USEF appoints 'Blue Ribbon Panel' to evaluate High Performance programs
In the wake of an Olympics that can be summed up, for all disciplines, as a disappointing failure, the USEF has convened a 'Blue Ribbon Panel' (their term, apparently, complete with capitals) to evaluate the High Performance programs and make plans to avoid medal shut-outs (my term, not theirs) in the future.
Clarksdale, MS--the golden buckle on the cotton belt
In another post, I likened USEF governance to the old Soviet era Russian Politburo. Same names, same families, same transparency and same outreach to new ideas and blood. If there is outreach, it's only for show.
Gribbons is gone in dressage, CMP is gone in eventing, GM is gone in SJ, and the team farrier and vet are gone as well.
Will any and or all of these personnel changes make a difference?
Even Jane Clark is dumping the USEF.
"I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay." Thread killer Extraordinaire
The idea that the current/past HP folks are investigating their own failings is about as laughable as John Long's excuses for not being in touch with reality ('I was on vacation in Europe!''the economy changed!') about the 2010 WEG ticket/accommodation prices.
There's never any accountability with the USEF lot, is there?
I think there is some ignorance here on how a committee must work. Having chaired a few, and run a few meetings, and appointed a few people to important committees that needed decision-making and leadership, I beg to differ.
First of all -- it's who will serve, not just "naming the same old people again". A lot of people don't have the time or inclination to sit down - discuss - talk - go over the facts - do their research at home, on a plane, in the car between rainstorms and lessons, at night at home in the wee hours when you finally get back after a long day at a horse show. I fully and completely support ANYONE named to such a panel because they are going to have their work cut out for them.
Second, don't you want a panel like this to have a couple of eventers, a couple of dressage folks, a couple of jumping people, a finance/logistics/team person, and an outside person from another olympic sport who can provide some insight? And cares to be there? God bless the gymnastics guy. It's not like he doesn't have a plateful himself to do.
Third, I am pleased with the make up because they are people who were closely associated with the team and know the struggles intimately. They are not outsiders. I don't really want outsiders. They are going to come in with big pronouncements, unsubstantiated allegations, no hands-on, no base of supportable experience and tell everyone in no uncertain terms we all need to put official USET rocking horses in daycares throughout the nation and then LEAVE. Not interested. REAL leadership not only takes dedication and knowledge but patience and some negotiation, not wholesale destruction. It may be that they come up with a plan of wholesale destruction and start all over, and if so, good for them. But we owe them the benefit of the doubt.
I think there are some very forward thinking folks on that panel who have a history of sticking their hand up and being available for work that has to be done. I will support the panel until their findings come out, and then hopefully they will be public so we can discuss them and make opinions then. In the meantime I'm thanking them for their service to the sport and hope they can find the things that are really wrong and put forth a workable roadmap to fix them.
Since many of these individuals were part of the problem, I'm not sure why we owe them the benefit of the doubt. They've failed miserably in two cycles. They lost the benefit of the doubt. We already know that Anne Gribbons doesn't have the answers because "why bother trying" is not a solution.
In fact, the very presence of some of these individuals (cough, DOC, Anne Gribbons, cough) on this panel will likely have a chilling effect on honest and forthright dialogue. If you ever want you or your students to be selected for future event teams, how do you say to DOC that whatever money spent on Mr. Medicott for KOC to ride was wasted money and would have been far better spent far earlier purchasing several potential team horses for multiple riders with sufficient lead time to develop them on or that Mandiba should never have smelled an international team much less two of them plus at least one travel grant on top of that.
Can DOC and Bobby Costello really have a conversation about the horse trading that must have been involved in the lead up to leaving Sinead Halpin off the team. Is DOC really ready to talk about the disaster that was MLM and the taint she brought to eventing with the dodgy drug rumors and the debacle of Rovano Rex almost getting on the plane when he still couldn't pass a jog months later?
How do you present to a panel that includes Anne Gribbons, the ways in which Anne Gribbons contributed to the failure of the last Olympic team?
The insiders are never going to be honest because they're protecting their own nests. It would be better to select a knowledgable outsider and then have them interview everyone involved off the record and see what conclusions they come up with.