The Summit

26 Nov

Fairly soon, the US will have its horse sport summit meeting.

What I expect:

Less than half the proposed attendees will show up.

The ones who do show up will all want to know what can be done for them.

The same old same old will be trotted out as new ideas.

Applause.

Questions I hope get answered:

1. Can anyone tell the rest of us what actually happened at the FEI General Assembly? ie–was there no  mention let alone private discussion of the now-notorious (and even more so– pointless, mean-spirited, dictatorial,purposely obtuse) “sanctioned vs. non-sanctioned rule”  which basically states that any show that wants to bill itself as international (and therefore able to attract $pon$or$) will  give pay-back and fealty and control to FEI or everyone at the show will basically be suspended for six months,..?

1b:

FEI Regulations passed LAST General Assembly, Nov 2011 (That’s a year ago. 12 months before this post)

link:               http://www.fei.org/sites/default/files/media/GA11%20-%20wrap%20up.pdf

The regulation says in part:

<< Furthermore, on the basis of guidance received from the IOC, it was clarified that if one member of a Dressage, Jumping, and Eventing team is disqualified for an anti-doping violation, the entire team would be disqualified. However, in Jumping the team members that did not commit the doping violation would still be able to keep their score for purposes of the individual placings.>>

Yoo Hoo, . .Maybe the dressage and eventing people want to get this rule modified/rescinded/changed…?

2. Can anyone explain how they plan to grow the horse sport  in this country when everyday, in every way, there are fewer places for children/adults  to come into contact with live horses,unless an enormous amount of money is being spent to cover both liability and upkeep?  Budweiser has done more to keep the dream of horses alive through its wonderful commercials than all of USEF .

3. Can anyone explain whether or not there is any semblance of a plan that actually encompasses horse sport and not just some corner of it? Along with that–am I the only person who feels that having all these little-corner plans without a unifying vision may end up in everyone competing for the same dollars and everyone therefore getting none?

For what it is worth, here is the link to the report carried out in Great Britain:

http://www.bhic.co.uk/downloads/henley-report.pdf

Horse sport is ONE sector of the horse industry pie charts and visions for growth included in the report.

That report is dated 2003. It used data from the U.S. that was 8 years old at that time. 17 years old now, over 4 Olympics ago–and it is only economic data. Because the only reports ever carried out in the U.S. have basically been economic research, mostly Thoroughbred or AQHA, and a very few on the ‘horse industry’ itself. Which, confusingly, turns out in 2 of the reports to refer to ‘horse harvesting’  similar to the ‘harvesting’ of organs for transplant.

But no comprehensive plan . Nope.

4. Why is Kentucky the navel of the U.S. horse sport world ? Yes yes, I know the organizations have moved there and the footing is out of this world.  But really, WEG should have proven by now that if one has any hope of being in the black, there has to be some kind of entertainment nearby; some kind of glitz and glamor. Maybe some place to park the less passionate without losing them entirely.

Taking nothing away from the majesty of the TB breeding farms but downtown Lexington is not Worth Avenue; does not have a beach or slot machines or mouse ears, etc.

Yes, I think we need an umbrella plan.

Yes, I think we need to figure out how to attract the next generation.

Yes, I am repeating myself.

So–good luck to the Summit!

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