Need to Know Wednesday

Mark Phillip’s criticizes the use of Greenwich Park for the London 2012 equestrian events due to rising costs in the latest H&H. 
The FEI has warned riders that they face a 2-year ban if they are caught using banned substances.  I believe that a two year ban for a first offense is consistent with most other Olympic sports and seems like an appropriate length of time to me because anything shorter that a half-year lets offenders time the enforcement so they don’t miss any three-days, and anything much longer would be overly punitive and probably completely ruin someone’s career, although if you get caught cheating then I don’t really care. 
Courtney-King Dye is making great strides in recovery, and is fully alert and talking, according to one of Lendon Grey’s Facebook page updates.  You can see an amusing difference in coverage from this article and this article.  
*Land Rover had become the official vehicle of the USEF.  Even if you have already heard about this, you want to read this particular story.
Meningitis can’t keep Francis Whittington out of Badminton, Sara Stretton withdraws

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The FEI and USEF have initiated possible abuse charges against show jumper Michael Morrisey for beating his horse repeatedly.  A few thoughts: first, this shows the extraordinary power of video combined with members of the new media.  As Fran Jurga explains in her article, blogger Karen Robinson of the Straight Up blog was the first to write about the incident.  However, without the video, she was just a writer telling a story.  Once the Youtube video (below) started being seen by other members of the equestrian new media, we (The Carrot, Eventing Nation, and others) started writing about the incident and publishing the video.  Eventing Nation linked to the video on Monday and it had 1,000 views at the time.  Just two days later it has 17,000, and the amazing thing about those numbers is that, generally, the major members of the equestrian media completely ignored the story until the FEI sent out its press release yesterday.
My second thought is that the FEI deserves credit for making the right decision even if they were a couple of weeks late.  Policing so many horse sports at competitions across the globe is a very challenging task, and, while the FEI should have been faster to initiate charges, they ultimately made the right decision, which is the most important thing.
Third: from here on out, riders need to assume that the camera is always rolling at competitions.  Anything you say or do can and will be plastered all over the internet and used against you in the court of public opinion.

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Best of the Blogs: Laine Ashker likes her Rolex number, Steph Rhodes-Bosch is starting to believe, *what Chelan learned from watching a lesson with David.  Note: Chelan’s blog entry is one of my favorites by a rider: she uses her personality to tell about an experience that is very educational to the reader.
News of the WeirdDrunk man rides horse into Tennessee mule festival.  How did police know he was drunk?  He was asking for beer.
A giant horse as high as the Statue of Liberty is being built in England: “It has been created by Mark Wallinger, who once dressed up in a furry bear suit and wandered around a Berlin gallery in the name of art.”

Paca Poo: “The music booster club at Central Community Unit School District 301 in St. Charles isn’t bothering with bake sales and car washes this year. Instead, it’s selling bags of something promoters call ‘paca poo’.” ~ Courtesy of BC.

Perhaps more than ever, crap labeled with a cute name is still crap.  What’s wrong with bake sales?

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