Before you jump all over me about how great US Equestrian is for equine sports, I get it. It works much the same as Trickle-Down Economics where favoring top horse and rider teams will eventually benefit grass-roots riders like myself - in theory anyway. We need to subsidize and promote the Laura Graves and Verdades of American equestrian sports. Without them there wouldn't be a place for the Speedys and Izzys of the world to compete. Insert big eye roll. Nothing personal, Laura. You're my idol.
- Improve core processes and capabilities. That sounds like big changes, but it really amounted to outsourcing and the opening of a new headquarters which somehow is going to save money.
- Ensure safety, fairness, and enjoyment for members. Basically, this is SafeSport which is in response to "reports of sexual misconduct within the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic movement." That's what I thought. There was a problem in one area - probably figure skating and gymnastics, so a gigantic, one-size fits all band-aid was taped over everyone without any effort to customize the message for each audience.
- Provide a sufficient pathway for athletes to win at the highest levels and inspire the next generation. I am so glad the pathway is ... sufficient. What the hell does that even mean?
- Marketing spreads the word. Yes, it usually does.
- The results: growing membership. How is this actionable? There was literally no text for this step.
The "plan" was followed by a lot of yada yada yada ... heard it all before kind of stuff that initiated yet another massive eye roll. Number 1 being ...
Revenues have climbed and reserves are up. No kidding, US Equestrian. Don't you remember your ridiculously high rate increase of two years ago? Our membership rose from $55 a year to $80, a 62% increase. When was the last time you got a 62% raise?
To earn anything, I'd have to pay an additional $95 a year to bump up Speedy's Horse ID to an Annual Recording membership. And if I did that, I'm not quite sure what we'd be eligible for, but I am pretty sure it wouldn't be the types of awards that USDF and CDS offer when a horse earns a specified number of scores. So, no thanks.
The pamphlet covers a few other drugs as well and includes a Common Prohibited Substance list along with a quick guide as to when the last dose of some common drugs can be administered and how long many drugs remain detectable.
I am sure US Equestrian makes some positive contributions to dressage that actually benefit adult amateurs, but they're not doing the best job of making me aware of what those things might actually be. Since I need AA status - who wants to show Open?, I'll continue to fork over my $80 annually, but I don't have to like it.
Before I wrap this up, I found something in the Yearbook issue that totally and completely cracked me up. See for yourself.