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[RC] IntNewsGroup: Balch Continues to Undermine USET Service to Equestrian Athletes - Lori & Rick Stewart


Contact:           Marty Bauman (508) 698-6810,

Balch Continues to Undermine USET Service to Equestrian Athletes

Gladstone, NJ January 13, 2003 USA Equestrian (USAE) President Alan F.
Balch, in another in a continuing series of steps designed to deflect
attention from his organization s being out of compliance with the
requirements of a National Governing Body (NGB), has forced a delay in
action by the United States Equestrian Team (USET) to approve and
implement programs for 2003.

USET President Dr. Armand Leone, Jr. received a letter from Balch on
Sunday afternoon, January 12, demanding that the USET not hold its annual
membership and Board of Trustees meetings scheduled for Monday morning,
January 13.  He claimed that the USET did not have a valid Board to call
these meetings based on a ruling by a New Jersey Court on Friday, January
10, that all actions, including election of a Board of Trustees, at its
October, 2001 annual meeting were null and void.

Rather than give Balch an opportunity to initiate further unnecessary and
wasteful litigation, the USET immediately adjourned both meetings on
January 13 without taking any action.

This is yet another example of Alan Balch throwing up smokescreens to
divert attention from the real issue, namely USAE s lack of compliance
with the requirements of being an NGB, said Leone.

The New Jersey Court did rule our October, 2001 meeting invalid based on a
technical requirement, but everything connected with that meeting, as with
all our meetings, was completely above board, Leone continued.  To slow
service to our sport s athletes is a shame, but rather than put the USET
in a position of having to face further litigation from Alan Balch, we
thought it more prudent to defer any actions scheduled to be conducted at
these meetings to a later time pending further evaluation of the judge s

Meanwhile, the USET calls upon the Board of USAE to end its support of
Alan Balch and his disruptive actions as cited by the U.S. Olympic
Committee in its letter of December 23, 2002.  Only then can we end this
ridiculous waste of resources that is hurting our sport.

In its letter to USAE Executive Director Lori Rawls on December 23, 2002,
the USOC said that it was, Concerned about a failure by USAE to
acknowledge its obligations as an NGB, a lack of candor and cooperation by
USAE leadership in its oral and written submissions to the Committee, and
USAE s efforts to disrupt, rather than further, the efforts of the
Committee to conduct its compliance review.

The letter also said that, Rather than accept questions and positions
taken by others as opportunities to move the sport forward, USAE s
behavior has been destructive and has often been mean spirited, contrary
to the fundamental principles of the Olympic movement.

Leone said that Balch s actions related to the USET meetings underscored
two further points made in the USOC letter, namely that, A primary focus
of USAE s response was to attack USET, and that, USAE has become so
consumed with issues of turf, power, control and winning against USET at
all costs that it has ceased to conduct USAE in the best interests of the
sport of equestrian, the United States athletes who compete in sport of
equestrian, or the Olympic movement in the United States.

Leone urged the USAE Board of Directors to listen to the call of the USOC
that USAE leadership has lost all perspective concerning the situation and
needs to step back and reconsider its current and ongoing course of
conduct.  USAE has wasted its resources, the resources of the USET, the
resources of the Committee, and the resources of several offices of the

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