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Response from Overseas about our team in Madrid

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  • #21
    I'm very impressed with out team's efforts. Sounds like they rode their hearts out and put in a respectable performance.

    George really needs someone put a filter in between his brain and his mouth! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img]


    • #22
      He is only God to some Weatherford. And we all know what he says, sometimes needs to be ignored!! Example, last year, Florida????? Take it for what it's worth, nada....


      • #23
        Well, I take the day off and look what happens. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

        I'm right there with the rest of the immoderate moderators. Grrrrrrr, to Mr. Morris and those who would try to use this to criticize USA Eq, never caring that at the same time they criticize those fine riders who stepped up, made the effort, and sacrificed on behalf of our country.

        Louise, I haven't wanted to mention it, but I very much agree with you that -- IMHO -- there are some hidden agendas behind the USET comments. As Armand Leone and the USET specifically argued starting with the San Antonio meeting last February and in its challenge pleadings since then, they claim that the USET and only the USET is capable of sending a team to a major international competition. The fact that this time they backed out and USA Eq went forward and got it done under very difficult circumstances severely diminishes the strength of the USET argument in this respect, IMHO.

        Also -- and this is just a suspicion solely on my part -- I can understand the travel difficulties in getting the horses from the US to Madrid, but given the USET's well publicized (by themselves) severe money problems, I do have to wonder how much of the USET's decision not to try to put together a team from the riders already in Europe had to do with saving money. Maybe money didn't have anything to do with the decision -- but I hate the fact that the USET's comments and actions over the last year have led me to this kind of cynicism about USET management. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.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


        • #24
          For the USET to say they pulled out for patriotic reasons is disingenuous at best... the horses were parked in quarantine at Gladstone until the last possible minute when it became clear no flights were to be had. Perhaps they went there for the view??? And no one in Europe was kicking and screaming to be the replacements... in fact the opposite was true. Once Samsung laid down the hard line Alice, Spooner and Clare jumped in to soothe the feelings of the all-important sponsor AFTER initially declining to go. This was all arranged little more than 24 hours before the jog! This is little more than a desperate hail-Mary pass by the USET to smear Alan Balch. Think of the positive press they could have earned by supporting his efforts and proving themselves mature and far-sighted. Instead they are confirming our worst fears.


          • #25
            You know, when I first read that we weren't sending a team out of respect, and all, I confess, I sat there in my numb, little shell shocked world - along with the vast majority of Americans - and said, "yes, right... shouldn't do this... musn't do this..." and gave it no more thought.

            But after someone with more foresight and vision than I (or the USET, apparently) went ahead and MADE IT HAPPEN, I realized that is WAS what we needed. And what the world needed too, really (equestrian world, anyway).

            To me, this is the difference between being in charge of something, as opposed to being a true leader. True leaders see what the people they serve and represent need, even when those people are too shell shocked to know it themselves.

            I'll leave it to you to determine who are the leaders in our lives, and who are merely in charge.

            As for the comments made by GM after all was said and done. That was hurtful to more than just the three competitors who sacrificed so much to be there. That was hurtful to a lot of people.
            Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


            • #26
              It seems that among the many old-fashioned virtues and values GM is always pontificating about, sportsmanship (which in this case includes true horsemanship) is not on his list.

              If all he can see is that they were "last", then all I can say is HURRAY FOR BEING LAST!!!


              • #27
                I started the first two threads purely out of pride for my sister. When I made my first post, I did not know about the negative comments made by GM; in fact, I first heard about them from Alice over the phone.

                I have been thrilled with everyone's positive comments about Richard, Clare and Alice's Madrid trip and marveled that no one posted a negative comment. I didn't think that a negative one was necessary, and was thrilled that no one else did, too. But today, some negative comments were made, and to quote Alice, well, they just hurt. (And hurt my family, you hurt me.)

                I rarely compete, barely ever get to ride; I lurk on the boards here, love my sister. That is pretty much my relationship with horses at this time in my life. I had no opinion on the NGB, USAE or USET because I am so removed from it.

                But, I think that Armand Leone, Jr is a bit of a hypocrite when he stated that it was disrespectful to compete at this time. Or, whom was he speaking for? Why didn't he just honestly come out and say it was about logistics? I think we all would have respected (and believed) that decision.

                I have attached links to the results of the Gold Cup, which started TWO DAYS after the attacks at the WTC and the Albany Classic which was held the weekend of the Nation's Cup Final in Madrid.

                If someone felt up to it, I think it was the right decision to compete after the attacks. But if someone calls Alice or anyone disrepectful for competing, AND COMPETED THEMSELVES, then are they perhaps full of sour grapes? Why is there so much antipathy?



                Furthermore, the NFL and MLB were back in play by the weekend of Madrid...

                And I wish this would be the end of it. The team rode in Spain and IMHO did what they were supposed to do, they raised the American Flag.

                [This message was edited by MAD on Sep. 28, 2001 at 05:18 PM.]


                • Original Poster

                  This is from www.towerheads.com:


                  Hi Kenny, I just got done reading Alice's article. First of all, the only team we should have sent was the team that qualified. But as we all know, the team, the riders, and the owners decided that it was not safe and that it was disrespectful for our country to compete at this time. I don't know all of the facts, but it seems that after the USET had withdrawn, for obvious political reasons, the AHSA took it upon themselves to field a team of their own. It is not a question of whether these riders were capable of competing at that level, but the way I understand it waiver rules were broken. They took riders below number 50 on the computer list and no waivers were given. It's a rule violation. This is not a personal attack on any of the three riders, but the majority of the show jumping riders I have spoken with did not agree with the AHSA's decision to field this team. I realize Samsung wished for a U.S. team to be represented but for Alice to say "Whose to blame, the ones who tried, or the ones who wouldn't dare?" is inappropriate. The qualified team of Margie, Mclain, Allison, and Lauren certainly does not fit this quotation. I for one totally agree with the decision of the riders, the team and the owners involved.

                  Sincerely, Jimmy Torano


                  Okay, so on the flipside let's see a list of all of the GP riders who competed this past weekend in the US. What's the difference???

                  Pot calling the kettle Black & Decker.


                  • #29
                    Sounds like enough sour grapes from GM and co. to keep us in vin du table for years [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif[/img] Sorry, but I still think the US riders did an awesome job that was anything but disrespectful.


                    • Original Poster

                      A really POed USET. Oh, bummer.


                      • #31
                        Yes, Coreene, I too noticed that "Margie and McLain," along with Mark Leone and Jimmy Torano himself, all competed in the Gold Cup only two days after the attacks. What do you want to bet that some or all of them justified their participation so soon after the tragedy -- the same weekend when all other major US sports cancelled their competitions -- on some grounds of patriotism (such as, we should do it to show we are still standing and they haven't brought us to our knees)?

                        I'm not criticizing these individual riders, but neither should they be critcizing those who could go and did compete, and who competed well.

                        To me, it would be the height of stupidity for the USET to file some kind of formal protest over this. Whether or not any waiver rules were broken -- and I don't know that they were and I doubt very much if Jimmy Torano knows if they were -- this was not a normal situation by any means.

                        The international governing body, the FEI, begged our NF, USA Equestrian, to put together a team, and it did. From the published reports, USA Eq went down the computer list and asked the riders who were in Europe in order of ranking if they would compete, and took the top riders who were willing to do so.

                        Just who is it who gives out these waivers anyway? If it is the USET or the riders who were further up on the computer list, what are they going to do? Complain that they had no intention of going themselves, but nobody else should have been allowed to go either despite the wishes of the FEI and the sponsors? Can we say dog in the manger? [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img]

                        [This message was edited by Portia on Sep. 28, 2001 at 06:21 PM.]
                        "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


                        • #32
                          Jimmy Torano is obviously entitled to his opinion, as much as I disagree with it and personally feel that he totally missed the point of Alice, Richard and Clare's participation in Madrid....

                          Too bad they seem to reflect yet another instance of a USET supporter using a situation to bash the USA Equestrian/AHSA. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img]

                          The comment that these 3 riders competing on behalf of the United States in Spain was somehow disrespecful really really angers me!! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif[/img]
                          In Honor of dublin aka Dee Dee 07/24/53-02/07/03
                          \"Of course, that\'s just my opinion. I could be wrong.\" - Dennis Miller
                          *Go Bruins - Go Niners*


                          • #33
                            Dublin, Portia, Coreene, Everyone...
                            Thank you for understanding my post!

                            and Coreene...thanks for posting from Towerheads. I hope it is okay and will be allowed to stay?


                            • Original Poster

                              I know a lot of the BBers are also Towerhead subscribers, and we did give the credit, so I do hope Ken will be kind enough to let it stay.

                              I so look forward to hearing more of the I Was There stories!


                              • #35
                                <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>For the USET to say they pulled out for patriotic reasons is disingenuous at best... the horses were parked in quarantine at Gladstone until the last possible minute when it became clear no flights were to be had. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                                This is the fact and for the USET to think that most of us would not be aware of this fact and to think we would believe that they pulled out for respect is just ridiculous. So many riders showed at the Gold cup. If respect was the case why did they do that.

                                Obviously, Jimmy Torano doesn't know the facts either

                                <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>. I for one totally agree with the decision of the riders, the team and the owners involved.

                                Sincerely, Jimmy Torano

                                <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> Those horses WOULD have gone if they could get a flight the owners, team, and riders didn't make the decision The Airlines made it for them.

                                I am proud that Alice, Richard and Clare represented us in Spain. They stepped up to the plate to support and represent their country.

                                [This message was edited by MB Stark on Sep. 28, 2001 at 07:05 PM.]


                                • #36
                                  Were flights available from Canada?
                                  Tinwhistle Farm


                                  • #37
                                    Half the instigators on this one are the same people who were not too proud to be on George Lindemann's rent-a-team the year he showed in Europe because he was persona non grata in the US. Suddenly acquired morals, have we?
                                    Just finished watching a news report on the plight of women and children massed at the border of Afghanistan with no food, shelter or hope of escape. And we have the TIME and BALLS to sit around backstabbing amongst ourselves.
                                    One USET person with the cojones to fly could have made the difference for Alice, Richard and Clare. One set of eyes at the in-gate could have lessened the rails (WHICH WEREN"T MANY) and time faults. And don't snow me that the show is SO prestigious that a pick-up team couldn't play. The only A-teams there were Belgium and France. Hence Samsung's drive to make the Americans a focal point... and bless their hearts for doing it.


                                    • Original Poster

                                      A big thank you to their horses and their grooms as well, and to everyone else who made it possible for the US to have a team in Madrid.


                                      • #39
                                        I'd LIKE to believe that patriotism is the only reason for USAE's involvement in sending this team to Madrid--and don't get me wrong, no matter what, this was the right course of action to take--BUT...isn't it convenient that the USET had stepped aside, leaving the way clear for USAE to get into the act on it's own...I do not believe this point was lost on USAE....

                                        Lousy as it is, I don't believe either organization has been motivated by pure, unadulterated patriotism in this instance...

                                        No, the only real patriots I detect are Alice, Richard, and Claire--and their enthusiastic supporters! They did exactly the right thing for exactly the right reasons. However it happened, we can be proud of them.


                                        • #40
                                          Alice's response sent to me and KK (Towerheads).
                                          She mentions the OFF COURSE Board.

                                          << I would like to respond to Jimmy Torano's response to my letter. My quote, "Who is to blame, the ones who tried or the ones that wouldn't dare?", was a bit cryptic and perhaps not very clear. However, if Jimmy had read the letter more carefully he would have noticed that I said there were some riders that could not come ie, the riders with horses in the US, as opposed to the riders that would not come, ie, the riders that had horses in Europe who were physically able to get there. My comment was actually aimed at one individual, perhaps unfairly, who had a healthy capable horse, and no sponsorship agreement that conflicted with the Final. Just to note, Peter Wylde had a sponsorship agreement to jump in Germany that weekend, and when he did not qualify for the Grand Prix, initially offered to come and ride Richard Spooner's other grand prix horse for the Nation's Cup. After he thought about it for a while, he decided not to come, since riding a strange horse in a championship is rarely or never done, and it was considered to be unsafe. It was a very generous thought, though, and greatly appreciated by our team.

                                          So, to be perfectly clear, my comment was certainly not aimed at those riders that could not get there from the United States.

                                          I will take issue, however, with another point raised in Jimmy's letter. He said, about Americans taking part in Madrid that it was disrespectful for our country to compete at this time. I think Jimmy was half quoting Armand Leone, Jr. when he wrote this but did not really think about what he was saying. His wife, Danielle, was champion in the Amateur Jumpers at the Gold Cup, just a few days after the attack. Jimmy was riding there, too. That was the week before Madrid. Does he mean to say that it was more patriotic and respectful to compete three days after the attack, and less so ten days later? I think he should be more careful about telling other people how they should express their patriotism.

                                          I would also like to say that, prior to leaving for the Final, I had absolutely no idea that the USET had an issue with our presence in Madrid. The trip was organized on Tuesday night by the AHSA and the FEI. It never dawned on me that the USET would disapprove. The first word I heard about any negativity was on Saturday in Spain when I heard that Leslie and George were not happy that we were there. Perhaps if someone from the USET had bothered to call and explain why we shouldn't have gone, I would have listened if they had good reason. But they didn't call. The three of us went, with great effort, hoping that a fourth rider would join us. None of us knew what was to hit us when we returned.

                                          Other than a few negative words, so far, from a few people, response to our representation in Madrid has been overwhelmingly positive. In the Off Course forum in the Chronicle of the Horse website, there are about a hundred letters giving support to our effort. All of them were positive, and some of them downright moving.

                                          I have never been involved in any of the politics involving our federation. I had always thought of the AHSA and the USET as two arms of the same body. As a European-based American, it is painful now to begin to see how ugly this civil war is becoming. Can't they work together as they have always in the past?