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Devising show sponsorship to reward drug free horses

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  • #21
    You could specify no suspensions for any of the horse's connections within the last x years.
    The Evil Chem Prof

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    • #22
      I really love this idea. Once this gets off the ground, I definitely think you need to have some MAJOR press coverage.
      Maybe get some BNTs who are anti-drugging involved or try to contact them.
      Sorry I don't have any better ideas!

      Comment


      • #23
        What if you sponsored on-site "chair massages" combined with info on non-chemical ways to help horses relax and fill the space with some of the recent quotes about judges wanting to see horses looking "bright" and having fun while doing their job. Maybe see if you could get a few video clips of those quotes and some bright & winning derby trips?

        Concepts of relaxing, having fun and enjoying the moment seem like good ties to a vodka brand.
        Last edited by GaMare; Jan. 2, 2013, 12:25 PM. Reason: Deleted overly broad portion of comment

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        • #24
          Originally posted by GaMare View Post
          non-chemical, non-lunge line solutions
          There's a huge difference between drugging a horse against its will and lunging a horse. I do not think it would be fair or correct to include them in the same campaign, plus the OP never mentioned anything about lunging, so I'm confused as to where this came from. I would sure rather have someone lunging a horse for a couple minutes than chemically altering its brain.
          Last edited by lrp1106; Jan. 2, 2013, 11:58 AM. Reason: punctuation/grammar

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          • #25
            I think the "Squeaky-Clean Team" is a great idea. It could be four horse/rider combinations from any division that are being shown and winning. You should sponsor them (as in pay their show fees, stalls, entries, etc) for each show going forward as long as they are staying in the top 5 of their division and remaining drug-free. If they test positive or stop doing well they can be replaced by the next good and "squeaky-clean" combination. This would allow anyone from any division or height to try! If you make it 6 shows or more you get a cash bonus or a prize of some sort. And lots of publicity on how you did it drug-free!
            ******
            "A good horse and a good rider are only so in mutual trust."
            -H.M.E.

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            • #26
              I kind of like the essay-to-win idea. Have riders/owners submit an essay on why their horse does NOT NEED enhancements to win a class. Pick the best one, and sponsor them. Plus you can put the essays online for others to see, etc.
              “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
              ¯ Oscar Wilde

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              • #27
                Sorry, was thinking of the poor ponies that get lunged for, what seems like, forever so they're dead tired for their riders- not the reasonable application. Edited post.

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by GaMare View Post
                  Sorry, was thinking of the poor ponies that get lunged for, what seems like, forever so they're dead tired for their riders- not the reasonable application. Edited post.

                  I agree that those who lunge their horses to near death are endangering and abusing their horses, but lunging is a very useful tool when used properly. There's a girl at my barn who lunges her horse each way for 2 1/2 minutes (total 5 minutes) so that she can know what his mood is like that day. He's a very spooky guy, and if he is doing a lot of bucking and running, she doesn't like to ride him in a busy ring.
                  Lunging is also useful when a horse needs to get some of his playfulness out, but lunging should NEVER be used to make a horse or pony dead tired. With the correct use, lunging can be a good tool for a rider.

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                  • #29
                    I'm open to including No Lunging as part of the Squeaky Clean protocol.

                    I'd add this because it helps riders, trainers and even breeders seek the wonderful mind (and good training) that lets a horse come out and do his job with no muss or fuss. And, at bottom, part of what the hunter discipline always required was a gorgeous mind in a horse.

                    I have one of these. I purposely bred him to be turn-key, interviewing the snot out of both his parents. The greatness about this horse was that he was ammy-friendly every.day.of.his.life. The drawback was that he was too casual to do the back-cracking jump every time for no good reason. I consented to take that in exchange for a reliable and useful horse.

                    And this horse was one who liked to be offered some unstructured time on the lunge line when we got to a show. He liked being offered the chance to turn his excitement about a new place into play. It made him happier than being bossed around while he was also a little wild.

                    But! If I couldn't do the "It's horse's time to do what he wants on the lunge," this one could instead get some handwalking, handgrazing and an unobstrusive hack and come out just as happy.
                    The armchair saddler
                    Politically Pro-Cat

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                    • #30
                      I think the sponsorship idea is brilliant ! My son was all ready to start his essay....but he's a junior. Maybe next time.

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        Sponsering an Ammy, while I think the idea is awesome, is against the spirit of the amateur rules and therefore skating in a grey area. If the product is against drugging and for the squeaky clean image then I really think it would look bad to be trying to get around the amateur status rule. I love the idea of sponsoring a division for amateurs that promotes a different type of hunter - one that rewards brilliance and more traditional hunt jumps/courses/judging?
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                        • Original Poster

                          #32
                          Thanks for everyone's responses! Yes, I really want to get as much press as possible out of whatever sponsorship we end up with.

                          I like the idea of an essay describing the bond you have with your horse as I think a) that's what it's all about (or a lot of what it's all about anyway) and b) if you really know your horse it weeds out the riders who get handed the reins of a fully-tacked up horse to ride in a lesson and who hand the reins back to the groom immediately on dismounting. Those types of riders are more likely to unquestioningly follow their trainer's advice, I think, and not be able to distinguish good practices from bad.

                          I most certainly don't want to skate into a bad area to subvert anyone's amateur status; I know the bank with its sponsorship has garnered huge goodwill from competitors who might not otherwise be able to compete at so many recognized events.

                          But again, all this is totally up in the air; we could figure out a way to sponsor a team or we could figure out a way to sponsor a division. Just thinking aloud, I kind of like the team idea better as it is different -- and therefore might get a bit more attention.

                          Leaving aside the drug issue, what kind of sponsorship would YOU like to see, if you are a regular competitor? What kinds of prizes?
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                          • #33
                            My favorite prizes are always the jackets. Once, I got a rain jacket thing and I LOVED it. In this case, the prize can't really be the vodka because then you get into the question of what if a minor (under 21) wins, what if someone who doesn't drink wins (though this really doesn't matter as much, they chose to enter into the class/division).
                            I think the team could work out, but if you could find a way, definitely sponsoring a division could be better.
                            A good idea might be to come up with some literature on the sponsorship/goals/and the products, like some kind of pamphlet, and hand them out at some of the big shows (HITS, WEF, Gulfport). I think this is such a great idea, and I hope it inspires some other entrepreneurs to join your ranks of actually trying to bring awareness and publicly voice their opinion and stance on this issue.

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Originally posted by SMF11 View Post
                              I've been following the threads on Humble, and I am glad the drugging in the H/J world is getting to be more widely known.

                              Do you think there's a way to do the sponsorship so that drug-free horses are rewarded? I would love to be able to do this -- as everyone is saying $$$ talks, and if sponsors are demanding drug free competitions, I'd imagine the horse shows would start to listen.

                              The drawback in my own particular case is that I'm small (though was planning on working with HITS). And of course, the ultimate purpose of the sponsorship is to make the product seem alluring and worth buying. But there must be a way to do both -- sell the product while also rewarding drug free rounds.

                              Any ideas?
                              Working with HITS??

                              Why would you want to do that?

                              Their finals is not USEF rated so no drug testing. You can give anything you want
                              with no worries. At least pick something that supports drug testing.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #35
                                Originally posted by S A McKee View Post
                                Working with HITS??

                                Why would you want to do that?

                                Their finals is not USEF rated so no drug testing. You can give anything you want
                                with no worries. At least pick something that supports drug testing.
                                Forgive me, I don't show hunter/jumpers so don't know the fine points of the various shows. As to why I want to work with them, they are in my backyard (Saugerties) and we have to stay within NY state to start as each state regulates alcohol differently so we'll be limited to selling in NY for the first phase of our launch.

                                Can you think of a better NY show (or series) that you think would be a better fit?
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                                • #36
                                  My job is to provide sponsorship to horse shows. I honestly can't think of any A or AA shows that would touch this. I could however be wrong, won't be the first time. But I can tell you the big A-AA shows I represent won't touch it. To many possible legal issues attached to this type of thing.

                                  First off, the testing of each winning horse? How, who, when do the results come back. What is horse tests positive or a false positive? Are you going to publicly vilify the rider? trainer? If a false positive how about re-testing? You could ruin someone's reputation due to this! You could also end up with a huge law suit against you the sponsor and possibly the show's deeper pockets. I would think that blood draws would be the only way to do this right?

                                  I could see this 'maybe' working at the lower B-C levels but not at the upper levels. I would think a very serious set of rules would have to be established and have rider's sign it along with their trainers.

                                  This is a wonderful idea in theory, however making it happen at those levels could be fraught with too many problems.
                                  Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!!

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #37
                                    Brookes, I agree with you -- I do not think any show is going to want to have a holier-than-thou division/team implying that everyone else is scum -- let alone the legal issues you mentioned.

                                    Because of these issues, and the image I'd want to project (that is, NOT holier-than-thou and only focused on the drugs issue) my thought today is to figure out a way to reward competitors that do it all themselves (that is, manage to compete w/o an entourage).

                                    So today's question is: are there enough people that show at A shows in this category?

                                    I don't think all the sponsorship needs to be at well known shows, but some certainly does.
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                                    • #38
                                      They are out there. Find a hungry hard working kid and sponsor them. Honestly, who cares if it is a vodka company sponsoring a Junior or a just aged out rider? Bars sponsor Little League teams. Help pay some entries, give them a saddle pad to use and promote your rider with the can do attitude. And if you give the long suffering, trailer driving parent a bottle of vodka that would be great too!

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        You can sponsor me...

                                        As soon as VA is eligible. I'm old enough x2+ and do the jumpers...
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                                        • #40
                                          I'm slightly confused as to where the NON-drug free divisions are?

                                          Isn't there a fee on every single entry to pay for random drug testing?

                                          My understanding of the drug problem was that the divisions are already SUPPOSED to be drug free, but people cheat. Not that the "hey, come one come all with your ace and your reserpine and your bute" divisions are the norm. It is my understanding that currently VETROLIN is already against the USEF rules (which whoops!, I blatantly used on my horse before I knew this), so it is not like it is just an unchecked free for all out there.

                                          I suspect that you will encounter the same enforcement issues that the normal divisions already do. I mean, is everyone just going to be on their honor that "well, for THIS division we didn't even give it a hock injection three months ago and we don't even feed Cosequin EVAR?"

                                          Are you looking for more restrictive drug rules than are already in place (for example, Legend being not allowed ever, and no SmartFlex either?), or somehow thinking your division will have better enforcement or more honest competitors who cross their heart and hope to die that they don't use untestables, or some combination of the two?
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