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Doping Takes Center Stage At USEF Convention

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  • gumshoe
    started a topic Doping Takes Center Stage At USEF Convention

    Doping Takes Center Stage At USEF Convention

    https://www.chronofhorse.com/article...sef-convention

    "But with the Times article, along with two ponies collapsing at USEF Pony Finals after injections and another horse dying on Dec. 1 after an injection at an Ohio show, the timeline for action has significantly speeded up. And Allen didn't spend long praising what had already been done."

  • gumshoe
    replied
    I WISH he had done something silly! Each rider said that he was perfect, just what she needed to get a confidence boost. "We'll be in touch" said each trainer. Then - nothing.

    I started to imagine the conversations the riders and trainers had in the car on their way home. "Sure, he's what you think you need. Just wait till that tranq wears off!"


    Originally posted by Ghazzu View Post
    I'd comment further, but mvp and Lucassb have pretty much said what I would.

    And gumshoe--years ago, when I was a barn manager, a friend/boarder had a horse she was trying to sell as a small jr hunter.
    The buyers came 3 times to try him out.
    3rd time he dumped the kid after she caught him in the mouth over 3 fences in a row.
    My friend was cringing, thinking that was the end of that.
    Instead, the buyers were ecstatic--they said "well, he must not be drugged!"

    Turns out they had been taken to the cleaners by former trainer who aced the kid's pony every time she rode it, and when they found out, they came very close to just quitting the sport.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dinah-do
    replied
    If you are unhappy showing and walk away you are doing management a big favor. There are always more warm bodies waiting for your stalls. Believe it or not.

    Please tell me people don't show on IV antibiotics!!!

    Leave a comment:


  • Horseymama
    replied
    Originally posted by MHM View Post
    I beg to differ.

    I'm not funding or endorsing the activities of anyone but myself. There IS a drug-testing system in place, and the drug fee I pay at every USEF show DOES go towards funding that system.

    Is the drug-testing system perfect? No. Does it need improvement? Yes.

    Is that more likely to be influenced by USEF members who get involved? Or by non-members who pack up and go elsewhere?

    We may have to agree to disagree on the answers to those last questions.

    In the meantime, I will still enjoy the horses, within the rules and with or without ribbons.
    I have to agree with this. I will continue showing as I quite enjoy it. (Although you are more likely to find me in the jumper ring.) I will remain a USEF member, AND I will keep complaining, too!

    Unfortunately, "voting with your feet" is not going to have any effect at all. Not unless there are about 20,000 people willing to do this all at once. (In which case, count me in). But until then, I would expect to be able to have more influence as a member than a non-member.

    Leave a comment:


  • mvp
    replied
    You all *do* have rational points and correctly point out that it's your "prerogative" to keep showing.

    But that doesn't mean that you look at the larger picture, even while you are being rational. Danceronice explains that better than I did.

    IMO, the drug problem in the hunters has been around forever, but seems to be reaching a tipping point right about now. I'd like the USEF to be more on top of that than the complainers like me are. As I say, I'd be psyched to start paying and playing again when they take effective steps toward correcting that.

    But as it stands now, there's just less and less to lose by not agreeing to show up and line the pockets of the industry. And really, show managers (a major constituency the USEF works for) does. not. care. whether the winners are cheating or not. Heck, they don't even care whether the contest the offer is fair. If people enter, they'll run the show... on whatever terms we all accept.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ghazzu
    replied
    I'd comment further, but mvp and Lucassb have pretty much said what I would.

    And gumshoe--years ago, when I was a barn manager, a friend/boarder had a horse she was trying to sell as a small jr hunter.
    The buyers came 3 times to try him out.
    3rd time he dumped the kid after she caught him in the mouth over 3 fences in a row.
    My friend was cringing, thinking that was the end of that.
    Instead, the buyers were ecstatic--they said "well, he must not be drugged!"

    Turns out they had been taken to the cleaners by former trainer who aced the kid's pony every time she rode it, and when they found out, they came very close to just quitting the sport.

    Leave a comment:


  • gumshoe
    replied
    The druggers are affecting more than just the horse shows. I recently leased my hunter out. Many people came to try him. He's a very nice 3' hunter, VERY laid back, unflappable, great brain. After several tried him, liked him, then dropped off the face of the earth I started to wonder if they were sure he had been drugged when they tried him.

    The person who finally leased him came more than once to try him. He was thoroughly vetted prior to them signing the lease. Two blood samples were taken. One for coggins and I imagine the other for tox, although that was never disclosed to me.

    Moral of the story: If you have a *genuinely* quiet hunter, stuff him full of grain in the weeks prior to anyone trying him so they won't think he's drugged.

    Leave a comment:


  • MHM
    replied
    Originally posted by MMF View Post
    MHM I think no matter how many rational points we make the people on this thread will come up with reasons we should (in their minds) stop showing, not worth my time it's a shame they derailed the thread!
    Eh. Again, it's a free country and everyone's entitled to an opinion.

    Leave a comment:


  • MMF
    replied
    MHM I think no matter how many rational points we make the people on this thread will come up with reasons we should (in their minds) stop showing, not worth my time it's a shame they derailed the thread!

    Leave a comment:


  • MHM
    replied
    MMF, were we separated at birth?

    Leave a comment:


  • MHM
    replied
    Originally posted by danceronice View Post
    Except...there are people who DON'T play by the rules, and you're funding and endorsing their behavior with your presence. You're acknowledging the system as legit, when it clearly is not. It's not just a matter of whether you're there for a ribbon or not, it's agreeing to participate in a corrupt system.
    I beg to differ.

    I'm not funding or endorsing the activities of anyone but myself. There IS a drug-testing system in place, and the drug fee I pay at every USEF show DOES go towards funding that system.

    Is the drug-testing system perfect? No. Does it need improvement? Yes.

    Is that more likely to be influenced by USEF members who get involved? Or by non-members who pack up and go elsewhere?

    We may have to agree to disagree on the answers to those last questions.

    In the meantime, I will still enjoy the horses, within the rules and with or without ribbons.

    Leave a comment:


  • MMF
    replied
    Well danceronice I will agree to disagree with you!
    I'm not going to stop showing because some do it in a way I don't agree with and it's my perogative to keep showing! And if a few think by not renewing their USEF membership is going to really affect USEFs bottom line your kidding yourself because I would bet they are getting more and more members daily, but that is your choice and I wish you the best of luck in your path forward!

    Leave a comment:


  • danceronice
    replied
    Originally posted by MHM View Post
    I don't look at it that way.

    I spend my money to challenge myself and my horse in a show environment. If we have great rounds, fantastic. If we win ribbons, it's icing on the cake. If we have terrible rounds, it's less fantastic. If we win ribbons with terrible rounds, that doesn't make me feel any better about the terrible rounds. So the ribbons don't dictate my enjoyment either way.

    There are plenty of people out there with more money and more horses and more resources than I have, and also some people with fewer scruples. I don't let any of those people spoil my fun.

    Others can spend their money or not as they see fit. Free country, and all that.
    Except...there are people who DON'T play by the rules, and you're funding and endorsing their behavior with your presence. You're acknowledging the system as legit, when it clearly is not. It's not just a matter of whether you're there for a ribbon or not, it's agreeing to participate in a corrupt system. The point isn't that people are winning by breaking the rules to the point you almost HAVE to cheat to realistically compete with them, it's that win or lose they are permitted to break the rules with wrist-slap penalties at most (if they're penalized at all) and the responsible governing bodies *do not care.* Yes, bad enough that you're automatically at a disadvantage because you're honest, but the more important point is the system's reached the point of winking and nodding at the cheaters. Participating in it is endorsement. You're giving them your money and following their rules (more than some) and basically admitting you know it's crooked, but you aren't upset enough about it to leave. Even if you would come in out of the ribbons anyway, even if the person giving the horse sixteen different injections and hoping the testers don't pick them comes in fifth instead of first, the fact that the people ultimately running the show don't really care about the rules and think an open-book test is an appropriate response is the important part.

    The more the good people keep telling themselves "It's not about ribbons so it doesn't matter if I lose to the cheaters as long as I feel I had a good round" and therefore keep shelling out the bucks, the less-inclined the people responsible will be to doing anything to enforce their own rules, let alone rewrite them so horses aren't Dr. Feelgood's pincushions any more.

    Leave a comment:


  • busylady
    replied
    Originally posted by mvp View Post
    And another thing!

    Not happy with the way this Pharmaceutically Level Playing Field "cheats" clean owners with respect to trainers.

    IME, those of us who play clean and accept a head shake in the corner are simply wallpaper to fiercer competitors who will take the same type of horse and drug it down to perfection. Do you think the likes of Mandarino (or Scott Stewart for that matter) cares if you spend your trip "clean" and out of the ribbons? It makes no different to them that you do it your way and ethically.

    Also, I think those Competitive trainers see a HO like me as "quaint." The old ones who have gotten tired of the racket find me a fun owner and rider to teach. But they have to be able to afford that.

    The young trainer trying to make her mark? She might agree with my way of doing things, but runs up against that new "level playing field" and just can't afford to be the purist that you or I can be. What do we have to offer these young pros who don't want to cheat but can't make a living if they don't?
    Has Stewart been caught using calming drugs? If USEF had a searchable databased I could answer my own question (hint, hint - USEF are you listening). There are many posts on the COTH forums that imply he uses drugs to create that calm, lope around and jump huge winning round; but the only violations I am aware of are stacking NSAIDs or something of that nature (please correct me if I'm wrong). His clients are all very well heeled so I have always assumed the horses he has are the one-in-a-million quiet types that actually cost a million bucks and that they don't need a cocktail to make them quiet.

    Leave a comment:


  • justathought
    replied
    Originally posted by mvp View Post
    ........

    The young trainer trying to make her mark? She might agree with my way of doing things, but runs up against that new "level playing field" and just can't afford to be the purist that you or I can be. What do we have to offer these young pros who don't want to cheat but can't make a living if they don't?
    I raised this issue earlier in the saying " I know a number of young up and coming professionals who are questioning their career choice and their involvement in this sport because of what they have seen in the "treatment of horses". As young professionals they would prefer to work for established professionals and apprentice their way .... However, that means being at the least complicit in some of the drugging we are discussing here at many barns. On their own, they can run their programs the way they want but without personal resources its a very difficult road."

    The truth is right now the there is not much to offer young professionals who want to do it the right way -- not much in the way of apprenticeships where there values will not be undermined, not much in the way of building a reputation by bringing along young horses clean and making a name for themselves, and not much in the way of support from the organization that should be behind clean showing.

    Many have lamented the loss of the true horseman -- and yet the systems keep telling young would be professionals that the true horseman is not that valued

    The effect of drugging is negative and pervasive.

    Leave a comment:


  • mvp
    replied
    Originally posted by MMF View Post
    MVP you definitely are blunt! I understand that there is a problem, I just don't think that getting angry on here is going to help you or the situation.

    MHM thanks for the kind comments! I'm glad others are enjoying their horses as much as I enjoy riding and showing mine
    Done and done. I did not renew my USEF membership this year, and I won't until they get some D&M rules with teeth.

    The reason I do post here is because so many people have what I consider to be limited and ineffectual justifications for continuing to participate.

    It's not clear to me that anything the rank-n-file can do will change the USEF.... until we deprive people who care of money. Lots of folks just don't want to personally go that far. I get it.

    Leave a comment:


  • MMF
    replied
    Well said MHM!

    Leave a comment:


  • MHM
    replied
    Originally posted by mvp View Post
    Yabbut, along the way, your dollars are making it possible for cheaters to do their form of Business as usual.
    I don't look at it that way.

    I spend my money to challenge myself and my horse in a show environment. If we have great rounds, fantastic. If we win ribbons, it's icing on the cake. If we have terrible rounds, it's less fantastic. If we win ribbons with terrible rounds, that doesn't make me feel any better about the terrible rounds. So the ribbons don't dictate my enjoyment either way.

    There are plenty of people out there with more money and more horses and more resources than I have, and also some people with fewer scruples. I don't let any of those people spoil my fun.

    Others can spend their money or not as they see fit. Free country, and all that.

    Leave a comment:


  • mvp
    replied
    And another thing!

    Not happy with the way this Pharmaceutically Level Playing Field "cheats" clean owners with respect to trainers.

    IME, those of us who play clean and accept a head shake in the corner are simply wallpaper to fiercer competitors who will take the same type of horse and drug it down to perfection. Do you think the likes of Mandarino (or Scott Stewart for that matter) cares if you spend your trip "clean" and out of the ribbons? It makes no different to them that you do it your way and ethically.

    Also, I think those Competitive trainers see a HO like me as "quaint." The old ones who have gotten tired of the racket find me a fun owner and rider to teach. But they have to be able to afford that.

    The young trainer trying to make her mark? She might agree with my way of doing things, but runs up against that new "level playing field" and just can't afford to be the purist that you or I can be. What do we have to offer these young pros who don't want to cheat but can't make a living if they don't?

    Leave a comment:


  • MMF
    replied
    MVP you definitely are blunt! I understand that there is a problem, I just don't think that getting angry on here is going to help you or the situation.

    MHM thanks for the kind comments! I'm glad others are enjoying their horses as much as I enjoy riding and showing mine

    Leave a comment:

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