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Response from Overseas about our team in Madrid

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  • #41
    My understanding was that the US Team was NOT qualified to show in Madrid ... so they must have had horses in quarantine waiting to see the results from the final weekend of European shows? (Top 6 Nations qualify, and we were 7th on the list?)

    The only reason there was a Team there was because they had a special invitation from the sponsors and the FEI to be the 7th team in a 6 team field.

    I am super proud of the job our Team did, and that includes the people at the Federation who pulled it all together.

    And I must say it certainly proves that they are fully capable of fielding a Team for a big International competition without help from the USET. (kinda shooting themselves in the foot aren't they?) To claim that not going was the patriotic thing to do while showing here is disingenious at best.

    Guess that makes me another immoderate moderator!
    Mal:This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our entry sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and then .... explode


    • #42
      Will the USET and USEA/AHSA just GROW UP?! Come on you guys, I know both of you want to be the MAJOR player of equestrian sports in the US, but bickering and fighting like three year olds is NOT going to get the job DONE!


      • #43
        Hmm - not only did those riders ride at the Gold Cup, but, I heard a rumor that THEY got a waiver from the NF so they didn't HAVE to be on the showgrounds however long they have to be there to compete in a big money class... Although, perhaps it didn't make any diference because Friday's WC class was canceled (or combined with Sunday's GP)

        Defintely pot calling the kettle B&D...

        By the way, if Richard Spooner is not "eligible" becuase he is not quite high enough on the USET computer list, how come he is in the TOP 10 of all US riders on the WORLD ranking list?? Most recently 4th!

        And what about the other Americans in Europe who were qualified and had sound horses? There was at least one... [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img]

        [This message was edited by Weatherford on Sep. 29, 2001 at 07:30 AM.]
        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!


        • #44
          Peptalk - I know some people at that USE Eq and some, uh, FORMER (?) Board members of the USET who are asking the exact same question. There seems to be no answer - the USA Eq continues to hold its hand out in compromise, and it continues to be ignored. I remind you - WHO walked out of the SPI last Fall? Who issued the Challenge? Who dismissed (albeit illegally) all its board members who didn't agree with the Challenge and asked for compromise? (Even the one Board member who offered to PAY FOR THE MEDIATION????)

          The question is WHY?? I apologize, but there must be some sort of hidden agenda here, I just can't figure it out.
          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!


          • Original Poster

            And really, life is just too damn short not to just apologize when you are wrong.

            But I digress. I very much look forward to hearing the official version from AHSA and the official version from USET, and will certainly be scouring the European websites for their spin on this.

            But no matter what, I am just so proud to know that we (and by "we" I mean the US) were represented by three such wonderful people in Madrid.


            • #46
              just to avoid another rumor -- to my knowledge at least, EVERY horse and rider that rode at the Gold Cup participated under the same conditions. In the immediate aftermath of the events of the 11th, many competitions made changes to their schedules. The Gold Cup's World Cup class (along with another one on the West Coast, both scheduled for that memorable Friday night), that was scheduled to be a qualifier for the GP, was not held. In these twocases the classes were integrated into the other main GPs already scheduled for the weekend.

              Waivers might have been requested for some horses, not originally entered, to compete in the GP after this decision was taken and the USET tour had been cancelled, but, to my knowledge at least, no such "waivers" were permitted by the show, nor could any such requests be "given" by the NF over the objection of officials and competition organizers that were actually there to evaluate each situation appropriately.

              Also, on behalf of Cindy and Lynn (the full time "Athlete Services Desk" of the NF), I take strong exception to a comment on this board that the fielding of a team might simply have been some sort of 'grandstanding' move by the NF. Those two responded to direct requests by the FEI, Samsung, the OC, and to US riders who had well represented us in other top level competitions - and then they performed miracles to get it done, without violating the spirit of the whole selection process. Should they, or any National Governing Body deserving of the title, just NOT have bothered?

              Linda Allen

              [This message was edited by Linda Allen on Sep. 29, 2001 at 12:56 AM.]
              Linda Allen


              • #47
                I was fortunate enough to be able to watch the second round of the final on British Eurosport. At that time I was aware of the negative comments of some about the team. As I watched, I never once thought of them as a "second string" and neither did the commentators. The commentators praised the U.S. for sending a team.

                I personally feel that Alice, Clare and Richard represented the U.S. as well as any team could have without a drop score. All the negative comments flying around did was demean our team right before they were about to walk in the ring. The last thing you need right before you walk in the ring is to hear people are criticizing you.

                My fiancee who is non horsey also watched the final with me (I grabbed the remote and hid it [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]. Since then I have shared Alice's posts with him. As I explained the conflict b/t the USAE and USET to a logical person not involved with horses, the look on his face made me realize how truly ridiculous the overall conflict is, especially this particular incident. It is so incredibly petty. And to top it all off, three people who did a selfless and patriotic thing are being dragged through the mud.

                To Alice, Clare and Richard - The PEOPLE are behind you!


                • #48
                  Thanks for the clarification, Linda. Will edit my post appropriately.

                  And I, too think Cindy and Lynn did (DO!!!) a FANTASTIC job!

                  I just heard about one rider, in Europe, who chose not to join OUR FANTASTIC SCRATCH TEAM with no apparent reason - I do hope it is only a rumour.
                  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!


                  • #49
                    Let the record also show that it's bloody hard to hook a ride to Spain! It's like going from New York to Florida. I'm not THAT pissed with the ex-patriates who couldn't make it because it does involve a lot of travel stress on the horses. Robinson & CEO probably weren't the freshest blossoms on the bouquet. Charlton I believe lucked into a plane. (I could be wrong). But this only emphasizes the fact that the three who made it should be celebrated! If its true that Samsung was going to withdraw their sponsorship from the Nations Cup series for next year if we didn't show (which was the word circulating as of Monday before the event) then every American rider owes them their gratitude and loyalty. Every rider of any nationality, for that matter!


                    • #50
                      And by the way, when my facts are wrong PLEASE jump on me about it. I was not at Madrid but at another show in Europe where the discussion was being urgently pursued just before the event. No one wants to think that the USET is being petty, vindictive and hypocritical at such a stressful time in our history. We need to hear a WICKED GOOD argument from them and the sooner the better.


                      • #51
                        the account of getting the horses and Richard to Spain (he drove 30 hours!). And as Alice has stated, yes some riders offered to ride available horses, but it is rarely or never done and considered unsafe. And there was still the logistics of flying the riders over to Spain.



                        Against all the odds and after a week of intense negotiations the United States of America will field a team for the Samsung Nations Cup World Final in Madrid on Sunday (23 September 2001). It took a co-ordinated effort from the Samsung and Madrid organisers and bloodstock agents Pedens along with the co-operation and determination of the riders themselves to make it happen, but the Stars and Stripes are flying over the showgrounds at the Club de Campo Villa de Madrid which lies just 20 minutes outside the centre of Spain's capital city and US riders were already in the ring today (21 September 2001).

                        Armand Leone Jr, Vice Chairman of the United States Equestrian Team, announced last Friday the decision to withdraw the American team in the wake of the terrorist attacks which have left the world in shock, but the Samsung Nations Cup series is all about GLOBAL PARTICIPATION and support so, although the US-based riders who were originally selected will not be lining out, three others already located in Europe will fly the flag.

                        It was touch-and-go all week however, the crunch point coming last Tuesday evening with telephones ringing all around the world as things began to take shape.

                        Alice Debany-Clero, who is based in Paris, was one of the first to agree to travel and when Claire Bronfman, who works from Henk Noorens's yard in Holland, confirmed her availability along with Richard Spooner it was "all systems go".

                        The logistics were a bit of a nightmare. Getting any flights in the air at the moment takes a great deal of careful planning with security restrictions more rigid than ever before, but Jordan's Princess Haya, who is currently training with Alice, put her not inconsiderable energy into the effort and, contacting Peden's Managing Director Martin Atock directly, she put the wheels in motion. At incredibly late notice Martin somehow managed to find a plane in Sofia, Bulgaria and at 8.30 am on Wednesday morning it took off for Maastricht in Holland where Claire's horse, Charlton, was collected before flying on again to Pisa in Italy.

                        Alice had been competing in Pinerolo the previous weekend where she scored a double of wins and her horses were transported to Pisa to take the flight on to Madrid where they arrived at 3am on Thursday morning.

                        "It was difficult to arrange and there were all sorts of complications" Martin explained today. "There was very heavy air traffic from North America so the plane had to fly much lower usual and there were strong headwinds too so it took longer that it would otherwise have done and, when it arrived in Madrid, there was a considerable delay in getting clearance to land" he said.

                        Richard Spooner had an even tougher time, taking 30 hours to drive his own horses by lorry from Rolf Runge's yard in Germany where he has been staying for the last seven weeks. And Richard, who is lying fourth on the Riders Tour leaderboard, forfeited the chance to compete this weekend in Wiesbaden in order to make the trip. Unlike Alice and Claire he is not permanently based in Europe and was planning to return home to Los Angeles in California after competing at Aach but he jumped at the chance to represent his country and arrived in Madrid at 2am this morning.

                        "It is really important for us to put on a good show for America" he said today. "We are obviously at a disadvantage with only three riders but we are happy to be here and, now that we have actually managed to put a team together, we will be trying our very best on Sunday. In the end, that's what counts" he added.

                        "Some riders even offered to fly over for the Final and compete with "catch-rides" Alice explained, "but this event is too big and important to do that so we decided to stick with just the three of us. Princess Haya was wonderful - she offered her own horses if we wanted them but I'm her trainer and I did not want to take the risk of anything happening to them in a championship like this so I had to say no thanks. It was very generous of her and she is one hundred percent behind us being here. It is not a political statement of any kind on her part, it's just pure generosity because that's the kind of person she is" she added.

                        "It means a lot for me to be here" Alice continued. "I'm a New Yorker and my husband and I know at least three of the people who died last week. But the official week of mourning is over and our flags are not at half-mast any more so we want to show the world that America is right back in there" she said.

                        They will have a tough battle on their hands on Sunday. Top teams from Belgium, Italy, Holland, the League Champions from Germany and the home side from Spain all mean business and with one team-member less than all the others, the US squad have their backs against the wall. The tragic events of last week however have created a huge groundswell of support for the country which has lent so much to the Samsung Nations Cup series over many years and, no matter what the outcome, emotions will be running high as Alice, Richard and Claire fly their flag with pride in this World Final of the 2000/2001 Samsung Nations Cup series.

                        [This message was edited by MAD on Sep. 29, 2001 at 09:58 AM.]


                        • #52
                          Early on, USET's silence was signalling a problem...not one official word has been uttered about the participation of the Americans in Madrid by those who are in control at Gladstone since they announced their cancellation of the scheduled tour. Though their press office has been quite active issueing releases on other matters.

                          Linda, I agree with you that USAE acted properly and for the right reasons, and staff members that made it happen deserve the highest praise...but we would be kidding ourselves if we tried to believe that Mr. Balch, et al, has not taken any satisfaction from the way the situation has placed the USET on the far less magnamimous side of the political fence here.

                          The whole situation is nasty...and is clearly a result of the infighting and political maneuvering that has taken place over the last year or so...there should be no question that sending a team was the right thing to do, and there should be no question that the USET should help "fund and field" the team that participated...but no, we have to descend to petty politics....such discord really doesn't bode well for the future of the world. We can't seem to solve this problem, which is a pretty basic turf war as turf wars go--how on earth will the nations in the world solve the real ones? Will someone with some sense please impose a truce? USET should get behind these riders and do it pronto, before they lose a lot more support. And USAE would do well to get its act together at the top and develop a little humility and gratitude for the mandatory support it requires from those who wish to participate in rated shows that has given them the war chest to prolong this cat fight.


                          • #53
                            Somebody posted this question (again). Why can't it be the way it has always been between AHSA and USET?

                            That is JUST what the AHSA has been asking!

                            Go to the AHSA website and read all the writings on this. They say JUST THAT again and again and again. It is the USET that won't permit it. It is the USET that filed the challenge. It is the USET which wants to have all the power and all the say over every single thing. It is SO clear when you read all of it.

                            And if this latest discussion about Madrid is even half correct, and I am relying ONLY on what Alice is saying in her own words, because there is no filtering and spinning there for sure, there is NO QUESTION NOW that the USET is incapable of and NEVER should be permitted to organize and decide all things for this sport. No question at all. They don't even seem to know what the meaning of SPORT really is.

                            As far as I am concerned, this decison between the two organizations, which the USET itself forced, is now clear cut, and doesn't favor USET one little bit.


                            • #54
                              is called "spin."

                              I repeat: neither side is acting purely in the interest of the sport.


                              • #55
                                But, the fact remains - USA Equestrian got the job done, and USET didn't. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]
                                If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
                                Desmond Tutu


                                • #56
                                  Groundline, you ask "why can't these organizations get along?"

                                  I think we are probably seeing in action the very basic root of the main problem...two different approaches to "riding the same horse" (cute analogy huh!)

                                  First said.....I am absolutely of the mind that USET should be our NGB. I am absolutely of the mind that there is so much else we desparately need AHSA/USAE to do with all the rest of the sport. (I can certainly expound on that but at another time).

                                  That said, I am embarrassed by the actions of some of the USET "big wigs" in this situation. These actions and pious opinions and statements in a time of crisis like this are pompous and humiliating to the riding community and the US. And the sad part is...never an apology or recant.

                                  While I do not believe personally, in an ideal world, that AHSA/USAE should be our NGB, in THIS world with situations like this that are defining just who we are as a nation, as a people and each one of us personally, it is sad that USET itself has not jumped out and yelled from the top of the Empire State Building that their "powers that be" have not only their own feet deep in their mouths but that they are trying to drag this sport there too. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif[/img]

                                  While I agree and think Alan Balch (a friend of mine) has "other motives" I can at least respect and support those "motives" as he goes about the fight over the organizations 'cause at least he jumps in in a situation like this and proves he has a sportsmans heart beating inside his chest. GM and USET others are instead protecting the pompous, ice that flows in their veins. For what!!!! Certainly not for the rest of us or for this sport and certainly not for America. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif[/img]

                                  WOW, I bet their mad at all of us now !!!!!!!!

                                  OOPS!!!!.......Oh well!!!!!!!!! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]


                                  • Original Poster

                                    And another one who needs a big THANK YOU is Princess Haya of Jordan. She is SUCH a wonderful PR person for our sport.

                                    And a big "attagirl" to someone who ups sticks and moves from her homeland to Europe to learn and compete.

                                    MAD, I had no idea Alice was based in Paris. What a divine city, but you must really miss not having your sister around. That story from Saddletude is great.


                                    • #58
                                      Okay, Just Jump, let's talk about "spin."

                                      This is NOT spin:

                                      1. The USET challenged the AHSA, not the other way around. The USET started the whole fight. Anybody who asks why things cannot be the way they have always been has to start with this fact. The AHSA has been defending itself, and that means defending how things have been in the past. USET wants to turn them upside down.

                                      2. The AHSA asked for a merger, or consolidation, or something together, to try to prevent the challenge. The USET refused.

                                      3. The AHSA opens its board meetings to everyone, and asks everyone's opinions. The USET does not.

                                      4. The AHSA won the lawsuit in the New Jersey court, and the judge -- no way to spin the judge -- said the things the USET had been doing all year were null and void. That probably includes the challenge, I would think, let alone all the phony bylaws and such.

                                      5. On the Madrid team, I am going on what Alice Debany says, not anything the AHSA says.

                                      So, it seems to me that if anything there is too much to read on the AHSA website, but better to have it ALL there, than nothing. And what I put above I don't think can be spun either way. They are the simple facts.


                                      • #59
                                        Knobsetter, Justjump...right on !!!

                                        At this point, neither organization is doing anything with "purely the good of the sport" in mind.

                                        Just a thought. Assuming USAE remains NGB, where do you think the majority of the funds are going to go? To the Paso Finos? To the Saddlebreds? To the Grassroots? No, in reality, USAE is going to have to spend a great deal of money to send Teams to the World Championships.


                                        • #60
                                          that I think its is simply tacky of the USETand USAE to bicker openly in this fashion at this time .Whatever the reasons we showed up ok!Did anyone forget the course ? Fall off? Have elimination due to being grossly over the time?If the the answer is no then zip it ok!All of our LEADERS ( a ridiculous label if ever I read one! )look like kindergartener s in a school yard fight!JJJEEEEEEZAren't you all embarrasssed to know them ???