You can believe me or not, but an hour or two after I wrote yesterday’s post ( my crystal ball seems to be working quite well), I saw a press release from the FEI, the title of which stated: FEI and USEF Both Initiate Charges in Abuse Case. The press release is rather brief so here it is in its entirety:
The FEI and the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) have both initiated charges under their respective rules against Michael Morrissey (USA), following an incident in Class 101 at the Wellington CSI2* held on 27 February 2010. The FEI will also be investigating the role of the Ground Jury in this incident.
Given the fact that both the International and National Federations will issue charges for the same set of factual circumstances, the FEI and the USEF will coordinate their existing regulatory procedures to ensure a fair process for the rider and seek the right outcome for the equestrian community.
BAM! It isn’t exactly at the speed of light, since the ‘incident’ (aka Whippy Whippy) took place seven weeks ago. But hey. At least something is happening. The FEI may have clammed up with me, but as long as justice is served, who am I to complain about a little reticence when it comes to my relentless badgering for answers? I have no idea – and may never know – if my blogging efforts over the past weeks had anything to do with this belated but nevertheless real action by the Feds, but the fact that so many of you have posted comments and stayed tuned is a source of gratification. And it’s nice to think that with this little cyber-column I have finally done something more meaningful than piss off a dressage judge.
One of my pals did the bit of digging necessary to find out the name of the head of the ground jury (unlike the FEI, I don’t think the ground jury deserves deity caps) during MMJR’s temper tantrum. I can’t say it’s a name I’m familiar with: Jose (Pepe) Gamarra from the show jumping super power, Bolivia. I checked the FEI calendar for 2010. Bolivia will not host a single FEI show jumping competition. I also checked the officials list on the FEI site (kudos! It was quite easy to find on the home page), and Pepe is one of only four FEI officials from Bolivia. Even Algeria has more than that. Pepe is not only an ‘I’ judge, but also an ‘I’ course designer. And he has worked as both for WEF. In fact, I believe Pepe calls Florida home. He probably hasn’t chewed a coca leaf in years.
Now, Bolivia has a lot of cool things going for it, not the least of which is a fully indigenous president (and he really IS a Socialist, unlike Obama) and a place in the Guinness book for having the highest capital (they have oxygen tanks and masks in the rooms at better hotels to deal with altitude sickness). But Bolivia also occupies a pretty permanent spot on the globe’s list of third world countries. I’m no sociologist, but in my travels I have noticed that the poorer the country, the less love (and food) left over for domestic animals. I hope I don’t alienate any of my reading friends by saying this, but I think a little context is due. Perhaps a few whacks of a jumping bat just didn’t set off alarm bells in Pepe’s head the way they would in yours or mine. I’m just sayin’.
This is a Bolivian horse. He will probably see fewer groceries in his life time than Crelido sees in a year.