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Eventing Nation booted from covering Event in Unionville, PA

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    Originally posted by MorganSercu View Post
    I am well aware that Leesburg was named after Thomas Lee (a distant relative of Robert E. Lee). However, if you look at the history of Leesburg (I posted links earlier in the thread) there is a long history of slavery in the area and that includes Thomas Lee and his descendents.

    So I ask again, are we certain this wasn't supposed to be the easy win and they would then move to insist that the name Morven Park couldn't be used? Would using Leesburg then be on the list of place names to be banned?
    MorganSercu I understood your point and it was apt; this is a conversation based on a misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the word plantation, based on righteous ignorance.

    eg
    It doesn't matter that leesburg isn't named after Robert E. Lee, because they a) don't know and b) don't care. The goal is destruction and power. The destruction of language, of knowledge, rewriting the past to control the future.

    it's funny because these tactics are so obvious, and so ham-fisted, but so easy to ignore.

    The targets ignore because they know the claims are false and believe that truth wins out in the end. they ignore to their peril.

    The acolytes ignore because they believe they are aligned with the destroyers, the reformers to their mind, and they will become the new dominant class. They ignore to their peril.



    Let me apologize in advance.

    Comment


      RE quote from article Hunt Magazine.
      "While Glaccum taught, he also rode—longer than anyone else in U.S. history, from 1956 to 2012. After surgery to remove an aneurysm in 2013 cost him his sight in one eye, Glaccum had to stop. Otherwise, he might still be competing now at age 79."
      Now how did they come up with this factoid? I think I need to see if the folks that are in with Mike Plumb can get him to compete at the Horse Park this year, I think Mike might have him beat on this number, especially if it counts horse training, because he is still training horses.

      Comment


        Originally posted by gardenie View Post
        RE quote from article Hunt Magazine.
        "While Glaccum taught, he also rode—longer than anyone else in U.S. history, from 1956 to 2012. After surgery to remove an aneurysm in 2013 cost him his sight in one eye, Glaccum had to stop. Otherwise, he might still be competing now at age 79."
        Now how did they come up with this factoid? I think I need to see if the folks that are in with Mike Plumb can get him to compete at the Horse Park this year, I think Mike might have him beat on this number, especially if it counts horse training, because he is still training horses.
        I don't think it's on my list of moral dilemmas.
        ... _. ._ .._. .._

        Comment


          Originally posted by Equibrit View Post

          I don't think it's on my list of moral dilemmas.
          Right!?
          Let me apologize in advance.

          Comment

            Original Poster

            as sad as this thread is, its giving some good laughs too

            Comment

              Original Poster

              I just finished listening to the Leslie Wylie episode on Major League Eventing.

              Starting around 36 mins in, gives you an idea where this is coming from. I recommend everyone in this convo listen.

              https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/maj...ast/e/76723726

              https://eventingnation.com/leslie-wy...ague-eventing/

              Comment


                Originally posted by MorganSercu View Post
                What if we are thinking too small? I wonder if EN, USEA & USEF thought if they could force a name change through in months that they could then demand changes or concessions from Morven Park and even Leesburg itself. This was supposed to be a slam dunk. No one ever considered that the LO didn't need or want them so badly that he and the board wouldn't acquiesce straightaway. None of them believed they couldn't dictate the terms to him.

                Honestly, I strongly suspect Morven Park and renaming Leesburg is their ultimate goal. Its proximity to DC, its history - it would be a big deal.
                I assume some of your comments here are sarcastic

                But just for the record, I’m confident that there is no push underway to address much of anything about Morven Park. The name can’t and shouldn’t be changed... it’s a matter of history.

                ... ...

                If I was inclined to try and badly mix and mangle metaphors... I would say that Morven Park is a combination of a sacred cow, and giant elephant, currently sitting in the living room of USEA headquarters right now.

                Leslie Wiley is also well aware of Morven Park. I believe she’s spent quite a bit of time in the Northern, VA area.

                I don’t know why they are going after one venue, using the argument that the whole “plantation” factor makes it incredibly insensitive when it comes to BIPOC participants and fans of the sport, but ignoring another. I’ve indeed made MANY comments on this post that I strongly suspect it’s a matter of some people involved in this controversy hating the politics of other people involved, and then one side decided they were “right” and got drunk on social media power, and informed the other side that they WOULD just HAVE to embrace the change that only one side was positive the sport of eventing needs right now.

                And as they say... the rest is history.

                But someone else many many pages ago also raised the notion that sheer miscalculation or stupidity was quite possibly a factor.

                Whether it’s politics or stupidity, what is clear is that there is significant hypocrisy and selective outrage to be found if one chooses to look and think about both venues and the outcry over the Plantation Field venue, but silence with respect to Morven Park, with clear and fair eyes.

                atl_hunter did make a point several pages ago on the issue though, that was a REALLY nuanced and thoughtful way of addressing something like Morven. She brought up the story of a Broadway actor (I’ve forgotten his name), who is black and gay, and who decided to buy an incredibly old house that is sort of “plantation” in style. I believe the actor originally thought it had been built by slaves when he bought it... and later determined that dates didn’t quite make sense. The house was north of the Mason Dixon line, and slavery in that area had been outlawed well before the Civil War, so it seems like a totally understandable assumption and mistake. Nonetheless, the man bought the home, and then did a lot of renovation/restoration to it I think.

                His quotes and sentiments expressed along the way, indicated that the whole endeavor was something he personally felt very positive about, and that it was worthy of deep thought and celebration in some respects. Because it’s a great thing that someone like him could buy a house like this so many generations later... when his ancestors had been enslaved and forced to build houses like that, yet didn’t get to live in them and enjoy the fruits of their labor. He approached the whole issue as a matter of not only reclaiming a seat at a table... but in fact... of actually OWNING the table. He felt on some level that he was righting a wrong that happened long ago, in his own personal way, in the present.

                I will note right now though... just so it doesn’t go over anyone’s head... that the hero of this story was a property owner. He bought this property, and then decided what history he wanted to speak about and honor etc, etc after buying it. Good for him. He clearly has something in common with Mr. Walker, I think.

                Anyway, I think that story, and the general thought process behind it, is the right way to approach Morven Park as a venue, and its history. Keep on competing there, but at the same time, remember the history of what happened there, and think deeply about it. Celebrate how far we have come as a society. People of all races and backgrounds are welcome to walk the grounds of Morven and attend equestrian and soccer competitions there. People can go to the museum and learn more about Morven. BIPOC who own horses, can take their horse to Morven if it colics badly, and the horse will get EXCEPTIONAL care.

                The competition grounds, soccer fields and veterinary hospital there ARE all a direct result of philanthropic donation by wealthy, mostly white, VERY privileged people. I don’t think that’s a bad thing though. I don’t think that all the wealthy, mostly white, VERY privileged people who did and do donate to Morven Park are defacto racist sympathizers, because they put a ton of money into restoring and celebrating the history of a Confederate Plantation and turning it into a community resource that everyone can enjoy as of 2020... instead of tearing it down. But that’s just my opinion, and Morven Park is much bigger than a statue. I don’t typically give broad opinions on statues either. I think the history of each should be considered, and circumstances surrounding why and when they were erected should be considered, before local communities decide to either keep them up in the public square, or take them down.

                But apparently, if I even post that sort of nuanced perspective... I can and will be called a Confederate sympathizer and a racist these days, all over social media. I think that is stupid. But arguing with stupid people is also stupid, so I avoid saying stuff about Confederate statues on Facebook these days.

                Back to Morven though... if I wanted to be VERY NARROW when comparing the two situations, and draw a fair parallel... I would say that EN should be fiercely advocating RIGHT NOW for the photo of the horse and rider on cross country, with the beautiful old Morven Mansion in the backdrop to be removed from all media, and marketing materials related to this venue. It’s right there on Facebook right now. Go look! They should be writing emails and letters to the USEA and USEF and the organizers DEMANDING that photo be modified.

                Are they? Does anyone know? Maybe so. Maybe not. I haven’t heard anything one way or another.

                USEA and USEF also should be sensitive to the fact that there is an actual giant plantation home at Morven Park (go figure ) and they should inform the organizers that from here on out, they will not use a single image in any media and marketing materials that has an actual plantation house included in it. Because it is insensitive.

                Are they? Does anyone know? Maybe so. Maybe not. I haven’t heard anything one way or another.

                I bet the organizers of Morven Park would be a bit irritated by this, if there was such a push underway right now. Everyone who has been to that venue knows that you can get beautiful pictures of folks on cross country, with that old plantation house included in the backdrop. It’s a little bit of a “thing” in this neck of the woods. But a case can certainly be made it’s insensitive to black athletes. For sure. I actually know a few older folks who are deeply tied to eventing in Northern Virginia who have happily taken photos like this for quite awhile. My guess is they might LOUDLY declare that such a controversy and new restriction on taking photos of riders on course at that venue with the mansion appearing in the backdrop... well.. that’s RIDICULOUS! But... do I think if they dig their heels in on such a thing, it makes them defacto RACISTS?

                NO. I think that’s unfair and overly simplistic.

                And I think calling anyone a racist is a serious issue, and should not be done casually or lightly with the flimsiest of evidence. A person’s actions and words over the course of their life should matter when making a charge like that.

                Honestly, at this pint, the only thing I’m curious about when it comes to Morven Park is whether or not the brilliant minds at Eventing Nation will write an editorial about that venue when it runs. Talk about history, etc etc. I have a suggestion for them if they do... they could use:

                “Why Plantations Matter: Part II” as a title



                If they go there, I will say one exceptionally political incorrect thing about them, right now...

                They have giant brass balls.

                (My apologies to anyone who takes offense at that phrase.. honestly... I don’t even know the origins of it... but I can only assume they are somehow racist or something else problematic. But the shoe fits, and if EN wants to wear that shoe... they should just go ahead and wear it, and then they can hunker down and experience the wrath of all the folks tied to eventing in Northern Virginia. )
                Last edited by Virginia Horse Mom; Sep. 25, 2020, 03:08 PM. Reason: Typos and grammar

                Comment


                  Originally posted by Jealoushe View Post
                  I just finished listening to the Leslie Wylie episode on Major League Eventing.

                  Starting around 36 mins in, gives you an idea where this is coming from. I recommend everyone in this convo listen.

                  https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/maj...ast/e/76723726

                  https://eventingnation.com/leslie-wy...ague-eventing/
                  That's difficult to listen to, especially when contrasted with the conversation over the last 46 pages. Whatever you may think of how she went about it, that is someone with a passion for our sport, for building and supporting it for the future, and for making sure everyone feels welcome and included. People who care that much are rare and we are lucky to have them.

                  I find it so difficult to believe that throughout this entire process, there wasn't a way to get all of these people (Leslie Wylie, Cuyler Walker, Denis Glaccum, etc etc) who love eventing so much and have poured so much of their life's work into the sport onto the same page. There was so much common ground for building. We need people who care this much to stick around and keep caring. That is the real tragedy.

                  Comment


                    Originally posted by Equibrit View Post

                    I don't think it's on my list of moral dilemmas.
                    In all fairness, It’s 2020, and moral dilemmas are a highly selective matter this year.

                    Comment


                      Originally posted by Marigold View Post

                      That's difficult to listen to, especially when contrasted with the conversation over the last 46 pages. Whatever you may think of how she went about it, that is someone with a passion for our sport, for building and supporting it for the future, and for making sure everyone feels welcome and included. People who care that much are rare and we are lucky to have them.

                      I find it so difficult to believe that throughout this entire process, there wasn't a way to get all of these people (Leslie Wylie, Cuyler Walker, Denis Glaccum, etc etc) who love eventing so much and have poured so much of their life's work into the sport onto the same page. There was so much common ground for building. We need people who care this much to stick around and keep caring. That is the real tragedy.
                      I listened to it as well, and agree wholeheartedly.

                      And after listening, I do wonder more with respect to what role various folks with both USEF and USEA played in this mess. Or more accurately failed to play. It seems like they should have taken the wheel more firmly way earlier, and steered this ship in a reasonable direction.

                      I will note, however, that I was struck by Leslie Wiley’s journalistic background - she’s worked as an actual journalist for traditional outlets, and had her work published in the Washington Post, and worked for an outlet in Knoxville as well. She knows what is involved when it comes to journalistic ethics. She violated them... pure and simple.

                      And just so everyone understands, a journalist and publication can be openly and proudly either liberal OR conservative in nature and content... but they still have certain rules and ethical standards they are supposed to follow.

                      Eventing Nation and Leslie Wiley violated their obligations. She describes herself as a journalist... not a blog editor... during the course of this interview. So this whole component of this issue is a sticking point. She can be an activist on issues she cares about in her personal time, and in her role as a private citizen. So can John Thier. More power to them. But as the publisher and editor in chief of an outlet that they themselves are describing as a news based journalistic outlet, they absolutely can not consciously create controversies, participate as activists in said controversies, then write editorials and reports for Eventing Nation about the controversy they played an activist role in. ESPECIALLY if they simultaneously get a revenue bump from the editorials they wrote and published about the controversy.

                      That is straight up unethical when it comes to journalism. And it seems like ignorance is not a defense they can claim. So... honestly... I am perplexed about this particular angle of this mess. I can’t imagine the revenue bump was big enough to really justify violating all sorts of journalistic ethical obligations.
                      Last edited by Virginia Horse Mom; Sep. 25, 2020, 02:09 PM. Reason: Typos

                      Comment


                        Originally posted by Virginia Horse Mom View Post
                        Whether it’s politics or stupidity, what is clear is that there is significant hypocrisy and selective outrage to be found if one chooses to look and think about both venues and the outcry over the Plantation Field venue, but silence with respect t to Morven Park, with clear and fair eyes.
                        I disagree. Because I think you could not be more right about this:

                        Originally posted by Virginia Horse Mom View Post
                        I think that story, and the general thought process behind it is the right way to approach Morven Park as a venue, abd it’s history. Keep on competing there, but at the same time, remember the history of what happened there, and think deeply about it. Celebrate how far we have come as a society. People of all races and backgrounds are welcome to walk the grounds of Morven and attend equestrian and soccer competitions there. People can go to the museum and learn more about Morven. BIPOC who own horses, can take their horse to Morven if it colics badly, and the horse will get EXCEPTIONAL care.
                        But Plantation is a different situation. Plantation differs from Morven because of what’s in a name – literally. We name places/buildings/people after other things as a means of celebrating and elevating things of importance to us. Plantation Field itself is no exception – it was so named because the owners of the property wished to celebrate the effort the Boy Scouts undertook in planting so many trees.

                        Where that becomes tricky is when the venue is an international competition, drawing competitors from all across the continent. For the vast majority of competitors, “Plantation” brings to mind something very different, and it appears that meaning is what the owners were trying to celebrate (which we know they were not). It’s very like a brand that is started in a small town and then expands across the globe, only to find out that their name or a name of their product means something very different in another country. They don’t get upset that the other country didn’t understand the original meaning. They just change the branding. For levity, here are a few examples:

                        https://gulfbusiness.com/top-10-bran...n-translation/
                        https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/52...ing-fails.html

                        Frankly, if I were the owner I would want to change the name simply because I would never want someone to misunderstand and think I was trying to celebrate something I was not. In this case, it’s very easy, because no one is actually trying to celebrate slavery – they always meant to celebrate Boy Scouts. No one has any racist intent that needs to be addressed in this scenario (which would be far more difficult to change). Why would you not eliminate the possibility of misunderstanding if at all possible?

                        Comment


                          Originally posted by Djones View Post

                          You've never heard of a pine plantation? Meaning land that is solely dedicated to growing pine trees?

                          Better tear the plantation shutters off of your lovely houses, folks.

                          Your clutch in your car has a slave cylinder. Better get rid of your car.

                          I'm 100% on board with BLM, arresting the cops who killed Breonna Taylor, cleaning house on the PD who so casually killed Daniel Prude, etc etc etc

                          But I'm 100% aggravated at this level of hyper wokeness.
                          This is my exact stance as well.
                          runnjump86 Instagram

                          Horse Junkies United guest blogger

                          Comment


                            Originally posted by Marigold View Post

                            That's difficult to listen to, especially when contrasted with the conversation over the last 46 pages. Whatever you may think of how she went about it, that is someone with a passion for our sport, for building and supporting it for the future, and for making sure everyone feels welcome and included. People who care that much are rare and we are lucky to have them.

                            I find it so difficult to believe that throughout this entire process, there wasn't a way to get all of these people (Leslie Wylie, Cuyler Walker, Denis Glaccum, etc etc) who love eventing so much and have poured so much of their life's work into the sport onto the same page. There was so much common ground for building. We need people who care this much to stick around and keep caring. That is the real tragedy.
                            Everybody cares, but not everybody would be foolish enough to pull a stunt like that, especially when it threatened the use of the venue and EN's "business". Badly done Ms Wiley.
                            ... _. ._ .._. .._

                            Comment


                              This has been an eye opening thread.

                              I wonder if the property had been named Plantation Woods if it would have been found less offensive? Combining the word "plantation" with "fields" does conjure up a negative association with slavery. I think the choice of the name mostly had to do with trying to blend the two property names together and Logan's Woods would not have acknowledged Mr. Walker's family ties with the property. If it is just a few people trying to come up with a name, they would not have the benefit of an outside perspective to let them know that name choice may be found offensive.

                              I do think that cancelling out every offensive part of our collective past history does not help educate people to become more evolved. We need to own our past. We need future generations to learn from the past. We need to report history honestly and fairly for all sides.

                              I think what the Germans did with their history of WWII was the correct one. Let it be a lesson for future generations. Do not let the world forget the 12 million people slaughtered in the concentration camps. Do not let people deny that it happened because it makes the storyline uncomfortable to tell.

                              The Jewish people remember their bondage every Passover. They remember what their ancestors endured. They honor them. I don't know of any Jewish people offended by the pyramids, and maybe that's because they escaped their bondage and it occurred thousands of years ago. But it is remembered every year in a sacred holiday.

                              I think the same honoring of those that were treated unfairly in the past is a good step forward. If we all learn from each others stories, we can have a better understanding of how to live together as a nation.

                              If Plantation Fields were a former plantation site where the suffering of others had occurred, I can see why the name would cause such outrage. A simple explanation of the name, along with a history of the areas abolitionist ties, would have made this more inclusive.

                              Instead, those purporting to love eventing are destroying it, one venue at a time.


                              http://thepitchforkchronicles.com

                              Comment


                                Originally posted by Virginia Horse Mom View Post

                                In all fairness, It’s 2020, and moral dilemmas are a highly selective matter this year.
                                Yeah! LOL

                                Comment


                                  Originally posted by Jealoushe View Post
                                  I just finished listening to the Leslie Wylie episode on Major League Eventing.

                                  Starting around 36 mins in, gives you an idea where this is coming from. I recommend everyone in this convo listen.

                                  https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/maj...ast/e/76723726

                                  https://eventingnation.com/leslie-wy...ague-eventing/
                                  I started it up about 33 min, and damn, she's inarticulate. It's painful to listen to.
                                  "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                                  ...just settin' on the Group W bench.

                                  Comment


                                    Originally posted by Marigold View Post

                                    But Plantation is a different situation. Plantation differs from Morven because of what’s in a name – literally. We name places/buildings/people after other things as a means of celebrating and elevating things of importance to us. Plantation Field itself is no exception – it was so named because the owners of the property wished to celebrate the effort the Boy Scouts undertook in planting so many trees.

                                    Where that becomes tricky is when the venue is an international competition, drawing competitors from all across the continent. For the vast majority of competitors, “Plantation” brings to mind something very different, and it appears that meaning is what the owners were trying to celebrate (which we know they were not). It’s very like a brand that is started in a small town and then expands across the globe, only to find out that their name or a name of their product means something very different in another country. They don’t get upset that the other country didn’t understand the original meaning. They just change the branding. For levity, here are a few examples:

                                    ***links deleted so that the post wouldn’t be unapproved... but check out Marigold’s original... they are REALLY funny ***

                                    Frankly, if I were the owner I would want to change the name simply because I would never want someone to misunderstand and think I was trying to celebrate something I was not. In this case, it’s very easy, because no one is actually trying to celebrate slavery – they always meant to celebrate Boy Scouts. No one has any racist intent that needs to be addressed in this scenario (which would be far more difficult to change). Why would you not eliminate the possibility of misunderstanding if at all possible?
                                    I think you and I agree on quite a bit HOWEVER... I do think there is a flaw to your line of reasoning here...

                                    The issue of the word “plantation” being tied in the public consciousness in a broad way to the historic wrong of slavery is a decidedly AMERICAN issue. Concern over the historic wrongs of slavery and subjugation of minorities is a concern everywhere, but Europeans in particular tend to pride themselves on their “sophistication” and culturally would quite likely be inclined to collectively yawn, and look down their nose a bit at “gauche Americans” getting all worked up over this word, in this context, in this decidedly white and elitist sport. That’s my opinion. I’ve been to Europe and spent time living in France as an exchange student ;-) It’s changed a lot since then, but some things are still the same.

                                    But if I’m wrong, and there are voices in Europe weighing in on this debacle, and supporting the name change... please correct me.Additionally, Boyd and Phillip likely have some insight with respect to how the Australian eventing community would generally think about this issue... and knowing what I generally know about Aussies, I’m inclined to think that community would also consider the name change controversy way overblown. So I kind of think that whole group of folks associated with the international eventing community - again - not really a factor.

                                    I did see comments from one other International eventing competitor on the topic, he’s Mexican actually... and interestingly enough he’s a competitor in the sport who has attended this venue MANY MANY TIMES... Pedro Gutierrez Aja. He made a public comment on the whole issue... and I will quote it in the interest of discussion...

                                    “So sad that in this time some group of supposed eventing promoters get into an illogical criticism that hurts an extremely generous land owner, thus destroying one of the best events in the world.”

                                    So that’s kind of interesting.

                                    Anyway, I think I can agree with your thought process in many respects, but I think the issue of worrying that the word “plantation” would have any significant negative racial connotations to folks who are upper level riders and participate on an international scale, and thus be damaging in some way to the brand associated with this venue?

                                    I think that on a factual level... this just isn’t the case. It should be a consideration - building the brand name, and making sure it was acceptable to an international audience - that’s a smart point. But I disagree that the international eventing audience and participants would have been offended by the name “Plantation Field” or worried at all that it was insensitive to BIPOC competing in the sport. I think that concern is truly an American one, and tied to issues and sentiments we have going on here in 2020, that are very very much tied to politics in America right now.

                                    As for whether or not the land owner should have been concerned that the venue’s name might be insensitive to some people? I see what you are saying. If approached in a thoughtful polite and patient way, likely a discussion could have been had between all parties, and the event could have been renamed and rebranded “Logan Field International” in 2021. They could have used awesome photos featuring the old stone ruins and that part of the course as part of a marketing/rebranding roll out. And the publicity surrounding it could have been really positive, and drawn people together, and effective on all counts.

                                    So why didn’t the folks that pushed for this change and cared about the issue so much (by all accounts... Leslie Wiley and John Thier) why wasn’t that the path pursued?

                                    My impression is that Leslie and John felt 2021 wasn’t “soon enough.” And that leads us right back to the fundamental question... why wasn’t 2021 soon enough?

                                    My cynical assumption... again... is that is because of the political cycle in America.

                                    I hope you don’t take my response to your perspective as argumentative and rude. That’s not my intention. I just want to explain clearly why I view this situation the way I do.

                                    I appreciate your perspective and thought though. And the first link you shared was HILARIOUS. The “Laputa” Minivan...

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                                      Originally posted by Virginia Horse Mom View Post

                                      I think you and I agree on quite a bit
                                      I agree Like this, for example:

                                      Originally posted by Virginia Horse Mom View Post
                                      As for whether or not the land owner should have been concerned that the venue’s name might be insensitive to some people? I see what you are saying. If approached in a thoughtful polite and patient way, likely a discussion could have been had between all parties, and the event could have been renamed and rebranded “Logan Field International” in 2021. They could have used awesome photos featuring the old stone ruins and that part of the course as part of a marketing/rebranding roll out. And the publicity surrounding it could have been really positive, and drawn people together, and effective on all counts.
                                      I really wish that's what happened. They could have been open and said that they recognized that a change was probably best for everyone, but that this year's event had long since been announced and so the change would occur next year. They could have held a vote between a few owner-approved alternatives if they wanted to get everyone involved, publicized it through EN in conjunction with this year's running, drummed up all kinds of positive press for how inclusive and cooperative and positive everyone was being and transferred over some brand awareness while they were at it. There were so many other ways...

                                      Originally posted by Virginia Horse Mom View Post
                                      It should be a consideration - building the brand name, and making sure it was acceptable to an international audience - that’s a smart point. But I disagree that the international eventing audience and participants would have been offended by the name “Plantation Field” or worried at all that it was insensitive to BIPOC competing in the sport. I think that concern is truly an American one, and tied to issues and sentiments we have going on here in 2020, that are very very much tied to politics in America right now.
                                      I should have clarified - I was using "international" to indicate FEI vs a national class, and the corresponding increase in the number of states that draw to an event like that. The popularity of an FEI event vs a national one means you draw from a much wider population, but I didn't mean to imply we were going cross-continental (I think it will be a while before we're getting the Europeans to come to our 4*s, with the possible exception of Nation's Cups....but always a good goal!) And I don't think Europeans would be too fussed about the name either way, I agree.

                                      What I meant was, by hosting an FEI, you tend to draw people from out of area (including from the south, where "plantation" has a very different meaning). In a country as big as this, you can have different meanings or implications to words depending on what area of the country people are from. Similar to how the brands don't translate well across languages, people who are local to Pennsylvania might be very familiar with pine plantations and the significance of the Underground Railroad in the area, but people considering entering the event from Texas might assume the name "Plantation" was chosen to honor a very different use of the land. They would be wrong, but why allow the opportunity for misunderstanding in the first place?

                                      Originally posted by Virginia Horse Mom View Post
                                      I hope you don’t take my response to your perspective as argumentative and rude. That’s not my intention. I just want to explain clearly why I view this situation the way I do.

                                      I appreciate your perspective and thought though. And the first link you shared was HILARIOUS. The “Laputa” Minivan...
                                      I don't, and I know you didn't mean it that way Honest and open discussion is the only possible way to move forward on issues like this, and I'm glad you are putting so much thought into it and sharing that with all of us.

                                      And you're welcome. Thought we all could use a laugh!

                                      Comment


                                        I remember when Joe Dimaggio died. His family contacted the family Deegan, for whom The Major Deegan is named. It runs right passed Yankee stadium. They requested that the small stretch of 87 be renamed for Joe. They said no. Do the kids know who Major Deegan was? No but they know Joey D.... that was the end of it.
                                        Why do people think they have the right to say what anyone names their property? It is after all theirs. If you don't like it do not support it but others feel differently. So now everyone has lost a lovely venue..Eventing has lost so many venues for different reasons and it is sad but this could have been avoided. Insults and bullying never get you what you want. Until someone can put their money where their mouth is they need to keep quiet. Once again if we don't agree you are wrong...UGH
                                        Mai Tai aka Tyler RIP March 1994-December 2011
                                        Grief is the price we pay for love- Gretchen Jackson
                                        "And here she comes. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's ZENYATTA!"

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                                          Originally posted by MorganSercu View Post
                                          Another thought is that instead of approaching with ideas and rapprochment, Ms. Wylie and her allies behind the scenes went in with only one goal. Change the name. The money it takes to rename a venue is money that could be spent or dedicated to groups with broad and long-lasting community impact. Dedicating some fixed percentage of the gross take to the program based out of Philly from 2021 onward (sorry, brain is elsewhere, I can't think of the name at the moment) for example. In addition to whatever rotation PFEE had scheduled for donations.
                                          Agreed.

                                          Many many pages ago, a few of us started commenting with a certain amount of ironic humor about the terms “BATNA” “WATNA” and “ZOPA”

                                          I thinking you were in on those posts

                                          I also mentioned the “Walk Away”

                                          I’m bringing it back up again, but will drop sarcastic humor, and advise everyone that didn’t bother to look these terms up on Google, or... who doesn’t already know what they refer to because you have a legal or professional occupation and/or experience, and have been involved in negotiations at one pint or another, and learned about negotiation tactics and strategy...

                                          They refer to

                                          “Best Alternative To Negotiated Agreement”
                                          ”Worst Alternative To Negotiated Agreement”
                                          ”Zone Of Possible Agreement”

                                          and

                                          Walking Away from negotiating altogether.

                                          So if we apply these terms to this situation...

                                          1. There were two general sides when it came to the issue of the name “Plantation Field” and if or when the name should be changed to any extent.

                                          *We will leave the “why” of the whole matter alone. For both sides.

                                          2. One side (EN, and possibly some folks with USEF and USEA) approached the other side (PFEE ), and voiced their opinion. The other side said, “We don’t agree with your opinion.”

                                          3. At this point, both parties COULD have tried to commence negotiating, to see if they could find common ground. But the fact is, as has widely been reported, that neither USEF nor USEA has an administrative means of FORCING PFEE to change the name of this licensed competition as of summer and fall of 2020. Nor did EN actually have a means of forcing it. And obviously, Mr. Walker was the sole owner of the property, and he and Mr. Glaccum (who is President of PFEE) had chosen the name “Plantation Field” 20 years earlier.

                                          4. Some sort of communication by and between EN, USEF, USEA, PFEE and Mr. Walker swirled around from late June of 2020 up until early September of 2020. No agreements were reached and everyone involved began to get upset.

                                          5. By late August of 2020, as was reported on September 17th in the COTH article on this topic, Boyd Martin informed multiple parties that if they continued to push for a name change, they were at great risk of ending up with a result that he considered a WATNA... specifically... they were at grave risk of offending and upsetting the property owner to such a degree, that he would indeed exercise his option of assuming a “Walk Away” position with respect to not only the discussion about the name of the venue, but with respect to the eventing community in general, and the lease that PFEE needed in order to hold USEF licensed competitions on Mr. Walker’s property might be revoked, and Mr. Walker might decide to withdraw his support of USEA eventing altogether.

                                          6. John Thier responded to Boyd Martin that he was of the opinion that if this was the outcome, and Mr. Walker exercised his option to “Walk Away,” it actually wasn’t a WATNA. John Thier apparently felt that not achieving a name change of this venue with only about 3 weeks to go until the scheduled competition date was the actual WATNA. And if others disagreed on the necessity of negotiating a name change or anything else with only three weeks to go until Plantation Field International 2020 competition, and were offended, and decided to quit supporting the USEA, and terminate the lease... that was a preferable to John Thier and the others involved, than the option Mr. Thier a d others had to just BE QUIET for the next few weeks, let tensions die down, and allow PFEE and those directly involved as organizers and participants focus on...

                                          wait for it...

                                          actually holding or participating in Plantation Field International in three weeks.

                                          THINK ABOUT THAT FOLKS.

                                          ***Sidenote*** Mr. Walker is one of the owners who supports Boyd. I can’t remember the specific horse. Maybe someone else can jump in. Did that horse compete? I would imagine it did. How did Boyd and the horse finish? Oh well. At least the actual horse wasn’t distracted and upset by the name of the competition. And yes... that’s very snarky. But in some respects this whole thing is so remarkable, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone tried to make an argument that horses actually care about the names of different competitions at this point.***

                                          7. On September 13th, for some reason, Rob Burk (the CEO of USEA) sent a letter to EN (presumably it went to Leslie Wiley and John Thier) informing them that the USEA would remove the word “plantation” from all its media and marketing materials going forward, and Rob Burk would reach out to all key “stakeholders” and inform them as well.

                                          At this point, I’m going to insert my opinion on this very specific component of the whole string of events. I think this amounted to Rob Burk and USEA DESPERATELY trying to find a BATNA with EN. But the fact of the matter is that Rob and USEA had already been informed, just like everyone else involved in this mess, that if they kept on pushing this issue at this time this way, they were at grave risk of achieving not a “BATNA” but a “WATNA.” Because Mr. Walker could always simply “walk away.“

                                          Soooo... with respect to the September 14th decision on the part of Mr. Walker to take the “walk away” position to this whole thing? Well... I will state my opinion that it is clearly the fault of other parties involved in this mess that this was the outcome. The only public information I can point to is that response from John Thier in late August to Boyd’s warning, and that September 13th letter authored and signed by Rob Burk, that was then sent to John Thier, essentially OFFERING him a ZOPA.

                                          The ZOPA should never have been offered to John Thier without first checking with PFEE and Mr. Walker to ensure they were not offended by this option. Obviously, folks at the USEA and Rob Burk went to EN first though with this “solution” and then attempted to tell key stakeholders involved with PFEE about it second. And that indicates that folks at USEA were more concerned with satisfying the folks at EN, than with showing respect for the clear feelings and concerns of those involved directly with organizing and holding Plantation Field International in less than 4 days. And it also indicates that Rob Burk and the USEA were willing to risk upsetting a major sponsor and property owner who had supported the USEA over the better part of 20 years, in order to satisfy the publisher of a very popular social media platform directly tied to the sport.

                                          In her interview with Major League Eventing in August of 2020, (listen to the linked podcast that Jealoushe posted) Leslie Wiley describes John Thier as the “Zuckerberg” of social media when it comes to the sport of eventing. I know nothing about John Thier’s net worth, nor do I know about the true worth and reach of Eventing Nation as a SoMe platform to the sport.

                                          But I do know that you need wealthy sponsors and land owners in places like Unionville PA for eventing to even just survive as a sport. And USEA miscalculated in a GRAVE manner on this issue on a purely strategic and business level.

                                          If anyone wishes to disagree with my analysis... or add on to it... I’m curious and all ears.

                                          I tried to consciously skip talking about politics, racial sensitivity, etc etc, in this post. And just focus on the known facts of what happened, and technical terms with respect to negotiating tactics, and the actual positions and leverage various parties held on this issue, and the timing of it all.

                                          And it seems fair to say to the folks that STILL feel as though there should have been some sort of negotiation and agreement reached by all parties involved so that the venue wasn’t lost but the name was modified... eventually...

                                          you guys should be asking WHY John said what he said to Boyd in late August, and why Rob Burk and USEA sent that letter on September 13. Both of those things are important puzzle pieces... even if you believe the name should have been changed. If everyone had gone quiet from late August until now, then keeping the venue but changing the name for the whole 2021 season might still be an option. Negotiations and discussions might still be an option.

                                          That’s just my take on it.
                                          Last edited by Virginia Horse Mom; Sep. 25, 2020, 06:32 PM. Reason: Typos galore

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