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The NJ Court has ruled for USA Equestrian

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  • #41
    re "Right now, we couldn't beg anyone on our board to be president", said Struzzerri."

    - to my mind that does not speak well about those on the board - given the context, I take that to mean that the other board members consider the org. to be their cash cow and if it is not to be one then why spend any time on it?

    - why try to promote the sport? why try to expand the sport and attract more members?.....
    Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

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


    • #42
      Interesting about the concerns with signing a conflict of interest statement (if I read it right).

      Who among us, who holds a position of even moderate, middle management type power, and has NOT had to sign a conflict of interest statement. I have signed one annually for years, and not just in publicly traded corporations. My current company is (thankfully) not yet publicly held. But it is owned by shareholders who have a right to know if I am in a position of potential conflict.

      And having a potential conflict does not necessarily mean I lose employment... But an undisclosed conflict is a whole different ballgame. Puts a company in a potentially precarious position when considering various deals and alliances.

      It seems a small thing to expect the senior officers of NHJC to sign one...
      Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


      • #43
        do you think that the NHJC leaders went to the same 'management' school as the leaders of the uset?
        Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

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


        • #44
          actually sgray, from all I have seen and read, I would be hesitant to put the words "management," "school," and "USET and/or NHJC" in a single sentence.
          Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


          • #45
            Isn't it amazing that organizations have people at the helm pulling down very nice salaries and many perks that clearly are in above their abilities?? I've seen this over and over again in non-profits where they don't hire BUSINESS people to run the organizations - they hire people from the individual discipline that's involved. Running a corporation (non profit or otherwise ) is just that - BUSINESS. The clear lack of ability, experience, education and vision has lead to this crisis. Leadership is what makes any organization great - crisis facing a great organization never gets to this point with strong leadership. We've got run away horses at the front of the herd - .....if we are sensible the majority will stop running with them and form a new herd.


            • #46
              I was told by members of the Zone 2 committee at a zone 2 forum that the conflict of Interest statements, if filled out to the letter, would just be fuel to "get" people. (Direct quote - only instead of people, two ranking council members were mentioned.)

              "Get" people?? The LAW and the IRS is going to GET people who have undisclosed Conflicts!

              I am very, very disappointed in the members of the H/J council who feel (quite strongle) that they should not have to work with amateurs on their board or committees. They also feel the PEOPLE OUTSIDE their discipline (H/J) should not be allowed to rule on any of THEIR offenses. (From drugs to cruelty, etc.) I was told that amateurs and people outside the H/J world can#t possibly understand what they need to do for their horses, or how they " need" to medicate them, etc.

              I find that attitude appalling! We all know there are amateurs and people in other disciplines who know more about some things that some professional h/j people. Ridiculous and makes me very sad, too.

              [This message was edited by Weatherford on Aug. 24, 2001 at 12:38 PM.]
              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!


              • #47
                I think some members of my Zone 2 Committee might be feeling a little paranoid because they know their motivation for accepting the job is not for the general welfare and interest.

                They also don't like having meetings that anyone will attend, they don't like being accountable for the finances, they don't want any rules passed that don't make their personal lives better. In Zone 2 for example on the only financial report I've been able to get it says our one ring one day Zone Horse Show costs $41,000 but they don't subtract the income from entries, sponsors and the Programs Book.

                I have never seen a financial report from a single Zone Horse Show since their inception over 10 years ago. I have asked repeatedly a simple question "Where's the money? Show me the Money" So the Zone 2 Committee not only objects to the Conflict of Interest disclosures but the right of their members to know what is happening and who is makes the decisions and why. We have not had an Awards Banquet in years and years. To be a member of Zone 2 is to be part of the unheard and unseen masses forever ignored and forgotten.

                That is what the USA Equestrian wants to change, to make them accountible for their behavior and decisions that affect all of us. Right now the NHJC is a dead-end like driving into a closet with no lights on.

                At the Convention they ignored the opinions of the few who even bothered to attend who were not on a committee. I submitted the product of many hours of work by a lot of us who really care and it was all summarily dismissed without discussion or even the courtesy of tabling it for further discussion.

                In my opinion the Conflict of Interest Statement is the least important, because they are in violation of the rules that operate a non-profit corporation and the refusal to submit information properly certified is an easier and better reason to get rid of someone than the Conflict of Interest Statement.

                But, why should anyone who is pretending to be there for the purpose of a general good and benefit be afraid to say how many of the Board of Governors do business together annually. Is Sue Pinckney the Executive Director of our NHJC or is she the Secretary to HITS and Mr. Struzerri and we just pay her salary. And, there are many other questions just as they have raised in Zone 10.

                We have a system that isn't working for Hunter/Jumper and we need to fix it. I am not the least interested in personalities but I am interested in issues. It is unfair to vilify Alan Balch because he requests information about finances that he has every right to have, because the buck stops on his desk. He has no one to pass the buck to after him.

                Having been attacked personally from so many sides it was expected that he as the President of this Association would make sure that every t was crossed and every i was dotted so that no one can hang the blame on his administration during his watch at the helm.

                [This message was edited by Snowbird on Aug. 23, 2001 at 08:58 PM.]
                http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


                • #48
                  How is the financial information AB requested different than what should by law be public record of any organization run as a non-profit 501 c3? If it is different, what IS set out for public record?

                  If the rumors of incredible perks etc. turn out to be verified by the court ordered release of the records to AB, how much of that is against the law as opposed to just bad business. In other words if the USET has been trying to proctect there backsides, could they be trying to protect themselves against criminal charges or just looking incompetent?

                  How polictically does the structure of the USET board change if the recently tossed but now reinstated board members are again in voting positions? I understood those people were tossed because they were not in agreement with the USET's claim for NGB status and dared to speak up. Does this make it harder for the powers-that-be inside the USET to continue seeking the NGB status with desention now inside the ranks. Or can these people easily be tossed out again?

                  I ditto Snowbird in thanks to you lawyerly types sorting some us this out for us out here who are sans this type of background! sbk


                  • #49
                    My guess from what has been written and said is that they are concerned about the IRS. If the information is documented you have people who are on the one hand donating substancial amounts of money and writing it off as charity to a non-profit. And then because of their positin being able to spend that money on their horses and favored riders.

                    They also have, as already ruled by New Jersey violated the law in this situation regarding a manipulation of facts in an illegal way by refusing to comply with necessary disclosure.

                    Their claim to be a national fundraiser and supporter of all athletes is belied by the fact that they do not support the athletes from the west coast.

                    My guess is that they are on very thin ice and that's the reason for the veiled threat in the HDV that these very generous people will no longer participate. We then will have to figure out how to raise the necessary money. Although I doubt that has a legal merit it sure smacks of a threat to me. Doesn't it remind you of stories where Big Daddy says do what I want or I won't play.
                    http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


                    • #50
                      with all the interrelationships in the horse world it is difficult (perhaps impossible) to have no conflicts whatsoever

                      the only problem being that anyone in a position of power should disclose those conflicts
                      Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

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


                      • #51
                        All of these sandbox tantrums do nothing to improve the public's opinion of showjumping.
                        Richfolks with lots of lawyers.
                        Not athletes.
                        In the early 80's a <wealthy> rider was not selected for the Showjumping Olympic team. Arbitration reared it's ugly (and expensive) head.
                        In the 90's another <wealthy> rider forced the creation of "the computer list."
                        What's next? Grooms, farriers, veterinarians and legal council at every ingate?


                        • #52
                          OK! We've recognized the problem at last. Yes! the image right now is pretty bad. Yes! the perception from the outside is even worse.

                          But, at least now we have recognized the problems exposed them and are finding ways to deal with them. And, 10 years from now if we have the courage to get the job done it WON'T EVER BE SO AGAIN.

                          If the plans and programs are out in the open and exposed to the full glare of sunlight they won't fester and turn rotten. It is certainly more difficult to manipulate an organization which performs it job under full scrutiny of those who are supporting it.

                          This is the first time in the history of this sport that the MEMBERS have demanded accountability and have a means to achieve it.

                          I don't believe there is any legal reason why all these calesthenics were necessary for us to have full disclosure of the finances for OUR TEAM.

                          I'm sure some of our legal minds can better speak to the issue, but as I understand it the LAW requires in a non-profit corporation disclosure to at least all the Directors and Trustees who because of their position are culpable for any damages that ensue do to improper management of the finances.

                          That's why the New Jersey Courts upheld the right of AB to have this information. Even though the USET is an independent and autonomous corporation it is tied to the USA Equestrian which is why AB is on the Board and I believe a Vice-President.

                          The Operating agreement was I believe established to allow the USET to do it's own fundraising and budget but it was never intended that it would not be accountable to the USA Equestrian.

                          This era started because the USET refused to permit AB the necessary information as a part of the oversight that USA Equestrian holds over the USET.
                          http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


                          • #53
                            I've been out of the country on vacation for the last 2 weeks, but this is really, really interesting to come back to and catch up.

                            I read the decision. The judge did not say that BALCH or his actions were "abhorrent." She said that no matter how abhorrent the USET found his actions or requests, they would have to respond. Big difference.

                            So clear and important: the organization that wants to be the NGB must know how to go by the rules, since it must enforce the rules. If it thinks it is above the law, can we all imagine what would happen if it were ENFORCING the rules of the sport? C'mon now. This is so plain. Particularly, depending on what Balch finds out, about how their finances work, and whether they are reporting right and going by those rules.

                            I think this might be a real turning point.


                            • #54
                              I do think this was an essential victory because it exposes the weaknesses of the USET and their elitist and exclusionary attitude. I resent the basic assumptions proposed by Dr.Leone that "THEY" were only concerned with the ultimate efforts and not at all interested in the plain folks.

                              They have had to face the fact that whatever their personal convictions they are not above the law. Hopefully, that will also be true for the USOC. For them the essential Law of the land is the Ted Stevens Athletic Act. I think this Court ruling should make it impossible for them to do anything but support the rule of law andretain the Fed as the NGB.

                              Certainly, whatever has been in the past the USA Equestrian has had an awakening and there is no reason to believe that they won't continue down this road. I think at the least they will support our goal for a level playing field for competitors of all financial backgrounds for this point on into history.

                              Really, what's the worst, the USA Equestrian will field teams that compete at the USET sanctioned events. If it goes the other way the USET will field teams that will compete at events sanctioned by USA Equestrian. Or, hopefully, cool minds will take charge and the USET will just come home.

                              Together both associations have made history and if they are together again there are better days ahead.
                              http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


                              • #55
                                The reason: The USET�s policy of limiting voting privileges to members who have contributed a minimum of $100 (instituted in 1995, according to their testimony) is not permitted under New Jersey law.
                                Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

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


                                • #56
                                  I would imagine that if you are a member and that it entitles you to a vote it cannot be on the $ value of the membership.

                                  For example (well not this year because the class does't fill) I usually would donate about $2000 a year from our USET Classes. However, that never entitled me to a vote or a memberhsip. I was always offended by that since they did get the money through my efforts.

                                  Until the year the Leones ran the insurgency election, and then that year for some weird reason I did get the chance to have a vote. At the time I remember thinking that didn't seem legal. We also sold a lot of the USET items years ago and that never earned me the right to vote either.

                                  We never had a vote when we had the two memberships for coach and rider, so I'm not even sure what it takes to be a member. A wake-up call to all of us exactly what is a member of the USET and why would they have put $100.00 price tag on the vote?
                                  http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


                                  • #57
                                    the way I interpret - whatever the donation level set for "full" membership, whether it is $25 or $40 or $10 - that is what would entitle you to a vote. I just don't know what that amount is as I haven't saved any of those solicitation letters. (I only have the "raise X in 3 months" letter which doesn't state membership amounts.)
                                    Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

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


                                    • #58
                                      I have to thank Mr Balch on his efforts, although I do wish he had not been forced to such severe actions. I feel as if the USET no longer has the sports best interest at heart.

                                      I see only bickering, egotistical childish pratter, the USET trying to cover up being caught with it's pants down and overall bad press for our sport.

                                      And here we all are, "gossiping" and ridiculing. Why did none of the Big-Name-People-With-All-The-Clout come to Mr Balch's aid? Am I in the dark here? Did I miss any press releases from former AHSA President Jane Clark? What is D.D. Matz's view on this? Or George's? What about Victor Hugo-Vidal?

                                      It seems to me as if the USET has made a grossly negligent error and has not lived up to it's charter. I wonder if this could be construed as unsportsmanlike behavior, ethical misconduct or negligence.

                                      I also wonder why our two (please don't hate me for using this term) "governing bodies" cannot grow up and act like adults. Maybe I was just not as interested as a junior, but in the eighties and nineties it appeared to me like the AHSA and the USET had a more cohesive working relationship.

                                      In light of this, I can't understand where the USET can even begin to believe that they deserve the responsibility of being our country's NGB.

                                      I'm not saying that the AHSA is pure and without blame. There are times that I have felt as if the AHSA was being greedy, needing to control all. At times I thought the AHSA was merely being petty. Even now, I can't help but feel that the AHSA has (although rightfully) uncovered some dirty laundry and used it to their advantage. Dirty tactics have never been my style but then again I'm not the AHSA President.

                                      Is it no wonder that if the AHSA and the USET cannot get along, that our team squads reflect this discord?


                                      • #59
                                        I believe D.D. Matz signed the original letter to the USOC that started this whole brouhaha.
                                        If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


                                        • #60
                                          subk, I work for a non-profit and as I understand it, you are correct, the financials are supposed to be made available to anyone who requests them.