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  • Well said, Weatherford. You distilled it down to the essence, and with admirable precision!



    • Hopefully Portia, this has been posted on the AHSA site. But, they went over the time frame in which the decision would be handled. Asked about the deficit of the USET, of which neither Armand nor Eric would comment on. Alan also wanted the athelete's to know that they would be protected & funded. Bill Rouse, council to the AHSA was on the line as well. In essence what Weatherford posted seemed to be the jeist. It was a chance for the USET to respond, but they would not. Alan said he thought there were about 100 listening in on this call. They also had the "Media" on as well and they could question after the meeting. Will be interested to read some of the news accounts of this conference. Personally, I felt this was a wonderful idea. Allowing members to see how the AHSA can work for them.


      • I admit, I have hopped in and out of this thread sporadically, so my question may have been answered...

        But, my question is this: Has anyone asked the "active riders" who signed the petition WHY they feel that the USET's position is the better one?

        So far I have seen virtually NO REASON to prefer the USET's position over the AHSA's. But some people obviously do. I would be interested in hearing their arguments (as opposed to the lame statements and lengthy silences from Armand Leone.)

        Or to phrase it another way: Is there any reason, other than "politics", that these 100+ riders signed the petition?
        "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism"

        Charles Krauthammer speaking about Trump


        • That's one question we may never hear an answer to. We've heard hints that those parties are worried about losing sponsorship. It would be nice if someone would speak to that.


          • USET call

            vote of USET board was 21-4-4 (for-against-abstain)

            Leone complained that uset had nominated to represent US equestrians to (oops didn't write that down) 1) Finn Casperson 2)Eric Strauss 3) Robert Dover - that AHSA had refused to confirm.

            When asked whether the organizations that represent the international disciplines (USDF, USCTA, etc) supported the USET position Leone said that they were remaining neutral as they would have to work with whichever group prevailed but that none had voice objections to the uset plan

            AHSA call

            Had sent to executive board a proposed budget that took into account getting nothing from USET, having to hire people to fill international and fundraising positions, etc. Exec board voted - Leone and Strauss abstained.

            They will spend 8 million in 4 years for the international area - front loaded expenditures due to hiring, etc.

            Balch was asked how the AHSAs plan compared to the USETs expenditures - his response was the he had no way to compare as he had not been able to get the figures from the USET (I think that it was Leone that asked this)>

            Attorney Bill ____ (sorry, missed his last name) read a resolution that would allow AHSA to defend itself against the challenge to its NGB status. Tom Struzzeri asked to have clarified that AHSA would only defend in lawsuits and not bring them itself. He was reassured that this was the case. Vote taked: Leone and Strauss voted against.

            After the exec board meeting was adjourned they stayed on the line to answer questions from others.

            At this point I was interrupted and missed the Q&A session.

            [This message was edited by SGray on Feb. 23, 2001 at 10:42 AM.]
            Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

            The reports states, “Elizabeth reported that she accidently put down this pony, ........, at the show.”


            • Dear Ms.Gray,

              Thank you for taking the time to listen in, and to comment as you have. Your
              commitment to the sport is very important. Everyone who loves horses, as we
              do, needs to be involved in this matter as much as possible. One of the
              important things to remember is that we do not seek to inhibit or prevent the
              USET from performing any of its historic functions. But those functions must
              be performed within the framework the law provides, and preferably as part of
              a consolidated NGB which would include everyone.

              Thank you again.

              Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

              The reports states, “Elizabeth reported that she accidently put down this pony, ........, at the show.”


              • Hey, I may have missed it somewhere along the line... but did Jimmy Wofford's comments ever get posted on the Ultimate Dressage board?


                • "No..i have been swamped with many deadlines at day job & "night job" and just can't find the free time to write up our conversation inbetween..I have notes from phone conversation, just not the free time, sorry."

                  but - Wofford was present at the executive committee conference call - he corrected a date given in the resolution (for sure I heard: Balch, Leone, Strauss, Struzzieri, Wofford and Bill Pennington - I'm pretty sure that I heard David O'Connor and Linda Allen).
                  Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

                  The reports states, “Elizabeth reported that she accidently put down this pony, ........, at the show.”


                  • but an even bigger part of why the athletes sign these things is that many of them either don't know what all the ramifications are, or don't understand it! Option three? They don't want to understand it or even get involved.

                    This is not meant to be an insult to our athletes, but in many cases they are experts at what they do as their career - but ONLY at what they do.

                    They are stars as young riders, stars after their junior years, reasonably proficient at starting their own fledgling business. As time goes by, they are able to either establish syndicates for high-ticket horses or run large lesson barns and compete on an international level - or maybe a combination of all of the above - but that is primarily it.

                    The horse business, due to the nature of the commodity involved, is very specialized. It isn't like running IBM or even the local branch bank or whatever. It is often said that a CEO who can run IBM can usually hop over and become CEO of Ford Motors, for example... and to a large degree that's true. A decent CEO is a decent CEO at that level. One bank branch manager is pretty much like another. But this "sameness" is not necessarily so in the horse industry.

                    The majority of our athletes have never been involved in "big business", they do not sit on the boards of large corporations or public non-profit institutions. (And let me say this clearly and unapologetically - sitting on the board of the AHSA and especially on the board of the USET is not like "real life boards. So the athletes who sit on those boards are still unprepared for "real life" board issues.)

                    The business experience of our athletes is not extensive, and most of them don't want to be bogged down in all those facts and figures. They just want to do what they do best... ride and compete and win and - yes - make lots of money either in competition or by wheeling an dealing.

                    As has been mentioned before, David O'Connor is a wonderful example of a star athlete who HAS taken the time to understand the facts, and who is not afraid to speak out. "Yes, yes, of course he can speak out", people say, "He's at the top of his form, a medal winner, etc. etc.". But David could have opted to stick his head in the sand and NOT speak out. He could have brushed it aside. He's not the only one who has taken an interest in the pithy issues, but he does stand out because he has expressed his opinions in such a lucid and cogent way.

                    I am not supportive of the USET plan. And there are things I don't like regarding the AHSA plan, but my support lies with the AHSA plan. There is no comparison to me in the way in which both plans have been presented.

                    I listened in on the conference call yesterday.... the difference in how the call was handled by Alan Balch as compared to how the minute responses from both Mr. Leone and Mr. Straus was staggering. Either Mr(s). Leone and Straus didn't know why they were dissenting or had some esoteric reason why they were dissenting.... because they certainly did not elaborate in any fashion. The brevity of their answers was noted by all, and I personally got a chuckle at how negative, churlish and sullen their few syllables came across. They were given every opportunity to fully participate, but chose not to be to any large degree. Operative words: They CHOSE not to!

                    Money - and more importantly - the APPROPRIATE use of large sums of money for these top-level athletes is what much of this furor is about!

                    Inherent in the appropriate use of these funds is having the appropriate oversight of said funds. Why is the USET so concerned about AHSA oversight? If the USET is so top-flight at managing all of this and takes such diligent fiscal care of these monies, why wouldn't they welcome the AHSA oversight - and better yet - use it as an opportunity to impress the AHSA (as the NGB) at how well they can handle this responsibility?

                    Sorry for the digression..... Anyway, the athletes must cease this "I don't want to get involved with all that..." mentality. Too much of "all that" is all about them! Their ostrich act grows old.....

                    (Disclaimer: I hereby attest that I am fully aware that my opinion is worth less that the price of a cup of green tea.....LOL) [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

                    [This message was edited by woodbern on Feb. 23, 2001 at 11:10 AM.]


                    • Yep, I can't take the idea that I could attend this meeting tomorrow reasonably easily, with a 2 1/2 hour drive to San Antonio, and not do it.

                      So, I've decided to reschedule the kids' appointments with the equine chiro/massage therapist, and I'm going to the USOC Meeting tomorrow. I'll try to take good notes!
                      "I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry


                      • The USET says it is not interested in those of us at the bottom, so to speak. Yet, to be NGB, they have to organize all the horse sports at all levels, meaning little me at the bottom.

                        The USET hasn't fielded many Olympic winners lately, the area in which it claims expertise.

                        Since I want,
                        1)my needs, as one of those little people, addressed and
                        2)A winning Olympic team

                        Why woud I support the USET?

                        Is there anyone here supporting the USET position who can answer my question?


                        • Okay all you folks let's send her gas money (and hotel money if she has to stay the night)

                          She doesn't have to give out her address - we could send it to her care-of her barn.
                          Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

                          The reports states, “Elizabeth reported that she accidently put down this pony, ........, at the show.”


                          • Portia, thank you for taking time out of your weekend and time with your horses to attend the USOC meeting. The more "up-close-and-personal" information that is available, the more many of us will feel we have enough information to form useful opinions and to express them.

                            So far, I think I'm with the AHSA on this one. Did you all see the COTH ad with the athletes names' endorsing the USET plan? I remember an earlier thread on it here, or maybe it was something written on towerheads, that explained that athletes weren't told exactly what they were agreeing to, or weren't told about alternatives or something. Anyone else know where to find this?


                            • I can't stand not being there to see it first hand. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] And I don't need gas or hotel money, though thank you for the offer [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] - my little Audi A-4 gets good mileage, and I'm driving over in the am and back in the afternoon. As you know S.Grey, it's not a bad drive as traveling around Texas goes. And I know my way around downtown San Antonio and have stayed at the hotel where the meeting is being held many times.

                              I guess I should also make a disclosure -- I've been invited to join two AHSA committees, the Hearings Committee and the Legal Review Committee, and I'm going to accept the invitations. I don't know if that makes me part of the establishment or not -- but then several people on the USET are AHSA board members, so I guess being on a couple of committees doesn't disqualify me from telling people what happens at the meeting and offering my opinion on it. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]
                              "I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry


                              • AHSA Approves Budget Supplement Insuring International Athlete Support,
                                Defense Against USET Challenge

                                A special meeting of the American Horse Shows Association (AHSA) Executive
                                Committee was held late on February 22, 2001. Its members voted to approve
                                a supplement to the 2001 budget of approximately $3.5 million, immediately
                                responding to any threat to international athlete funding support that might
                                be caused by the United States Equestrian Team's move to challenge the
                                AHSA's historic status as National Governing Body (NGB) for Equestrian

                                The special meeting was triggered by a USET trustees telephone conference
                                earlier in the day. USET trustees were advised by Vice Chairman Armand
                                Leone, Jr., that he and Chairman Finn M.W. Caspersen had already signed and
                                submitted a formal challenge of the AHSA's status to the United States
                                Olympic Committee (USOC) without seeking advance approval of the trustees.
                                Upon a motion by USET trustee James Wofford that the USET officers
                                immediately take steps to rescind the challenge, Leone ruled the motion out
                                of order without waiting for a second. During the ensuing discussion, Leone
                                stated that he had been "forced" to commence this litigation since the
                                AHSA/USET Operating Agreement is due to expire Sunday evening, February 25,
                                2001. AHSA president Alan F. Balch, who is also a USET trustee, asked Leone
                                why the expiration of the Operating Agreement should cause this action,
                                since the USET grew for 46 years without such an agreement with the AHSA.
                                Leone had stated that the USET could not rely on the "whim" of the AHSA's
                                oversight of its activities. At the conclusion of the meeting, Leone
                                accepted a motion by trustee Dorothy A. Matz to endorse the challenge. It
                                passed by a wide margin, but with 4 abstentions and 4 votes against.

                                The AHSA Executive Committee meeting was noticed to all members of the AHSA
                                Board of Directors, affiliates, athlete leadership, and equestrian media,
                                who were invited to attend the teleconference. The budget supplement was
                                approved on the recommendation of the AHSA Budget and Finance Committee,
                                which had met immediately upon the conclusion of the USET trustees meeting.
                                The supplement approved will authorize investment for new efforts in
                                marketing and development, including staff hiring, to raise the needed
                                funds. The overall budget as approved now forecasts a deficit for the 2001
                                fiscal year of approximately $17,000 in a total budget of about $15.6
                                million. The new expenditures will be devoted to international athlete
                                programs and competition, and additional hiring which may be necessary in
                                that area, should the USET withdraw support. Balch emphasized that he saw
                                no reason for the USET to do so, since the AHSA as NGB had always welcomed
                                support by any approved affiliate organization to support international
                                competition efforts for the United States. The USET has historically filled
                                such a role.

                                A sweeping resolution was also passed by the Executive Committee authorizing
                                the AHSA officers to take any necessary steps to defend the AHSA against the
                                formal challenge by the USET filed with the USOC.

                                Following the meeting, Balch said, "I want to repeat how disappointed we all
                                are that the USET has chosen to take this approach to the sport's
                                governance, as well as by its tone in doing so. But the AHSA has been
                                tested many times over the decades in protecting the whole sport in the USA,
                                and has always had the ability to do it effectively. We will continue to
                                welcome the USET's assistance in supporting our country's international
                                athletes, if they choose to offer it. A formal challenge can be filed, and
                                it can also be withdrawn at some point. We continue to believe that a
                                consolidation of the sport's important governance functions, international,
                                national, and administrative, is best for its long term health, and we also
                                believe the law requires it. We'll go forward this weekend to the USOC
                                Membership Committee with these ideas, while seeing to it that the rights
                                and opportunities of all equestrian athletes are protected and funded
                                without interruption. The USOC's procedures for resolving such formal
                                challenges as the USET has filed will be followed in every respect."


                                • Here's the link to the thread on the USET ad in the COTH --
                                  "I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry


                                  • re "I guess I should also make a disclosure -- I've been invited to join two AHSA committees, the Hearings Committee and the Legal Review Committee"

                                    I don't know how the AHSA became aware of J but I applaud both their decision and hers.
                                    Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

                                    The reports states, “Elizabeth reported that she accidently put down this pony, ........, at the show.”


                                    • see http://www.chronofhorse.com/features...nges_ahsa.html
                                      Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

                                      The reports states, “Elizabeth reported that she accidently put down this pony, ........, at the show.”


                                      • Thanks Again, S., that's very kind of you.

                                        The AHSA became aware of me through what started here on these boards a year or so ago! These boards introduced me to a whole range of issues I'd never been aware of before, and politicized me about the governance of the sport.

                                        Snowbird asked me to look at the AHSA Rules to answer a question she had about rules amendments, and it took me 4 hours to find the right provisions in the rulebook. I thought if it takes a lawyer who is used to working with complex regulatory schemes 4 hours to find an answer to a relatively simple question, something is wrong in the way the rules are organized. I also figured that, given I have the necessary professional skills to suggest improvements, I couldn't bitch about unless I made some effort to try to fix it. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] So that set me off on my entirely unilateral and unsanctioned AHSA rules reorganization project.

                                        I assumed it couldn't possibly succeed and would be rejected as soon as the AHSA saw it, and then I would be free to bitch about the AHSA to my heart's content. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] However, Linda Allen saw the rules reorganization project mentioned here, and contacted me to offer her support. (Boy, was I floored by her offer!) So I did a proposal for reorganizing the rules, and rewrote several chapters of the rule book as an example. Linda showed it to some people and it got great support from various people on the Executive Committee and from counsel for the AHSA. Hopefully it will be implemented along with the big changes that are inevitable with the events concerning the NGB status. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

                                        So, that's how I came to the attention of the AHSA. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] I'm as amazed as anyone. But it is, I think, an excellent example of the AHSA management's interest in getting the grassroots people involved in issues affecting the sport and in making decisions regarding those issues. They really do seem to appreciate an offer of help when it's given even from a little adult amateur with a couple of horses out in Texas. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]
                                        "I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry


                                        • Portia, YOU SAID IT! Grassroots people are the base that makes up the bulk of the AHSA. We need people like you who are well grounded in reality.

                                          I have not been able to follow all of this issue due to constraints on my computer time, but this board seems to be well versed and I am going to print out and review this issue.

                                          I primarily work in show management as I am not currently an active rider. I shudder to think what the loss of AHSA will do to the average show. Managing one is hard enough, even with AHSA help. Cant imagine starting the system over.
                                          -- * > hoopoe
                                          Procrastinate NOW
                                          Introverted Since 1957