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USEF Response to NYT article...is it time for The Humble Initiative

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  • #81
    Originally posted by RAyers View Post
    Forget that! I suggest somebody such as findeight along with mrhoades and others in this bb, step in with their own rule proposals. ..........I and others do/did this with the USEA/USEF and there have been some major changes based on fact driven rules to make the sport better.
    Reed
    Reed has the key here. Opinions on change are usually weighed based on who is saying it. When I, as an equestrian planner, deal with a varied group of horse people - usually with a well-entrenched pecking order - the only way to uncover the good ideas is to focus on "evidence-based design" or "demand-based planning", with solutions that will benefit all, based on facts, not based on preferences of who has lived there longest, is a higher level horseman, etc, etc.

    Same here. USEF can take this opportunity to use the glaring FACTS of this situation to go around the status quo or good 'ol boys club. "Sorry guys, but this is too important (and public) now."
    Comprehensive Equestrian Site Planning and Facility Design
    www.lynnlongplanninganddesign.com

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    • #82
      Originally posted by mroades View Post
      Yes it infuriates me, but throwing myself on the sword will only result in my guts being spilled, the hordes of mommies and daddies who only care about winning might slip in them for a moment, but most of them wouldnt even notice. When I tell a kid they can't show because they arent ready, I get fired or the kid leaves for someone who will tell them they can.
      I am not trying to sound so intractable, but I have been a trainer for 30 years, and have seen firsthand many, many times what happens when you stick your neck out. I did that in 2001 and have still not recovered from it.
      Right.
      This problem has been around since the 60's.
      While it is true that anyone can propose a rule change unless it comes from USHJA there is little chance of progress.
      So apply pressure on USHJA,not USEF.

      The underlying problem is the way hunters are judged. Nobody really wants to address that but the proposed rule change from USHJA would allow some expression from the horse.
      Fan of Sea Accounts

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      • #83
        Originally posted by mroades View Post
        It is so not that simple. The trainers that bring 40 (or more) to the show would have to change how they do things as well, because can I tell you, if you try to "change the way we judge" you do not get asked back by management. Or a steward that does more than just be there....you piss off the BNT they take their dollies and dishes and go elsewhere.
        It is just not that simple......it is now an industry and very little "sport" remains.
        Ageed, eally is not simple. The amateurs who can ride the fresh horses have gone elsewhere, or are bringing along their own prospects in the Baby Green ring. The BNTs have a whole new business base amateurs and juniots who ride for the win, not for sport. It is an industry, based on a quick path to the A Circuit winners circle for monied clients. When shows were run by volunteer committes or clubs, pissing off the trainers was not such a big issue. Now the show managers make their living by who and how many are at their shows, and they control a lot of what happens.

        To Reed: Eventing would definately be easier to affect change for the good of the horses.
        Comprehensive Equestrian Site Planning and Facility Design
        www.lynnlongplanninganddesign.com

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        • #84
          To change the judging the USEF must change the courses. If hunters remain side - diagonal- side and even the verticals have enough full to be triple bars the judges naturally choose the most relaxed, smoothest horse. Go back to traditional jump types, include jumps set up to challenge a horses real athleticism, and reduce the use of related distances so pace and brilliance can be rewarded. The. Judging can change and perhaps the hunter ring will save itself.
          www.threewishesfarm.com
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          Expecting 2017 foals by Vagabond de la Pomme, Cornet Obolensky, Zirocco Blue, Catoki and Christian.

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          • Original Poster

            #85
            IMO it's not about a rule change proposal, it's about meaningful enforcement of what is already on the books. I don't think increased penalities and suspensions is a function that can be initiated by the demands of the general membership under the USEF charter or whatever they run under.

            I had a thought. Anybody remember when the AHSA/USEF or whatever they called themselves about 10 years back turned up unannounced at one of the Indoors shows with measuring sticks and measured a substantial number of Ponies WITHOUT a specific protest being filed by a specific member against a specific Pony? With spectacular results.

            Despite some shenanigans in the pre measuring procedure by some-I don't think we had any dead Ponies or Ponies collapsing in a schooling or show ring as a result of cumulative remeasuring combinations and interactions.

            Soooo, why not target a prestige show and, unannounced, test EVERYBODY entered in certain classes even if they scratched? And within a very few hours of that class. Can't be everybody in every class because that would cost way too much. Not to be mean but suggest picking a Pony Class and another kid class as that would be a representitive sample centered on where, IMO, the temptation to quiet or keep a sore horse running for points is the greatest. If I wanted to be mean I might suggest Medal Finals but doubt that would happen.

            Just a thought...and one I believe would be just as possible under exsisting rules as that surprise remeasuring blitz.

            Advantage of selecting a prestige show would be it's hard to blow one of those off to the kid client and parents when they worked all year to get there.

            The only thing I can think of that might need a regular rule change would be requiring that any horse collapsing (defined as going completely down with a rider for no appaerent reason), being found down/unresponsive in the stall requiring immediate vet assistance or dying suddenly on the show grounds require a report including an immediate blood pull. I don't see that as an onorous expense, horses do die on showgrounds and that does not mean anything nefarious is involved, pull blood on all and none are singled out. Add it to the standard release on the entry form.

            Whether the show vets can be trusted with that is a whole other can of worms.
            Last edited by findeight; Jan. 2, 2013, 11:05 AM.
            When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

            The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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            • #86
              That sounds like an actual, do-able suggestion, findeight. Pick a well attended show and test blitz it. Not 1-2 horses per division...a real blitz. A pricey one, but then there *are* discounts when you present volume work to labs. And cost, well with the money these shows bring in, a one time large hit to the bottom line is feasible.

              Get a baseline as valuable information.

              The idea and one time cost and application of the idea are all feasible.

              The USEF/et al being willing to turn the lights on in the bug-infested room, though? Doubtful. Even if it is do-able...it has extreme potential to be catastrophic to the appearances, status quo and the trainers who bring in the income.
              You jump in the saddle,
              Hold onto the bridle!
              Jump in the line!
              ...Belefonte

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              • #87
                Originally posted by findeight View Post
                IMO it's not about a rule change proposal, it's about meaningful enforcement of what is already on the books. I don't think increased penalities and suspensions is a function that can be initiated by the demands of the general membership under the USEF charter or whatever they run under.

                I had a thought. Anybody remember when the AHSA/USEF or whatever they called themselves about 10 years back turned up unannounced at one of the Indoors shows with measuring sticks and measured a substantial number of Ponies WITHOUT a specific protest being filed by a specific member against a specific Pony? With spectacular results.

                Despite some shenanigans in the pre measuring procedure by some-I don't think we had any dead Ponies or Ponies collapsing in a schooling or show ring as a result of cumulative remeasuring combinations and interactions.

                Soooo, why not target a prestige show and, unannounced, test EVERYBODY entered in certain classes even if they scratched? And within a very few hours of that class. Can't be everybody in every class because that would cost way too much. Not to be mean but suggest picking a Pony Class and another kid class as that would be a representitive sample centered on where, IMO, the temptation to quiet or keep a sore horse running for points is the greatest. If I wanted to be mean I might suggest Medal Finals but doubt that would happen.

                Just a thought...and one I believe would be just as possible under exsisting rules as that surprise remeasuring blitz.

                Advantage of selecting a prestige show would be it's hard to blow one of those off to the kid client and parents when they worked all year to get there.

                The only thing I can think of that might need a regular rule change would be requiring that any horse collapsing (defined as going completely down with a rider for no appaerent reason), being found down/unresponsive in the stall requiring immediate vet assistance or dying suddenly on the show grounds require a report including an immediate blood pull. I don't see that as an onorous expense, horses do die on showgrounds and that does not mean anything nefarious is involved, pull blood on all and none are singled out. Add it to the standard release on the entry form.

                Whether the show vets can be trusted with that is a whole other can of worms.
                Great idea, Findeight! And make the penalties for testing positive really hurt! (Big fines and big suspensions!) And they should pick a couple big shows a year to do what you suggested, in addition to the random testing they already do.
                ******
                "A good horse and a good rider are only so in mutual trust."
                -H.M.E.

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                • Original Poster

                  #88
                  Let me add that, when the lights do get turned on, the roaches do scatter. So horses/ponies that are scratched late when the testers show up at ANY show should be subject to the random selection to test process. Show can supply complete list of expected entries (you know, like is PUBLICALLY posted on the board by the office and usually at each in gate well in advance). All entries may be tested. They can actually do that now IIRC but never seen that.

                  Right now the testers stand at the out gate in their little white coats with the stick and cup and snag the winner and one at random as they exit the ring or catch you at the outgate after your last jumping round. So if you scratch and don't show up? Out of sight, out of mind. Many have noted certain barns have alot of late scratches as routine procedure when the testers arrive. It is somewhat of a joke.

                  I don't see any extra cost in that or it opening any doors to being sued. Dont even need to test any more horses, just include one that scratched as a possibility. They CAN test anything entered as I understand the rules as they now stand. Might need a bodyguard going back to the barns to chase down a scratch tho...or be sure to properly ID the animal as the one selected
                  When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                  The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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                  • #89
                    Originally posted by findeight View Post
                    Let me add that, when the lights do get turned on, the roaches do scatter. So horses/ponies that are scratched late when the testers show up at ANY show should be subject to the random selection to test process. Show can supply complete list of expected entries (you know, like is PUBLICALLY posted on the board by the office and usually at each in gate well in advance). All entries may be tested. They can actually do that now IIRC but never seen that.

                    Right now the testers stand at the out gate in their little white coats with the stick and cup and snag the winner and one at random as they exit the ring or catch you at the outgate after your last jumping round. So if you scratch and don't show up? Out of sight, out of mind. Many have noted certain barns have alot of late scratches as routine procedure when the testers arrive. It is somewhat of a joke.

                    I don't see any extra cost in that or it opening any doors to being sued. Dont even need to test any more horses, just include one that scratched as a possibility. They CAN test anything entered as I understand the rules as they now stand. Might need a bodyguard going back to the barns to chase down a scratch tho...or be sure to properly ID the animal as the one selected
                    But if they scratch, is there a violation even if they have drugs on board? Is it a violation to have a drugged horse on the grounds or only to compete one?
                    Auventera Two:Some women would eat their own offspring if they had some dipping sauce.
                    Serious Leigh: it sounds like her drama llama should be an old schoolmaster by now.

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                    • #90
                      Originally posted by findeight View Post
                      Let me add that, when the lights do get turned on, the roaches do scatter. So horses/ponies that are scratched late when the testers show up at ANY show should be subject to the random selection to test process.
                      So - how are you going to distinguish between the horses that were illegally drugged in order to compete and the ones that had, say, bute in their system in allowed limits, got colicky, and were given banamine and scratched?

                      Because there will be legitimate situations like that, and any cheating trainer with half a brain will have some sort of plausible-sounding explanation ready to explain the failed drug test on the horse they oh-so-correctly scratched in accordance with the rules [cue angelic halo].
                      Halt Near X | Horse Bloggers - Blog Directory

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                      • Original Poster

                        #91
                        Violation to have a drugged horse on the grounds for competition purposes and any horse can be tested IIRC. I suppose if the horse had a recent vet procedure outside of the competion time limits, as is increasingly common since they live on the grounds for weeks, you could simply produce a record of that procedure and the meds involved and not have any issues or file it in the office.

                        That is in a perfect world. In this one, it is a violation only if you get caught for way too many charged with their care. Pretty easy to avoid being caught too.
                        When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                        The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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                        • #92
                          Originally posted by vxf111 View Post
                          The USEF has a rule they could have used in this instance. They chose not to. All the rule re-writing in the world won't matter if the organization doesn't want to police members. Or is afraid of litigious members.
                          Ask people in the Arabian world what happened to the breed organization when David Boggs got set down for plastic surgery on his horses...
                          Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique

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                          • #93
                            Originally posted by findeight View Post
                            IMO it's not about a rule change proposal, it's about meaningful enforcement of what is already on the books....

                            Just a thought...and one I believe would be just as possible under exsisting rules as that surprise remeasuring blitz.

                            Advantage of selecting a prestige show would be it's hard to blow one of those off to the kid client and parents when they worked all year to get there.
                            That's a nice idea. It would mean that anyone gunning to get to a top show knows that they'd run the risk of being caught for any cheating.

                            It might help a lot of hard-working horses and ponies since these guys are A) most likely to need the nefarious "help", and B) are under the care of the trainers that have access to those sophisticated solutions to soundness and behavioral problems.

                            FWIW, I don't think folks working at lower levels in the industry are as likely to be pushing the envelope with creative drugging. It takes a different kind of vet and client to cooperate with this drug-heavy regimen than the casual HO offers. I, for one, couldn't imagine getting a bill for unspecified medication charges and rolling with that. Call me a penny pincher or more involved with my horse, but both mean I don't turn over everything to the full-service trainer.

                            For all of the new possible ways to give the existing USEF rules some teeth, I think Membership needs to consider the "bang for the buck" in every strategy. Since it would be prohibitively expensive to, say, test every horse, run an FEI type of stabling or ask HOs to pay for a DVM to deliver every injection on show grounds, those options lack appeal.

                            Also, the point of things like huge penalties, or examples made of people like Mandarino is to reduce the likelihood that people cheat in the first place. And that prophylactic kind of system is the best of all for the horses.
                            The armchair saddler
                            Politically Pro-Cat

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                            • #94
                              If I wanted to be mean I might suggest Medal Finals but doubt that would happen.
                              Please. Go ahead. DO suggest it.

                              I've gotta tell ya, I had a gr8 time at the National Horse Show this year but it was REALLY depressing the number of syringes that were just dropped in the stalls after everyone cleared out. (Apparently no one can even be bothered using sharps containers any more.) Anywhere between 3 and 5 that were clearly visible on a casual glance without digging through the bedding. And this is EVERY stall, not just a few. I was hardly born yesterday, but it was just TOO over the top for me personally.
                              "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief

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                              • #95
                                And another thing!

                                Were the USEF to institute a mandatory necropsy on any horse who died on the show grounds, I think the Mandarino case with it's delayed necropsy means that blood must be drawn promptly by the show vet. Any show that doesn't comply loses it's date.

                                CBoylen made a good point a while back regarding the suspicion of magnesium. If that did not show up on the toxicology tests, it stands to reason that this is not what killed the pony. After all, I would assume that the physiological metabolism of a high dose would stop with death. If I have the biology right, this is a reason to do an immediate blood draw.

                                Otherwise, I don't know how they ran a toxicology screen looking from some 1,100 substances if it was too late to draw blood by the time they began Humble's necropsy. I also don't understand Mandarino's statements about the examiner stopping mid-exam to ask her about lung disease when the written report states that the gross anatomy exam showed no signs of disease.... but then Mandarino claims that he examiner exclaimed that he had never seen such a sick set of lungs on a 9-year-old pony before.

                                Can any of you Quincy/medico types explain how this all fits together?
                                The armchair saddler
                                Politically Pro-Cat

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                                • #96
                                  Originally posted by War Admiral View Post
                                  Please. Go ahead. DO suggest it.

                                  I've gotta tell ya, I had a gr8 time at the National Horse Show this year but it was REALLY depressing the number of syringes that were just dropped in the stalls after everyone cleared out. (Apparently no one can even be bothered using sharps containers any more.) Anywhere between 3 and 5 that were clearly visible on a casual glance without digging through the bedding. And this is EVERY stall, not just a few. I was hardly born yesterday, but it was just TOO over the top for me personally.
                                  Please do include the Big Eq horses. IMO, they look pretty thrashed by the time finals roll around.

                                  And the failure to use sharps containers is abominable. Apparently, the health and safety of the *people* who clean these stalls after the shows isn't worth the walk to the sharps container at the end of the aisle.
                                  The armchair saddler
                                  Politically Pro-Cat

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                                  • #97
                                    Originally posted by Halt Near X View Post
                                    So - how are you going to distinguish between the horses that were illegally drugged in order to compete and the ones that had, say, bute in their system in allowed limits, got colicky, and were given banamine and scratched?
                                    A filled out D&M report by the treating DVM in the hands of the show steward.
                                    "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                                    ...just settin' on the Group W bench.

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                                    • Original Poster

                                      #98
                                      Originally posted by Ghazzu View Post
                                      A filled out D&M report by the treating DVM in the hands of the show steward.
                                      Thanks Ghazzu. That's what I have done forever when any kind of treatment or procedure was done. Please don't hide behind thatas a reason to stand at the out gate and test only those coming out of the ring-most of those showing drugged are not drugged for any procedures.

                                      If I read that transcript right, they had to use tissue samples from Humble for toxicology as 36 hours post mortem rendered drawing blood impossible. Cannot think of any real reason requiring a blood draw on any animal suddenly incapacitated, collapsing for no apparent reason with a rider or being found down or dead in the stall would be a financial hardship or open anybody up for litigation if it is included in the general release signed by all.

                                      Necropsies are expensive and horses do die and sometimes collpse for no apparent reason with a rider or without at shows, a much less expensive blood draw within a short time frame would reveal enough to determine a natural cause...or not.
                                      When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                      The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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                                      • #99
                                        Good suggestions - however, 99.9% of what you saw in those syringes lying around at indoors was not testable or absolutely legal. Humble did not test positive for anything illegal and nothing on the cell phone pic of the med list was illegal at certain doses - nor would mag tested positive (if that is what was given). Yes, a surprise blitz would be something to show the USEF actually cares but it would not solve the problem- people would just be more careful to stay within current limits and use nontestable substances otherwise.
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                                        Expecting 2017 foals by Vagabond de la Pomme, Cornet Obolensky, Zirocco Blue, Catoki and Christian.

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                                        • Originally posted by findeight View Post
                                          IMO it's not about a rule change proposal, it's about meaningful enforcement of what is already on the books. I don't think increased penalities and suspensions is a function that can be initiated by the demands of the general membership under the USEF charter or whatever they run under.

                                          .
                                          Unless the current standards for judging hunters change we will have a revolving door of the next calming med. Rinse and repeat. If the horse didn't need to be comastose much of the problem goes away.

                                          And I'm not convinced enforcement of current rules does anything. Unless the penalty is severe enough the fines are just a cost of doing business.
                                          Perhaps a mandatory 6 months vacation if caught x times within x months.

                                          http://www.proequest.com/news/2012/1...ter-revolution
                                          this is a refreshing point of view.
                                          Fan of Sea Accounts

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