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Turmoil at Equestrian Australia - Olympics in jeopardy?

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    Turmoil at Equestrian Australia - Olympics in jeopardy?

    In the past week, Equestrian Australia has lost funding from Sport Australia and filed for bankruptcy protection.

    The issues have been ongoing and unresolved.

    Background: Eyepopper of an article from the Sydney Morning Herald: A successful future for equestrian sport in Australia is in the balance

    Iconic events cancelled; two young athletes killed in competition; directors parachuted onto the board, yet not financial at the time of their election; accusations of conflict of interest; a looming financial loss; a drug positive; top competitors moving overseas and doubts over its future as an Olympic sport.
    Some eventing specifics, including the impact of Caitlyn Fischer’s and Olivia Inglis’s deaths and also that Tokyo wanted to drop eventing from the program but Australia kept it in.

    This week, Sport Australia withdrew funding from Equine Australia over governance concerns like welfare and a series of resignations. Which, in turn, led Equestrian Australia to file for bankruptcy protection.

    Equestrian Australia enters voluntary administration

    Despite this, EA is insisting it will still send a team to Tokyo.

    Coates confident Equine Australia will send team to Tokyo 2020 despite funding issues

    Enjoy. Discuss.
    Last edited by JER; Jun. 19, 2020, 10:57 AM.

    #2
    This article says it was published in 2017
    http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

    Comment


      #3
      Here is one from the other week.

      https://www.google.ca/amp/s/amp.abc....ticle/12335458

      P.
      A Wandering Albertan - NEW Africa travel blog!

      Comment

        Original Poster

        #4
        Oh - that first post wasn’t complete. Now fixed.

        Also, to add to this, from what I’m hearing from the showjumping world, there is a fair amount of belief that the Tokyo Olympics will be canceled. This has to do with people giving up rides on Olympic mounts and leaving their current positions. It would indicate that there might be some information floating around that cancellation is a possibility, perhaps for everything, perhaps just for equestrian events (which Tokyo didn’t really want to begin with).

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by JER View Post
          Oh - that first post wasn’t complete. Now fixed.

          Also, to add to this, from what I’m hearing from the showjumping world, there is a fair amount of belief that the Tokyo Olympics will be canceled. This has to do with people giving up rides on Olympic mounts and leaving their current positions. It would indicate that there might be some information floating around that cancellation is a possibility, perhaps for everything, perhaps just for equestrian events (which Tokyo didn’t really want to begin with).
          Wait - explain? "there is a fair amount of belief that the Tokyo Olympics will be canceled" Who & why?

          So you are saying that some Australians who were prospective Olympic riders are no longer pointing toward the Olympics?

          What do the deaths of the young riders have to do with the Olympics and the bankruptcy? Is someone just dirtying up Equestrian Australia to make it easier to cut them off? From the initial post it sounds as if most of the decisions are based on financials.


          The link posted by Polydor just discusses the 'voluntary administration' due to being cut off by Sports Australia, the Olympics and covid. It does sounds as if Sports Australia has jettisoned the horses. Doubtless that decision has some hard reasons behind it.

          The link in the first post is still from 2 years ago, but it does sounds fairly dire.
          First post:

          Originally posted by JER View Post
          In the past week, Equestrian Australia has lost funding from Sport Australia and filed for bankruptcy protection.

          The issues have been ongoing and unresolved.

          Background: Eyepopper of an article from the Sydney Morning Herald: A successful future for equestrian sport in Australia is in the balance



          Some eventing specifics, including the impact of Caitlyn Fischer’s and Olivia Inglis’s deaths and also that Tokyo wanted to drop eventing from the program but Australia kept it in.

          This week, Sport Australia withdrew funding from Equine Australia over governance concerns like welfare and a series of resignations. Which, in turn, led Equestrian Australia to file for bankruptcy protection.

          Equestrian Australia enters voluntary administration

          Despite this, EA is insisting it will still send a team to Tokyo.

          Coates confident Equine Australia will send team to Tokyo 2020 despite funding issues

          Enjoy. Discuss.

          Comment


            #6
            I believe the Olympics have been "postponed". https://www.olympic.org/news/ioc/tokyo-2020-q-a

            Comment

              Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by skydy View Post
              I believe the Olympics have been "postponed". https://www.olympic.org/news/ioc/tokyo-2020-q-a
              Yes, your ‘hunch’ is correct. I think everyone knows this by now.

              The issue is whether the Olympics will actually go forward in Tokyo in 2021.

              The Tokyo government have said if they can’t happen next year, the Games are canceled. And there is considerable evidence that this could happen. For example, there’s a mayoral election for Tokyo this year and every candidate except the incumbent (who is expected to win) is running on a platform that includes canceling the Olympics. That would indicate a lack of support among the public. And then there’s the matter of sponsorship contracts. They end in December 2020 and the majority of sponsors have signaled they won’t renew for a 2021 Games with reduced spectatorship and covid restrictions.

              Equestrian Australia was supporting only eventing and para in the equestrian events but without funding and in administration, can they really still send a team? Keep in mind that the Australian Olympic Committee is in what is supposed to the the final year of their revenue cycle but they won’t be getting the majority of their funding, which comes from broadcast rights, to refill their coffers this year as they normally would.

              The same situation is affect every national Olympic committee. I think USOPC furloughed or let go a lot of staff recently. The IOC is supposed to be doing some kind of bailout to NOCs but who knows where that money will end up.

              Tokyo has already said the Olympics might be ‘reduced’ in a number of ways. Is eventing on the block? It’s something they tried not to host in the first place.

              And then the showjumping thing - I’m just repeating what I’ve heard from a friend who works in the SJ world. The riders tend to be more concerned about the big money events anyway but according to her, people are acting as if the Olympics won’t happen.

              The loss of an Australian team in eventing would be a huge knock to the quality of the competition - as if there hasn’t been enough of that already.

              Comment


                #8
                I didn't have a "hunch". Just a read.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by JER View Post

                  Yes, your ‘hunch’ is correct. I think everyone knows this by now.

                  The issue is whether the Olympics will actually go forward in Tokyo in 2021.

                  The Tokyo government have said if they can’t happen next year, the Games are canceled. And there is considerable evidence that this could happen. For example, there’s a mayoral election for Tokyo this year and every candidate except the incumbent (who is expected to win) is running on a platform that includes canceling the Olympics. That would indicate a lack of support among the public. And then there’s the matter of sponsorship contracts. They end in December 2020 and the majority of sponsors have signaled they won’t renew for a 2021 Games with reduced spectatorship and covid restrictions.
                  ........
                  This is one of those moments in history when I'm behind the wave and thinking rather mundanely "wait, they won't do that, it would mean financial disaster" -- but then they do that. And it's a financial disaster. But for some reason they know this, and they do it anyway.

                  Such as when the grounded the airlines after 9/11 and when they shutdown the economy for covid. Didn't believe either one until it was a done thing.

                  Given that the whole Olympic circus was scheduled to go off just a few months, weeks, after the postponement was announced, the enormous investment that had to be nearing completion would mean that there were kazillions in sunk money they could not get back. Big construction projects, and the vast array of preparations for so many sports and events and guests.

                  So if the Olympics is not to be, that has to equate to a financial loss of historic proportions. But I can see that if they continued with a half-speed Olympics, the loss could be much worse.

                  And if they waited to stage it in 2022, then they are bumping the World Games for so many of the sports that are on the alternate cycle, so they have an international games every other year.

                  So I can see that cancelling the Olympics may be a plausible scenario - but lordamighty, that is a lot of fallout to deal with if they do.

                  If the 2021 Olympics never happens, will there ever be another Olympics? Or will it finally have collapsed of its own impractical weight, just too hard to re-start after an 8 year hiatus? The Olympics have been on shaky ground for quite a long time.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    And if eventing is ejected from the next Olympics, what becomes of eventing internationally? It would be a huge financial loss to the sport - but maybe a chance to reset priorities and purpose. Scale the show biz back, bring the horsemanship up. Something like that.

                    I can envision a scenario in which losing the Olympics could be the best thing that ever happened to eventing. But not to a lot of the professionals who are invested in it.

                    Comment

                      Original Poster

                      #11
                      This is the current situation with the USOPC:

                      USOPC CEO warns of further cuts to organization if Tokyo 2020 is cancelled

                      51 staff have been laid off, 33 furloughed. That’s a loss of 84 staff.

                      Again, NOCs work on 4-year cycles. The first year - a summer Olympics year - involves the intake of most of their funds (from broadcast rights) for the entire four years. That money is spent over that cycle.

                      This year, with the postponement, NOCs won’t get this funding until next year. Many are running on fumes.

                      Olympic expenses are usually shared in some way by the NOC and the NF (national federation). The NF usually has a lot of expenses over the Olympic qualifying period - which is basically happening twice now (last year and next year) in many sports. This includes picking up the tab for a more robust anti-doping program, which is very costly.

                      Like OverandOnward, I think it’s a good time for a reset. Olympic sport is administration-heavy and often corrupt. Two recent examples: the longtime head of the weightlifting federation appears to have embezzled about $10 million and taken countless bribes to cover up positive doping tests. The former head of the IAAF (track and field, athletics) is now on trial in Paris for money laundering and corruption charges, again in the millions. And then we have the sexual abuse scandals of gymnastics and swimming in the US - a large-scale institutional issue on par with the Catholic Church in terms of protecting predator coaches and officials.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Some posters may be surprised to hear that some UL eventers want to do away with the FEI and start their own International Eventing Association. Tammie Smith talked about it in a podcast on Major League Eventing.

                        Losing the Olympics could be one of the best ways for eventing to cut ties with the FEI.

                        The event riders masters series is something that could replace the draw of the Olympics, more money to be won and an amazing show for spectators. Maybe a world Champs every two years instead of four. Lots of possibilities!
                        Boss Mare Eventing Blog

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Jealoushe View Post
                          Some posters may be surprised to hear that some UL eventers want to do away with the FEI and start their own International Eventing Association. Tammie Smith talked about it in a podcast on Major League Eventing.
                          To put this in full context, Rob then asked her if she would want to move forward with that if it meant foregoing the Olympics, and she said she wouldn't. Of course, if there is no Olympics to worry about foregoing, that puts things in a different light, as you've said.

                          These times are many things, but you can't say they aren't interesting...

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by OverandOnward View Post
                            And if eventing is ejected from the next Olympics, what becomes of eventing internationally? It would be a huge financial loss to the sport - but maybe a chance to reset priorities and purpose. Scale the show biz back, bring the horsemanship up. Something like that.

                            I can envision a scenario in which losing the Olympics could be the best thing that ever happened to eventing. But not to a lot of the professionals who are invested in it.
                            I think the ship has sailed on "scale the show biz back". The Event Rider Masters is popular with professionals in the UK and Europe, and pros in North America are keen to get in on a similar high-prize money scenario too. They are probably all taking notes from the Global Champions Tour of show jumping. The Wellington Showcase and similar bastardized events are examples on the NA circuit.

                            None of which is useful or desirable from an amateur-keep-the-sport-affordable-and-accessible standpoint. I think it will result in further degradation of traditional endurance tests and increasing demand (or, vocal demand by pros) for what we used to call CICs and now call CCI-S formats. I don't think we have the fan base or sponsor base to really support this format of top-down eventing in NA, but could see the desire for it causing long-term damage to event sites/organizers/volunteers/sponsor relationships when the effort would be better spent trying to grow the sport from the bottom up.
                            Blugal

                            You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Marigold View Post

                              To put this in full context, Rob then asked her if she would want to move forward with that if it meant foregoing the Olympics, and she said she wouldn't. Of course, if there is no Olympics to worry about foregoing, that puts things in a different light, as you've said.

                              These times are many things, but you can't say they aren't interesting...
                              Yes you are right, thanks for clarifying. I dont think there are any UL eventers who would want to say bye to Olympics. Others though...
                              Boss Mare Eventing Blog

                              Comment


                                #16
                                https://eventingnation.com/australia...accreditation/

                                Forgot about this too

                                Equestrian Australia’s foothold was further weakened by scandal surrounding 4* eventer Callum Buczak, who was charged in October with sexually assaulting another rider in February of 2019. In not banning Buczak from competition through the course of the investigation, EA was found to have breached the FEI’s safeguarding policy, and in doing so, was complicit in the further harassment of the victim by Buczak and his partner through March of 2020, for which the rider received further charges in May. Buczak was eventually barred from competition after intervention by the FEI.
                                Wowsers. Nice he was allowed to just carry on harass his victim at events.

                                This whole scenario is scary for eventers, with the effect of the inquest into the deaths playing a role. Eventing safety has never been more important, along with Safesport.
                                Boss Mare Eventing Blog

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by Jealoushe View Post
                                  https://eventingnation.com/australia...accreditation/

                                  Forgot about this too



                                  Wowsers. Nice he was allowed to just carry on harass his victim at events.

                                  This whole scenario is scary for eventers, with the effect of the inquest into the deaths playing a role. Eventing safety has never been more important, along with Safesport.
                                  Oh wow, I hadn't seen that yet. Thank you so much for sharing! I knew he'd been allowed to continue competing, but I'm really glad to know there was eventually some kind of ruling that it was completely incorrect to allow him to do so (and evidently, to allow him to continue to harass the victim at horse shows....) I suddenly find myself grateful for the FEI

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    More deets on Callum: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...self-harm.html
                                    Boss Mare Eventing Blog

                                    Comment

                                      Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      So the FEI and an NF suspends a rider because he’s been charged with (not convicted, trial is ongoing) raping another rider in an incident outside of the sport.

                                      Meanwhile, a rider(s) and/or horse(s) are killed on a course designed by an FEI or NF licensed course designer and the CD is not suspended pending a full investigation. To my knowledge, no CD has had their licensed revoked for even a multiple body count.

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by JER View Post
                                        So the FEI and an NF suspends a rider because he’s been charged with (not convicted, trial is ongoing) raping another rider in an incident outside of the sport.

                                        Meanwhile, a rider(s) and/or horse(s) are killed on a course designed by an FEI or NF licensed course designer and the CD is not suspended pending a full investigation. To my knowledge, no CD has had their licensed revoked for even a multiple body count.
                                        The FEI and NF didn't do squat until it became apparent that the apparent rapist and his gf were trying to drive the victim to suicide. Too little too late IMO
                                        Boss Mare Eventing Blog

                                        Comment

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