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USOC Hearing Panel Recommends NGB Status of USA Equestrian Be Revoked

USET Acknowledged As De Facto Joint NGB For Last 50 Years

Gladstone, NJ—June 10, 2002—The United States Equestrian Team (USET) is pleased to report that the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) Hearing Panel reviewing the status of USA Equestrian (USAE), formerly the AHSA, as the National Governing Body (NGB) for equestrian sport has determined that the USET has been, and is, primarily responsible for governing the international equestrian programs for the United States.

The Hearing Panel ruled that USAE does not meet the criteria for recognition as the NGB having delegated many, if not most, of its responsibilities to the USET over the past half-century. Accordingly, "the Panel recommends to the [USOC] Board that the formal recognition now held by the USAE be revoked."

The Panel specifically stated that it "denies all of the affirmative defenses raised by USAE" in connection with the proceedings. The USOC Hearing Panel also stated that the USET presently does not meet all of the criteria of an NGB, an observation that was expected since the USET has never before had formal NGB responsibility.

The Hearing Panel provided for a 180-day probationary period prior to formally declaring an NGB vacancy. The USOC has recommended that in order to have any further role in the governance of the sport of equestrian, USAE must work with the USET during this probationary period to form a new organization to act as NGB. The Hearing Panel recommended that any new organization that may be formed to replace USAE as the NGB, "must be staffed by employees with equivalent experience to those of the USET in the areas relating to the international aspects of the sport..." and, furthermore, must "establish a Board of Directors/Executive Committee voting structure that sufficiently protects the International Operating Division [USET]..."

The USET Board of Trustees will meet shortly to determine how best to proceed in light of the findings of the USOC Hearing Panel, including any modifications to leadership that may be appropriate, and of the new lawsuit filed by Alan F. Balch against the USET this past week. In the mean time, the USET will continue to support our equestrian athletes for the 2002 World Equestrian Games and other international competitions.


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