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USA Equestrian
Demand For Arbitration Made: USA Equestrian Responds To Formal Complaint

USA Equestrian, the National Equestrian Federation, announced today that a formal demand for arbitration has been made with the American Arbitration Association, relating to a recent United States Olympic Committee ruling on its status as the sport's national governing body. The USOC board of directors affirmed its hearing panel report on the matter in early August, and under federal law, a demand for binding arbitration of such a decision, by any "aggrieved party," must be made within 30 days.

Speaking for all six officers of USA Equestrian, its president, Alan F. Balch, commented, "USA Equestrian has come to the conclusion that arbitration is the best forum in which a full and independent hearing of all relevant facts can be achieved, absent an immediate mediated settlement. We are confident in this course of action for many reasons; but three essential issues are clear:

* USA Equestrian is inclusive, financially sound and well-managed; USET is not.

* USA Equestrian represents a broad cross-section of equestrian events and equestrian athletes; USET shares representation with us of only an athletic elite who compete in select international events.

* USA Equestrian is committed to broad, fair competition; USET's dependence on a very small group of supporters has raised questions about conflicts of interest and undue influence, and subjected it to constant fiscal uncertainty and distress.

We are committed to being heard fairly and independently on these core issues. While this is a sad day for the sport, we have come to this place only because the USET has declined any effort to continue to resolve the sport's governance issues through mediation."

In response to USET's continuing claim of improper delegation of governance functions, USA Equestrian announced immediate steps to enhance its international activities and oversight.

Balch stated, "I am pleased to announce that USA Equestrian's Planning Committee, its NGB Advisory Committee, its International High Performance Advisory Committee, its Budget and Finance Committee and its Officers will begin promptly a series of public, webcast meetings to plan and institute all the details to accomplish the implementation of the enhanced international programs and oversight for all post-World Equestrian Games activities. Therefore, beginning with any international events after the World Championships in September, no further financial, logistical, administrative, or other assistance from the USET will be accepted by our organization, except as specifically approved by our Executive Committee or Board following receipt of recommendations from the Officers and the appropriate Committees in the Federation."

Reports on developments as well as information for joining the above webcasts will be available on USA Equestrian's web site. All legal documents filed today will be available on the USA Equestrian website at Questions and comments should be made to

USA 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.


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