19 April 2010

More Transparency

In one of the most shamelessly stupid displays of transparency we've ever seen, on 9 April the FEI became Meredith Michaels Beerbaum's personal PR agency announced that 50 per cent of ranking points for pregnant riders would be frozen, retroactively effective of course, blatantly benefitting the rider who lobbied for said rule change upon becoming pregnant.

This rider just happens to be personally sponsored in a big way by Rolex, the sponsor of the FEI ranking list, whose FEI sponsorship contract was apparently up for renewal. Then the FEI announced on 12 April that Rolex had renewed their FEI sponsorship, including that of the FEI ranking list. You'd think some of these high-priced PR firms would be able to recognise that this looks really bad, especially since the FEI press release reads overtly like they made the change directly to benefit one particular Rolex Testimonee rider. They even included a photo of the happy beneficiaries family! That's nice. Cute baby.
The new ruling means that former world number one Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum moves up from 31st on the March Rolex Rankings to 14th following the reinstatement of 50% of her points. The German rider, who gave birth to her first child Brianne Victoria Beerbaum on 27 February, has announced that she will not be defending her Rolex FEI World Cup™ title in Geneva next week.
You'd think they might have spaced those events out a little more. You wouldn't want it to be totally obvious or anything...

Just a suggestion.
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