I am confused by them canceling the race in the evening because the wet bulb index was too high. Specifically, what confuses me is why that was a surprise and/or why it wasn't done earlier. What was the predicted weather, and was it far outside the actual conditions?

                                As far as lessons learned, I fear that they did know that the weather would be too hot and humid when they started the race, and did it anyway because of the inability to reschedule (tickets sold, horse flights out, worse weather coming). Curious as to how that might be better considered in the future, like if baking in some extra day options is possible, or if starting earlier in the day could have been possible.

                                I did not watch this competition but I watched the whole of the last one in France. It is so different from USA AERC type competitions. I feel like most of the problems are more about the way the FEI endurance in general is run rather than shortcomings of Tryon specifically, including the hot tempers which seem to reflect a lot of long time frustration, not just one unfortunate day.
                                If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  A few days post endurance I saw about a dozen endurance horses being hand walked around various parts of TIEC. Of the 12 or so horses I saw, only two looked in acceptable condition. I get "endurance fit" but this was spine, SI connection, hips, and ribs visible without any discernible muscle. Several horses appeared severely body sore and were walking around with a very mincing gait. One was 1/5 lame on a back leg at the walk. In any other context those horses would have been social media fodder for someone calling animal control. I've been around a properly conditioned endurance horse and that's not what I saw.

                                  Many riders arrived with horses who were prepared to ride 100 miles in flat, arid conditions. When presented with hills, high humidity, rain, etc. and ridden aggressively from the start, many showed signs of distress early on. The misdirect was unfortunate and blame rests squarely with the organizers.

                                  I am not ashamed as a spectator. I am ashamed that riders were unable to recognize signs of distress in their own animals and chose to push for unreasonable expectations.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    No, I'm not ashamed or embarrassed, because I had nothing to do with it. Nor do I know anyone who had anything to do with it, so why should I be ashamed or embarrassed? I am in no way affiliated with Tryon, the FEI, or endurance as a sport.

                                    Surprised, yes. Puzzled as to how this could happen. But not ashamed or embarrassed.
                                    "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." -- George Bernard Shaw

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by GraceLikeRain View Post

                                      Many riders arrived with horses who were prepared to ride 100 miles in flat, arid conditions. When presented with hills, high humidity, rain, etc. and ridden aggressively from the start, many showed signs of distress early on. The misdirect was unfortunate and blame rests squarely with the organizers.
                                      I am confused how riders not preparing for the conditions = the blame rests squarely with the organizers.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Whoever it was that wrote the preview for COTH (Valerie Kanavy?) talked about it being a hillier course than normal, so I doubt it was a surprise. And literally anyone could have used Google to figure out the average temperatures and humidity for SC in September. They were possibly worse than average but far from shocking.

                                        Comment

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