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Hearing Panel Asks U.S. Olympic Committee To Withdraw Its Decision Against USA Equestrian
Panel Seeks To Reopen Hearing On The Governance Of Equestrian Sports

USA Equestrian, the national governing body for equestrian sports in the United States, learned late last Friday that the United States Olympic Committee was asked earlier last week to revoke its recent decision adopting the Report and Recommendation of a USOC hearing panel, and to reopen the hearing on the current dispute over the governance of equestrian sports.

Last year, the United States Equestrian Team (USET) asked the USOC to decertify USA Equestrian as the national governing body for horse sports in the U.S. After a hearing last fall before a panel of five USOC board members, the panel recommended that unless USA Equestrian and USET agree to some new structure for governing the sport, the position of national governing body would be declared vacant. The Board of Directors adopted this Report and Recommendation as the official decision of the USOC on August 2, 2002. After repeated refusals by the USET to engage in negotiations, USA Equestrian formally asked that the dispute be resolved in a public hearing before the American Arbitration Association, as provided by federal law.

Upon reading the Demand for Arbitration filed by USA Equestrian on August 30, the USOC hearing panel and the USOC General Counsel's office have determined that the serious issues raised by USA Equestrian "should be considered in the first instance by the USOC, not by arbitrators selected by the AAA." Accordingly, they have submitted a resolution asking the Board of Directors of the USOC to withdraw its August 2 decision "as if it had never been issued." The USOC Board will vote on this request by mail ballot due on September 25, 2002.

USA Equestrian is evaluating the proposed resolution and its potential impact on the pending arbitration and related litigation. A copy of the resolution can be reviewed on the USA Equestrian web site at www.equestrian.org/EquestrianGovernance/index.asp.

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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Updated: October 2005.