Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Purina's response to my email about their sponsorship of Craig Schmersal


Purina appreciates your concern and FEI is reviewing the video of Craig Schmersal.  Purina Horse Feed is not involved in the decisions made by the governing bodies of the sport of reining and leaves decisions regarding reining and other equestrian competitions to the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) and Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI). At this time, no statement regarding EponaTV‚s video of Craig Schmersal has been released by either organization. Until Purina Horse Feed learns of a rule violation in the sport of reining, Craig Schmersal will remain in the ambassador program.


Beverly Fischer

Customer Service Manager
Land O'Lakes Purina Feed
100 Danforth Drive
Gray Summit, MO 63039
636-742-6170 (fax)

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened"    Anatole France

I guess they will wait and see if anyone ELSE is going to address this. Which is particularly ironic considering the quote at the bottom of the email.

We don't buy Purina products anyway, so I can't take my business elsewhere. But if I did, I would. Purina is a big enough company to make a statement without threatening their profit margin.


I just received and published a comment from Malina at the FEI with a link to their official statement, which I am pasting below (and sending to Purina and Spalding for their information):


25 May 2011
The FEI is constantly reviewing and amending the rules for all its disciplines to ensure that horse welfare is maintained.
Three working groups were set up in January of this year to conduct a full review of the discipline of Reining which will address all aspects of the sport, including rules and veterinary issues.

The working groups have already reviewed the Reining rules and regulations, the competition format and educational standards for all FEI officials within the discipline and will be giving their recommendations to the Reining Committee shortly. Also included in the review process are new Stewards’ guidelines and details of permitted training practices.
Representatives from FEI HQ spoke to the Chief Steward in Bökebergs Gård and were assured that all practice sessions were fully monitored, that each training session was timed and that all practices were within the rules that are currently in place. However, a preliminary report from the Chief Steward has been received by the FEI which records that a number of verbal warnings were issued to riders about their training methods during the practice session.
As part of the review process that was initiated in January, footage from the FEI World Reining Final and the resulting debate will be included in the file that will be submitted to the Reining Committee for inclusion in the review process.
The new FEI Reining rules and regulations will be voted on at the 2011 General Assembly in November for implementation on 1 January 2012.
As the international governing body for equestrian sport, the FEI condemns all training methods and practices that are contrary to horse welfare.



We have now included the link from FEI with their official statement on our correspondence concerning Ambassador Craig Schmersal.  Malina emailed me too with the information you had posted.   We appreciate your feedback and please always feel free to call or email us with any concerns.

Beverly Fischer

Not very satisfying, but it sounds like they might be getting some correspondence about this issue, which is good. If you haven't written or called yet, it's a good time to let them know what you think about sponsorship choices. They make a big part of their living due to horses. I think they should be the first to step away from affiliation with people like Craig Schmersal.


Anonymous said...

Dear Billie,

Here is Malina from the FEI, we have been in touch before.

We would like to clarify that the FEI has issued a statement in connection with the FEI World Reining Final and it can be found here It appears in both the media and the reining sections of our website

As ever, the FEI can only take a position after having received, as usual, reports of the FEI officials and the comments of relevant parties. After every Event the FEI receives detailed reports from its officials and, where there is evidence of an abuse, action is taken. However, this action would never happen immediately; there would always be an investigation and evidence collection period before action is taken.

We can assure you we are taking this matter seriously. As soon as we have further information we will of course share it with you.

I hope this information of interest to you and to your readers.

All the best,
Malina Gueorguiev
FEI Press Relations Manager

billie said...

Thanks, Malina. Am forwarding this link to Purina and Spalding.

Grey Horse Matters said...

Well at least you got an answer. Wonder if they will do anything to change the way things are run. I'm surprised to hear that a few riders were spoken to during their rides.

It will also be interesting to see what the sponsor companies do. My guess is nothing.

billie said...

I don't know what they will do. If nothing else, maybe someone googling Craig Schmersal or Purina will read this post and choose to vote with their credit cards.