Explains Its Withdrawal of USOC Challenge
Commitment to Mission of Serving U.S. Athletes
NJJanuary 16, 2003On January 15, the United States
Equestrian Team (USET) withdrew its Challenge before the U.S.
Olympic Committee (USOC) in order to facilitate a more rapid resolution
to the equestrian governance dispute. Believing it could best
serve this countrys equestrian athletes, as it has for more
than a half-century, by defusing the extremely adversarial situation
that has prevented USA Equestrian and the USET from being able
to find common ground to resolve this matter, the USET withdrew
matters most to virtually everyone in the sport of equestrian
is that the turmoil that has been hurting all of us ends by bringing
the sport into compliance with the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur
Sports Act, said USET President Armand Leone, Jr.
USETs withdrawal of the Challenge is in no way connected
to the recent decision of the Superior Court of New Jersey,
Leone continued. Nowhere in the judges decision did
the court find that the USET lacked proper authorization or proper
documentation to continue with the Challenge. However, complaints
against USA Equestrian that athletes have filed with the USOC,
as well as the Complaint filed by the USET, have put the issues
of non-compliance squarely before the USOC Hearing Panel. In addition,
the USOC Membership and Credentials (M&C) Committee, in a
separate proceeding, is also reviewing USAEs non-compliance
with the Sports Act.
the matter of getting equestrian into compliance with the Sports
Act is being addressed on these two fronts, the challenge was
not playing a role in expediting a resolution. Given that it was
no longer necessary, the USET withdrew its challenge. We hope
this step will help to create an atmosphere that will assist in
resolving the equestrian governance dispute.
Equestrian Inc., as the National Equestrian Federation of the
U.S., is the regulatory body for the Olympic and World Championship
sports of dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, reining, show
jumping, and vaulting, as well as 19 other breeds and disciplines
of equestrian competition. As
the country's largest multi-breed organization, the Federation
has over 80,000 members and recognizes more than 2,800 competitions
nationwide each year. It governs all aspects of competition, including
educating and licensing all judges, stewards, and technical delegates
who officiate at these shows.
The vision of USA Equestrian is to provide leadership for equestrian
sport in the United States of America, promoting the pursuit of
excellence from the grass roots to the Olympic Games, based on
a foundation of fair, safe competition and the welfare of its
horses, and embracing this vision, to be the best national equestrian
federation in the world.