30 May 2010

HRH Publishes Campaign Manifesto

Responding to pressure from other candidates' publication of their presidential intentions, HRH has put out her ambitious re-election campaign manifesto via a very transparent FEI news release:

Further to presidential recognition at the 2009 FEI General Assembly in Copenhagen that re-election might not be guaranteed, a Development Task Force has been established. The FEI president has transparently selected herself to chair the new Task Force, whose members have been selected for their different geographical vote-getting abilities. And then, oddly, there's Ludger Beerbaum.

The Development Task Force members are: Dmitry Titov (RUS), President of the Russian Equestrian Federation; Ho Nai Yue (SIN), President of the Asian Equestrian Federation; Betty Wates, Vice President of the Jamaican Equestrian Federation; Pablo Mayorga (ARG), FEI Executive Board member; Kim Gueho (MRI), Secretary General of the Mauritius Equestrian Federation; Manoj Jalan (IND), member of the Indian National Sports Development Fund and Ludger Beerbaum (GER), sport representative whose purpose is to ensure that all developing nations recognise the need to also vote for the progressive list in addition to HRH's re-election.

Sapphire Continues To Be On Fire (but not due to capsaicin or other banned substances)

Grand Prix Replay reports (en français) that McLain Ward and Sapphire have taken the Rome Grand Prix today at the Piazza di Siena, or il Gran Premio Loro Piana - Città di Roma, if you're Italian. Another 50,000 € says "Kiss my ass HRH!"

26 May 2010

Back To Geneva

Dressage-news.com has reported today's FEI announcement that Sapphire's leg swabs have come back negative. Now there's a surprise. Obviously HRH wasn't expecting to find anything or the swabs would have been ordered to start with, rather than only after being demanded by the victim of her outrageous witch hunt affected rider. Which suggests that perhaps she knew the "anonymous tip" was total bullshit and just wanted to put on a "welfare" and "integrity" show anyway for media whore purposes. Or maybe that unsubstantiated rumor was specific to non-prohibited-substance-induced hypersensitization. Right. We're pretty sure the rumor was not about Sapphire having a bit of pain in the pastern. But of course no one, not even the "officially" non-accused, gets to have that information. Nancy Jaffer has the latest comment from McLain. Blood and urine were already negative as previously reported.

Sorry to beat a dead-but-otherwise-fit-to-compete horse but once the dust settled we still kept coming back to the elephant in the room which few have really explicitly called out. (we can't imagine why.) We heard a lot of criticism about the FEI falling back on "protocol" rather than common sense, vague references to unusual arm twisting sessions meetings and that the rules are wrong, no appeal etc.  But  the hypersensitivity (as opposed to hypersensitization) rule was in fact put in place after Hong Kong and the current version of the testing protocol took effect last summer (the effective date is even listed in the rule book). No one seemed to have any problem with it until political interference caused it to become an issue. So if the rule can prompt that kind of flagrant interference, yes the rule might be a problem in and of itself, but the bigger problem is the interference which can also be applied to other subjective decisions without appeal. Plenty of subjective things are not appealable, that is nothing new. This rule is just especially conducive to abuse based on gossip in an incredibly gullible president's ear so she can help her buddies out and earn points with naive clueless people outside the sport who will applaud her "tough stance."

23 May 2010

At Home With Top Riders

We often get exclusive access here at The Carrot. Here's
a renowned show jumper enjoying some lovely spring
weather out on his deck:

It's too bad he didn't manage to actually win,
or we would have used this photo instead:

Prior story

Prior story

Surreal Equine Photo of the Day

Photo by Mike Owyang/AP

22 May 2010

We're Really Starting To Like This Guy

Henk Rottinguis (NED) is dramatically pulling away from the FEI presidential field with the latest news of his intentions, from dressage-news.com:
"Ahead of presenting a full manifesto to the federations before this year's World Equestrian Games, I will communicate personally with National Federations and all stakeholders who rely on the FEI. Only when I have listened to them would it be appropriate to outline a program with clear deliverables."
Minus 100 points for use of the word "manifesto," but otherwise this sounds like a great plan.
"It is essential to include everyone who will be affected by decisions and those who have to get involved in carrying out those decisions to warrant success,” he said. "I feel many are seeking quiet leadership and more partnership between the executive and the field. If that is the case, my profile will suit the position."
+1000 points
For the period of the election, he has resigned as a member of the FEI Audit and Compliance Committee to avoid possible conflict of interest.
+1000 points even if really not necessary. It sends a message.
He said the FEI needs a "stable administration and a structure in which initiatives and proposals come about in a democratic and transparent way.  Our sport needs to be enjoyed by many more, should be inclusive for all, and remain relevant in a modern world in which the balance of power is shifting to new continents."
"The President is the figurehead of the FEI but the national federations are the FEI," he said. "It is only with them and other stakeholders including riders, owners, organizers, officials and sponsors, that the success of the FEI can be guaranteed. My campaign for the Presidency, and if elected the Presidency itself, will reflect and never forget that fundamental belief."
+1000 points for use of the word "figurehead"

Sven Holmberg's program looks pretty vague, but it's early yet so maybe he will elaborate as he gets feedback. Right now it sounds like status quo minus last-second NSAID proposals.  And minus a whole lotta cash.

I can't officially make an endorsement in the Carrot's absence and a certain other candidate will probably end up being endorsed just for entertainment value, but I am really, really liking Mr. Rottinghuis thus far.

+1000 points to dressage-news.com for being the only equestrian media source really telling us much about him. Here is the original press release. The KNHS has also posted his CV, his motivation letter, and their announcement to the other NFs. Mr. Rottinghuis' campaign web site is http://www.henkforfei.org/.

prior story

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20 May 2010

And The London 2012 Mascot Is . . . A Cyclops

The London 2012 mascots have been unveiled, one for the Olympics and one for the Paralympics.

"Organizers hope the mascots will receive a more positive reaction than the London 2012 logo, which was widely panned when it was unveiled in 2007 and was even blamed for triggering seizures among some television viewers."

"We've talked to lots of children and they don't want cuddly toys," London 2012 organizing committee chairman Sebastian Coe said. "They want something they can interact with and something with a good story behind it." Well it's definitely not cuddly.

They put out a video that is even more bizarre than it is cheesy. Maybe this will all make sense with some really good pot.

Somewhere in America's Bible Belt, an evangelical preacher is furiously at work to decide which one is gay. And there's not a man-purse in sight.

18 May 2010

The Carrot Sells Out

The Carrot may be coming soon to a major equestrian publication, suitably toned down for a real media platform, of course. Look for upcoming features in which we applaud bullshit, look the other way at outrageous political shenanigans, fawn over anyone in a position of authority, and compliment HRH's outfits and hairstyles. Because we've got a good thing, and it's time to cash in.

Patches The Coolest Horse Says "Don't Forget About Me!"

Horse and Hound Grows A Pair (We Like It)

Publishing an article by Pippa Cuckson, Horse and Hound has gotten a bit saucy about the FEI presidential election. We didn't know they had it in them.

Asked about the election Princess Haya told H&H:
"An election that focuses on ways to strengthen,
improve and unify our federation is good for the
FEI and our sport."

Readers may recall HRH putting forth to the NFs an election "Manifesto." And the rest is history, thank you Simon Brooks-Ward. It disappeared from just about everywhere online, we can't imagine why (see prior story). But the reliably saucy Aussies still have a copy posted even though it's barely readable.

It's great that Sven Holmberg has already published an outline of his intentions. We haven't had a chance to read it yet and it's probably just a bunch of vague bullshit but at least he didn't call it a "Manifesto." But that it is published at all is modern. This is good. Progress has been made.

There's also contact information on there for Mr. Holmberg so you can ask him really important questions like, "Do you think it's appropriate for the FEI president to be meeting with officials in the middle of a major event and where is that role stated in the president's job description?" (see prior story)

No word yet on if HRH will recycle her old Manifesto or if the comedy gods will bless us with a new one. She did sort of promise not to screw anything else up: "My goal now is a period of calm to build on the progress we have made together."  Somehow, we're not convinced. Especially because that comment was published on March 31 and then there was that little World Cup thing just two weeks later. And somehow, we doubt all that money is going to NOT try to get endurance into the Olympics regardless of what discipline has to be sacrificed. Best to wait until you get a second term for that. Heads: eventing, tails: dressage!

17 May 2010

Breyer Introduces Sapphire Model

As reported by hunterjumpernews.com, the new Breyer Sapphire model will be unveiled Saturday at the Old Salem Farm show in North Salem, New York. Breyer guarantees that all Sapphire models will arrive fully "fit to compete" in whatever silly competitions those obsessed model horse collectors are into these days. Unless the FEI president interferes based on gossip that the model horse exhibitor is cheating in which case the model Sapphire will be retroactively eliminated and disqualified for unsoundness and have to forfeit any prizes already won. No refunds will be given by Breyer even if the mare is found to be unfit to compete in model horse competitions through no fault of the exhibitor.

Not that they're accusing anyone of anything.
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Lukas The Wonder Horse

Horsetalk reports that former racehorse Lukas has failed miserably at being ridden but has learned all sorts of other tricks on his way to becoming the world's brainiest equine. But if he doesn't learn Latin, he's never going to impress the intelligentsia.
Lukas, now 17, is living proof that horses can have a life beyond the racetrack, even if it means following more cerebral pursuits.

To date, his repertoire includes smiling, posing, nodding yes and shaking his head no, a dry and wet kiss, fetching, being "blindfolded", catching, yawning, saluting, pedestal work, a Spanish Walk (forward and backward), the stay and come, jambet (a three-legged pivot), curtsy, passage, bow, crossing his front legs, laying down while Karen sits on him, feet together (front and back), hide and seek (with his beloved green towel), acting lame, pushing a cart, and the rear.

Most of his acclaim, however, comes from his spelling, counting, identifying shapes and discriminating colours.
He did all of that just to get out of being ridden? I once got a pretty nice free horse who just planted his feet and refused to go forward, sometimes he would rear a bit just to mix it up. The girl charged with him would dismount and put him back in the field. He thought he was the smartest horse in the world. It took all of about two hours to break that habit. As I told him at the time, "I've got all day. All effin' day."

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16 May 2010

Specially Dedicated To Equestrian Twit Of The Year

Checking In With Rollkur Barbie

Rollkur Barbie was the creation of an unknown genius on The Chronicle bulletin board. The Carrot just ran with a good thing.

Prior stories:
Rollkur Edition
Rollkur. Again.

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12 May 2010


We have a ton of new readers in the last month and apologize for the short supply of carrots, but The Carrot is presently indisposed. I will try to finish some things up that were in the works without butchering them, but it's mostly old news now so might not be that funny.

I came across this video on a Norwegian bulletin board, it's our friend Alexander Nevzorov teaching horses to read. Or something like that.

Two messages from The Carrot: Hey Felicity Foxhunter, get back to work! And special thanks to Equestrian Twit of the Year for killing comedy.
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03 May 2010

True Story: HRH Calls For More Transparency In Sports Governance

At the SportAccord convention last week in Dubai (see our related story), Gulf News reported that the FEI president appeared to get a bit off track as the topic at hand was actually "Sport as a Leader in Sustainable Development." Even if oblivious to the common environmental concerns shared by all sports and industry at large, one would think that recent equestrian topics such as white elephants, Greenwich, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and so on might have been seen as somewhat more appropriately tangential.
"The FEI has such an impeccable record even though we deal directly with nature through the involvement of animals in our sport. And since 1997 we have had a code of conduct in place," Princess Haya said at the SportAccord International Convention at the Atlantis Palm Jumeirah yesterday.
Princess Haya went on to expound on the fact that sustainable development in FEI events was the least concern for their sport.
"Sustainable development is so multi-faceted and multi-layered. And I believe that the emphasis ought to be on transparence in governance at the moment. I think this needs to be the main topic of the day," she said. "Changes take time and we accept this as an evolutionary process."

So why did she, the president of the organising committee, put herself on this panel exactly, to say that she should have planned a panel on transparency in governance instead? That horse has left the barn, don't you think? And an organisation can't have transparent governance while also concerning itself with sustainable practises? Multitask much?