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George Morris on the SS list

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  • Originally posted by Crashing Boar View Post

    A digression not concerning sexual abuse, but relating to instruction now considered "too harsh."

    Up-thread are several lamentations that our show jumpers are no longer No. 1 in the world, wondering if the American Jumping Style which peaked in the 80's is now passe'. Reasons given are different kinds of horses, courses, etc. and are all valid topics of discussion.

    However, I'd like to just throw out one other observation:

    Maybe we're too mentally fragile today and less committed to train as hard as was common then.

    People who came up in those old days, particularly without tons of money, and rode with exacting sticklers like Victor Hugo-Vidal, George, Bert deNemethy and various of the old Ft. Riley trainers, (or Bruce Davidson's barn on the eventing side) were not raised by today's helicopter parenting style with self-esteem building as a priority. Instead, it was "Stand & Deliver!" No one cared how you "feel," just EXECUTE! Parents weren't hovering and mouthing postmodern psychobabble, promoting trained helplessness and mental fragility. No one was telling teens that "words are violence" and you need society's protection from "uncomfortable thoughts." And everybody definitely DIDN'T get a trophy. You had to work as hard at riding as everything else and EARN success and respect from both teachers and peers. Even if you were filthy rich, nothing was "given."

    Schoolteachers brooked no backtalk, parents backed up adults in authority, and no excuses were made for poor performance in school. Today every sub-par performer gets a Dx "label" and some excuse for either acting out or flunking out, and believe me that has not improved our workforce! Equestrian sport of the time must be seen in that context.

    Riding over fences was an elite sport partaken in by probably 1/100th of the 1% (still is!) and at the levels of Big Eq and the road to Grand Prix, lame excuses would get you summarily dismissed. Just like in a good private school, the default was to show up neat, clean and appropriately turned out, be respectful and quiet and try your absolute best, more out of respect for the sport itself than even the personality of the instructor. Everyone understood they were part of something bigger than themselves; the quest for Excellence in horsemanship. It was a great privilege to even be a part of that, let alone at the highest levels. Following WWII, yes, nationalistic pride figured in there prominently. This began after all as a competition by and for military officers. Toughness and respect went without saying.

    I believe that modern society's pandering to, dare I say active promotion of hypersensitivity, anxiety syndromes, self-absorption, victimhood real or imagined as a primary identity, and cosseting in mental "safe spaces" or "comfort zones" is the real culprit in the slow downgrading of American equestrianism. The Greatest Generation charged through a storm of hot lead on the beaches of Normandy and Guadalcanal at 18 years old; today's juniors are unhinged by "mean tweets!"

    The last few days I've spent at a large recognized regional show and watched eq. horses, bored and sour, climb over the fences wringing their tails with their ears pinned. I've watched riders pull rails jumping 2' 9". The jumps for many divisions seemed even lower than they were last year. It seems a small minority of the H/J population can now be expected to handle even 3'? In the heyday of mean, nasty ol' George, that was at least the height for everyone but small ponies! All horses and adults jumped 3' 6" and most made it look easy.

    There is nothing wrong with riding at the recreational levels; it's where most people top out and enjoy the sport. But let's not kid ourselves that Excellence on the International stage is going to be returning any time soon. I just don't see Generation Snowflake producing the grit, guts, and resilience to get us there. What it may get us is our overseas economic and strategic rivals arriving to eat our lunch without resistance.
    Utter BS. Anybody who actually has kids or spends time with them today would never use the phrase “generation snowflake.” Believe it or not it is possible for a coach to be demanding, tough, exacting, and to bring out the best in students without humiliating or demeaning them, or without coercing them into a sexual relationship.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Crashing Boar View Post
      I just don't see Generation Snowflake producing the grit, guts, and resilience to get us there. What it may get us is our overseas economic and strategic rivals arriving to eat our lunch without resistance.
      Nah,not to worry. They don't want our fast food.

      Comment


      • If anyone is a snowflake, it’s the ISWG folks who cannot deal with the fact that he wasn’t who they thought he was.

        Comment


        • Once upon a time when I was looking into this whole mess I found guidelines that had been formulated by SafeSport regarding sanctions/punishments. I can’t find it again but it said something to the effect of “The highest sanction of a lifetime ban should be reserved for those cases where:” Followed by a bullet-point list that I don’t recall in any detail. Does anyone know where that is? I don’t want to misquote any details but it made it pretty darn clear that a lifetime ban wouldn’t be handed out for things like giving kids unnecessarily lengthy pats on the tushy to “check position,” one-off offenses decades ago, clearly consensual May-December flirtations, etc.

          Comment


          • Isnt some aspect of developing young riders the huge cost of showing in the US as compared to other countries and the escalating cost- hence sponsors required- to have the best horses? I though even mcclain ward who certainly knows how to make a horse commented on the difficulty of buying /getting ones hands on the top elite horses. Plus as others have noted t1he top jumpers now are blooded and riding styles seem to have merged a bit.(Finally as some else noted there are top us riders in the top 10 internationally- but they are incredibly competitive and expensive horses at the top.)

            Comment


            • Originally posted by YankeeDuchess View Post

              Based on your interpretation of what she was saying, I agree with you.

              But the story was relayed in support of her statement that she was horrified with the procedures and process of SafeSport. If BNT was unjustly convicted in criminal court, and SafeSport says the conviction translates into a ban, I fail to see how this reflects poorly on SafeSport at all. With “criminal disposition” cases, they do not investigate. Under your interpretation, it does not make sense to use that story as a criticism of SafeSport.
              I think that what she was trying to say would be something like this:

              He was wrongly convicted 20 years ago and there have been no other complaints against him in the judicial system since then. Even if he wasn't wrongly convicted, he's shown himself to have been rehabilitated. It's wrong to permanently ban someone with one conviction 20 years ago without some evidence that he/she is a current danger.

              Of course, the poster can't know if he's actually led a blameless life for the past 20 years.

              Comment


              • I know I asked this earlier on this thread and on the RG one... and it’s probably already been answered. But what is the official policy of IEA with respect to Safe Sport?

                I ask because this whole discussion of the “exonerated” individual () that came up a few pages ago who has been banned by Safe Sport, but who has video evidence proving their innocence () seems to have come up in relation to Tom Navarro. The poster who started this whole train has not named who it is they were talking about... but the comment seemed to be about him.

                Anyway... it seems that there is still some sort of “team practice” happening at River Chase on a weekly basis (per their calendar). But George Mason is no longer affiliating their program with that farm... so one can only assume the team is the IEA team that he started last fall.

                How is this continuing? He is no longer pending appeal on the Safe Sport list. He has a conviction. Anyone know anything g about this? I’m sorry for the poor kids who want to ride and do these shows and be part of a team... but honestly... how in the world can this continue on (a guy banned by Safe Sport coaching an IEA team)?!?

                Am I missing something? Very odd.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by bip View Post
                  If anyone is a snowflake, it’s the ISWG folks who cannot deal with the fact that he wasn’t who they thought he was.
                  And Rob Gage. ISWG does not mean 'I think the system is flawed'. It means, 'I think George is innocent.' Full stop. Even George's statement doesn't say, "I didn't do it." Or "Safe Sport has a flawed system".

                  If you are standing with George, or Rob, you are standing with child molesters. I think if a lot of these people looked onto their hearts, they could see the truth. These people are skilled manipulators. GM has had people roll in the dirt. He has thrown dirt in people's faces. And people took it. And more people looked the other way. And other people chuckled in that, 'That's George.' way. If that dirt causes an injury, he could be charged with assault. If he does this in front of an attentive audience, what does he do in private?

                  *****
                  You will not rise to the occasion, you will default to your level of training.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Virginia Horse Mom View Post
                    I know I asked this earlier on this thread and on the RG one... and it’s probably already been answered. But what is the official policy of IEA with respect to Safe Sport?

                    I ask because this whole discussion of the “exonerated” individual () that came up a few pages ago who has been banned by Safe Sport, but who has video evidence proving their innocence () seems to have come up in relation to Tom Navarro. The poster who started this whole train has not named who it is they were talking about... but the comment seemed to be about him.
                    It was definitely about him. I suspect the poster is his current wife, based on the way it was written. Since she's only been around a short while, I don't see how she could have any personal knowledge of what happened 20 years ago. Anyone that believes he's innocent is a fool living in an alternate reality.

                    Insofar as the IEA team, it wouldn't surprise me at all if he's doing it in spite of the SS ruling. Would love to know what the process would be going forward to report it.

                    Also, in no way, shape or form would I consider him a BNT.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Virginia Horse Mom View Post
                      I know I asked this earlier on this thread and on the RG one... and it’s probably already been answered. But what is the official policy of IEA with respect to Safe Sport?

                      I ask because this whole discussion of the “exonerated” individual () that came up a few pages ago who has been banned by Safe Sport, but who has video evidence proving their innocence () seems to have come up in relation to Tom Navarro. The poster who started this whole train has not named who it is they were talking about... but the comment seemed to be about him.

                      Anyway... it seems that there is still some sort of “team practice” happening at River Chase on a weekly basis (per their calendar). But George Mason is no longer affiliating their program with that farm... so one can only assume the team is the IEA team that he started last fall.

                      How is this continuing? He is no longer pending appeal on the Safe Sport list. He has a conviction. Anyone know anything g about this? I’m sorry for the poor kids who want to ride and do these shows and be part of a team... but honestly... how in the world can this continue on (a guy banned by Safe Sport coaching an IEA team)?!?

                      Am I missing something? Very odd.
                      There is no IEA team there for this year's competition calendar, according to the official IEA listing, and as SafeSport is required for IEA as of next year and he is ineligible for SafeSport certification, there won't be one with his name or business attached to it in the future. Two teams were previously listed there under FEI Dressage judge Kim Murphy, but she apparently isn't there anymore and is working up in Maryland.
                      Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!

                      Comment


                      • originally posted by Gainer

                        Also, in no way, shape or form would I consider him a BNT.
                        OMG!! UR MEEN!!! (but accurate)

                        Comment


                        • So here goes speculation. I am speculating that the video "proof" was about the victim admitting some "culpability" Wasn't allowed because the adult is still the adult. More victim blaming.

                          Comment


                          • I bet Crashing Boar is from the "I want to speak to your manager" generation.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by LexInVA View Post

                              There is no IEA team there for this year's competition calendar, according to the official IEA listing, and as SafeSport is required for IEA as of next year and he is ineligible for SafeSport certification, there won't be one with his name or business attached to it in the future. Two teams were previously listed there under FEI Dressage judge Kim Murphy, but she apparently isn't there anymore and is working up in Maryland.
                              IEA Region President here. This is correct. While the IEA cannot control what people advertise on their personal websites, it can control who can and cannot field a team. If a team is not approved by IEA, they will be unable to enter any IEA competitions. There are safeguards against that. Show hosts have to submit entries into the IEA website. A team that is not registered is unable to be entered. The system will not be able to find them.

                              I do encourage anyone who suspects that a banned/suspended USEF member is running an IEA program using another person as the "official" coach to circumvent the SS requirement to report it to the IEA national office. I can assure you these reports will not be taken lightly.
                              "I'm not strange, weird, off, nor crazy. My reality is just different from yours."
                              ~Lewis Carroll

                              Comment


                              • What the IEA (and everyone else) needs to do is establish some sort of criteria - a drawn line if you will - that determines whether or not an individual who should not be associated with IEA due to SafeSport or criminal/legal sanctions against them that make them a potential danger, is tied to any suspect program. To use the example of the guy discussed here, there being a program at another location in the area run by someone else and him being physically involved in any way whatsoever as "help", even if he's not in any designated or verbally/non-verbally established position of authority and despite not being an IEA member, would be a clear violation, IMO. Obviously, I don't think the IEA could do anything to keep him from being present as a spectator and socially interacting with members, but there should be a clearly stated point where violations occur, to discourage any sort of improper action or associations with potential problem individuals.
                                Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!

                                Comment


                                • Originally posted by Capall View Post
                                  I bet Crashing Boar is from the "I want to speak to your manager" generation.
                                  I think Crashing Boar is a proud troll, just here to jerk everyone's chain.
                                  The armchair saddler
                                  Politically Pro-Cat

                                  Comment


                                  • Originally posted by mvp View Post

                                    I think Crashing Boar is a proud troll, just here to jerk everyone's chain.
                                    Let me apologize in advance.

                                    Comment


                                    • Well, I will likely slap myself later for commenting at all but... why don't the "fans" care what happened to multiple victims over the years? It was a different time? Really? Sexual abuse is the kind of thing that changes a persons life FOREVER. Get over it, move on, man up.. whatever sooo easy to say -> to someone else. I can imagine how difficult it would have been for a gay victim to come forward "back in the day" or even a few years ago. people want to judge victims for their lifestyle rather than REALLY seeing them as young people that were hurt.
                                      GM is a talented instructor no doubt, and many have benefitted, but that doesn't mean he should get a free pass based of training skill. One thing has very little to do with the other. Most of the" I stand w George" crowd do not know him at all, you are admirers of an image of a horseman.. you surely were not hanging at Studio 54 or many of the other interesting private clubs and all the drugs and drinking going on. You need to separate the Icon from the person. Quit making excuses for bad behavior by ANYBODY. Please consider the victims.. if you are having a hard time with that.. look at your kids and grandkids and put them in that position.
                                      I'm confidant GM will have some fabulous legal team .. and the "it was different back then", "the legal age was different", "they were trying to get something from him" arguments will all be made... but really, is that an actual excuse?
                                      and btw shame on you riders/trainers who had knowledge of bad behavior by ANY trainer or Judge and Pretends they didn't know. I hope that any victims find the heart and strength to step forward and speak up-> about their abuser, whoever that may be.

                                      Comment


                                      • Originally posted by vineyridge View Post

                                        I think that what she was trying to say would be something like this:

                                        He was wrongly convicted 20 years ago and there have been no other complaints against him in the judicial system since then. Even if he wasn't wrongly convicted, he's shown himself to have been rehabilitated. It's wrong to permanently ban someone with one conviction 20 years ago without some evidence that he/she is a current danger.

                                        Of course, the poster can't know if he's actually led a blameless life for the past 20 years.
                                        The current SafeSport policy is that a conviction on child sex abuse gets you a lifetime ban. I think we agree that it is not the fault of SafeSport if the conviction in the criminal justice system was unjust.

                                        It is a different issue as to whether the lifetime ban should be just a 10 year suspension if there are no further criminal convictions. An awful lot of child abuse goes on without resulting in conviction in court, so again, the lack of a second conviction does not definitively establish no further abuse. I have no problem with the lifetime ban for a single criminal conviction. SafeSport does not have the resources or mandate to investigate whether a person is still a risk after a 10 year suspension and could face liability suits if it readmitted someone who then abused more minors.
                                        Last edited by YankeeDuchess; Aug. 18, 2019, 08:37 PM.

                                        Comment


                                        • Originally posted by Virginia Horse Mom View Post
                                          I know I asked this earlier on this thread and on the RG one... and it’s probably already been answered. But what is the official policy of IEA with respect to Safe Sport?

                                          I ask because this whole discussion of the “exonerated” individual () that came up a few pages ago who has been banned by Safe Sport, but who has video evidence proving their innocence () seems to have come up in relation to Tom Navarro. The poster who started this whole train has not named who it is they were talking about... but the comment seemed to be about him.

                                          Anyway... it seems that there is still some sort of “team practice” happening at River Chase on a weekly basis (per their calendar). But George Mason is no longer affiliating their program with that farm... so one can only assume the team is the IEA team that he started last fall.

                                          How is this continuing? He is no longer pending appeal on the Safe Sport list. He has a conviction. Anyone know anything g about this? I’m sorry for the poor kids who want to ride and do these shows and be part of a team... but honestly... how in the world can this continue on (a guy banned by Safe Sport coaching an IEA team)?!?

                                          Am I missing something? Very odd.
                                          I vaguely remember that IEA was incorporating SafeSport perhaps starting this fall or something- that is, IEA will be subject to SafeSport going forward but possibly the implementation date was a year or two after USEF. No university is going to want the legal exposure that would come with having a SafeSport banned individual be a coach.

                                          Comment

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