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Supporters Rally Around George Morris After SafeSport Ban

A tidal wave of reaction met the news that former U.S. show jumping coach George Morris – the world’s most famous trainer in that discipline – had been issued a lifetime ban by the U.S. Center for SafeSport in connection with “sexual misconduct involving (a) minor.” The decision is being contested and disputed by the 81-year-old Olympic medalist, who said in a statement he is “deeply troubled by the U.S. Center fo...

By: Due South // Nancy Jaffer

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Central Park Horse Show Won’t Run This Year

While it sounded like a great idea, there was always skepticism that a horse show could ever be held in Central Park, the heart of Manhattan. But Winter Equestrian Festival impresario Mark Bellissimo and his team got it done in 2014, and for four years, the Rolex Central Park Horse Show was an innovative addition to the schedule. Last year, however, the Central Park fixture was cancelled as Mark and his organization were busy in Tryon, N.C., presenting the FEI World Equestrian Games, which ended just days before the New York show would have ...

By: Due South // Nancy Jaffer

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No U.S. Venue for 2022 Olympic and Para-Equestrian Qualifiers

The Kentucky Horse Park, which hosted the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in 2010, was not on the list for consideration as a candidate for the 2022 world championships, as the FEI announced bidders for those competitions yesterday. In the Olympic disciplines of dressage (coupled with para dressage), show jumping and eventing, the 2022 championships will serve as qualifiers for the 2024 Paris Olympics and Paralympics,...

By: Due South // Nancy Jaffer

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USEF Takes Another Step Toward Keeping Young Equestrians Safe

U.S. Equestrian Federation members last year sighed and accepted the requirement that they take on-line SafeSport training in order to compete in recognized shows. Then last month, they got word about the federation implementing yet another protocol related to the program that is “committed to ending all forms of abuse in sport.” That includes bullying, harassment, hazing, physical abuse and emotional abuse, in addition to sexual misconduct and abuse. Sports’ national governing bodies, such as USEF, are required to be part of its missi...

By: Due South // Nancy Jaffer

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Will the World Equestrian Games Return After All?

As the problem-plagued 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) wrapped up in Tryon, N.C., one thing seemed clear – there would not be another WEG, at least next time around in 2022. But hold on a minute before you write WEG’s obituary. Surprise! There already is one entity coming forward and revealing its interest in bringing WEG back for 2022. First, though, a bit of history before the big reveal. You must understand that the difficulties involved in staging the WEG as a compilation of eight world championships are legion. (The FEI is ...

By: Due South // Nancy Jaffer

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Will Lowering the Fences Get More Entries?

It may look as if the U.S. Equestrian Federation has dumbed down the finals of the Platinum Performance Show Jumping Talent Search by lowering the fences, but those involved in making the decision say it ain’t so. The impetus for the federation’s jumping sport committee to change the fence height from 1.20 meters to 1.15 meters for the 2019 finals was the fact that entries in the East Coast finals, which always has more competitors than the West Coast version, were down last year to a mere 33 starters, from 52 in 2017. Run over two da...

By: Due South // Nancy Jaffer

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More Players on the Nations Cup Show Jumping Scene

Remember the era not so long ago when the traditional equestrian powers dominated Nations Cup team show jumping, with the emphasis on Europe and just a few countries—notably the U.S. and Canada, or sometimes Brazil – in the Western Hemisphere, along with a few in the Middle East? Things have changed, as illustrated by the microcosm of the $290,000 Longines FEI Nations Cup competition at the Palm Beach Masters show in Wellington, Fla., last weekend. Demonstrating that a stunning 2018 victory which earned Dublin’s Aga Kahn Cup last year ...

By: Due South // Nancy Jaffer

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Are There Too Many World Cup Dressage Qualifiers?

I had figured that all the top horse/rider combinations would come out for the only 5-star-rated dressage competition in the Western Hemisphere this month, so in December, I made my plane reservation for Florida and looked forward to a spectacular Grand Prix Freestyle on my arrival in Wellington. But some big names were missing last week at the 5-star Adequan Global Dressage Festival, and you can blame it on the new North American League qualifying rules for the FEI World Cup finals. Those vying for the continent’s two berths at the fin...

By: Due South // Nancy Jaffer

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Former Lab Director Sues USEF

It just won’t go away. Now a lawsuit filed against the U.S. Equestrian Federation by its former laboratory director, Dr. Cornelius Uboh, has added yet another chapter to the saga that rocked the organization in 2018, after the mishandling of a sample in the federation’s drug testing lab prompted an embarrassing reversal of punishment levied against a high-profile trainer and hunter rider. “We have egg on our face,” USEF President Murray Kessler freely admitted following the revelation. It came a year after the well-publicized announ...

By: Due South // Nancy Jaffer

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Time for U.S. Eventing to Gear Up

When Erik Duvander took over in October 2017 as the USA’s eventing performance director, there were only 10 months until the FEI World Equestrian Games. On top of that, it had been 13 years since U.S. eventers won a team medal at a global international championship (as opposed to a Western Hemisphere-only Pan American Games). So no pressure… U.S. eventing “had come off a couple of years of changing coaches, it just seemed like it was quite an unsettled sort of situation, and unsettled for the future of the sport,” observed Erik, who ...

By: Due South // Nancy Jaffer

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