30 July 2010

WEG Update: Tout va très bien...

We made a few jokes with the Big Ass Fans thing, but then didn't really feel like joining in this whole WEG pile-on that's been happening, because frankly, we found it sad. And largely preventable. But then we stumbled upon some bullshit that frankly, pissed us off. We hate bullshit here at The Carrot, in case you haven't noticed. And this is just so perfect.

Merci beaucoup to JER for posting this very à propos ditty. She should come over to the Carrot, the pay is great!

Be sure to vote in our WEG poll!

You Can't Make This Stuff Up For July

As if the world of FIFA World Cup sensation Paul couldn't be any weirder, it gets better: Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Attacks Paul, the Psychic Octopus. Apparently Mr. Ahmadinejad feels that Paul's prophecies are nothing but "western propaganda and superstition." Responded Paul, still surrounded by football groupies, "Hey, I got your 72 virgins right here, pal. Nine for each leg."

A Russian bookmaker has also made a €100,000 bid for Paul. In an effort to differentiate the Russian offer from that of Spain, Oleg Zhuravsky has promised to take Paul parasailing. Which brings us to our Ass Update: If someone asks you to take their donkey parasailing, it's best just to call the mental health authorities. Or sell her to The Sun in yet another publicity stunt and make her play football intstead (worth a click for the pic). With bullshit like that, Mr. Donkey Parasailer might have a future with the WEG organizing committee. Besides, everyone knows donkeys prefer basketball:

In other weird animal news, a dog recently shot his owner in New Zealand.  "The owner has not been named, neither has the breed of dog."  So they're trying to racially profile the dog, then. Nice. Desperately seeking contact details for the dog regardless of breeding is this unfortunate cat, maried against her will to her freak of an owner in Germany (outstanding video in case you missed it):

Please for the love of God, no tongue...
Don't even think about it, pal.

28 July 2010

Dressage People Have Impeccable Behavior

Except for some Germans there in Aachen

A while back the still-intrepid Karen Robinson wrote a bit about yellow cards in dressage and just around the same time I was thinking the very same thing about never having seen or heard of a yellow card being successfully awarded in FEI dressage competition. That's odd. "Muckrakers" must think alike. In eventing by comparison they seem to give them out like candy, although often for subjectively assessed dangerous riding which is an offense exclusive to eventing. In the other disciplines it's either abuse of horse or the oh-so-much-more-fun abuse of official. Or smoking in the stables.

The FEI website backs this up as there is not even a heading for dressage suggesting that indeed, no one in dressage has ever done anything wrong. That's funny. But not as funny as yesterday's post on Eventing Nation, Monday Fun With FEI Yellow Cards, by JER from the Chronicle bulletin board, who is a great writer and a true star of Internet-public. Since we here at The Carrot are not journalists, that makes us proud card-carrying members of Internet-public as well, and we feel it's important to recognize excellence when we see it. It was this very same gathering place of Internet-public that brought us the genius known as Rollkur Barbie.

As for poor behavior by Germans at Aachen, well, eurodressage is your go-to source anytime you feel the need to really vent about something, I mean really cut loose. If you didn't see the one about the WEG (and mainly some excellent responses) be sure to read that too. 

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20 July 2010

Henk Rottinghuis Is Very Businesslike

In fact, we're stunned and even gobsmacked at the businesslike-ness of this gentleman. He said he'd have his survey results in the middle of July, and sure enough, here they are on his website. How is this possible?

Interesting to read NF comments. Especially: "The events in Hong Kong could have been avoided." Exactly, we've been saying that for two years. Or for as long as the Carrot has existed. Then you have this huge over the top incredibly expensive overreaction to what was essentially a faux crisis, that can never undo the damage done to the sport. And no accountability whatsoever for the tragically misguided decision making at the top.

More on Mr. Rottinghuis' survey from Around the Rings. Actually ATR just reprinted the KNHS press release, but in this case we're detecting a very low BS quotient of less than 10%, so it might be OK. In any case we're pleased that Ed Hula and Co. are even slightly interested in this little FEI election thing, so we thought we'd send a tiny amount of traffic to their website. Here's another article on the survey from Horsetalk. And we must say shame on the shocking 72% of national federations who did not even bother to participate in Mr. Rottinghuis' survey. What's that saying? You get the government you deserve. Here's somebody trying (apparently at his personal expense) to figure out what YOU want done, to help YOU, and. . .you guys just suck, really.

Lest we seem biased or something, we should include equal coverage of all the campaigns, but that's unlikely to happen. Dubya of course still needs to get his rear in gear with the belated launch of his manifesto which we might have to make a movie about. Readers may have heard that HRH was recently campaigning hard on a development tour in the Caribbean. Here she is in Trinidad and Tobago:

And hello to the good people there at Good Relations, since they are always so keen to read what we have to say about Mr. Rottinghuis.

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16 July 2010

Princess Haya Expands Team Harmony

Returning to our intended specialty of creating the fake news, rather than explaining fake news from other sources, HRH Princess Haya has added to her Team Harmony string of international show jumpers. The Carrot has learned exclusively of the exciting and surely expensive purchase of Jane Richard's intriguing World Cup ride, Zekina Z. Renowned since Geneva for her ability to pass any veterinary inspection despite having been crippled since Tuesday, Zekina is sure to be a valuable contributor to Team Harmony, an initiative of the late King Hussein of Jordan.

No word yet on who will get the ride on the stoic creature, is it possible that HRH has a "comeback" in mind for 2012? This chestnut mare's extraordinary potential to withstand all conceivable veterinary scrutiny will no doubt help the princess in any last minute quest to earn her FEI Certificate of crash-and-burn Capability.

After a pricey name change on her passport, the mare will henceforth compete under the name Team Harmony Crippled Since Tuesday, to serve as a veritable mascot of HRH's strong commitment to protecting horse welfare at all major FEI events.

special belated thanks to Penelope Popover!

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13 July 2010

Where In The World Is The USEFEI Tribunal Ruling?

OK we see what you did there

So we knew these kids were up to something based on the wonky press releases, we just really needed to either see the actual ruling, or have them refuse to publish the ruling, to confirm it. If they had refused to promptly publish the ruling after we asked so nicely last Wednesday, the Carrot would have taken that as enough of an answer to publicly pose the questions immediately raised by the oddities in the press releases, in context with the oddity of how this whole thing has been handled. We never expected the actual ruling to see the light of day. But then. . .they published the ruling.

Oh, my.

Just as we suspected, the actual ruling did not match the bullshit served up in the press releases. Why on earth did you guys publish that? How stupid do you think we are? Either the USEFEI is far more stupid than we realized, or they are just incredibly brazen because they know it will never be reported on and they will never be called out on duping almost the entire FEI Nation into believing there was actually a judicial proceeding in favor of McLain Ward.

Henk Rottinghuis: The Movie

We were thinking that FEI dark horse candidate Henk Rottinghuis (NED) really needed to post some videos on his website, so that people can feel they are getting to know him more than they would just by reading what he has to say. Et voilà:

The more videos the better; we hope when he has digested the results of his survey he will comment on different issues in further video clips.  In order to want to vote for him people need to hear him speak. We are particularly interested in learning more about the consolidation of the Dutch federation and what he might have learned from that process. He has also posted an English translation of a Hoefslag article about his candidacy, and was interviewed by Phelps Sports (subscription required). Here are some of his policy and management ideas.

Sven Holmberg has formally sent out his platform to the NFs, as reported by dressage-news.com, which has been a great source for election news, and further elaborated by Horsetalk, another great source of election news. (what has now gone to the NFs looks to be the same thing published on his website and passed around by email in May). And we would love to see a video from him as well, even though the FEI Nation already knows him far more than Mr. Rottinghuis. Mr. Holmberg is keen on the FEI restructuring but like many at last year's General Assembly appears to take issue with prior efforts. Readers may recall the last attempted FEI restructuring was shot down in Copenhagen 49-48, well short of the two-thirds majority required to amend the Statutes. That proposal (summary here) was the work of Princess Haya, FEI Secretary General Alex McLin (USA), Gerardo Werthein (ARG), John Long (USA), François Mathy (BEL), and Martien van den Heuvel (NED). But last-minute, inflammatory changes not done in accordance with the statutory procedure sealed its fate.

We must commend both candidates for their openness with the general equestrian public in discussing their ideas. We vaguely recall the 2006 Edition of HRH Princess Haya starting this modern and wonderful trend with a dedicated election website (there wasn't nearly so much interest back then so it wasn't that widely circulated.) So there, The Carrot has complimented HRH.

Great now I'm probably going to get fired.

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12 July 2010

11 July 2010

Clean Sport Update: FEI Retains Paul the Psychic Octopus, Refines Witch Hunt Protocol

In the aftermath of the FEI World Cup fiasco, The FEI: Clean Sport Division has retained the services of FIFA World Cup sensation Paul, the Psychic Octopus. At each major event, Paul will be given a choice of two chestnut mares from which to choose in helping to put on the proper display of "welfare" concern. Coming under fire for reliance on so-called "anonymous" tips, the FEI emphasizes that Paul's transparent psychic screening process will introduce more objectivity into the bogus hypersensitivity evaluation. These revisions to the Witch Hunt Protocol are effective immediately.

In a last minute addition  intended to create a "win-win" situation for all parties involved, or something like that, riders/owners/NFs of chestnut mares who are having a hard time financially are also free to propose their steeds for consideration by Paul, who will nevertheless demonstrate the utmost integrity in not being swayed by financial need while determining who is and is not probably hypersensitive.

Paul's appointment was recommended by the Stevens Commission. Or the Clean Sport Commission. Or some shadowy undisclosed conflux of two somewhat nebulous commissions which were "dovetailed" for the purpose of drastically increased bullshit dissemination last year. In any case, some really important people who have the ear of HRH thought it would be a SUPER idea. And you should too.

Many thanks to Horsetalk’s four-legged blogger Geldoff, and of course to Paul himself, for inspiring this entirely fictional story.

For more fake news on Paul, visit The Spoof.

For more fake news on the FEI or USEF, you can now get that from them directly; they have cut out the middle man.
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10 July 2010

The Carrot: The Movie

Oh yes, this is happening

Dubya's back, y'all. A purported Carrot fan sent us some kind of unusual emails with some kind of scary looking links that we were all afraid to click on, we thought it was a stalker trying to harm the Carrot with a nasty virus or something. But then we looked up the site and it's fantastic. It might be the best thing that ever happened to The Carrot. Just imagine the potential! The now confirmed Carrot fan and genius "I Love the Carrot" (lol) made this first creation with many we're sure to follow. (/hint)

Like we need another time waster here.

Here's the (confirmed safe) link to I Love the Carrot's sure to be productive xtranormal.com production company. http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/6773661
Rated PG-13 for profanity (there's a "clean" version posted at the link, but that's not as funny for some reason)

07 July 2010

Felicity Foxhunter Is NOT Kidnapped!

Good to know that our favorite member of the blogosphere Felicity Foxhunter is still with us and recently active.  If you want to hear from Felicity, just mention something about how she is AWOL and then she appears, like magic! We love it. Her four-legged blogging cohort Geldoff has also finally resurfaced, we thought he'd long since gone to the knackers. Geldoff visits with FIFA World Cup sensation Paul, the Oracle Octopus, who shares his WEG predictions:
"He said the FEI would introduce several new prizes, including the LDR award for Best Rollkur Impression, to be judged by warmup ring stewards, and the BFF award for the Friendliest National Federation."
For more on Paul and his World Cup predictions, here's a great real headline from today's Telegraph: Psychic Octopus Paul Unfazed By Death Threats, Says Keeper.

Still more fake news about Paul from The Spoof.

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FEI Fails Public Relations 101. What, Again? Really? So Soon?

Or, look what mayhem ensues when everybody gets a press release, but nobody gets "it"

The FEI has massively failed Public Relations 101, yet again. We've never seen anything like it. And we've seen a lot. It's like the FEI got everyone drunk on Double Trouble Carrot PunchTM without even meaning to! Given some very wishful thinking Stateside it's a full scale media disaster for the FEI. One award-winning American journalist in particular is so badly spun we think she might have motion sickness. We won't even link to that mess for comedic purposes, it's that far gone. It's so bad, we feel sorry for the FEI (save the Person Responsible for this whole mess). L'Affaire Sapphire even made us feel sorry for John Roche, and we didn't think that was possible.

In the interest of promulgating reality, our first Gold Media Star goes to none other than St-Georg (yes, really), which has published the first clarification we've seen (The Carrot doesn't count) of this latest massive communications failure. Unfortunately in addition to being in German it's wrapped up in a predictable "welfare" agenda when we all know this had nothing to do with actual welfare, only the manipulation of the concept with obvious motives. The Interweb Mayhem is not limited to the English language, oh no. So far we've seen it in French, German and it's probably in Dutch too, but we can't make any sense out of Dutch. So St Georg has differentiated itself by publishing a more nuanced explanation of the ruling bullshit that the FEI and USEF actually tried to put out on July 3 (and did, if you knew that both the retro-elimination AND the disqualification were protested with only the first likely to be overturned, the essential dispute not so much). But well . . . look where that got them.

The resulting mayhem worked very well for the USEF though, didn't it?  Hey peoples, if the May Tribunal ruling (that has  strangely yet to see the light of day) was so favorable to the USEF/MW, why did they just spend the entire 30-day appeal period negotiating to stay out of arbitration over it? If it was really in their favor, there'd be no reason to appeal and thus nothing to haggle over all this time to get them to NOT appeal. And the American side "officially" got so little out of it and yet is so satisfied, isn't that kind of odd?  "Officially" the story is something nice about "the good of the sport," the main need for the good of the sport being to get the protocol revised so this can't happen again. But they could easily have gotten the protocol revised without using the leverage of a CAS appeal, there was surely overwhelming support for that before the WEG, given the widespread outrage. So we have to ask, is that it? Are you SURE that's all you guys got? Especially considering the highly irregular way in which the resolution of this case has been handled, well . . . let's just say Cinders, the mysophobic piglet, might have to pull on her Wellies again. We love Cinders.

Horse and Hound has been conspicuously silent on the matter; we hope they're on the case and will knock our socks off clarifying the FEI decision for the largely confused anglophone masses.

If you read French, the Swiss site Le Cavalier Romand also has commentary on the BFF situation. They and L'Eperon posit BFF concern about the WEG was a strong motivator; it would indeed be unfortunate if the USEF had appealed and the CAS decision came down in the midst of the WEG. Awkward!  We all know how important it is to USEF to not have anything screw up the WEG. Progressive list, anyone?  Probably the arbitration would have stretched into 2011, given who is involved. But we're pretty sure it would never get that far. If you had all that dirty laundry, and all that at your disposal, would you let it get that far?

thanks to reader Lisa for sending the St Georg link, and other humorous contributions on this issue.

04 July 2010

BFFs USEF and FEI Back On!

The USEFEI is back in full force, for the good of the sport USEF's continued influence in the FEI if HRH gets re-elected and they know what's good for them. Contrary to what you will read all over the internet, Sapphire is still disqualified from the World Cup Final (this is not fake news) because sorry, read the press release, the FEI did not rule that the finding of hypersensitivity was incorrect, or that her disqualification from the rest of the event was incorrect. They only ruled said that her extra, extra wacky, retroactive WTF elimination from the second class of the event was incorrect. That's different!  Meaning, you can't say the horse is OK to jump, then determine her to be unfit AFTER she jumps and take her prize money away after the fact as if she didn't have the right to jump to start with. As everyone already knew. That's ALL the FEI has admitted they did wrong. They still maintain they were correct to DQ her from the rest of the event for hypersensitivity. And that, of course, is still bullshit.

However, the former BFFs have decided to agree to disagree on the hypersensitivity finding and continued disqualification, and gotten back together. Otherwise USEF would be totally screwed if HRH wins in November and it's just not worth it given that even if they won the DQ appeal in the CAS (longshot), there would be no practical effect.

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03 July 2010

Around The World In About 30 Days

Or, look what a Major News Item has to go through when there is no press release about it

The Carrot is a keen observer of the Fourth Estate, and while we ponder a long-winded treatise on equestrian media, we were intrigued by the extraordinary difficulty a certain Major News Item from USEF was having getting noticed. We thought it might be interesting to follow the path of this Major News Item, neglected by its parents to its near demise.

Where in the world is Major News Item? Major News Item starts out in the self-proclaimed-but-disputed Horse Capital of the World, Lexington, Ky, USA, home of some of those whose antics made it so Major to start with. But despite the magic of being published on the interwebs it languishes for an unknown period of time, existing as nothing more than a rumor at horse shows.

1. June 3 - Vancouver, Canada: The intrepid Karen Robinson, following up on the original story just like a real live journalist, investigates (!) with the FEI and USEF to find out if there has been any legal development, and announces the very obscure USEF notice resolving on May 6 their end of the jointly disgraceful Morrissey cluster.

2. June 3 - Through the magic of the interwebs and RSS technology, Major News Item quickly travels the very same day to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, where despite very sporadic Internet access the Carrot has followed Horse-Canada's Straight-Up blog to see if its author hears any further bullshit to be apprised of any developments. The Carrot re-publishes Major News Item along with a partially pre-written, long-winded diatribe about legal precedent, proportionality and transparent motives, blah, blah, blah.

3. June 5 - Stockholm, Sweden: Hastmagazinet, always on top of things, diligently if briefly mentions Major News Item.  Awaiting full Hast coverage, it enjoys an unexpectedly long stay in Sweden, meeting many beautiful people. It infiltrates IKEA headquarters and learns all their corporate secrets.

June 19 - Major News Item is so at home in Sweden that while seeking the limelight it even manages to score an invitation to Crown Princess Victoria's wedding, proving the Swedish royal family IS truly welcoming of nobodies!


But it's not enough. Emotionally drained after the excitement of the royal wedding, Major News Item feels betrayed by its parents who have so neglected it. It can't imagine why it is so unwelcome in its home country. What did it do wrong? It contemplates heading to Lausanne, Switzerland, to commiserate with the FEI Nation's  most famous orphan, The Industry.

4. June 23 - United Kingdom: Major News Item returns to the Anglosphere and gets radical in a desperate bid to gain recognition. It decides to don a "ladysuit" and a long wig, and ride naked through a quaint English town. But some old cow named Lady Godiva resurfaces and spoils everything. Despite being way past her prime she manages to score major column inches in The Chronicle of the Horse even as they lament the summertime dearth of major news items. Two Lady Godiva stories in one week will never do.

June 24 - Disconsolate, Major News Item hops on up to Aberdeen, Scotland on a whim, where it disguises itself as a man disguised as a horse, hoping to capture the attention of Internet-public. But some pot-bellied asshat with way too much time on his hands steals the idea (update: Horse Boy gives an interview).

5. June 27 - New Zealand:  Major News Item spends the last of its money on a lengthy flight to throw itself at the mercy of Horsetalk's Felicity Foxhunter, who had shown interest in the original story. But she was either not interested or she might have actually been kidnapped. We're still investigating; strange things have been happening Down Under.

Major News Item has now fully given up. It wraps itself in one of those bothersome tangled telephone cords that had recently proven so newsworthy at Horsetalk, and threatens to end it all by strangling itself of the last bit of life it has left. Enter Horsetalk's Robin Marshall to the rescue, who writes a real live, non-blog article about Major News Item despite never having received a press release about it!!! Incredible.

6. June 27 - Toronto, Canada: Major News Item, now a recognized member of the Anglophone Media Establishment, is picked up by horsejournals.com on the Barnmice site.

7. June 27 - Somewhere on the east coast of America: Hunterjumpernews.com, perplexed at such real journalistic initiative, republishes Horsetalk's article verbatim and attributes it to . . . a USEF press release! Explained HJN, "It was like a desert mirage; we in the media were so hungry to be spoon fed a press release, we imagined one where none existed."

HJN later edits their piece to link to Horsetalk and credit the actual author as they no doubt got a "hey guys, WTF?"

8. June 28 - Virginia USA, which even borders Kentucky, birthplace of Major News Item. How perfect!:  With a link to HJN, Major News Item is featured on Eventing Nation, so now it's REALLY news.

June 28 - Still Virginia, USA: Major News Item finally makes the hallowed pages of The Chronicle of the Horse, five days after Lady Godiva, 25 days after Major News Item was first published on Horse-Canada.com, and a whopping 53 days after USEF's judicial ruling.

Maintaining a hard-line stance, Horse & Hound still refuses to acknowledge Major News Item (despite having reported the original story with a most oddly sensationalized headline). To be deemed Horse & Hound worthy, a North American news item really needs to feature some summertime gore. Commented Horse & Hound, "Without either a press release or some blood and guts, we're sorry it's just not news." And this Major News Item is not willing to be torn apart by a grizzly bear just to make the Nag & Dog.

So there you have it: what a Major News Item has to go through when USEF wants to keep it quiet.  One thing is for sure, Lady Godiva must have a really great press rep.

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01 July 2010

Some Big Ass Fans Will Cool Your Ass (And Some Horses' Asses) At The WEG

But it might cost you (we're still confirming whether or not WEG air will be free)

This isn't really a comedy item except that's really the name of this Lexington, Ky. company that is now the Official Big Ass Fan Sponsor of the WEG. FABULOUS! They are, indeed, big ass fans. If I ever needed a big ass fan, or . . . a job in Kentucky, Big Ass Fans would be my first stop, because I can tell the company rocks just by the name. I did some research and it turns out Big Ass Fans has gotten into trouble for their moral shortcomings name with people who don't have a sense of humor. They even get hate mail about it!
"As a professional organization, we feel the choice of your solicitations is inappropriate and crass. The use of profanity in publications for shock value is very risky when dealing with corporations who value respect and decency, such as we do. While you are certainly entitled to your marketing tactics, we are highly offended, and will not be purchasing your material."
Those offended by the name included the Bluegrass Airport, which must really hate the environment and neglected donkeys. Or at least they did two years ago when they wouldn't let Big Ass Fans advertise there even after Big Ass Fans threw in some free big ass fans. Meanwhile there was some big ass scandal involving airport executives, airport money, and strip clubs. Apparently they didn't get the message left by this disgruntled (and grammatically challenged) moralizer:
"Good for the airport. The dumbing and numbing of America by folks like the Big A@@ Fan Company need to have some soap rubbed in their mouths once and awhile. People need to stand up and say "I ain't taking it anymore" from the folks that want to push more and more amoral and immoral crap at us. This may seem a small matter but the snowball is picking up steam as it rolls down the hill and it will bury us all if we don't stand up for what is right. Do Right And Accept The Consequences."
OK that is really scary. In 2010 the airport had a moral relapse reconsidered and it is now cooled by a Big Ass Fan, which just might reduce their energy costs by 30% even as it damns them to eternal hellfire.
In case you're worried about your own ass, WEG Fans For Jesus have that all taken care of. They have scrubbed the stadium seat in which your ass will be sitting clean of amoral and immoral dirt and prayed over both the seat and your ass. Because they really, really, really want you to realize your ass is going to burn in eternal hellfire have a wonderful and safe visit to the WEG!
As far as we can make out, saying the word "ass" IS legal in Kentucky, as long as you don't do it on a Sunday while trying to buy supplies so you can bootleg some likker because you're stuck in a dry county. Just a heads up. Actually it is worth noting that you CAN actually buy alcohol on Sundays now in Lexington. Our research reveals that was not the case just a few years ago, until after they won the bid. This major, incredibly progressive contribution to legal daily alcohol consumption definitely brought to you by the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Now go buy your tickets you cheap bastards!
And in the event you're concerned that your ass might become a big ass while you're spending time in Chain Restaurant Hell, never fear, The Carrot's Official WEG Restaurant Guide is on the way.  Local suggestions from real food-loving readers requested! Because the only thing more important than good comedy is good food. And likker. And free air.

(don't worry, we'll be sure to include a local soup kitchen for those who have no money left over for food)

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