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Rob Gage

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  • Rob Gage

    I haven't seen anything confirming it but friends all over facebook are sharing that Rob Gage passed away today. If so it's a big loss for the sport. He is/was certainly a legend.
    Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
    My equine soulmate
    Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding

  • #2
    Yes, it’s true. As I understand, he committed suicide.
    www.DaventryEquestrian.com
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    • #3
      There are a couple public Facebook posts indicating this that I see, but I've not seen anything official.
      Huge loss.

      Originally posted by Daventry View Post
      Yes, it’s true. As I understand, he committed suicide.
      I was wondering, as some of the comments indicate issue with USEF or SafeSport. So very sad.
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      Comment


      • #4
        Vanessa Brown's FB page post is blowing up over this.

        Comment


        • #5
          JMR posted on Instagram
          https://www.instagram.com/p/ByoqBYAH...=1b7sqj8jdr5ge
          Custom tack racks!
          www.mmeqcenter.com/tacklove.html

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          • #6
            So very sad.
            Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
            Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

            Comment


            • #7
              Safesport is not the problem. For years athletes have suffered abuse in this sport (and others) to the extent that the Olympic Committee and government organizations had to create a third party organization to try and reign in these predators and remove them from continuing to harm. It has been incredibly challenging for anyone to get a handle on controlling and eliminating abuse in sports and while the system isn't perfect, it isn't nearly as flawed as some would like you to believe.

              Sadly, sexual assault scandals have long been covered up in sports. From local clubs to national bodies, people turn a blind eye or try to quietly deal with allegations to protect themselves and the sport, not to protect the parties involved.

              While I am sure that this man was a friend to many, I am equally as sure that the investigation that resulted in Safesport issuing sanctions was complete and thorough. Anyone insinuating that is was not is continuing the pattern of denial, and contributing to the larger issue of victims not feeling like they have the support to report these abuses.

              According to FBI statistics, only 2% of all rape and sexual assault reports are false. Between 2% and 22% of children and teens are victims of sexual assault as a result of their participation in sports. Whether you want to admit it or not, he was guilty of a crime, even if it happened 30 years ago. The criminal charges were becoming a reality that he couldn't overlook and unfortunately, he took his own life. He made this choice, it does not reflect on anyone else. Sometimes it is surprising to learn what others are capable of doing, sometimes it is not so surprising but people voice their denial rather than to admit the truth, that they were "friends" with someone capable of doing something that horrible. Being a successful rider or trainer does not give someone the privilege to take what they want from people and to treat them horribly. It does not give them the right to prey on children.

              Safesport investigations are performed by individuals with law enforcement backgrounds. Retired police officers, FBI agents, sexual crimes investigators, all people with extensive knowledge and experience. Sanctions are NOT issued without sufficient evidence. Even temporary sanctions have to have enough "merit" behind them, while the complete investigation is ongoing. Multiple people are interviewed. The process gives both the victim and the accused opportunity to present their case and provide evidence. The burden of proof has to be met. The report is brought before a panel of people to decide on the measures that will be placed. It is not something that is handed down lightly, and the seriousness of the matter is carefully considered before imposing sanctions.

              These measures are placed to ensure the safety of the youngest and most vulnerable in the sport. Do you not think that this is an important measure to have? All to often people will point and whisper and gossip, but then do nothing to actually protect someone.

              Victims never get the chance to undo what's been done to them and will forever bear the burden and scars of their abuse. A few posts tonight blame USEF and Safesport for suicide. This is insane! What about the suicides committed by those that have been abused? What about the children who kept quiet while they were being abused because of the pressure they faced that have had to live with destructive life-long mental health issues because they couldn't come forward because they feared they would not have the support needed to bring themselves justice? All because they feared they would lose the ability to continue participating in something they were truly passionate about?

              If you have been in this industry long enough, you have seen and/or heard of examples of inappropriate behavior to young riders. How many young girls and boys, that look up to trainers, riders, and other professionals in this industry are manipulated and coerced or forced to have sexual relations? It often isn't quite black and white with adults, but any case that involves a child needs to be taken seriously and people need to open their eyes up and admit that the abuse is more widespread than any of us would like to admit.

              The good news is that the days of looking the other way are over. We must do everything in our power to make the sport safer, healthier and free from all forms of abuse. People do not need to live in fear over someone's reaction because they have been reported for abusive behavior. By holding people accountable we are telling our children and the future riders in this sport that they matter, and that the environment is focusing on athlete safety, not protecting unethical and illegal acts.

              More importantly, we need to weed out the sick individuals that prey on others so that everyone who is good in this sport can excel. There are far too many great trainers, athletes and other professionals in this sport to let a handful of bad ones ruin it for all. If everyone tried to work proactively and positively with USEF, and with Safesport rules can be created that do work.

              There are several unique factors that contribute to sexual, physical and emotional abuse in the equestrian setting. Young athletes traveling with coaches and other sport affiliated adults, frequent isolated contact between young athletes and other individuals. It is about creating a system that protects our young athletes and contributes to the success of all.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by equestrian_mom View Post
                Safesport is not the problem. For years athletes have suffered abuse in this sport (and others) to the extent that the Olympic Committee and government organizations had to create a third party organization to try and reign in these predators and remove them from continuing to harm. It has been incredibly challenging for anyone to get a handle on controlling and eliminating abuse in sports and while the system isn't perfect, it isn't nearly as flawed as some would like you to believe.

                Sadly, sexual assault scandals have long been covered up in sports. From local clubs to national bodies, people turn a blind eye or try to quietly deal with allegations to protect themselves and the sport, not to protect the parties involved.

                While I am sure that this man was a friend to many, I am equally as sure that the investigation that resulted in Safesport issuing sanctions was complete and thorough. Anyone insinuating that is was not is continuing the pattern of denial, and contributing to the larger issue of victims not feeling like they have the support to report these abuses.

                According to FBI statistics, only 2% of all rape and sexual assault reports are false. Between 2% and 22% of children and teens are victims of sexual assault as a result of their participation in sports. Whether you want to admit it or not, he was guilty of a crime, even if it happened 30 years ago. The criminal charges were becoming a reality that he couldn't overlook and unfortunately, he took his own life. He made this choice, it does not reflect on anyone else. Sometimes it is surprising to learn what others are capable of doing, sometimes it is not so surprising but people voice their denial rather than to admit the truth, that they were "friends" with someone capable of doing something that horrible. Being a successful rider or trainer does not give someone the privilege to take what they want from people and to treat them horribly. It does not give them the right to prey on children.

                Safesport investigations are performed by individuals with law enforcement backgrounds. Retired police officers, FBI agents, sexual crimes investigators, all people with extensive knowledge and experience. Sanctions are NOT issued without sufficient evidence. Even temporary sanctions have to have enough "merit" behind them, while the complete investigation is ongoing. Multiple people are interviewed. The process gives both the victim and the accused opportunity to present their case and provide evidence. The burden of proof has to be met. The report is brought before a panel of people to decide on the measures that will be placed. It is not something that is handed down lightly, and the seriousness of the matter is carefully considered before imposing sanctions.

                These measures are placed to ensure the safety of the youngest and most vulnerable in the sport. Do you not think that this is an important measure to have? All to often people will point and whisper and gossip, but then do nothing to actually protect someone.

                Victims never get the chance to undo what's been done to them and will forever bear the burden and scars of their abuse. A few posts tonight blame USEF and Safesport for suicide. This is insane! What about the suicides committed by those that have been abused? What about the children who kept quiet while they were being abused because of the pressure they faced that have had to live with destructive life-long mental health issues because they couldn't come forward because they feared they would not have the support needed to bring themselves justice? All because they feared they would lose the ability to continue participating in something they were truly passionate about?

                If you have been in this industry long enough, you have seen and/or heard of examples of inappropriate behavior to young riders. How many young girls and boys, that look up to trainers, riders, and other professionals in this industry are manipulated and coerced or forced to have sexual relations? It often isn't quite black and white with adults, but any case that involves a child needs to be taken seriously and people need to open their eyes up and admit that the abuse is more widespread than any of us would like to admit.

                The good news is that the days of looking the other way are over. We must do everything in our power to make the sport safer, healthier and free from all forms of abuse. People do not need to live in fear over someone's reaction because they have been reported for abusive behavior. By holding people accountable we are telling our children and the future riders in this sport that they matter, and that the environment is focusing on athlete safety, not protecting unethical and illegal acts.

                More importantly, we need to weed out the sick individuals that prey on others so that everyone who is good in this sport can excel. There are far too many great trainers, athletes and other professionals in this sport to let a handful of bad ones ruin it for all. If everyone tried to work proactively and positively with USEF, and with Safesport rules can be created that do work.

                There are several unique factors that contribute to sexual, physical and emotional abuse in the equestrian setting. Young athletes traveling with coaches and other sport affiliated adults, frequent isolated contact between young athletes and other individuals. It is about creating a system that protects our young athletes and contributes to the success of all.
                The issue with SafeSport is that it looks at the supposed act in 2019 terms when the act may have occurred 40 years ago. So, what was done may not have been illegal. It may have even been deemed okay by that standards of that time. But SafeSport rules don’t care about the law of the time, it cares only about the law of today and retroactively applies it.

                For example, it was not uncommon even through the 80’s for a teenage gig school girl to date the older and more experience college boy. Under new legislation, he’d be in serious trouble if he engaged in sexual acts and was caught (in most states). At that time, however, it was not against the law and was not even frowned upon.

                Under SafeSport, it doesn’t matter when the act occurred and what was the law or social notm
                at the time. They apply today’s rules to events that occurred long ago that were not considered criminal or even inappropriate at the time, and that is where many of us have the problem.

                Its a shame that Jimmy Williams did what he did. And Larry Nassar was equally disgusting. Molestation and manipulation of young athletes to control them is wrong and I’m glad that SafeSport exists to help those who are truly wronged. However, I think some of the situations are honestly not as devious as you describe and SafeSport has gone was overboard in the retroactive element. We can’t deny that historically (90s and prior) a lot of older men married or dated women under 18. I dated a 25 year old when I was 17 and everyone just loved him. He was a long time family friend. It wasn’t considered wrong for us to do whatever at that time. Now it would be. Society changed.

                Going after some of these older cases, given the situation at the time, is really becoming quite the witch hunt. Not sure about you but I’m not really into destroying people over something that wasn’t considered wrong at the time, and SafeSport has the capacity to do just that. And that is where so many of us have an issue with it.

                Carry on...


                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm assuming from the comments that Rob Gage had been accused of behavior violating Safe Sport and was under a cloud at the time of his death? Can anyone fill in the details?
                  The plural of anecdote is not data.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I looked it up on the USEF website and it says the violation was “Sexual Misconduct - Involving Minor (Subject to Appeal)” and the sanction was “permanent ineligibility”. The date listed is Feb 1, 2019.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by McGurk View Post
                      I'm assuming from the comments that Rob Gage had been accused of behavior violating Safe Sport and was under a cloud at the time of his death? Can anyone fill in the details?
                      There’s two other threads that have discussed it since February. Robert Gage was banned by USEF in February for “Sexual Misconduct involving a minor.” He was appealing.
                      Custom tack racks!
                      www.mmeqcenter.com/tacklove.html

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Attitudes like this are in large, part of the problem that protects pervert child molestors.


                        Originally posted by atl_hunter View Post

                        The issue with SafeSport is that it looks at the supposed act in 2019 terms when the act may have occurred 40 years ago. So, what was done may not have been illegal. It may have even been deemed okay by that standards of that time. But SafeSport rules don’t care about the law of the time, it cares only about the law of today and retroactively applies it.

                        For example, it was not uncommon even through the 80’s for a teenage gig school girl to date the older and more experience college boy. Under new legislation, he’d be in serious trouble if he engaged in sexual acts and was caught (in most states). At that time, however, it was not against the law and was not even frowned upon.

                        Under SafeSport, it doesn’t matter when the act occurred and what was the law or social notm
                        at the time. They apply today’s rules to events that occurred long ago that were not considered criminal or even inappropriate at the time, and that is where many of us have the problem.

                        Its a shame that Jimmy Williams did what he did. And Larry Nassar was equally disgusting. Molestation and manipulation of young athletes to control them is wrong and I’m glad that SafeSport exists to help those who are truly wronged. However, I think some of the situations are honestly not as devious as you describe and SafeSport has gone was overboard in the retroactive element. We can’t deny that historically (90s and prior) a lot of older men married or dated women under 18. I dated a 25 year old when I was 17 and everyone just loved him. He was a long time family friend. It wasn’t considered wrong for us to do whatever at that time. Now it would be. Society changed.

                        Going after some of these older cases, given the situation at the time, is really becoming quite the witch hunt. Not sure about you but I’m not really into destroying people over something that wasn’t considered wrong at the time, and SafeSport has the capacity to do just that. And that is where so many of us have an issue with it.

                        Carry on...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thanks, mmeqcenter I'll go read.
                          The plural of anecdote is not data.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I’m waiting for the lawsuits from family to start rolling in or the libel/slander suits......we can’t forget they illegally released the name of a minor as well......

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by GPjumper View Post
                              I’m waiting for the lawsuits from family to start rolling in or the libel/slander suits......we can’t forget they illegally released the name of a minor as well......
                              So what exactly was he reported for? I'm reading that the SafeSport ban was for something that happened almost 40 years ago but i don't know how true that was.

                              Suicide is a tragedy all around, and I know many people are hurting, but some of the things being said are hurtful to victims as well. A particularly classy comment I saw said "I hope Anne Kursinski feels like sh*t tonight".
                              Talking to some people is like folding a fitted sheet.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I addressed this in a thread I started a few months ago about the abuse of SafeSport. I have NO knowledge of this particular case, so I am not opining on this particular person, but I am concerned that SafeSport can be used to control others in the manner I mentioned in my thread. FWIW, my thread referenced a situation that could have possibly fallen under the category of one person using their position of power to induce another, not anything to do with a minor. To me, the scope is too broad and can lead to abuse of the system.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by GPjumper View Post
                                  I’m waiting for the lawsuits from family to start rolling in or the libel/slander suits......we can’t forget they illegally released the name of a minor as well......
                                  Where are you guys finding details like this, and that the incident was 40 years ago? I can't find anything that provides any information on the background behind the decisions.
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                                  www.mmeqcenter.com/tacklove.html

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by mmeqcenter View Post

                                    Where are you guys finding details like this, and that the incident was 40 years ago? I can't find anything that provides any information on the background behind the decisions.
                                    I saw it on comments on Facebook but I know to take that with a grain of salt.
                                    Talking to some people is like folding a fitted sheet.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by mmeqcenter View Post

                                      Where are you guys finding details like this, and that the incident was 40 years ago? I can't find anything that provides any information on the background behind the decisions.
                                      The Vanessa Brown post comments. Doesn't say exactly what happened but some of the commenters were interviewed during the investigation and clearly know the story. Haven't seen anyone who says the decision was remotely justified but we don't really know what happened yet. It's a sad situation, I have cliniced with Rob in the past and was attending another in a few weeks. he was a great teacher. So sorry for all his connections.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by pds View Post
                                        Attitudes like this are in large, part of the problem that protects pervert child molestors.



                                        Even in the early 2000s, I dated someone much older before I turned 18. It was lightly questioned, but generally accepted. I'm not saying it's right, but I do think we need to be reasonable. I think Safesport has a premise everyone can get behind, but the application of Safesport has some real issues. And I think the potential for abuse is huge. Anonymous reporting is an issue. You go to the cops? Your name is on that report if you want it to go anywhere. That deters false reporting. Even if it's proven false in the end, the accusation and investigation alone is enough to ruin an entire career.
                                        Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique

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