The emperor’s new clothes…

12 Nov

Yes, the FEI has just had its major meeting of the year, the General Assembly that shapes and dictates the realities of horse sport.

WHO went to this meeting from your country?
What and HOW (not to mention WHY) did they vote as they did?

Er…what did they vote on?

Not to worry, whoever went, they sold their souls for a piece of the pie. Everyone got a tiny morsel of something and,in return, there was no palace revolt over anything that might ever have been important let alone significant.

Oh sure,every news media has regurgitated the press releases:

The new pictograms that represent the 7 disciplines!

The fabbo ‘no blood’ rule that only affects dressage!

Endurance can now basically be a gallop across flat land!

The magnificent new Nation’s Cup deal wherein show jumping is now supported and shaped by the Saudi Equestrian Fund; for the price of oh 2  of the horses the Saudis bought last year that helped them gain the team bronze at the London Olympics (16 million Euros if you say it fast enough it is a mere bagatelle), the Fund has agreed to sponsor the next 4 years of the FEI flagship competition,Nation’s Cup. They even threw in 2 million euros to cover the deficit problems of this year,2012.

The imperial nod at various regions, giving them just enough recognition so that they vote correctly on the true issues.

—  No one asked if the Saudis ever plan to allow women to compete in equestrian sport . As of now, of course, they do not.

—   No one appears to have shed one tear that the Associate Members were all abolished, pushed under the bus for the temerity of speaking up and reflecting the views of–well, the riders in various disciplines.  Yes. The dressage riders were first not allowed to have any representation, but then magnanimously, were allowed to froth about for a few months while the abolishment plan was engineered. And of course the show jumping riders complained about that most fantastical FEI creation of all, “hypersensitivity” in which a horse is found to be naturally sensitive on its legs, thus giving it a better chance of clearing jumps. What? you ask…

The Associate Members as a group were created to give the athletes/stakeholders more input on their sport. Most of them found out they were being abolished a week before General Assembly, the news buried in a general memorandum.

Just google “hypersensitivity”  “hypersensitization”  “Tiffany Foster”  for the latest Olympic charade.

So now we will have instead a Memorandum of Understanding. Yes.

Why has no one asked exactly WHY the flagship competition has not been able to attract sponsors? Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that the Western European sponsors decided to wait to see if the Western European creation, the European Equestrian Federation, was granted its main wishes over Nation’s Cup ,etc. In the end, the main shows that have always hosted Nation’s Cup qualifiers will do so again–no silly standing in line and bidding against other venues for the privilege of making some money while giving the tithed portion to the ever-benevolent FEI.

Yes, Western Europe still wags the tail on the dog in oh so many ways. Yayyy EEF.

And perhaps it had something to do with the realization that the Saudis were prepared to outbid other offers.

Which is good, because the two areas of the world that are gearing up to grow horse sport are the Middle East and China–also amply represented at this year’s FEI.  So they should start shouldering the financial burden and sitting on the various boards. Who wants to bet that the next President of FEI comes from China?

That should be a perfect fit in terms of the stated goal of transparency and  stakeholder democracy.

So who went to this meeting from your country? How did they vote?



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