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  • #61
    A-U-D-I-T. I agree with whomever suggested this in another thread.........

    These big fat salaries for the USET staff..... would be one thing if they brought in truckloads of money, but for always being in the red?

    Not in the real world. And, their board should be horsewhipped for paying little or no attention to this year after year!

    In a "real life" non-profit, staff heads would roll after this sort of nonsense year after year. And the Executive Director would be first to go!

    It is not the point that the USET has the big guns on their board to make up the shortfall, it is bad business for them to do so. Makes for complacency in the organization staff. It is an anathema to a well-run organization.

    Audit, with a capital "A"!



    • #62
      Portia how do you think we should proceed? Is there a way to let the USOC know what we prefer? Should we send letters to them citing our preferences and reasoning?

      I admit I am at a loss to know, but it seems that we should somehow have a voice in this dialog since it is OUR team. I think the idea proposed by Linda Allen for the Equestrian Games is a superior concept and could develop a program that would have an open door from the ladder. I surely would like to see that as the pathway to the Olympics for our kids.
      http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


      • #63
        Snowbird, I'm not sure how to proceed. It can't hurt to let the AHSA and USET know how individual members feel about the process and the two proposals. The AHSA has a bulletin board, the USET doesn't, but it does have an e-mail link on its SPI page. http://www.uset.com/html/spi.html The USOC site doesn't have any any identification of who the USOC liasons for equestrian are, but on the "contact us" page it has an address and a telephone number for the USOC headquarters in Colorado Springs. If you scroll all the way to the bottom of the page, it has an e-mail link for general questions to the USOC. http://www.usoc.org/

        One very good thing is that, by statute, the USOC hearings next month into the Equestrian NGB status (assuming no agreement is reached) will be open to the public. Also by statute and the USOC Charter, after the USOC makes its determination, if the two organizations competing for NGB status still disagree they can resolve the issue through arbitration. Unlike most arbitrations, however, any subsequent arbitration between the two competing organizations over NGB status must also be open to the public.

        The AHSA and USET will have to explain in public exactly how they operate, have operated in the past, and how they would continue to operate into the future as NGB. All the details regarding any highly compensated employees, finances, budgets, fundraising, and who wields power will come out into the bright light of day. Somehow I suspect it will be much easier for the AHSA to justify its numbers than for the USET to do so.
        "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


        • #64
          What I like about the USOC is the mandated democracy. I think it will be a good thing is the Board is elected instead of appointed.

          During the Convention Alan Balch mentioned that was the plan and that we were supposed to be heard through the various councils who then made the final choices. That can work but right now in our discipline our problem is that the Hunter Jumper Council has dead-ended us. For example even though the forum passed our Contiguous Rule unanimously, and that had to be from most of the Board of Governors. You know as I do that at the convention there were probably not more than 20 who were not already on some committee of board. I would estimate that since there are 30 on the Board of Governors there had to be a lot out of the 57 votes this rule got who were in favor. Yet, the Council at it's final Board Meeting not only turned this down but 4 Rule Changes which were never even discussed to establish merit.

          My point is that if NGB status would give us a more open and forthcoming council due to the merger that ladder the sports act talks about would be much better served.

          The USET seems to believe that they have the right to delegate yet they are opposed to the AHSA for delegating. I do believe that those more versed in this rule than I say that the delegation cannot go
          either way. I believe it is imperitive that the USOC know that if the USET were to be NGB 99% of the members of this equestrian sport would be disenfranchised and the opportunity to move from the bottom to the top would not exist.

          In the USET plan the movement is only planned for the top level. I saw nothing that would inspire Susie Hometown to believe that she could possibly ever have the opportunity to be on the team. The USOC needs to understand this.
          http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


          • #65
            I posted this on the AHSA Convention Report thread in response to something Snowbird asked, but it more appropriately belongs here, so sorry for the repetition.

            I could be wrong, but it's my understanding that if the USOC has to decide the issue, it is not going to be choosing between the AHSA merger plan or the USET affilate plan. Instead, it would decide only whether the AHSA is in compliance with the statute and qualified to continue to be the NGB or not, and then the AHSA and USET would fight it out in arbitration over who should be the NGB into the future. I don't think the USOC can order the organizations to merge, or that it can order the AHSA to agree to become an affiliate of and at least for international matters subservient to, the USET. It might have the power to create a new organization to serve as NGB, however. I'll have to look at the Ted Stevens Amateur Sports Act and the USOC Charter more closely on that point.

            One thing I am fairly sure of, however, is that if there is no agreement between them, whoever is declared the NGB would have to perform all of the functions of the NGB without delegating them to any other organization. So, if it remains the NGB, the AHSA would have to assume fundraising, organization, team selection, and planning for international competitions and qualifiers in the FEI disciplines.

            On the other hand, if the USET were chosen as NGB, the USET would have to assume responsibility for and perform licensing of officials, equine drug testing, rules promulgation and enforcement through protests, hearings, and sanctions, competition date allocation, etc., -- all of which are NGB functions the AHSA currently performs -- for every FEI discipline at the international level and all other competitions that affect qualification to compete internationally -- namely, for example, any GP over $25,000 that could put someone on the computer list. The USET's assertion that it currently performs virtually all the functions of the NGB is not accurate.

            The plans that the AHSA and USET have put forward as part of the SPI process are essentially compromise and settlement plans that require the agreement of the other party. The USET proposal requires the AHSA to go along with and agree to be under the direction of the USET regarding all FEI disciplines.

            As I understand it, under the USET proposal the AHSA would become an "affilate" of the USET and in that capacity continue to perform much of the functions of licensing officials and equine drug testing in many competitions, including some involving qualifying for international competitions. The USET apparently thinks this will be acceptable to the USOC and be valid under the Amateur Sports Act because that statute allows affiliates of the NGB to perform certain functions at various levels and for geographic divisions, etc. However, the statute expressly does not allow delegation of authority or control of NGB functions from the NGB to any other organization.

            To me, it looks like the USET plan suffers from exactly the same delegation problem that the USOC is complaining about right now in the relationship between the two entities under the Operating Agreement. I was not at the meeting on Thursday, but from John Strassberger's report it sounds like Peter Alkalay, the sports law expert on the USOC requirements, has the same interpretation I do.

            As for the NHJC defecting and joining with the USET as an affiliate if it is selected the NGB, I'm not sure what the USET would do with the NHJC in any event. After all, as Dr. Leone pointed out in his statements at the Board meeting protesting the rule change regarding certification of international competitors by their own national federations, hunters are not any part of the FEI disciplines or international competition. The USET therefore has, and would have, no concern with hunters. Remember, the USET only wants to deal with the FEI disciplines, and only at the "elite" levels.
            "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


            • #66
              I was there on Thursday and yes that's exactly what the attorney said and Armand just stood there and kept saying "You are wrong".

              I think where the flap is with the Council is that it is a Hunter/JUMPER Council. It therefore is supposed to be involved with all the stuff that leads to the Jumper part of the Olympic Team. There was some talk about splitting it into two councils so that the Jumpers would be a separate council. Most of the moguls are very involved with shows that offer the high price jumper classes and Prix cash cows. That's why they feel they could cover the lower levels for the USET as what is needed for the lower grassroots stuff. Especially note the recent emphasis on the word "grassroots" in all the Council papers and submissions.

              I think they hope to remain on the Hunter Council while managing the Jumper Council. The concept being that the AHSA would not be willing to be an affiliate and the USET would need them for the grassroots.

              I haven't had time to read all the revisions to the council by-laws that they requested and were passed.
              http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


              • #67
                Are people really considering the long term impact of these changes?

                For the better, IMHO?


                • Original Poster

                  THE AHSA PROPOSAL IN FULL


                  This is a Powerpoint exhibit - the same given to the AHSA & USET Boards.

                  Check it out! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.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!


                  • Original Poster

                    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Mission Statement

                    The mission of the National Governing Body is to govern the sport in compliance with the laws of the United States and the Constitution of the United States Olympic Committee, and in addition, to inspire, encourage interest in, and regulate equestrian competition. �To accomplish this mission, our members and staff, working together will�

                    1. Protect horses by inspecting and testing to deter use of forbidden substances, by adopting and enforcing rules to prohibit other cruel, unsafe and/or unsportsmanlike practices, and by supporting valuable research to benefit our horses and our sport.

                    2. Promote sportsmanship and assure fair competition, and provide services for members� common benefit.

                    3. Assure the right to compete for all athletes at each level in every discipline.
                    4. Provide a body of rules with which to govern Equestrian sport at the National level, along with an effective means of enforcing them, and a judicial process that is fair to competitors while providing for optimum integrity within the sport.

                    5. Educate and license Officials to enforce the rules and maintain excellent standards for the sport at all levels and in all divisions.

                    6. Encourage and provide opportunities for athletes with disabilities to participate at all levels of Equestrian sport.

                    7. Provide effective and timely communication to every level of athlete, official, and organizer within the sport.

                    8. Develop interest and participation in Equestrian sport throughout the United States and work with affiliate associations and other breed organizations and other organizations to encourage participation.

                    9. Establish national goals and encourage attainment of those goals.

                    10. Serve as the coordinating body for equestrian activity in the United States; exercise jurisdiction over international equestrian activities, and sanction international equestrian competition held in the United States; promote the sponsorship of international equestrian competition held inside and outside the United States.

                    11. Coordinate the calendar of competitions to: a) assure FEI level competitive opportunities domestically;
                    b) enhance the level of National competition in all FEI disciplines; and
                    c) provide for varying levels of Regional and National competition in a wide variety of disciplines to increase breadth of the sport throughout the country,
                    d) serve and promote the best interests of recognized competitions.

                    12. Aid the USOC in its mission to help U.S. athletes achieve sustained competitive excellence while inspiring all Americans and preserving the Olympic ideal.

                    13. Select and recommend to the USOC individuals and teams to represent the United States in the equestrian disciplines in the Olympic, Pan American and Paralympic Games.

                    14. Select and designate individuals and teams to represent the United States in other equestrian international competition and certify, if applicable under FEI rules, the amateur eligibility of such individuals and teams.

                    15. Work together with the FEI in its mission to protect the horses from any form of abuse, extend the universality of Equestrian sport, and promote its visibility to the public.

                    16. Serve as the National Governing Body for Equestrian sport in the United States and member of the USOC and as the member National Federation for the United States in the FEI. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                    For those interested in reading this is an easier format than what is posted on the ASHA web site, I have created a pdf (Adobe Acrobat) file from the PowerPoint presentation. Email me directly.
                    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!


                    • #70
                      Congratulations to all of us who participated. The first purpose in the mission statement is the one we have all been responsible for having been included.
                      http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


                      • #71
                        A BIG one to Portia, Snowbird and Weatherford for keeping us updated. Many of us could not attend, and having the feed back is wonderful. Will be very interested to see what the final out come is. How many of the rule changes passed. Hearing the questions, and the answers that were given at the convention. All of this gives more insite. The USET needs to make major changes. I, like Portia, certainly do NOT want to become a member nor do I want to donate as it now stands. Let's hope that we are moving forward with this, finally!


                        • #72
                          Three rules, the right to know, the right to vote and the riding school establishment rules were sent to the planning committee for implementation and revising so they were compatible and could be passed.

                          The Mission statement was a success, already done.
                          The contiguous state rule and the revisions to the by-laws are supposed to be resolved by the NHJC and us and brought back to the AHSA Executive Committee for the March meeting.

                          The NHJC never discussed the Revisions in any forum, they also ignored the Increment system, the Masters, the Affiliated Association to not charge non-member fees, and the changes to the judges rule. The only rule the NHJC discussed and voted down in a forum was the change to the Junior age to include the young rider age to 21.
                          http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


                          • #73
                            At the convention I met so many kind people with such willingness to sacrifice for GOOD sportsmanship and an appreciation for every level of this industry.

                            Most were from other disciplines and other parts of the country and yet they could appreciate the effort work and tenacity that got me to Colorado Springs. They didn't understand all the issues but they could respect the effort.

                            There should be a way to put all these good people and the hunter/jumpers together instead of everyone living in their separate little worlds and building walls.

                            We should use horses as the means to celebrate the differences and be thrilled by the differences and respect all the different ways we all live our lives and yet we all love horses.
                            http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


                            • #74
                              What happens to the USET if the AHSA proposal is selected?

                              If the USET "wins" both it and the AHSA will still exist albeit with a different relationship and different name/s. But if not, does the USET...cease? Or what?

                              Just went to look at www.equestrianlife.com, which looked to be a pretty good website (at least during Olympics, the last time I went there), and found it was purchased by USET Properties...what will happen to the site if the USET "loses"? And if they don't, what changes will occur on the site? I really liked it the way it was!

                              Anyone know?
                              Tinwhistle Farm


                              • #75
                                Hey Nancey, good to have you back! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_cool.gif[/img]

                                I don't know the answer to your questions. The AHSA is and always has been the NGB, but the USET has performed some of the functions og that role. Until the last few years, the USET performed those functions directly under the AHSA, and since the Operating Agreement it has done so by delegation from the AHSA and with the AHSA's supervision. Under the Ted Stevens Amateur Sports Act, though, the NGB cannot delegate the core functions of governing the sport to any other entity. So, if the AHSA and USET cannot come to an agreement and the USOC and arbitration results in the AHSA remaining the NGB, the AHSA will have to conduct all the fundraising and organizing activities the USET does, and the USET will no longer have its primary purposes for existing.

                                The idea the AHSA is proposing is a merger of the two organizations into a new entity. The assets of the USET would remain earmarked to the international division of the new entity (as is permissible under the non-profit corporation laws), and the USET activities would continue from Gladstone except as a division of the combined organization rather than a separate entity.

                                I would hope that, even if those at the USET who are pushing its NGB effort are shortsighted enough to continue the fight all the way to the end and lose, that they would then recognize the benefits of the AHSA offer and agree that the USET should join with the AHSA to achieve what is best for horse sports in this country.
                                "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


                                • #76
                                  Thanks Portia!

                                  That's just it...if they don't merge, do they cease to exist since their raison d'etre is gone?
                                  And with whom would the AHSA replace their existing personnel?

                                  If they do merge and everything is reorganized, will their internal structure and personnel be adapted as is?

                                  I have been reviewing the available information (quite a few letters and press releases out there!) to "catch up" on this topic, but perhaps haven't scrutinized the AHSA organizational chart carefully enough.
                                  Tinwhistle Farm


                                  • #77
                                    Well if these adults who believe they are so superior and intelligent cannot compromise and the AHSA continues it function as NGB it will set up the mechanics for an International Team.

                                    Those who became disenfranchised by virtue of their interest in the USET are of course going to be welcomed back and will continue their competition and management under the AHSA. OR! I suppose they could find some poor country they can buy, have dual citizenship and still have their own team.

                                    If the USET should be selected they would be compelled to develop all the grassroots programs in which they have indicated they have no interest. The AHSA could continue to develop new riders and horses and send them to compete in the selection trials for the team. It was afterall the base of the AHSA which made the USET possible. There is no reason it could not do it again.
                                    http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


                                    • #78
                                      I just don't get it. I know I'm oversimplifying (that's why I don't get it), but why can't USET be a sub-whatever of AHSA? What IS the problem with that? NHRA is. USCTA is. USDF is. NHJC is. Various breeds are. Each do their own fundraising as well as give and get from AHSA. What is the big deal?

                                      Is it "just" a power and ego issue? Look, I've been reading everything you guys have posted, but I just can't understand why it has to be so complicated. Did I miss that? I'd sure appreciate some help in understanding what I'm missing. I know USET has almost as much in income as AHSA (having examined their IRS I-990 form), but except for being technically "under" AHSA's wing, what harm would the merger do? What harm?

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                                      • #79
                                        Well Wynn on that other BB there is an interview with TS and he seems finally to have gone public with the truth.

                                        Yep! It's ego and it's protection of turf. He really is mad about the Sunday Board meeting. I guess he really isn't interrested in hearing from the little people when he has so much offered to him on his plate.

                                        He aparently is upset because he wouldn't be on the new AHSA Board of Directors. He's miffed because he's in the same box as all other breeds and associations.

                                        BUT..the USET has offered him a Board position. WOW! isn't he impressive? The AHSA is foolish to be re-inventing itself as an umbrella but the NHJC wouldn't be foolish to re-invent itself AGAIN! for a Board seat.

                                        Yes! Wynn it's ego and turf that those studs need to protect at any cost. (As long as it's not theirs)
                                        http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


                                        • #80
                                          Snowbird, I don't think it is as bad as you imply.
                                          I read the entire interview and I would be upset if my representation was going from 25% of the current AHSA Board (13-14 members)to zero percent on the proposed new board.

                                          "so we go from the AHSA board where we have 14 or 13 representatives out of the 60 some�us meaning the hunters and jumpers, to this new plan, a new board where we don�t have any representation."

                                          He certainly has a different spin on the How the AHSA meeting was run.

                                          "it was embarrassing to be a board member.....the AHSA upper end was so busy thinking about and considering what is going on with our international situation that it paid such little attention to the 400 rule changes that were put in front of it"

                                          Isn't spin a wonderful thing.