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Letter To The Editor

On Jul 3, 2014 I posted the following on Facebook.  I received several comments, mostly positive, but some messages I received via instant message questioned my character, and motive for the post. The post did not personally point fingers at a certain individual, barn or group as you can read. The statement was made as a horse show manager. It applies to all individuals and all barns. These types of activities must stop before someone gets horribly hurt.  
The post:

I typically don't like editorials on Facebook, but it breaks my heart as a Horse Show Manager, President of the State Association and an American Saddlebred owner to hear of the possible very unsportsmanlike conduct being shown lately in our show rings in the Midwest, especially from our young riders.

If you have to put a child in harm's way by spooking a horse on the rail, popping a bottle during someone's equitation workout, or telling a young rider as they pass they are on the wrong diagonal when they are not, then maybe you should think about why you are in our sport. Does the ribbon your rider, or friend within the barn receives feel better by sabotaging someone else's ride?  Is that really the way you want your rider to win a ribbon? 

Wouldn't it be better if you worked for it and were truly the best you could be in the class you are showing in?  How would you feel if this was your child or rider being attacked or bullied (which is exactly what this behavior is)? 

As a horse show manager it is my responsibility to see that all riders and horses can show in the safest environment possible. With that being said I hope I don't have to ask a rider, horse or even a trainer to leave the show grounds by showing this type of conduct in any horse show I manage.
- Vicky Holston
American Saddlebred Association of Wisconsin (ASAW) President
UPHA Chapter 3/4 Madison Classic Horse Show Manager
ASAW Summerfun Horse Show Manager
Wisconsin Futurity Horse Show Manager 
 Oshkosh Charity Horse Show Secretary
ASAW Summer Premier Horse Show Secretary

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