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National H.S. cancels Hunter Division

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  • National H.S. cancels Hunter Division

    According to a press release today, the NHS has cancelled the hunter division for the year 2000. See 9:11 p.m. post today under thread "National Horse Show." Also, I believe it will be discussed on Towerheads tomorrow.
  • Original Poster

    According to a press release today, the NHS has cancelled the hunter division for the year 2000. See 9:11 p.m. post today under thread "National Horse Show." Also, I believe it will be discussed on Towerheads tomorrow.


    • #3
      This is from Goodmudder...

      P.O. Box 2761, New York, NY 10116-2761

      Press Release - Wednesday, August 9, 2000
      Contact: Carolyn Vincent 1-516-484-1865 (phone)
      1-516-484-1982 (fax)

      National Horse Show Announces 2000 Suspension of Hunter Show

      Responding to refusal by leaders of the National Hunter/Jumper Council
      (NHJC) of the American Horse Shows Association (AHSA) to recommend
      continued approval of variations in the AHSA rules for AHSA recognition in
      2000, the National Horse Show will suspend the planned activities in the
      Hunter division for this year only, it was announced today by Chrystine J.
      Tauber, Executive Director of the National Horse Show at Madison Square
      Garden. The action was approved at a conference call meeting of the
      National's Board of Directors held today. Due to the schedule restrictions
      at the Garden the show has run each year since 1996 with AHSA rule

      "Owing to additional scheduling problems at the Garden," Tauber said, "we
      were faced with the prospect of further condensing our show into even one
      less day than we had run on since 1996. To offer a spectacular although
      shorter show we developed a program which would have greatly increased
      prize money to over $450,000 in Hunter and Jumper classes, including a
      $100,000 Hunter Classic. However, to do this, all Hunter classes would
      have to be held on one day (Saturday) with the Hunter Classic on Saturday

      "Working with AHSA staff and legal counsel on the problems this presented
      in the AHSA rules, we prepared a proposal for the AHSA Executive Committee.
      We proposed that the National be AHSA recognized, as a Local Competition,
      but that would have required modifications of the rules for the
      extraordinary circumstances we are facing. For example, a Local show
      cannot offer prize money over $500. We also proposed that the exhibitors
      compete without being awarded AHSA points in the Hunter division, owing to
      the condensed schedule. In addition, we suggested that the Under Saddle
      classes be combined into a special event format, which would have been
      another variation of the rules."

      The AHSA Executive Committee met by telephone conference to consider the
      proposed "Presidential Modification" of the rules on Monday morning, August
      7. The AHSA Constitution specifically permits such modifications "under
      special circumstances." Since AHSA president Alan F. Balch is also
      president of the National Horse Show, he recused himself from consideration
      of the issue. The Executive Committee acts for the president in such
      matters when the president discloses a potential conflict of interest,
      under a procedure recommended by the AHSA Legal Review Committee when Balch
      took office in 1997. The procedure has been followed each year since then
      on rule matters involving the National Horse Show.

      At the end of the meeting, Balch said, he was asked to join the conference.
      "Two members of the Executive Committee made it clear that they did not
      support granting a modification to the rules as proposed. NHJC president
      Tom Struzzieri represented that the Hunter and Jumper community did not
      favor the concept we proposed, and that he and the officers of the National
      Hunter/Jumper Council unanimously felt that the show could not be AHSA
      recognized. Eric Straus said that other members of the Executive Committee
      not from the Hunter/Jumper disciplines ought to defer to the recommendation
      of the Council leadership. Several members suggested that the proposal be
      referred back to the entire Board of Governors of the Council, scheduled to
      meet Tuesday evening, August 8, and all agreed.

      Balch said, "I contacted Mrs. Kenneth Wheeler (director and benefactor of
      the National) Monday afternoon to advise her of the situation. On Tuesday
      afternoon, after thinking everything through, she reached me just prior to
      the Council Board of Governors monthly conference call to say that she had
      decided that if there was such a feeling by the Council leaders and the
      exhibitors they represent, then there was no point going forward with our
      plans for this year. I agreed with her."
      Mrs. Wheeler emphasized that the show was not being cancelled or ended.
      "We will produce a beautiful show for the Maclay horsemanship finals, and
      any parts of the schedule other than the Hunters that we can arrange, but
      the location at this time is undecided. And next year, without the
      additional scheduling problems we face this year with the Grammy Awards, we
      expect that we will be able to go back to our previous format at the
      Garden. We're going to go to work on that right now, and it will be
      fabulous, as always. But we are not going to have a show which is not AHSA
      recognized. We need the drug rules and we need the Hunter and Jumper rules
      and the rule enforcement and the insurance protection, just for starters.
      I've been an AHSA director for as long as I can remember, and both Alan
      [Balch] and I would never be involved with a show which is not AHSA
      recognized, and I don't think any of our other directors would be either.
      I would never dream of asking favors of people who don't think that the
      exhibitors they represent would support the format we worked out, or who
      believe that the AHSA should not approve it."

      Balch reported Mrs. Wheeler's decision to the NHJC Board of Governors when
      called upon on Tuesday evening. He said that lengthy and acrimonious
      discussion followed, which he described as "difficult and hard to believe."
      He said, "Mr. Struzzieri never wavered from his view that the show should
      not be AHSA recognized under the conditions proposed, nor did Leo Conroy or
      Sue Ashe. They're entitled to their opinions, and we are entitled to our
      own. Mine is that I think this situation demonstrates that we need more
      flexibility in several areas of the AHSA rules, to encourage innovative
      thinking to move the entire sport forward. Many of us seem to have
      forgotten that compromises in many rules were made over the decades to
      accommodate the needs of special events like the indoor shows, and
      particularly the Garden, which is so different from any other show as to be
      literally unique. Frankly, we did not expect any resistance at all to what
      we had proposed, and we are surprised by how vehement it is. If this sport
      is to catch up with the rest of the world, we are going to have to embrace
      change, and fortunately, most of us are willing to do that."


      • #4
        When the AHSA/NHJC makes these decisions so late in the year don't they realize what they have done to the AHSA members that have made decisions based on qualifying. For example I have a neighbor that has shipped her horse to Vermont just to make sure she is(was) getting into New York. If she had known it wasn't necessary she could have stayed in Florida to show and saved THOUSANDS of dollars. I know of someone else that turned down a extravagant offer on her horse because this was going to be her last year to show at New York. Do the higher ups even care??? I hope there is a huge outcry from members.


        • #5
          Trying to read between the lines of the attached release.....is there any way this is a "payback" to Balch/AHSA for not facilitating the T.S. year end show at November? No hidden agenda in my asking this question, just curious if anyone knows.....


          • Original Poster

            Pewter, I don't know - altho the power struggle is evident, and I am a little guy who knows nothing except that in the end it will undoubtedly be us exhibitors that get screwed. Your theory would certainly make sense, except it also states that others, in addition to T.S., took the same view.

            Anyone know what's going on here?

            And, Hattie - the answer to your question, I think, is a resounding THEY DON'T CARE! They are running a business, not a sport.
            That's the sad part.

            Let's see what Towerheads.com has to say in the morning.

            [This message has been edited by Goodmudder (edited 08-09-2000).]


            • #7
              Bertie -

              Where did you find that press release?

              This is really a sad situation for those who had achieved the goal of qualifying for the Garden.


              • #8
                The press release was sent to Goodmudder. I just helped to get it posted here.


                • Original Poster

                  havaklu -

                  In response to the rumors, I emailed the AHSA today and asked the question. They responded very promptly via email with that press release, which they had just gotten.

                  But I didn't know how to get it on the board, so Bertie came to the rescue!


                  • #10
                    So now there is only going to be Washington and Penn horse show? Yet again the Ahsa Screws up. Tell me again why we pay all of this money to be members of an association that has it's head stuck up it's @ss. Oh yah what ever happen to the Marshal/sterling thing did they ever find a place for that?
                    I want to be like Barbie because that bitch has everything!


                    • #11
                      Sad, when I first read the other thread this AM, I was thinking wouldn't it be neat if they didn't necessarily did the full division thing that is so incomprehensible (read: boring) to the average spectators, and instead did a warm up/prep/qualifying type class(es) in the AM, followed by a really spectacular big money class in the evening? With, maybe a really sharp announcer who could explain the hunters to the unlearned?

                      I mean wouldn't that be the sort of thinking out of the box that hunters need right now? Instead we seem to have bickering. Sounds just like all th major corporations I have ever owrked for. Dilbert in action. Only not the funny side of Dilbert...
                      Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


                      • Original Poster

                        Smiles, Marshall & Sterling finals are at the Duke Benefit in North Carolina in November, I believe. Check out:

                        then, check out the M & S icon.


                        • #13
                          That is beyond terrible. Think of all the people that have their hearts set on showing at the Garden! And all the pony kids who worked so hard to get their little mounts qualified only to be told that they can't go after all and a year's worth of work was wasted. This is outrageous...
                          Erin B #1


                          • #14
                            Pewter - I was thinking along the same lines! I am even more concerned in what this industry is going to be like in 5 years. I can picture it now - a monopoly of the shows by 2 managers. EVERYONE please go to the NHJA website to review the rule changes and provide support for these changes! Even though the NHS hunter division cancellation doesn't affect me it has left a very bad taste in my mouth!


                            • #15
                              All I can say is sad, sadder, saddest. It was bad enough when they had to eviscerate the National this year to make it fit.

                              I vote they move it out to Long Island to the LI Colliseum. No one will come to watch anyway, wherever they hold it; and it's better than New Jersey (Sorry, Garden State - I'm from LI! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img])
                              ~Kryswyn~ Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo
                              Check out my Kryswyn JRTs on Facebook

                              "Life is merrier with a terrier!"


                              • #16
                                I think it's terrible that a decision like this was made in the MIDDLE of the year! Beyond that, I'm confused..... T.S. "and the officers of the National Hunter/Jumper Council unanimously felt that the show could not be AHSA recognized"

                                Does this mean that the show won't be recognized at all, including the Maclay finals?

                                Will there be jumpers? And if so, will the FEI still be involved? Will the Maclay finals be required to comply with FEI rules?

                                "Mrs. Wheeler emphasized that the show was not being cancelled or ended. 'We will produce a beautiful show for the Maclay horsemanship finals, and any parts of the schedule other than the Hunters that we can arrange, but the location at this time is undecided."

                                So, no Garden at all?

                                [This message has been edited by Bertie (edited 08-09-2000).]


                                • #17
                                  Bertie - the decision was made at the END of the qualifying year, that's what I find unbelieveable!


                                  • #18
                                    You're right, Hattie. Terrible.

                                    Personally, tho, we have a rider that could make it to the Maclay finals, and we wouldn't be too upset if the class was somewhere else. It's the hunter riders that had the Garden as their goal that I feel VERY bad for.

                                    [This message has been edited by Bertie (edited 08-09-2000).]


                                    • #19
                                      Just hunter people ? What are Maclay finals w/o the Garden? NY was my DREAM- totally, and entirely. It kills me to finally be getting close enough to have it be feasible, and the door was slammed right in my face...

                                      I know I'm not the only one- I loved NY, nothing was more incredible. It DOES cost a fortune to qualify, and its ridiculous that we find out now that the insane campaigning is unnecessary. Lovely.


                                      • #20
                                        I would like to reiterate a point made earlier....it is not just the personal disappointment of those that have qualified for these shows that is disturbing (the Garden, M&S finals) - it is the thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars spent by exhibitors all year attempting to qualify which have literally been wasted - I've been showing for 30 years and can't recall ever seeing such a blatant disregard for the competitor as has been evidenced this year. In my opinion we are truly at a point where the whole horse show industry succumbs to the whims of a couple of people managing 99% of the shows.