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Mary is out, Britt is in at USHJA

Apparently, there was a whistleblower complaint.

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sources information links?

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https://www.chronofhorse.com/article/knowlton-out-mccormick-in-after-ushja-whistleblower-complaint/?fbclid=IwAR0ST-EoIr3JC_NijtQJ5iC6t1J61MVRTYQhbmBFAwwODA2D5Y165Mh_G90

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Interesting. I am seriously curious now about the complaint.

I’ve always had relatively positive interactions with Mary. I had high hopes when she became President. I’ve since concluded it’s a thankless job.

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I agree, I have the utmost respect for Mary and I hope that she finds fulfillment elsewhere. I think any organization would be lucky to have her.

I can’t imagine what mistake she would have made for this to happen. I think that the fact that she was not allowed to defend herself is very odd.

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“I’ve been doing this a long time. The transition is mostly me just getting up to speed on the boring stuff, like internal office protocols, and who to call for what.”

Not the mindset I would hope our incoming President to have, AHSA experience or not :grimacing:

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I have no insider knowledge but if I had to guess, I’d guess something having to do with conflicts of interest and the zone 2 finals debacle of last year.

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Thanks. I don’t know anything about that (or I’ve about forgotten it.) I think they should have given her a chance answer questions at least.

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I’m sure there’s more to the story, but I see a woman being forced out for some hidden reason in favor of a man. So tired of it all…

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McCormick was elected president last year. He’s just taking over earlier than planned.

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Per Nancy Jaffer’s reporting there was a full investigation of the events of the whistleblower complaint by an independent investigator and Knowlton was interviewed at length. Her information was given to the board along with all the other information gathered in the investigation. She just wasn’t allowed to argue her case for why she shouldn’t be removed early, it’s not that she was prohibited from giving her version of events relating to the whistleblower complaint to the investigators. She was already stepping down at the end of her term, this just sped up the timeline.

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According to Jaffer, this is the subject of the complaint

<<The issue involved building a new, independent information technology system for the Lexington, Ky.-based organization and the matter of oversight on the project.>>

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While I am ordinarily the first to point out misogyny, that wasn’t the scenario here.

I agree with you that the lack of transparency is tiresome. We are forced to pay dues to these national organizations (USEF/USHJA), yet we the membership aren’t allowed any direct say in the selection of the leadership.

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I don’t know Britt from Adam, but I’ve worked with Mary on the Horsemanship Quiz Challenge and find her to be an “everyman” type that really wants to expand the base of the sport. Based on nothing but commentary here and there over the past 6 months, I suspected Britt approached it from the other side of the spectrum, and then quote the Jaffer article:

Oh boy. Not just the upper levels, but really looking to grow the elite levels. This seems to be a grand departure from recently touted goals of expanded accessibility and I fear this is them giving up and declaring it a rich man’s sport. Success at the upper levels should be a byproduct of supporting the lower levels… but, if you woo the 1%, you can just throw a bunch of money at it and skip all those tedious base-building steps.

And beyond curious about a whistle blower report about… website project management…? Like, what? What are they planning on building? USEF runs the horse reports… USHJA doesn’t need to be much more than an info site with some basic membership permission roles. Not saying that’s a cheap build… but I still can’t imagine how this all rolls into something that needs a whistle blown…? On Mary? Huh?

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Based on this comment, my guess is the complaint revolved around cost overruns and/or the board not feeling kept in the loop about the progress and expense of the new system.

If they had any experience of software development, they would know that delays and cost overruns are the norm. :joy:

From Jaffer article:
Noting the project will continue, he commented, “We’re spending members’ money, so we have to be very diligent in how we do that. I’ll be involved in informing the board of every step along the way, every expenditure that we make, any changes to the project. All of that will be brought to the board’s attention in a timely manner.”

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If this was a company and an internal investigation revealed that a management official had engaged in fraud/waste/abuse/crime, the official could be fired without an opportunity to plead to retain the job. This doesn’t seem so different.

I’m also not thrilled with the lack of direct representation or some of the actions taken by the USHJA (or their inaction) but the ouster doesn’t seem that shocking to me.

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Ugh.

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Did anyone else get the USHJA email today with the Parlanti promo that referenced it was “to cure the ‘WEF is over’ blues”? The organization is already sending out promos that only relate to the literal1% of the membership (WEF is over blues? Really?). We don’t need growth at the elite and upper levels…

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I don’t for one minute believe that there was any fraud or abuse of funds. Mary is a very honest, principled, hard working person.

I agree that Mary should have been allowed to speak to the board. An investigation was done by an outside entity and the results given to the board, obviously there was an issue. Mary should have been allowed to discuss it with them. I think that she has been treated very shabbily.

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Skydy, Mary was directly involved in the actions and inactions that lead to a $5000 fine being levied by USEF against USHJA. I’m afraid I have to disagree with your representation of her character.

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