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Kanavy v. Balch... Round 1

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  • It just doesn't seem to matter how the MEMBERS feel about this one either side. Yes we hear and read statements by some board members and people at the top of the sport but by and large - the majority of members are forced into silence. This is so wrong. I have to believe afters speaking with many other horse people that if a referendum were held with ALL members voting in both organizations - it would pass with a huge majority that we want this ended now - NO MORE LEGAL COSTS - NO MORE STREET FIGHTING BETWEEN EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS - AND NO MORE BAD PRESS


    • Ilona, awhile back, some time during the Strategic Planning Intiative process or shortly after the USET filed the official NGB Challenge, the AHSA did send out an official request to the entire membership that they please let the organization know how they feel, what they wanted the organization to do, and what plan of action they supported with respect to the AHSA merged organization proposal versus the USET as NGB goverining all the other organizations beneath it.

      As I understand it, the AHSA got several hundred e-mail responses to the request. That is, of course, only several hundred out of a membership of some 8000+.

      USA Eq recognizes the need to communicate with the members and is trying to take advantage of new technology to do so -- that's why it had the mid-year board meeting broadcast over the internet, and had the Town Meeting on Marketing just this Monday also broadcast on the internet. That was just the start of a whole series of such Town Meetings, and they have a special e-mail address for input before, during, or after the meetings -- townmeeting@ahsa.org

      Yes, they can always improve communication and feedback, and God knows they have needed to do so. I see USA Eq making a real effort in this regard, however, not just now for the sake of looking good to the USOC, but it started a couple of years ago and has grown. The NGB challenge may end up having a silver lining after all, since it has forced many needed changes to occur that would have taken a long time otherwise, just due to organizational inertia.
      "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 AHSA Equestrian does have an Organization chart now and pretty clealy defined roles and guidelines. All of which have been created and implemented in the past five years.

        They also have a pretty comprehensive Conflict of Interest statement that must be filled out and signed by all employees, Committee members, and Trustees.

        Problem is, SOME people don't seem to think this is very important, and do not even fill the forms out correctly. I was told by one of these people that the form is nothing but a way for someone else to "get him". HUH?? Conflict of interest statements MUST (by law) be filled out (correctly) by politicians, executives, as well as people volunteering for and working for non-profit organizations. Monetary conflicts are especially important to have in the open to prevent mis-use of power and bad publicity.
        co-author of 101 Jumping Exercises & The Rider's Fitness Program; Soon to come: Dead Ringer - a tale of equine mystery and intrique! Former Moderator!


        • re NHJC problem with Conflict of Interest signatory

          Weatherford - how about writing to the leaders of the other disciplines (usdf, former uscta {can't recall current name off the top of my head}, the organizations for western, saddleseat, arabian, etc) to ask for a copy of their Conflict of Interest statements for comparison?
          Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

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


          • The real problem is that the NHJC is a part of USA Equestrian, therefore the Federation is responsible for them. The other associations were established independently by members from the ground up. Since they are independent they are autonomous and responsible for their own actions.

            The NHJC was started as a committee of the Federation because the hunter/jumper issues took up
            almost the whole agenda. The idea was that this committee would be able to handle the issues and then make recommendations.

            It was a well intentioned idea, but I think poorly formulated because they had not considered the incestuous business relationships of those on the committees. Add to that name recognition and a poor system for meetings, accountibility and membership it bears no relationship the the members they should represent.

            The other big issue is that USA Equestrian asked that there be Amateurs on the Zone Committees, and the NHJC was horrifed. You may have read about the plans to revise the By-Laws of the NHJC so those things could be corrected. Those items are still on the agenda for the next convention.

            You might want to read our proposals posted on http://www.hunterjumper.org.

            It is evident that at least in Zone 2, everyone on the committee only is involved with the AA Shows either as an Officials, Manager or employee. There is no representation of the mass of members who compete at C/B/A Shows as amateurs, management, or officials.
            http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


            • Snowbird

              it truly sounds as if h/j needs a new, grass-roots organization - to become the h/j equivilant of the usea, the udsf, etc

              bottom-up as opposed to top-down
              Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

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


              • That's the reason we went to all the trouble of revising the By-Laws of the NHJC. The reconstruction of the Committees and the the limitation of terms as well as mandating more appropriate meeting places and times seemed the best first step.

                While USA Equestrian had respect for our efforts and I did get to address the Board of the then AHSA on each issue the NHJC refused to consider or discuss almost all of them and then further when I attended the meeting of the Board of Governors of the NHJC my representative association I was denied any opportunity to answer on any of the issues. The meeting was essentially closed for any comment as the Board of Governors were manipulated to accept all of the decisions of Mr.Struzerri. In spite of the fact that there was a unanimous support for the one issue that of the New Jersey problem it was summarily dismissed by Mr.Struzerri. Later I received a letter saying that although the New Jersey show managers were in total agreement it wouldn't get done.

                That is not a democracy in action, and that is not an association that represents any members in my personal opinion. And, I will not be silenced by fear of retaliation or retribution against me for my efforts.
                http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


                • Actually, Ilona, a while back I took a look at the AHSA/USAE website and saw the stuff from back in February which they sent to the USOC, apparently. It has a very clear org chart and plan.

                  And one of the other posters is right: they HAVE asked for member feedback, and they apparently have done research, too, if I heard right on the webcast of the Board meeting in July.


                  • perhaps my real concern is when this is resolved by the USOC - and we know it will be - there is a finality to this - how does the NGB go forward. Can we go forward with anyone at the helm who was involved in the battle?? I feel the wounds are too deep and too painful and at the point of resolution a new individual must be selected to lead the NGB forward to bring the fractured parties together. JMHO but that's how I see this.


                    • I have no doubt that those people who did the work and accomplished the tasks are so dedicated that they will do it equally well whether their check is sign USA Equestrian or USET. They are dedicated to their mission.

                      I have no doubt that the members of the Federation will be happy to welcome them back once the USOC resolves this dilemma. We might lose soem officials from the Board who will not be accountable to anyone. We might lose some who thought that their position on the USET was an entitlement. We will not lose the athletes.

                      It may have a new structure regarding candidates and their horses. That will be for the better, I still remeber reading an article awhile back by a potential Team Member who said that if he made it to the Team he would be riding for himself and not for the USA. That kind of attitude will have to go unrewarded.
                      http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


                      • <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Snowbird:
                        I have no doubt that those people who did the work and accomplished the tasks are so dedicated that they will do it equally well whether their check is sign USA Equestrian or USET.


                        Does the AHSA's plan spell out what will happen to USET's staff, should the Team's challenge fail?

                        Specifically, what will happen to the discipline directors and assistant directors in Gladstone since the AHSA already has virtually the same titles in KY?

                        Thank you.


                        • The USA Equestrian and AHSA combined have bent over backwards to create a merger of the two so it could be done. My personal guess it that if it turns out the USET is just too stubborn to concede when they lose this challenge that any employees and staff members who want to continue with the Fed will have that opportunity.

                          WHY? Simply because it makes sense. There has been no indication that the current plans of the Fed include any vendetta or punishment for anyone. It is the USET doing the name calling and making the threats and nasty plans.

                          I'll bet if they sent up some trial balloons they would be very pleasntly surprised. At this point it's too bad people in this sport don't have the agent system because for sure their agents would have already made contact and have a deal.
                          http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


                          • <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Snowbird:

                            WHY? Simply because it makes sense. There has been no indication that the current plans of the Fed include any vendetta or punishment for anyone. It is the USET doing the name calling and making the threats and nasty plans.


                            Forgetting about HISTORY's "name calling, threats and nasty plans" for a moment - it's not a vendetta, or punishment when pink-slips are passed out after a merger; especially if there are duplications of job titles. In this case, people are definitely going to lose their jobs.

                            My guess nobody has brought this up before because it doesn't make any sense - for the two organizations to have people with the same titles - IF they're doing the same job...

                            Of course, it makes even less sense for either of these two organizations to be hiring additional staff (or independent contractors when announcing plans for another version of the Festival of Champions (see other thread)) - until they've heard from the USOC: that's just positioning and it's plain wrong.

                            Still, it's a good question, what does USA Equestrian propose to do with the staff "doing all the work" for those over-paid USET executives (is Balch on record anywhere)? I think we've all got a pretty good idea what's going to happen to the six figure a year bunch! They'll have a tough time staying now even if USET wins.


                            • 1) The American Equestrian Games concept differs from the Festival of Champions in that the KY facility is big enough (and growing as we 'speak') and it's ideally suited to host a full-on, spectator friendly multidisciple Games. Sadly, Gladstone is no longer

                              2) Understand that USA Equestrian is MANDATED by the Challenge process, that was initiated by the USET, to DEMONSTRATE the means by which it will handle fund-raising, sponsorship, and promotion of the sport, entirely INDEPENDANTLY of the USET if need be, since the Challenge (by definition) pits one organization's abilities AGAINST the other. The USOC beseeched both sides to find another way of going about reaching a single NGB state from October until the USET ended the SPI process.

                              BECAUSE the Team has been unwilling to discuss finding a means of consolidation of the two existing organizations that would allow the sport as a whole to benefit from the history and expertise from both, USA Equestrian has been left with only two choices: taking all necessary steps to successfully defend its existing NGB status; or, handing the reins of all aspects of governing Equestrian sport over to an organization that, with each passing day, looks less prepared to deal with what it's been doing, let alone take on all the other requirements such as licensed officials, date sanctioning, rule making and enforcement, and a D & M program.

                              Unnecessary duplication of services (and the costs involved) is never in the best interest of the membership paying for them - so some duplicate positions may no longer exist. But we all know how hard it is to find good staff who are earning their salaries. In the NF that emerges from all this strife, I will venture that there will be plenty of work for ANYONE who wants to take a part in seeing the sport they care about successfully enter the new century.

                              Linda Allen

                              [This message was edited by Linda Allen on Sep. 09, 2001 at 03:23 PM.]
                              Linda Allen


                              • Regarding point #1: On "The NJ Court has ruled for USA Equestrian" thread, DMK and I mentioned that the Festival could be held at a number of other locations including CA, KY, Conyers, Wellington, etc.

                                So, no matter how you slice it, USA Equestrian appears to be trying to reinvent the concept, hang their name on it, and put the wheels in motion just before the hearings. Shrewd move really, but let's call it what it is and hope Doubleday isn't giving up his show manager job at the Pennsylvania National until AFTER the hearings.

                                Regarding point #2: Ok, plenty of room for "ANYONE who wants to take a part in seeing the sport they care about successfully enter the new century," unless you currently hold one of those duplicate positions: then your out of luck and better be talking to a recruiter right now (or for snowbird's benefit, let's call them agents).

                                It's a real shame that, from what you say, those over-paid execs insist on rolling the dice with their staff's livlihoods instead of seeking compromise.

                                I'll say this about your post, it really gets to the heart of the entire dispute, and what the USOC should be really be most concerned with:

                                Can USET "deal with what it's been doing" in addition to the other NGB functions; "such as licensed officials, date sanctioning, rule making and enforcement, and a D & M program."

                                I only wonder if this American Equestrian Games is USAE's attempt to show the USOC that it can do what USET's been doing... Wait, of course it is.


                                • Bostonian, to me, USA Eq is only doing what it has to do to meet the requirements of the Ted Stevens Sports Act and the USOC Constitution and By-laws.

                                  The Sports Act and the USOC require that one organization perform all of the functions of the NGB, and cannot delegate responsibility for those functions to any other org. To be the NGB, that single organization has to be capable of performing all of those functions at the time the NGB review is conducted, or at least show that it will be able to do so in short order during an interim review period.

                                  The USET has made a huge deal -- the very heart of its challenge, really -- out of the idea that it and only it is capable of fielding and funding US international equestrian teams. At the February meeting of the USOC Membership and Credentials Committee in San Antonio, Dr. Leone repeatedly argued that the AHSA's international programs were "all smoke and mirrors" without any real substance, while the USET was ready and able to proceed with training, funding, and fielding teams and therefore should be made the NGB (ignoring all of the other core functions of the NGB that the USET does not, has never, and is not now capable of performing, such as rules, D&M, licensing of officials, supporting the grass roots, etc.)

                                  Since the USET refused any idea of a merger or consolidation of functions, the AHSA/USA Eq had no choice but to put its international programs in place and get them on their feet before the hearing on the Challenge. Unless it just wanted to give up and hand the entire sport over to the USET, the AHSA/USA Eq had to get ready to demonstrate that it can, right now or very shortly, do all the things the USET said was "all smoke and mirrors." It could not wait until after the USOC ruling.
                                  "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


                                  • Like I said, shrewd move.

                                    Just seems to be another example of USET getting outplayed, at least publicly.

                                    Not that anyone is keeping score, but like Linda wrote above:

                                    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Linda Allen:
                                    with each passing day, (USET) looks less prepared to deal with what it's been doing, let alone take on all the other requirements such as licensed officials, date sanctioning, rule making and enforcement, and a D & M program.

                                    [This message was edited by Linda Allen on Sep. 09, 2001 at 03:23 PM.]<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                                    Seems to me, it's a lot easier to pick and promote teams than it is to do all that other stuff.

                                    Let's just say I'm sitting on the USOC hearing committee with the same perception - anybody know what USET has done to ramp up its other skills - or are they just saying - sure we can do the other stuff (just like we can pass annual budgets that exceed expected revenue).

                                    I know, I don't mean to bring that up again, but I still can't believe Leone put that in writing...

                                    If I appear to be arguing, it only stems from the fact my son was layed off from an internet company (surprise) after the leading executives dumped their stock and I hate to think about the staff in Gladstone.

                                    I'm sure the only ones that will receive meaningful severance packages will be Standish, Piwowar and McGrath and it makes me sick.


                                    • Bostonian, the USET tried to do some things to make it look like it was prepared to assume the other NGB duties -- but the NJ court declared them all null and void.

                                      To maintain an NGB challenge, the challenging org is supposed to already be performing or capable of performaing all of the core functions of the NGB. Since the USET focused only on the international stuff, it sort of forgot about those other things necessary to organizing and running the sport in this country -- like D&M, hearings, grievances, and discipline, date assignments, training and licensing officials, rulemaking, etc.

                                      The USET had to set up some kind of structure for rulemaking, hearings, etc., so it made a bunch of changes to its bylaws to create a skeletal outline of such functions. They were designed to create a structure for the USET to perform the duties of the NGB that it does not perform and never has performed. (If the USET has done anything practical to make it actually capable of performing those functions beyond just changing its bylaws, I haven't heard about it.)

                                      Anyway, as we now know, all those changes to the USET bylaws are now null and void. Thus the rush to have yet another annual meeting before the USOC hearing so the USET can re-adopt all those changes and tell the USOC that it has the proper structure and is ready to go.

                                      However, as reported in last week's In the Country, after the NJ court ruled, USA Eq filed a renewed motion to dismiss the challenge on the basis that USET does not meet the facial requirements to maintain such a challenge (that is, even on the face of its bylaws, it is not set up to do all the things an NGB does). The USOC ordered full briefing and a possible oral argument on that motion, so we'll have to see what it rules.
                                      "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