• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.



Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Understanding Craig Thompson's arguments about pros in eventing?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Understanding Craig Thompson's arguments about pros in eventing?

    Can we discuss this--because I read the article (COTH, Nov. 9) with interest, but there were many things mentioned that I simply don't understand well enough to consider.

    What exactly is the nature of an "add back," for example? I notice how CT uses the term in reference to urging pros to themselves invest in the sport, but because I don't understand the term, I don't understand how add backs would do that.

    Also, aren't there rider's representatives on committees--somewhere? Is it that they are on some committees, but not on others--like those involved in scheduling events?

    And by the following, did he mean NOT to do drug testing--or only do them at some levels--and if so, which ones and/or when?

    Had a riders’ association been consulted it is not impossible to imagine that instead of drug testing of horses at all levels, funded by an entry surcharge as we currently have, we might instead have had a surcharge that funded prize money, footing research or promotional campaigns, all of which would be more useful.
    And what would be the advantages and/or disadvantages to allowing riders (as a group) to overrule the ground jury at events? Is CT correct when he indicates that...

    Quite often a ground jury member has less experience than most active, professional riders.
    Just out of curiousity, what kinds of things have occurred because of that, if it's accurate?

    And just one more:
    In turn [after receiving a loan to improve facilities/courses] the USEA and USEF could require events that want to be sanctioned to invest a percentage of their annual gross back into the venue.
    Again, I'm asking because I'm ignorant, OK? There's a conversation on the H-J board (or there was) similar to this: how much money do events make?

    Anyway, that's jsut the beginning. It is a wonderfully long and in-depth article that brings up just a huge, huge number of issues. Kudos to him for writing it -- he states some very challenging things that show quite a lot of courage, IMO -- but what about those things? With the convention coming up, I'm intrigued by the issues (in a living-vicariously way, since I can't even attend the convention, boo-hoo).
    Last edited by pwynnnorman; Nov. 11, 2007, 06:51 PM.
    Sportponies Unlimited
    Athletic Thoroughbred crosses for the highly motivated, smaller rider.

  • #2
    My first impression was that Craig thinks that the "pros" are poorly represented on the various boards.
    So my second thought was, well, this is a democracy, so state your case, run for office, and if you have a compelling enough case, you`ll get elected onto those boards whose leadership you question.
    Then you`ll be in a position to effect change, instead of feeling left out.


    • #3
      I've also read Craig's article with interest. Like Wynn, I think he does raise some valid issues, and I too admire him for asking tough questions, whether or not I personally agree with the potential answers they might evoke.

      I sit on a number of USEA committees, and I would like to add a sidebar to one of his observations. Committees are constantly seeking, for lack of a better description, high profile upper level riders to become involved because it is imperative that the voices of these active athletes be heard. With a few exceptions, however, committee members are often disappointed by the participation by these individuals in the ensuing meetings, conference calls, e mail exchanges, etc. They are busy people, granted. So are we, but many of us manage to make time.

      So Craig, in reality, you guys aren't excluded. We just don't hear you because frequently, you aren't there!



      • #4
        I've not read the article, but I would comment that in my experience, it's tremendously easy to get involved if someone wants to. The riders who have wanted to get involved contribute alot. Karen O'Connor has been a member of USEF Eventing Technical committee, I think she's been on the BOG, and is seriously involved with ICP. Darren Chiacchia has given enormous amounts of time to the Professional Horseman's Council and the Young Event Horse program. Bonnie Mosser, Gina Miles, and many others have run seminars at convention. Other upper level riders who have time are on committees, serve as rider representatives at events, work hard to further the ICP and YEH programs, and work with USEF, including folks like Erik and Sara Dierks, Allison Springer, Bobby Costello, and many others. The half star grew out of the Area II adult riders, was supported by thousands of hours of hard work by both the amateurs and the many, many professionals and ULRs who donate time and money every year, and buoyed by Denny and Kevin Baumgardner's task force, which included both dedicated amateurs and professionals. Across the country, it has become a hugely successful program (supported by the amazingly hard work of USEA's staff and all of the organizers and volunteers who bust their tails to make them very special events).

        In short, I suspect that if folks want to become involved, there's alot of room to have at it, and in most instances, ULRs re involved because they choose to be. Does it take a time commitment? Sure. But I'd be darned if I'd ever see someone saying nope, don't need you. It's more the other way around - like Flutie, I can recall several times begging upper level riders to become involved (or drafting them outright).
        Last edited by GotSpots; Nov. 13, 2007, 08:34 AM.


        • #5
          The add back, I think of this idea as the check boxes on you tax return. Make it optional if you want to pay an $10 for the local animal shelter or ICP program, etc.

          The GJ has less experience than ULR, like Bruce Davidson. Ummm, your point? There are rules, the GJ is the enforcer of the rules, period. Like my hubby is a cop. We he has to bust a drunk driver who flailing around, peeing on themselves, it's the law that this person gets locked up. And the hubby has never been busted DUI nor peeing on himself (just bushes and inanimate objects). But he's the enforcer of the laws. He knows the laws, procedures, and actions needed to enforce them. The drunk person obviously doesn't.

          Events don't make sh-. All the blood sweat and tears that the organizers and others do is out of shear enjoyment of holding the event. That said, if they are wise, they WILL give back to the venue so they can keep holding events at that venue.
          As far as representation of the ULR's, who said they were excluded? I mean really. The majority of ULR's do not have a lick of time to spend on committees and what-not. They don't have the well-oiled barn machines like the O'Connors. They all strive for that, sure. But they are not there yet. It's enough to keep the barn up and compete!
          I like that C.T. is giving us some thought provoking articles. He's definitely an idea man. One will certainly hit the mark.
          Even duct tape can't fix stupid


          • #6
            The only circumstance I can think of (and I am certainly not in the know so there could be lots of others for all I know) where ULRs' knowledge/perspective/whatever came up against the GJ and perhaps should have won out, was Burghley a few years ago (think it was Burghley) where the rider representatives protested one of the jumps and its safety. IIRC, the GJ may have made a modification but not the one the riders wanted and the fence ended up causing several falls and injuries (I think that is where one of Jan Byyny's horse fell and broke a couple of ribs?). I may be misrembering this incident. In a jump safety context, the ULR's may indeed have more and better experience than the GJ. However, having some sort of procedure for rider's overruling the GJ would be very sticky to set up in a way that does not have serious and unintended results.
            And if he is advocating cutting drug testing and using those fees for prize money- big emphatic no on that one. yes the prize money generally stinks in this sport and that makes it hard on the pros- but dumping drug testing?! uhn-uhn
            There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.(Churchill)


            • #7
              I think the Add Back is a little different from what Lisa described. I've seen it in a few Omnibus listings where one division is designated as an Add Back and everyone entering that division pays an additional amount of money to create a prize fund for that division. So if thirty riders enter and pay an additional $10, there is $300 dollars in prize money for that division. It's basically gambling that you will place high enough to win back more than you invested in the prize pool.


              • #8
                Originally posted by denny View Post
                My first impression was that Craig thinks that the "pros" are poorly represented on the various boards.
                So my second thought was, well, this is a democracy, so state your case, run for office, and if you have a compelling enough case, you`ll get elected onto those boards whose leadership you question.
                Then you`ll be in a position to effect change, instead of feeling left out.


                • #9
                  Agree, his article is challenging and it was very courageous to put these items on the table.

                  It has been years since I did a 'horse show', such as western pleasure + timed events, etc. But at those shows the prize money was based in part by the number of entries. So if 15 folks entered the barrel race at 10.00 each that is 150.00. Say 1/2 goes back to the show committee for expenses and the remaing 75.00 is available for prize money to be added to the funds already stated. Not much money for one class, but if you have timed event horses and enter 3-4+ classes (barrels, pole bending, etc) you can make a little profit.
                  I believe that is what he is advocating - the competitors pay an increased entry fee expecting all or part of the increase to go the 'pot'. The 'pot' will be added to the stated prize money and divided amongst the winners. So the more entries, the greater the prize money.

                  The un-intended consequences of riders overruling the GJ makes my head spin. There are processes already in place if competitors believe an official is 'unsafe'. Also when in doubt go home - that speaks volumes. True you have to foreit your entry - but what is more important when safety is involved - money or yours & your horse's health?

                  I don't really understand where he is going with the drug testing comment. Best to hear from him.

                  As for most of the remaining comments - I agree with others, either ask to be on the committees or partner with current committees members. Present your thoughts and concerns to those members so they will be presented to the complete committee. It is like voting - if you don't make time to go to the polls, don't complain about who is in office.
                  And we all have to deal with time, money and relationship restraints, pros and ammys alike.
                  "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
                  Courtesy my cousin Tim


                  • #10
                    bambam, I _think_ the incident you refer to was at Burghley the year my trainer ran there (2 or 3 years ago) -- WFP, as rider rep, wanted them to either shorten distance or raise optimum time on steeplechase because of the very heavy going, and to provide an option at one of the last complexes on the course, where there was no option.
                    I think both of these request were declined. There was actually a fatality (rider) at the complex in question the next day, in addition to a number of other problems. The footing was apparently very, very tiring for the horses around the course.

                    Other than this incident, I am not aware either of what sorts of problems occur with riders vs. GJs of this sort. In any event, the protocol for an FEI level event might not transfer to the local event. Dunno. I hope us non-subscribers can get a chance to see Craig's article -- sounds like lots of fodder for discussion.
                    The big man -- my lost prince

                    The little brother, now my main man


                    • #11
                      The ULRider may have more experience RIDING.
                      But, in general, the GJ has more experience officiating.

                      How are you going to decide WHICH riders "get to over-rule" the GJ?

                      If officials demonstrate bad judgement, there are already procedures in place- you can send a letter, or an evaluation form, to the Licensed Officials Committee. (This is copmpletely separate from the event evaluation form).

                      chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


                      • #12
                        "... How are you going to decide WHICH riders "get to over-rule" the GJ?"

                        The loudest and most obnoxious!



                        • #13
                          Originally posted by flutie1 View Post
                          "... How are you going to decide WHICH riders "get to over-rule" the GJ?"

                          The loudest and most obnoxious!

                          and there lies the problem (or at least one of many that pop to my mind in contemplating allowing this)
                          and asterix is correct that is the event I was thinking of- I could not remember if it was the complex where the rider was killed and so did not want to mention it
                          There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.(Churchill)


                          • #14
                            The definition of irony:

                            A pro feels that they are underrepresented on committees. The lower level riders feel that the USEF does not appropriately support the non-high performance riders.



                            • #15
                              EEEK, Reed. You give me a migraine! Just wait 'til the results of next year's massive Maui tree planting!

                              The sad thing is, your ironical observation it totally right on.

                              Sigh ..............



                              • #16
                                I liked the article, this does not mean that I agree with all of the content. The fact that Craig is thinking about these issues so much that he took the time to write about them, tells me he is serious. And I apprecitate that. I think it is a good thing to get the communication lines open and to get people talking about the direction of the sport that we all love so much.

                                Regarding not drug testing at all levels. I totally agree. Is it really necessary to drug test at the BN/N/T levels? Really, what is the point in this? These levels are not recognized by the USEF. And if someone is using illegal substances at these levels then they are going to get weeded out by the time they get to Preliminary. Why not give the starter/drug fee from these levels right back to the event to use in bettering footing, building a few new jumps, etc. Definately food for thought.

                                The other thought that hit home for me was about the riders vs. the ground jury. This is a sticky situation. I don't know how in the world you could even begin to figure out the logistics of a rule like this, but agree there needs to be one. As an example; I was at an event early last spring. The start of the cross-country for the A/I horses was delayed for about 45 minutes because of sun glare. Good decision. The next morning the sun was just as bad for the start of the P/T/N divisions. The ground jury chose to start on time. Several of the first P rides were ULR's on their younger horses. They called the TD over and asked her to please delay the start because of the glare. She assured everyone that the course was safe. So one of the ULR's said "are you sure jump #4 is safe? Your jumping directly into the sun. We can't even see the warm-up jumps that are pointed that way. So she went out and looked at it. Had the ground crew MOVE the jump to a different angle. She came back to the warm-up and told the rider's the jump had been moved. They were like "moved? how do we know what line to take now? We've already walked the course and now it's different." So then, they asked about another jump and wanted her to go look at it. She came back and reported that she thought and I quote "it's safe enough" The riders were like "safe enough?" She said "oh come on, you fox-hunt, are you telling me you can't jump a fence with a little glare on it" The riders said "no, we can't" Anyways, this went on and on. They ended up having her go check out several more jumps that were pointing east. So, in the end, they got their way because they had the TD running around the course for about 45 minutes checking this and that. The riders were absolutely RIGHT. They were the ones putting the safety of themselves and their horses on the line. The TD was absolutely WRONG. I just kept thinking that I was so glad that it was a group of ULR's, because no way would the TD have listened to anyone else. She barely listened to them. Nor, do I think a group of amatuer riders would have had the nerve to call out a TD.


                                • #17
                                  My 2 cents...

                                  Drug testing the lower levels is important. Few upper level horses will last for long at all if they are relying on forbidden substances...however, one can certainly imagine a scenario where a novice or training packer is kept (ilegally) sound enough on bute, etc and wins its way around a season. Just because the horse will never go prelim doesn't make it fair to the other novice/training riders who are competing on unmedicated horses. The basic principles of sportsmanship and safety should apply to our lowest levels as well as our highest.

                                  Allowing riders to "outvote" the ground jury seems very, very shady. This also seems to very much favor the big-name pros who have more influence, more competing students, etc, etc. I can imagine a scenario where you have a BNR in 1st place lobbying for a speed reduction on xcountry because of "poor footing" when in fact they don't want to run their horse that fast on a particular weekend, but they don't want to sacrifice the win. In a sport that can be very political at the upper levels, I can imagine a lot of pressure for the B-tier upper level riders to vote along with the BNRs in a way that could very much alter the competition. I think that if you don't like the way officials officiate, you should get involved in the process we use to train them. Otherwise you should let them do their job, which is to keep the playing field as safe and level as possible.

                                  The bottom line- if you think something is unsafe and that you know better than the ground jury, you should stick to your guns: by slowing down, taking the option, or scratching and coming to play another day. That can feel crummy- I know, because I've given up wins that way- but that's sports.


                                  • #18
                                    Sounds yucky! I know I've mentioned a couple of times about jumps. One, I got the shaft (and rightly so after jumping it swimmingly well) and the other was omitted. This was before rider reps came into play. Sorry it's like that but I've felt otherwise. Maybe because all the td's around here know I have a big mouth. I also present it in such a way as asking a question about a jump and returning with my thoughts.
                                    I've found that the GJ, judges, organizers, etc. are people and really don't mean any harm or bad feelings. aahhh, getting on my soapbox ...
                                    Anyway, around here, there are some unscrupulous people who do drug horses. Unfortunate and stupid at the lower levels but true. I've been questioned before on a particularly athletic looking OTTB who was falling asleep all the time. Nope, just watch the idiot on x-c and you'll see.
                                    Oh yeah, I wanted to add another way of thinking about the pro thing. I discuss with my instructor certain topics that would affect her or her operation and ask her opinion. She doesn't have time to sit down and write responses or articles about whatever topic it is. She knows my big mouth and I will try to project what her responses are because I support her and wouldn't want to see anything jeopardize her aspirations. I'm sure there are others out there that do the same.
                                    Even duct tape can't fix stupid


                                    • #19
                                      "... Is it really necessary to drug test at the BN/N/T levels?"

                                      This comment scares the living hell out of me!

                                      (note to blackwly - bute is legal up to a certain amount until one gets to the FEI level)


                                      • #20

                                        The sad thing is, your ironical observation it totally right on.

                                        But maybe that is a good thing. If BOTH "sides" think the other has the better deal, it may actually be a good balance!

                                        chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).