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George Morris on the SS list

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  • Originally posted by dags View Post

    I'd argue it was also way better suited to the self-propelled Thoroughbred, and not quite as effective on the less-motivated warmbloods that have dominated the last 30 years. Worth noting how many of our up & coming international riders are seeking their finishing education overseas now... and how low our fences have gotten to accommodate the American Forward Seat on a "kicking quiet" jr/am show horse.
    Let me apologize in advance.


    • I think calling someone's landlord or other associates because they have a profile picture of themselves with GM is deeply inappropriate, especially right now in these early days. Give people some time to grieve, to come to terms, etc. If their own direct actions have not caused harm, that level of reaction is just not necessary; it's only harassment.

      If you choose to personally cut ties with them or communicate directly to them your concerns, that's different. But bothering a school when there's nothing actionable anyway benefits none of us.
      If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


      • No question GM is one of the most important H/J trainers of his era, and in fact American riders did dominate in the 1980s especially, in the end of the TB jumper era. Nearly all of the riders who came of age and rode for USET at that time were his students.

        But the world has not stood still either, and the best of his teaching has been observed and incorporated by other trainers around the world, synthesizing it with their own. He's not a talisman for success; he's one person who has really an unmatched level of influence, both for good and bad most likely.

        Meredith Michaels Beerbaum, who has seen incredible success internationally, grew up riding with a GM protege in California, and rode with GM for a few years while in college before going off to Germany. She may be one of the best examples you'll find of blending expertise from these different schools into something that was better than either alone.

        Of course, it's also true that after his early years he also got some of the best students to work with. Success breeds success as it were.

        I think we can acknowledge his influence without condoning or excusing abusive behavior. And I would be the first to suggest he has been successful in spite of his abusive behavior, not because of it.
        If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


        • Originally posted by dags View Post

          I'd argue it was also way better suited to the self-propelled Thoroughbred, and not quite as effective on the less-motivated warmbloods that have dominated the last 30 years. Worth noting how many of our up & coming international riders are seeking their finishing education overseas now... and how low our fences have gotten to accommodate the American Forward Seat on a "kicking quiet" jr/am show horse.
          True that! The Porter brothers have come on loads with Jeroen D. It's good to train with different people anyway at least occasionally- I look at it how the academic community frowns on "academic incest" where you get all your degrees at the same place. (Maybe not true for all majors, but certainly engineering you're meant to at least do your PhD somewhere that isn't where you did your undergrad)


          • Originally posted by endlessclimb View Post

            While I totally agree with you, the two colored statements contradict one another. FWIW, I'm not reporting anything to anyone. I stay long and far away from "actual" drama if I can avoid it, which I succeed well in as I board at a small no-name barn, showing up places and quietly doing my thing and leaving.

            That said, I am also aware that my mindset of "whoaaa not going there nope nope nope" is how rumors and misdeeds go on and on and on, and when they finally get light shed on them, everyone says "well there were whispers for years!!"

            And, in the end, informing the owners of the property, which happens to be the Antioch SCHOOL DISTRICT, who have a larger vested interest in keeping children safe than just your run of the mill "property owner", that someone they lease to that holds numerous children related events is a child molester apologetic - is not, and could not be under any circumstances, even if they ended the lease, an actionable offense. Nothing about it is a lie, so what would the case even be about? It's neither libel nor slander. Done in poor taste, maybe. But not illegal.
            Ok this is getting a little bit into crazy town.

            My cover photo on facebook has been a photo of me in a GM clinic where I'm jumping a jump and he's standing next to the standard. It's been up for years as a sign of the last time I had an opportunity to jump some relatively bigger sticks. I haven't been on the ISWG group and here I've only commented on the procedural and legal authority of SS. I've learned a lot from GM over the decades. I've also had him throw dirt at me, call me a dummy, and a bunch of other not so nice things. I also would not be entirely surprised if he loses his appeal but I don't have any personal knowledge of any facts one way or the other. I think it would be absolutely crazy if someone called my employer or the bar association to say well, she left the photo up so she must be a supporter of child molesters because of a 5 year old photo. I also have a signed photo with a personal note to me...should I burn that?

            There's a leap between that and saying I defend his actions. I mean, aside from the SS allegations, I never thought it was right of him to be such a bully, or to use some of the training methods he's used (while also being against any "gimmicks" or shortcuts...hypocritical much?). I was a star student at the clinic where the photo came from, and at that same clinic he was quite mean to a younger rider who was trying really hard but wasn't the most experienced and was a little over-horsed. He called her a baby repeatedly and made fun of her weight, got mad at her trainer for matching her with that horse, etc etc. She watched me in my session be the star student. Her trainer asked me to talk to her after the clinic. I told her that when I was her age, he threw dirt in my mouth (well, he missed and it went down my boot) and was mean to my horse and he can be just an awful person. I said to ignore all of that, but take in the actual substance of your lesson about your position and the importance of attention to detail, and effective use of aids, and work hard and you will succeed.

            Unlike most people who are speaking out in his favor (or who defend any predator where they only know the "good" side of the person), I can acknowledge that someone can be talented and intelligent and successful and also accept that they can simultaneously be a horrible person. If he loses his appeal, he certainly should remain banned.


            • Originally posted by specifiedcupcake View Post

              True that! The Porter brothers have come on loads with Jeroen D. It's good to train with lots of people anyway- I look at it how the academic community frowns on "academic incest" where you get all your degrees at the same place. (Maybe not true for all majors, but certainly engineering you're meant to at least do your PhD somewhere that isn't where you did your undergrad)
              I agree but that theory seems to have eroded in academics as of late. It perplexes me. Now I see more and more undergrads stay on as grad students at the same school. Even interns in post doc programs. Both were frowned upon when I graduated 20 something years ago.


              • Originally posted by LexInVA View Post

                As for Tom Navarro, he's a known factor because of his documented arrest and conviction in NY, so there is no grey area there and no chance of legal blow-back because he is a certified sex offender whose business focuses on providing services for the very same type of person who would be his victim. .....Around here, parents of "activities kids" often don't give a damn about such things, so long as their child is happy/winning, but the added attention due to the current events might mean people are talking among themselves at shows and learning exactly what's what, so I'm sure it will sort itself out since people outside of his barns are fully aware of it now.
                One can only hope that more parents become aware of this situation and choose to send their kids somewhere else. It's not like there isn't a ton of good trainers/coaches in this area.

                When trying to warn off a parent of two daughters once, the response I got was "but he's so nice!" Not sure what she expected, horns and a tail and an evil laugh, maybe?


                • Originally posted by dags View Post

                  I'd argue it was also way better suited to the self-propelled Thoroughbred, and not quite as effective on the less-motivated warmbloods that have dominated the last 30 years. Worth noting how many of our up &amp; coming international riders are seeking their finishing education overseas now... and how low our fences have gotten to accommodate the American Forward Seat on a "kicking quiet" jr/am show horse.
                  I agree but I think the styles overall have really melded quite a bit. The heavier, super scopey warmblood is getting passed over for lighter types, with more blood, who can handle the technical courses and tight time allowed. You watch Ludger ride today vs. the 80s and it's impossible not to see a much lighter position that has evolved.



                  And I mean, team USA is not exactly slouching, we DID win the WEG and we are the only country with 3 in the top 10 of the FEI rankings.

                  But fundamentally I agree with you Dags and SpecifiedCupcake, the Porter boys are riding completely differently under Jeroen Dubbeldam and Jennifer Gates to me looks more sophisticated in her rides working with Harrie Smolders.


                  • Agreed with that too, greysfordays . The pendulum swung too far cold in warmblood breeding, or maybe they were still making their way out of the Draft Ages when our thirst for tall, beefy, slow-footed creatures arrived on the scene? Either way, it's exciting to see some of the blood coming back in our sport horses, even in the hunters.
                    EHJ | FB | #140 | watch | #insta


                    • IPEsq don't feel bad, another cother threatened to contact my employer about my support FOR safe sport. I'm a teacher

                      And definitely American riders are doing great! And most of them are riding in a much more modern style. The horses today are lighter scopier, bloodier, as above, they aren't like old fashioned heavy wbs, and they aren't like long rangey galloping tbs of old. George's lasting legacy is the US equitation ring, not FEI showjumping. that is not a slag at all.
                      Let me apologize in advance.


                      • Haha. Your support for Safesport is sideways of your profession how exactly?


                        • Originally posted by ladyj79 View Post
                          I mean, yes, other riders are better, but not at "it" where it represents American style forward seat riding
                          Have you watched the German pre-teen kids tearing around jumper courses on their ponies and making it look like an American eq. class? Correct bends through turns, correct forward seat position and automatic releases. But let us not digress.


                          • Originally posted by endlessclimb View Post

                            Yeah, people who run extensive kids camps and kid activities on their farm who want to do away with potential protection for them, and support a child molester, should be looked at carefully. They also should know better than anyone else how necessary these types of protections are.

                            Disagree if you'd like. It's my opinion.
                            I’m no fan of GHM and am glad the SS process worked in his case but the idea that people should target anyone who seems to support him and go so far as to contact an employer, or lease holder, or client etc. screams of “witch hunts”, “vigilantism,” and “McCarthyism,”- the same claims that were falsely thrown out against SS.

                            Implying that someone could be a risk to children because they have a photo of themselves with GHM is more than a step too far, in my book.


                            • So bewilderd bye these comments...
                              who cares about your calls....
                              this is about fundamental rights.....
                              Not about the man....About the process


                              • The point is not that she has a picture with GM at all. She apparently cliniced with him a lot, so I'm sure has many.

                                It's that she changed her profile picture a day after GM was banned. There are no horses in the photo. Just her, and GM.

                                I think that pretty well makes it clear which side she stands on. I don't believe it was coincidental. And as someone who has a lot of kids under her watch, it's pretty horrific that that would be her gut reaction in the face of the claim.

                                She's not alone, either.

                                At any rate, I'm not contacting anyone. Fear not. All in all, I don't understand why ANY small-medium professional would stick their neck out for someone who doesn't even remember your name.


                                • Originally posted by alicen View Post

                                  Have you watched the German pre-teen kids tearing around jumper courses on their ponies and making it look like an American eq. class? Correct bends through turns, correct forward seat position and automatic releases. But let us not digress.
                                  No they're definitely better riders. sorry if my response was unclear.

                                  And to give credit where due, our most successful young riders came out of the eq ring
                                  Let me apologize in advance.


                                  • Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                                    Love him or hate him, absolutely no one can deny GM’s indelible impact on the H/J and eq world that will last forever. There are hundreds if not thousands of riders who have him at least in part to thank for their success in the ring whether that be as pros or amateurs.

                                    Anything SS does to GM will never change that fact. No one is doubting that. So posting your stories about how GM impacted your riding is 100% irrelevant. All these lovely I stand with George stories do not matter in the slightest and aren’t worth the time it took you to type them. One can be a legendary instructor and still be inappropriate with minors. The fact that he wasn’t inappropriate with you does not mean he wasn’t inappropriate with someone else.

                                    How many of these people who are saying it couldn’t have happened because I spent X amount of time with him during those years and never saw or heard him do anything inappropriate have had a spouse cheat on them? Someone you spent every night with as you shared your bed yet you had no idea they were cheating. You don’t know what you don’t know.
                                    A long time ago I had a wonderful coach in another sport which encompassed both group and private lessons, for both children and adults. The bulk of his business was children, and it was the biggest and best place like that in town. I came to the sport at a particularly low point in my life, trying to figure out who the hell I still was after losing a business I'd had since my early 20's. Not only did this guy teach me the sport all the way to instructor level, he rebuilt my confidence and eventually made me a pro who worked alongside him teaching for the next five years. There was nothing improper between us or anyone else. That said, in his private life he went through 3 stormy marriages that ended in mucky divorces, and admitted to being a "functioning" alcoholic.

                                    The parents and kids worshipped him. Physically spectacular (think tall bodybuilder crossed with dancer) and with a personality much bigger than life, to little boys in particular he seemed a comic-book hero come to life. The ladies just plain thought he was a Stud and he had no lack of propositions. The place's stock in trade was taking wimpy, misfit, often medicated kids and turning them into teens with outgoing self-confidence, poise and a can-do spirit. He did this for literally thousands of young people, and no small list of searching adults, over a period of 25 years. He kept his personal issues outside the door, and won many noteworthy community awards for outstanding service to youth.

                                    At age 50 he came up with a particularly grisly hereditary cancer, entailing very difficult surgeries after which he tried to save face and keep teaching and coaching. Unfortunately, his body wouldn't cooperate and he couldn't face the altered self-image brought with this cruel illness that hit him in what should have been the prime of middle age. The substance abuse deepened; a public DUI; the last divorce; eventually he lost the business after years of it slowly winding down. For several years, no one knew where he'd gone, long out of the public eye, spiralling downward.

                                    I don't know what he was "on" or what happened exactly when the very sad end came, but he suicided with a gun a couple towns over and took a relative with him. It shocked the community, no one who had known him could have imagined he was capable of such a thing, no matter how sick or addicted he'd become. It was truly a tragedy. No one made any excuse for the magnitude of the crime that he committed; even the police were heartbroken. Out of respect for the deceased, the local newspapers did their best to kill the story so the kids didn't have to know.

                                    What has never been forgotten was the 25 years plus of non-stop, unsparing effort he put in to help kids and many others in the community, including the forgotten, the disabled and those written off as "autistic" or "adhd." He never gave up on them even when sometimes their parents had. While his sad end involved a heinous crime, murder/suicide, in my eyes that DOES NOT ERASE the lifetime he spent in positive effort for the betterment and enjoyment of others. Thousands of people enjoyed, benefited from and valued his tutelage and still value all he gave our community for so long. Before he murdered someone in taking his own life.

                                    Every single person in this life does good things and bad things, things they're proud of and things that were grave mistakes that now make them cringe. Many have done stuff "under the influence" that wouldn't have happened stone cold sober. Many have gone along with "the crowd," "the moment," the times and what they thought they could get away with. I'm betting the majority of the Valkyrie chorus engaged in this digital lynching of GHM here have skeletons banging around their closets, too. By all means speak truth about the bad and the unacceptable, but you can NOT strip away the positive contributions George has also made for so many all over the world. To do so is pure vindictiveness.

                                    "Judge not, that ye be not judged." A way better man than me said that an awfully long time ago.


                                    • I think it's reasonable that there may be individuals who "stand with George" on a personal level while still respecting and supporting the Safe Sport process. It's that whole "love the sinner, hate the sin" thing.

                                      Now George may not want you to stand with him unless you are willing to attack on all fronts, but that's a different matter.


                                      • Yes, everyone has skeletons.

                                        But probably, hopefully most of us never raped children

                                        George Morris groomed and took advantage of children for decades.

                                        Crashing Boar, you and many others will remember George fondly, no one can take that from you.

                                        But he raped children dude. We absolutely need to judge that and say no more!!!! no matter who this will not be tolerated in the sport.

                                        You are still totally free to tolerate and support him in your personal time and life.
                                        Let me apologize in advance.


                                        • Originally posted by Texarkana View Post

                                          Er... some suggested reading for you:



                                          ETA: Hut-ho beat me to it.
                                          And Harry Chamberlin and Gordon Wright. I was under the impression that GM was molded by Wright. If he started in Connecticut there was a very famous school for young riders there but I forget the name.

                                          Looked it up. It is the New Canaan Mounted Horse Troop, founded and run by Margaret Cabell Self in GM's time. She was a very prolific writer of horse books, most for children. Since GM is from New Canaan, it's very likely that he got his start in horses with her.
                                          Last edited by vineyridge; Aug. 16, 2019, 04:25 PM.