Monday, June 13, 2011

Spalding's Official Response to the Schmersal reining video

I received the following email last week from Spalding:

Ms Hinton

I am sorry I am late with this e mail. I acknowledge I promised you an answer three days ago.

This matter is of great concern to us as well and we are trying to gather all the facts we can from various sources including FEI and the NRHA. We have also spoken with people other than Craig Schmersal who were at Malmo Sweden and at the practice arena when this session was happening.

In your last e mail you suggested that EPONA-TV had produced a letter stating Craig Schmersal had offerd to sue them contrary to what he told me.

The video on You Tube used text to offer a quote from Craig Schmersal. " If you post and try to damage my reputation as a true and fair horseman I will sue you."

When I read the editorial from EPONA-TV on your blog, they offer proof  by posting a letter from a attroney demanding cease and desist.

This may seem like splitting hairs but it seems to be a stretch to publish "I will sue you" quoting one person, and then offer as proof, a letter from that persons attorney that demanded cease and desist.

This is Spalding Labs position. You may post or quote if you choose.

Spalding Labs is waiting for a ruling from the FEI or the NRHA on this matter and will act based upon those findings.

Larry Garner

My response to this was to contact Epona TV to see if they had anything to say. It is my understanding that there is in fact evidence that Craig Schmersal not only threatened to sue, but said/wrote other things as well. As soon as this is published by Epona TV I will provide a link to their information.

As you can read from Mr. Garner's response, Spalding has not sent a form letter in response to my inquiry. Mr. Garner sent me several emails responding specifically to my concerns. He went even further and made several efforts to contact me by telephone to discuss the matter personally. This company obviously goes a great distance to respond to the concerns of its customers, and I do believe they have looked into the Schmersal incident.

Whether they come to the same conclusion that I have come to remains to be seen. There is still more information to be revealed, and I still suspect that Craig Schmersal has not in fact been honest with Spalding in his responses to their questions.

My bottom line is that I want to support companies who provide high quality equine products as well as excellent customer service. There is NO DOUBT in my experience that Spalding provides both.

However, I also want the companies who make their livings selling products for horses to stand behind the horse in one more important way: by ONLY sponsoring riders, trainers, farms, and organizations that treat all equines with the highest level of respect and kindness. Those who make money off horses imo have the most responsibility to treat them well. (I'm not excusing poor treatment of any horse anywhere, but if the horse is being used as a vehicle for gain, it is imo imperative that the horse is treated with the highest level of care and concern)

I am waiting for Epona's response and continue to ask that Spalding, Purina, and all the companies who sponsor Craig Schmersal take a long, hard look at what exactly they are endorsing. The horses deserve this.


Grey Horse Matters said...

I agree with you that if a company is making money from horses, those horses should be treated with the utmost respect and care.

Seems like a good company who takes an interest. Let's see what happens when all is said and done. I'm a bit of a skeptic when it comes to big companies endorsing big name trainers. Whenever money is involved there is usually a lot of dancing around the issues.

Barbara said...

Thanks for the update.
I may be misinterpreting, but I believe the only response from the FEI is that the stewards did what was allowed under the rules and the rules are now under scrutiny and may be changed. For the FEI, that is dramatic. I don't expect them to say anything that would put any pressure to lean one way or the other on a sponsor.

billie said...

A, I think endorsements come with a great deal of responsibility. If you as a company who makes equine products see fit to endorse a rider/trainer/farm/etc. it becomes your job to fully investigate the folks you sponsor, keep tabs on what they're doing wrt horses, and make changes when necessary.

What it comes down to for me as a consumer is that I want my money to support good products, good customer service, and ethical, humane practices across the board, and that includes all the way to Sweden in a warm-up arena.

Because of the seriousness with which Spalding has taken my concerns, I have continued as a customer, and will until this has fully played out.

billie said...

Barbara, I wish you would email what you just said to Purina and Spalding. I will try to follow up too.

My interpretation was that there was going to be some kind of final "report" by the FEI, but it may be that as you say, that is coming later, possibly much later.

Someone can ride a horse into the ground in a few minutes' time, but the wheels of change that need to turn to help take forever, it seems.