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Portia's Report from the USOC meeting

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  • #21
    Well, to quote William Jefferson Clinton, "It depends on what your definition of is, is."



    • #22
      I've been reading through all of this, on both threads, and to be honest, I feel so out of the loop. And I know I'm not alone. At "my age" I grew up believing that if you were really talented, got a few good breaks, and got seen at a screening trial, you might get asked back to Gladstone to train. And, if you were really talented, you might get "selected" by the coach to be nutured for a spot on the team.

      There are so many of us who are now so apathetic about the USET, because their "elite athletes" are just operating in such a different sphere than most of us. When I read about a huge chunk of the USET's budget being covered by a small cache of wealthy donors, it just solidifies, in my mind, that the USET is not really "my team". It's a team supported by an insulated group of old money socialites.

      I hope the AHSA does prevail and at least makes a gallant effort (perhaps via their marketing efforts?) to return some of the home team spirit to our international teams.

      Please enlighten me if I'm way off base on this. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]


      • Original Poster

        Just two, actually (so far LOL!)

        Of the $10,000,000 PLEDGED to the USET - how much of that is reality? How much from those 7 people? Are the supposed "assets" (the property) now included in the pledge, since they are NOT reality? (And probably never will be.)

        How good and WHEN were the two USOC Audits? WHY did they audit the USET and not the AHSA or did they do both or were these before the OA was in place? WHO performed these audits? Did they occur before the massive salary increases of the past two years? Must have, as the last available financial statement appears to be 1998. (Though, there must be one for 1999 somewhere.) We know they have not presented 2000's figures, nor the 2001 budget.

        I am really especially curious about the audit - obviously that was not an IRS audit - probably someone just looking through the BS (Balance Sheets) and IS (Income Statements) in a cursory fashion to check for irregularities. That is not the same as digging deep into the figures!

        I don't blame the employees of the USET for being fearful they will lose their now cushy jobs - however, they probably wouldn't have had this been a smooth change to a new NGB. Now? Who knows? There certainly are some people there who should be fired, IMHO. Others, it would be a loss to everyone to do so. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img]
        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!


        • #24
          I am, by any manner of speaking, a good example of the complete outsider, as I ride, but do not show. I have to agree with Merry, that a lot of this was new to me before I started frequenting this forum. My concern is and always has been the future of the horse industry. I want to see the broadest base of "grassroots" riders receiving the opportunity to rise in their sport.

          From what I see here, there really is no choice. The USET is totally focused on the elite rider, with, seemingly, no concern as to where their future elite riders are going to come from. The AHSA with all its flaws and foibles, is at least formulating plans and looking to all those who show.

          Portia's wonderful report clearly points out to me the difference between the two. The AHSA has plans in place, the USET wants us to "trust" in them, without presenting anything concrete. How can we depend on an organization where seven people contribute 40% of the funding?

          I am especially disappointed in those like Robert Dover, who are blindly following the USET, without taking the time to evaluate the long term consequences. How sad that they have forgotten where they came from.
          If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
          Desmond Tutu


          • #25
            I think I am starting to understand.

            One point though (playing devils advocate), It was mentioned that the shows that where attended to broaden the level of competition where that of the AHSA. This is true, but how much of it is because that is where the competition was, and we are forced to because that is what we are taught to believe.



            • #26
              Bravo Portia


              • #27
                Once again, and as many others have said, Thank you Portia!!

                That report is very insiteful concerning the USET. The pieces of this puzzle, truly have fallen together. Let's hope that there will be a quick end to it.

                It's a shame that the AHSA has had to spend so much time on this. Not that it isn't an important subject, it is. But the mindsets of the people who pushed the lawsuit, thought they would get what they wanted, and the AHSA would back down. Happily, the people in charge are not that thin a skin. And they will do what is BEST for the industry, not for a few.


                • #28
                  Some of the riders who are promoting the USET position are doing so in no small part because they are "supported" by some of those Big 7.



                  • #29
                    JRG I don't think I quite understand your question. Do you mean the classes to qualify members for the team? Or educational types? Since the AHSA is our NF/NGB the classes would be held at those shows. The licensing of Officials who judge, steward and vet the international desciplines comes thru the AHSA.


                    • #30
                      Thanks again. I should make clear that unless something is in quotes, it is not the exact words of the person. I didn't have a tape recorder and I was writing as fast as I can. Most of the stuff is the substance of what the person said, particular comments, and questions. Not word for word.

                      So I want to make clear that I don't remember if Armand Leone said "because it is [an insufficient budget]." I doubt he was that blunt, but that's what I wrote down because that was the substance of what he said. My recollection is that he said the money budgeted by the AHSA was insufficient to fund the programs, and the USET knew that because they are the ones who have been putting the programs on so they know how much they cost.

                      That said, I was rather put off by how blunt Dr. Leone was in saying in absolute terms that the AHSA could not possibly do what it said it could do about taking over the programs if necessary. If he was not openly contemptuous of the AHSA, it certainly verged closely on it, in my opinion.
                      "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


                      • #31
                        Perhaps COTH could buy your article, or the stringer's if you weren't comfortable with it?

                        I certainly don't think the AHSA is the end all to beat all, but since the USET doesn't care about us little people and have also be unable to field a winning team in quite some time, I'd like to give someone else a chance.


                        • #32
                          You must scribble things down a damn sight faster than I can. Incredible report.
                          Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

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


                          • #33
                            WONDERFUL job, Portia, thank you so much!

                            I know that the USET Talent Search takes place as classes at AHSA shows, but does USET set that program up? Same with the Young Riders program. They are wonderful programs and if USET is responsible for creating them, they should get credit. Also couldn't help smiling at all the support for AHSA as a grass-roots organization when half the AHSA vs. non-AHSA shows postings on these boards complain about how AHSA charges a fortune for nothing and doesn't care about the little guy.

                            However, if AHSA now sees that it NEEDS us little guys....all right, I'm with 'em. And I hope AHSA needs us for more than the fee increases it will probably institute if it takes over the USET work.


                            • #34
                              My favorite part of this whole thing, and I hope you all caught it, is that no matter the fighting and quarreling about all of this, that as regards the welfare of the horse, both AHSA and USET are on the same side. No discussion, that's never been an issue, we stand together on that.

                              No matter what they're fighting about, THAT is never in question. The statement was made (and presumably agreed to by both AHSA & USET: "Oh no. There have not been any issues between the AHSA and USET about the welfare of the horse."


                              • #35
                                Thanks, Portia!

                                That was a great presentation of the meeting, which FINALLY gave me some insight to the USET's perspective. I'm sorry to say, that they came off as a group who seems to think that they should be in charge of things "just because they say so". The AHSA seemed to try and present rational reasons why they are suited for the job...

                                Also, I couldn't help but wonder how quickly Armand Leone would get fired if he was a major executive for any corporation that I ever worked for... Can't imagine a performance like that surviving in the "real" world!
                                Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


                                • #36
                                  I seem to somehow keep defending USET here....don't know how that keeps happening.

                                  DMK wrote: <<[USET]came off as a group who seems to think that they should be in charge of things "just because they say so".>>

                                  Well, no, I didn't get that impression. They want to be in charge not because they say so, but because they've BEEN doing it for 46 years already and doing a pretty good job and they want to continue to do it.

                                  I'm with AHSA in saying that hey, USET did it for 46 years & we want them to keep on doing it, so go ahead. USET saying no to this doesn't seem to make sense...it does all seem to go back to Mrs. Matz doesn't it? Someone is having a power issue...since most of them belong to both organizations I just don't get it.....guess I'll never want to be a despot...


                                  • #37
                                    AnneFS - guess I could have phrased that a bit better - not to say that they haven't done a fine job in the past, but I haven't seemed to gain what the substance of their plan is other than, as you said, "we've always done it"...

                                    If nothing was forcing them to change, we surely would not be having this BB conversation, and things could happily continue onward. This is not change for change's sake, but required change. And personally, I don't think they have met the challenge as well as I would have wished. Also, think this has revealed that they have not wanted to step forward and change the organization with the changing times.

                                    This crisis reminds me a bit of a recent election... We've used punch ballots in spite of a ton of new and better technology, but it took a national crisis to admit perhaps we weren't doing elections quite as well as we could. Perhaps we are faced with the same issue with our management of our USET teams?
                                    Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


                                    • #38
                                      Anne, I missed the part about the welfare of the horse vis a vis the AHSA and USET. What do you mean?


                                      • #39
                                        I went to the "Just Give" sight http://www.justgive.org/html/guide/c...&from_search=1 and typed in USET for search

                                        Was given

                                        We provide training, preparation and financing to teams and individuals representing the US in the Olympics, Pan American Games and other international competitions.

                                        Financial Overview:

                                        Amount of Expenses Spent on Programs (More Information)
                                        Total Income $8,812,462
                                        Reporting Year

                                        when I hit the "more information" I got
                                        "NOTE: This organization provides donors with financial information upon request. Please contact them directly if you would like more detail. "
                                        Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

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


                                        • #40
                                          I could not have written that fast if my life had depended on it !!! I have been through so many hunt club squabbles in my lifetime that this seems to be taking the same course. It unfortunatly has a great deal to do with power and control,Sooner or later the organization comes to a fork in the road and at that time unless one or two of the people within the power struggle feel the need to mediate the issues ,the whole nature of the organization will change. They will be there today as I understand it and if really cool heads do not prevail the horse world is going to lose out. ----------------If an organization is really going to succeed and move forward it needs for individuals to be able to respect each other and to know that each person has something to give and each one of us should appreciate that gift.------ That means from the richest to the poorest and the sweetest to the nastiest and the most arrogant to the most humble ------ Everyone has something they can contribute. ----------- Hopefully they can get together for the good of our horses and riders and for the promotion of the sport.
                                          Allyn McCracken
                                          Sport Horse Breeder