E.A. & Branches, Opinion 2020
'Stuff ' just keeps dissappearing on Facebook and Forums!
'Stuff ' just keeps dissappearing on Facebook and Forums!
| 2020 | 2015,2012 | 2010-2018 | 2014-2018 | History | 2020 -V.A. | 2020 -V.A. | 2020 | Branches | Branches |
| 2020-2021 | 2022 | 2012-2022 | Comment | Dec 2021 | 2022 | FEBRUARY 2022 |
PAGE 3 INDEX
EQUESTRIAN SAFETY ISSUES – DELAYS, FAILURES
CONCERN OVER DELAY IN EQUESTRIAN DEATHS INQUEST
“A coroner overseeing the inquest into the deaths of junior equestrian riders Olivia Inglis and Caitlyn Fischer says repeated delays by Equestrian Australia to provide “significant” expert statements has become a “point of concern”.
'DIRE': MEDIC WHO RESPONDED TO HORSE RIDING ACCIDENT WAS 'STRUGGLING', INQUEST TOLD
Olivia Inglis and Caitlyn Fischer died less than two months apart in 2016 in riding falls that shocked equestrians
INQUEST INTO DEATHS OF OLIVIA INGLIS AND CAITLYN FISCHER CALLS FOR EQUESTRIAN SAFETY OVERHAUL
A SUCCESSFUL FUTURE FOR EQUESTRIAN SPORT IN AUSTRALIA IS IN THE BALANCE
“Iconic events cancelled; two young athletes killed in competition; directors parachuted onto the board, yet not financial at the time of their election; accusations of conflict of interest; a looming financial loss; a drug positive; top competitors moving overseas and doubts over its future as an Olympic sport.”
INQUEST TOLD INVESTIGATOR WAS SHUT DOWN
TURBULENT TIMES FOR EQUESTRIAN SPORT IN AUSTRALIA
......... tragedy within the sport with the deaths of two young riders, Olivia Inglis and Caitlyn Fischer in 2016. The Australian newspaper reported in December 2018 that “A coroner overseeing the inquest into the deaths of junior equestrian riders Olivia Inglis and Caitlyn Fischer says repeated delays by Equestrian Australia to provide ‘significant’ expert statements has become a ‘point of concern’”.
Today, Thursday 28 February 2019, the Directions hearing into the deaths of Olivia and Caitlyn is taking place before His Honour Magistrate Lee, NSW Deputy State Coroner
Legal action is also pending against Equestrian NSW by Chelsea Higgins, a young eventing rider injured during the NSW Inter-School Championships in 2010
THE 4 YEARLY OLYMPIC TEAM SELECTION BUN FIGHT
SYDNEY & RIO OLYMPICS
Horses Mouth Comment – when is a selection criteria not a criteria?
Answer – when it’s devised by E.A. and includes a discretionary clause i.e. Despite the other criteria the selectors can use a discretionary clause that is subjective regarding the the combination's ( horse + rider) likelihood of bringing home a medal that enables the selectors to discard all the other criteria.
The Review committee has recognised that this clause is a problem yet EA has retained it?
YES, it is a problem - action = nothing
REMMINGTON – HORSE DRUG FIASCO 2017, OLYMPICS DRESSAGE
It is an uncontested fact that the FEI did find Meloxicam in Remmington’s blood swab taken at the FEI Rotterdam competition. The relevant facts regarding this specific issue are: under FEI rules Sue Hearn was the owner and rider of Remmington and therefore the person responsible for ensuring that no controlled substances were administered to her horse, Sue Hearn accepted the FEI’s administrative sanction for this infringement.
This was a disaster for all concerned. In particular, for Maree Tomkinson who was the reserve rider who missed out on the Australian Dressage Team position retained by Sue Hearn
AUSTRALIA’S OFTEN CHANGED WORLD GAMES SELECTION SYSTEM ENDED EARLY, HOME-BASED RIDERS DOMINATE LIKELY TEAM
Horses Mouth Comment - Re Rio Olympics - And this public announcement despite the fact that it came to light that Maree Tomkinson had never been nominated to the IOC by EA as a likely team member; she could never have competed at Rio despite being nominated as a final 8 and funding here international travel to an overseas qualifying event. Sue Hearn’s final qualifying score at this event could not be counted as she was ineligible for its inclusion due to her acceptance that her horse had illicit substances in its blood at the time of competition; If I was Maree Tomkinson I would have been P.O. and mounting a compensation suit against E.A!
THE SAME DRAMA REPEATS FOR THE WORLD EQUESTRIAN GAMES
Horses Mouth Comment - Despite acknowledging these problems re London Olympics the E.A. board attributed the problems to the athletes and 'grass roots members', resulting in no change in E.A.'s approach to selection and transparency to the public and aspiring Olympians. The boards failures in this regard 'bring the sport into disrepute'. Why are they blaming the public? This document gives E.A. a huge pat on the back with no acceptance of their role in controversy and the obvious 'grass roots' members distrust of their organisation.
"11. The HPRP (High Performance Review Panel) raises concerns about the potential of rider behavior, media controversy and poor management communication to impair both the image and integrity of the sport. The HPRP found that the behaviour of some riders and management during the selection period, the appeals, nomination events, and immediately pre-games period was damaging to the integrity and brand of EA. Around team selection, there was open and overt conflict between members of the dressage squads. These conflicts were brought right into the public eye, and spilled into the mainstream media,newspapers, TV and internet in a way that has not been experienced by EA before. The inability or failure of EA to effectively respond to the controversy added fuel to the fire. During the NF Tribunal Appeals, an information vacuum/communication and paralysis on EA’s part added to the already building membership and public concern and distrust.
It is the opinion of the HPRP that the failure of EA to ensure that members do not bring the sport into disrepute has damaged the standing of EA amongst its membership, its volunteer officials and the AOC. Officials and potential officials are put off working in volunteer HP roles as they fear being on the receiving end of this type of behaviour and having their reputations damaged."
i.e. Shut-up or we will shut you up. This is the reason why more can be achieved from outside EA / Branch Membership
RIDERS APPEAL SELECTION - LONDON 2012
During the selection for the London Olympic Games in 2012, riders from all sports appealed non selection– Amy Graham (J), Emma Mason (E), Megan Jones (E), Sonja Johnson (E) – withdrawn, and Hayley Beresford (D) . All National Federation (NF) Appeals Tribunal appeals were declined, with two riders going on to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). In all cases the CAS appellants were unsuccessful.
The HPRP identified that the appeals created significant disharmony and discourse within the sport and the Olympic Games teams/HP management. The disharmony created was the most damaging in the sport of Dressage and substantially affected team preparation, cohesion and morale. The brand of Australian Dressage was also damaged by the media reporting of this appeal.
The HPRP found that discretionary selection pathways/policies are high risk in their capacity to continue to incite criticism and to generate grounds for appeal that are almost never likely to be successful. The provision for discretionary selection in all three policies is a most significant risk factor for selection appeals and criticism. The discretionary components of the policies are the most difficult for selectors to apply. However, there is overwhelming support from within the sport and the HP management for the continuation of discretionary powers within the policies and the value that they give to appropriate team selection. The HPRP advises that there is a greater onus on the HP program and its policy application to better communicate the basis of any discretionary decision making to all interested parties in a clearer, more transparent manner.
TOKYO OLYMPICS 2021
Horses Mouth Comment -essentially E.A’s discretionary clause allows E.A. to disregard all other requirements and choose whoever they like! The Board even identified the discretionary clause as a problem and yet insist on clinging onto their omnipotence. Selection can come down to something as subjective as 'team harmony'; essentially , if your team mates don't like you then the discretionary clause can see you discarded. Are we at a point where already selected team members can effectively say 'we won't accept so-and-so, we will act like children and make working as a team difficult for so-and-so',and become part of the selection process. Isn't this cronyism?
The concept of selecting a team with the best potential to achieve an Olympic Gold medal becomes highly subjective when the ‘discretionary clause’ comes into play and actual numeric scores, placings, medical and veterinary records are overridden. Equestrian team selections by EA have a history of this in the past, with the subsequent Olympic placings still resulting in the wooden spoon i.e. the outcome was not enhanced by the application of the discretionary clause.
"If the selectors think he/she has the best chance of being part of a team which can bring home a Gold Medal…………….” that is the zinger! This links back to the ‘discretionary clause’. It would appear that there is very little public trust or faith in the selectors based on some of their past selections. Our placings at Olympic Games in equestrian sports has not exactly been on a steady upward trajectory of any significance. (The Para blip excluded). As I understand it we have lost significant government funding due to our ‘non-success’. What we are doing currently isn’t working, is anyone happy?
The bottom line is that the public would be far less critical of the selectors if they could trust that selection was based primarily on quantifiable numeric results from placings, scores and comparisons with other ‘qualified’ combinations at ‘like -for-like’ events. Solid veterinary tests (e.g. heart testing on high speed treadmill for eventers), medication and health records that support the high probability that the combination will reach the starting point fit and ready for a successful competition. We should never see a horse with pre-existing ‘known soundness’ issues ‘publicly ‘funded’ to line up at the Olympics and withdrawn at the last minute. Whilst acknowledging that sound horses can experience last minute injuries and illness the variable here is ‘known soundness’ issues unmanaged or only managed by restricted drugs.
Some will probably say that this is actually how it is currently done by the selectors…. Perhaps initially it is, but then the dreaded ‘discretionary clause’ comes into play and the public is dumbfounded.
IMO the selectors should publish, and the AOC demand, a factual report that explains their decisions, especially when selection appears to ignore quantifiable numeric results. To be accepted onto the ‘short list’ hopefuls would need to sign that they place no restrictions on this information being released as it may include veterinary information. This would make the process understandable, lift the veil of secrecy through transparency and help restore the public’s faith in the selection process.
THE NEIGHS HAVE IT ON OLYMPIC EQUESTRIAN RULING
NOT A FAIR CROP: OLYMPIC DISCARD WHO OUTRODE TYCOON'S GRANDDAUGHTER
THE REVOLVING DOOR OF EA BOARD CHAIRS
Equestrian Australia in turmoil as Ricky MacMillan quits 2019
EXCLUSIVE OLIVIA CAISLEY - The Australian. REPORTER
EQUESTRIAN CHIEF OUT AMID INQUESTS FURORE
“Equestrian Australia chair Alistair MacKinlay has stepped down after losing the support of the board one day after he triggered a backlash for labelling the inquests into the high-profile deaths of teenage riders Olivia Inglis and Caitlyn Fischer a “distraction”.
Loosing a Chairman, who very unusually stays on as a board member, how often does that happen in the real world?? And on the same day losing a cleanskin board member - yet no doubt they want us to think there is nothing here to see ...
LAWYERS ENTER EQUESTRIAN SPAT – THE JUDY FASHER DRAMA
Equestrian Australia has engaged lawyers to investigate the validity of holding a special general meeting after five state branch chairs launched a motion to remove the body’s chair and two directors.
The Australian last night confirmed the nation’s equestrian body had sought legal advice on whether a move by representatives to unseat chair Judy Fasher and directors Colin Chantler and David Lindh was valid.
The response comes a week after simmering tensions — including over the body’s leadership and accusations of conflicts of interest — reached boiling point at the body’s AGM in Sydney, when five of six branch chairs called for three directors to stand down.
EA chief executive Lucy Warhurst last night said that as the matter was under investigation the body was yet to decide whether they would proceed with the meeting.
The internal spat caught the attention of Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates and prompted the former International Olympic Committee vice-president to issue a warning to the international equestrian authority.
In an email to the Federal Equestrian Internationale on Friday, he cautioned president Ingmar De Vos against sanctioning any breakaway body that might emerge from the fighting. “What I have also just heard is that Judy Fasher and two of her supporters are in discussions with Sport Australia (the old Australian Sports Commission) about winding up the existing Equestrian Australia and establishing a new national federation based around Judy and the others, principally in NSW, who support her,” Coates said in an email obtained by The Australian.
Ms Fasher vehemently denied any plans to launch an alternative equestrian body and last night told The Australian she was outraged that Mr Coates had made the accusations without providing evidence. She said she had no idea why he sent the letter but there was “no foundation” for anything he had said. The state branch chairs behind the coup said it was disappointing EA had chosen to spend members’ money on lawyers to raise technicalities rather than calling the meeting as requested.
“The five states, the Northern Territory and three new directors are united in reforming, rebuilding and restoring Equestrian Australia to be an open and transparent organisation that delivers value to our diverse membership,” they said. “The technicalities raised by EA will delay the meeting, which is clearly not in the best interests of equestrian sport.” END
Statement from Equestrian Australia 28 November 2018
“During the AGM, five members of different State Branches sent an email to the CEO with a request to call a General Meeting (GM) to remove Judy Fasher, David Lindh and Colin Chantler from office. There were no details provided nor reasons tabled for their concerns in the request. Equestrian Australia are working and continue to work to ensure compliance with the Constitution and the Corporations Act. Based upon legal advice, the request for the GM is invalid.”
HORSES MOUTH COMMENT- It would appear from this statement that the 5 state branches couldn’t even follow their own constitutions and their “Memorandum of Understanding with E.A.” to formulate and execute a motion that was legally binding to force the removal of these board members. On a linked topic, why would anyone want to stay on as 'chair' when clearly they were not wanted, why resist? What was gained?
AND FROM BERNI SUNDERS ON FACEBOOK -
Berni Saunders-November 27, 2018
WHAT is EA up to. All of this lobbying, when 5 of the 6 States have already signed a NO CONFIDENCE motion in the current administration.
ENSW (Bruce Farrar) and Judy Fasher are using members money to pay lawyers to find loopholes to stay in power. WHY, WE HAVE TO ASK???
I also understand that the three new Board Members have been excluded from these arrangements.
FYI, this was recently sent from the desk of the CEO. (Lucy Wadhurst)
"Dear Directors of EA Members,
The EA board today passed the following resolution regarding the proposed requisition of Special General Meeting:
That EA forward a copy of the Letter and SHG lawyers advice to each and every director of each and every Branch and:
• because of Problem #1, EA advises that the Letter is not a valid requisition for Special General Meeting (SGM)
• because of Problem #2 and all Branches have now been involved in some way in the Letter (including NSW), EA requires each of the boards of EQ, EV, ESA, EWA and ETAS (as the guiding organ of that Branch or Member)
• to advise EA as to whether it was the intention and decision of each board, and its direction to its chair who signed the Letter, that the requisition for the SGM be made to EA,
• and further, to provide EA with a copy of the relevant minuted decision of the board within seven days of receipt of the covering email, and
• EA refers each Branch to the SHG lawyers advice regarding Problem #3 and requests a response within seven days of receipt of the covering email.
In accordance with the terms of the resolution, I attach a copy of the Letter from the five chairs, and the legal advice provided to EA.
I await your responses.
Lucy Warhurst, Chief Executive Officer, Equestrian Australia"
HORSES MOUTH COMMENT - So, let me get this right, the State Branches have expressed no confidence in these 3 directors and yet E.A. spent money on legal advice regarding the legality of the State Branches motion for removal in a desperate attempt to retain directors that their members don't want!
Beyon2 2020 - So here we have E.A. and the Administrators upholding the State Branch's rights
Where are the Participating Members in this scenario?