Looking at the wrong horse?

4 Dec



USDF (United States Dressage Federation) is holding its annual meeting, starting tomorrow.,

On everyone’s mind  is the ‘sanctioned/unsanctioned’ FEI rule — the idea that if you show/officiate/participate in a local or unrecognized-by-National Federation-show, the FEI will personally ban you from competition for six (6!!) months.

Of course, the FEI wrote this ridiculous, dictatorial rule with only one object in view: to prevent competition with their own FEI shows so that they can control horse sport AND reap ALL the reward$ without having to do much –like hire a marketing whiz, or come up with a better plan than their competitors.

Aware that this makes the FEI in fact as well as intent a monopoly, and that this would result in legal battles that could cost huge fees, FEI wrote the rule as obtusely as possible, citing, unbelievably, ‘horse welfare’ as its reason for being.

So here we are, with the FEI issuing ‘clarifications’, and various NFs reassuring their constituencies that they are in talks with FEI.

All over a ruling that is meaningless for all except the top echelon of internbational competitors/top sport participants who might dare ride at or officiate at a show that is not giving enough money or control to FEI.

Sure. Why bother becoming better, striving for excellence, giving a measure of something back to its own stakeholders, when there is the easy way of total dictatorship/monopoly?

What ‘stakeholders’ should REALLY be complaining about/discussing is the totally inexplicable, rather disgusting abolishment of all  FEI’s Associate Members: the ‘banning’ of International Dressage Riders, International Jmper Riders, International Show Organizers, Owners, etc.

No sooner did FEI agree several years ago to the creation of these clubs, giving them Associate Memberships so that they could actually have a dialogue with, offer input and reaction to, FEI, then FEI abolishes such discussion.

Pesky Associate Members– complaining openly about the ridiculous and  fabricated  ‘hypersensitivity rule’, used so famously against McLain Ward at  show jumping’s  FEI World CUP Final:


and then more recently at this Olympics:


And of course, the outcry from dressage riders when FEI went against its OWN RULES to give the single Olympic dressage spot they claimed was available for South America to Brazilian rider Luisa Almeida (Brazil, perhaps coincidentally, is holding the 2016 Olympics) and refusing to add one more slot for Dominican Republic rider Yvonne Losos de Muniz:


So– where is the outcry from riders and other participants at having their ONLY forums for their sport stripped of FEI recognition,thus eliminating meaningful, productive dialogue???

Big sigh.





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