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FEI foibles at Olympics -- notable no-shows at Safety Committee meeting

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  • FEI foibles at Olympics -- notable no-shows at Safety Committee meeting

    From the Telegraph:

    (Note: this is an excerpt from a much longer piece on the equestrian events. I have not quoted the whole article.)

    Although the eventing competition is now finished in Hong Kong, the battle between the sport's stalwarts and the bureaucracy of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), headed by the President, Princess Haya of Jordan, is rumbling on, if not gaining pace.

    It began on Sunday when Mike Etherington-Smith, the cross-country course designer, said that he would have nothing more to do with the FEI when, at Princess Haya's behest, changes were made to one of the fences after the course had already been approved by the Technical Delegate, Guiseppe della Chiesa, and the Ground Jury, headed by the experienced German Martin Plewa.

    Now Wayne Roycroft, a member of one of Australia's most distinguished eventing families, has threatened to resign as chairman of the Federation's eventing committee, a position he has held for eight years, as a result of his treatment here, when he was excluded from the medal presentation at the end of the championships.

    Along with Etherington-Smith and della Chiesa, he missed yesterday's meeting of the FEI Safety Committee, but efforts are being made to persuade Roycroft to change his mind. And meanwhile Etherington-Smith, who was also responsible for the course for the Sydney Olympics, is still intending to design the course for the World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky, in 2010.

    Princess Haya, who pointed out that she was the first person ever to be elected as President of the FEI as "normally there is only one candidate" said: "It is my job to run (the Federation) more efficiently, and as far as eventing is concerned, to keep the sport in the Olympics. If I ruffle a few feathers, that's unfortunate."
    In Horse & Hound, Princess Haya explains her request for last-minute changes to the XC course:
    I think everyone feels the eventing went wonderfully, but there are obvious issues that we need to sort out. We don't think we've done things perfectly. I feel that it was unfortunate, but I don't think safety can be part of politics and we made the right decision at the time."
    I agree with her about safety and politics; I hope the FEI can keep these two things separated, but these two reports give me serious doubts as to how well that separation will be maintained.

  • #2
    Yes because as an elected president of a governing sports body, her official role in safety overrides those who designed the course and are specifically there to preside over it... uh... how? I'd be ticked too simply because if you hire me for a job and those who are hired to oversee it say the job is well done, don't come in from somewhere in left field and start micromanaging when honestly you don't know a rat's butt about what is truly going on.
    ************
    "Of course it's hard. It's supposed to be hard. It's the Hard that makes it great."

    "Get up... Get out... Get Drunk. Repeat as needed." -- Spike

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    • #3
      Exactly what changes were made to the course, why were they made, and why did the president feel as though she needed to be the one to make them?
      Click here before you buy.

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      • #4
        She changed a fence -- wanted some big boulders out from underneath a fence on cross country -- and it made Mike mad. But the bigger insult is Wayne excluded from the medal ceremony..how sad....it should not have come to that....Princess Haya is asserting power she does not have IMO.
        Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
        Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)

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        • #5
          Reed,

          The Princess is a Princess, She was named a Messenger of Peace: She is In Line to be the Queen of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai: she has ultimate power! who or what is going to de-throne the UAE's Heiress and next in line to rule Dubai?

          An interesting thought though, does the FEI President have the power to frustrate long time participants in the sport of eventing?

          Princes Haya Says:
          said: "It is my job to run (the Federation) more efficiently, and as far as eventing is concerned, to keep the sport in the Olympics
          There you go! Implied: Eventing...will have to fight for it's life to stay in the Olympic Arena. The Question IS? Does Eventing WANT to stay in the Arena or even need to stay in that Arena (I honestly do not have an answer to this question).

          Regards,

          Kathryn


          Originally posted by retreadeventer View Post
          She changed a fence -- wanted some big boulders out from underneath a fence on cross country -- and it made Mike mad. But the bigger insult is Wayne excluded from the medal ceremony..how sad....it should not have come to that....Princess Haya is asserting power she does not have IMO.

          Comment


          • #6
            Honestly, I don't think the Olympic question will even be up to us (eventers) if we don't get our act together soon. We may be kicked out--and if that happens, do we go back to the LF? Honestly, I don't see why WEGs and big CCIs even switched the format to begin, as we can easily run the Olympics as a CIC**** rather than a CCI, then let the WEGs and other major events be our championships. There were other contributing factors to the loss of the CCI (lf) within the sport, and that's what worries me. PH's job is not to ensure that the sport stays in the Olympics, but rather to govern the sport and ensure its laws are executed. I can see why Mike ES and Roycroft were offended, and I do think PH should have taken a different approach to the issue of the jump (a la the rules and systems she is supposed to be executing). There was a blunder there, and it makes me wonder. I'm not as up on the inside politics of the sport, but I am certainly watching now.

            Comment


            • #7
              I think the thing that really irritated the Ground Jury was that Princess Haya demanded this change the afternoon BEFORE the start of XC - after the Ground Jury had already inspected the course thoroughly, and found it up to standards - and many people had to scramble to comply with her request and to repair the fence (adding shrubs, small trees) after doing so.
              http://s21.photobucket.com/albums/b2...ncer/?start=20

              Mares are like neutrons. If there are too many in an area, you approach critical mass. And then there are explosions. Loud ones.

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              • #8
                Here is an excerpt from my BO who was an official over there for eventing:
                "Another interesting thing happened late (I repeat LATE) this afternoon when the head of the FEI, Princess Haya came around to inspect the course with Mike ES. She did not like the collection of rocks in front of fence 18 which were there as part of the unjumpable portion in the center of the fence. Feeling they were entirely too unsafe, she insisted that Mike and crew replace them with shrubs. Now this was done without consultation with any of the officials....GJ or TDs."

                My BO had stated that there were no rider complaints after they had walked the course the day before. I saw a picture of the fence before and after, and thought the boulders were a better option.

                Yes, it was quite a late demand. And, the big thing is that she, someone who is not involved in eventing, made the change without going through the appropriate protocol (consulting with TDs, GJ, etc).

                Comment


                • #9
                  Sounds like a token show of "safety-mindedness" by the Princess (who could have imagined such a thing in the sport's current climate!), without consideration for the course designer and other officials. Could've been much ado about nothing, but now everyone's offended and ticked off.

                  Yet another example of why we ought to tell the FEI "thanks for the memories" and get the heck out of the Olympics. Let the ***/**** riders do it if they want to--the rest of us won't miss the bureaucracy and BS.
                  Click here before you buy.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Huh, I haven't said anything here. I am rooting for PH to destroy the sport from the FEI. The FEI is so "corrupted" and politicized it is a pointless governing body.


                    Reed


                    Originally posted by sofiethewonderhorse View Post
                    Reed,

                    The Princess is a Princess, She was named a Messenger of Peace: She is In Line to be the Queen of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai: she has ultimate power! who or what is going to de-throne the UAE's Heiress and next in line to rule Dubai?

                    An interesting thought though, does the FEI President have the power to frustrate long time participants in the sport of eventing?

                    Princes Haya Says:

                    There you go! Implied: Eventing...will have to fight for it's life to stay in the Olympic Arena. The Question IS? Does Eventing WANT to stay in the Arena or even need to stay in that Arena (I honestly do not have an answer to this question).

                    Regards,

                    Kathryn

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      they're reading your mind?

                      "Huh, I haven't said anything here. "

                      Reed



                      OMG I'm really tired and this hit me just right. . .

                      Eventer55
                      RIP Kelly 1977-2007 "Wither thou goest, so shall I"

                      "To tilt when you should withdraw is Knightly too."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        After thinking about hauling horses and gear clear across the world only to get sub-subprime network coverage, I am rethinking why we should stay in the Olympics...I think
                        the Olympics have become a programming for sports where the athletes are half naked....if I see anymore beach volleyball on primetime I will, whatever.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Reed,

                          Didn't you know that you and JER are long lost twins?

                          Maybe Sofiethewonderhorse is your long lost mum.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I agree with Deltawave's sentiments. It's time to kiss the FEI goodbye. What have they ever done for us? We would be much better off without them. Those that want to participate in international competition can do so - I don't care if the FEI has eventing as part of its line-up, but I think we as USEA eventers should split off (maybe of the USEF as well) and start doing what we know has to be done to change the sport.

                            As for Princess Haya, sounds like a typical princess-esque temper tantrum to me - she didn't think that she had enough to do with eventing (about which she knows nothing) and so she had to have the last word. And now everyone is ticked off.
                            "The FEI is often in error, but never in doubt." - Jim Wofford

                            "You do not find the happy life. You make it." - Camilla Eyring Kimball

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