ridecamp@endurance.net: [endurance] Akhal Teke/attitude of US readers/netiquette/identity (long)

[endurance] Akhal Teke/attitude of US readers/netiquette/identity (long)

Thu, 25 Jul 1996 15:57:48 -0400


Answering a couple of your reactions with one letter will make this e-mail
longer than maybe usual.

1. Tone of Answers, reactions and e-mails

Apart from the majority of answers and interested reactions, which were nice,
polite and well-mannered, there have been several, among those some of which
are published in the endurance archive, which came over distinctly
belligerent and sometimes even insulting. We are a large world and not every
one speaking/writing English is indeed someone whose maternal language is
English. If you want your reactions to come over in the way they are meant,
you should add a few ideograms here and there. In fact Nathalie's letter was
universally received by our European members as being far from
matter-of-fact, the letter of KS Swigart was taken as being offending, and
there - however - are enough native English-spoken people among our members
who felt insulted by this, telling us that indeed the insult came over to
them as well.

Noone has anything against demands for information and clarification, but the
implications behind the cited letters were neither neutral, nor in any way
along what is universally regarded as being even minimally polite. What is to
us - meanwhile - even bordering on the funny is, that apparently only the
US-participants have the right to feel offended, to react accordingly with a
language and way of formulating we wouldn't even think to employ with the
next man on the street, to freely display chauvinistic attitudes and age-old
prejudices no one of us has before even thought possible for the citizens of
a "free and democratic" country, whereas the rest of the world has to please
keep its mouth shut...

2. Netiquette

So far we had the distinct impression that there is a thing like
"netiquette", at least most web-users heed certain points of respect and
courteousness. One of these points is that private mail isn't published in
newsgroups or on pinboards and our answer to Nathalie was private mail, sent
to her personally and not to endurance@moscow.com. If she insists upon
disregarding such minor points of netiquette she's welcome to do so.
Certainly it underlines the feeling we had about her first "message".

3. Identity, SandyDSA

Our identity is written and described in our homepage, and SandyDSA, if you
are unable to find it, you've maybe browsed too fast or past the pages
informing on IGATER, which are <assoc.htm> (Associations, Organisations and
Studfarms) and <igater.htm> (About us). These pages contain every relevant
information including full adresses, telephone and fax numbers! SandyDSA, not
only do you apparently take insult fast, you also seem to make a habit of
merely skimming something written, instead of really reading it. Our offer
was no "sales list", neither did we make "aspersions" about the
US-riders/US-horsebreeding, nor insult the US-breeds, nor say that you do not
have any good horses over there. Our offer is the result of several dozens of
people e-mailing and writing us for help regarding Akhal Teke and the
acquisition of horses of the breed. Please excuse me for saying this so
directly, but you may have good horses over there, but this goes EXACTLY for
other countries as well! And even if you maybe cannot imagine this, there are
US citizens who wish for a horse or breed not bred in the States, :-)))).

4. Letter of KS Swigart

This time we won't excuse ourselves for our opinion of this letter, it simply
is atrocious, an accumulation of prejudices and, KSSwigart, perhaps it would
be far better if you abstain from importing Russian horses and dealing with
Russians, if your opinion of them and the people breeding them is so low!!!
Whyever do you want to?
***NOT ONCE, during close to a hundred visits to Russia (sum of all of our
members' visits), have we been held "at gunpoint" (whereas this happens
apparently quite often to european tourists in the USA) or threatened in any
way!!! On the contrary, everybody among our association's members, who has so
far visited Russia (including the Caucase) has been treated with utmost
friendliness, unequalled and extreme hospitality, help every which way, a
mere wish, uttered by the by, was taken as command and often all this
happened (as we were able to discern and often were embarassed about) at the
expense of the Russians, who refused to be remunerated. Complete strangers
(to the visitors) did their best to help, be it a 500km drive from Moscow to
a studfarm, a place to stay overnight, when hotels were unavailable, the
arrangement of an unforeseen trip out of country by every official in sight,
and so on and on. It really is a grave insult and unacceptable to read such
ABSOLUTE RUBBISH about these nice people!!! Who do you think you are, to go
about and hold forth about a country you apparently do not know much about?
As said - NOT ONCE - and there are IGATER-members who visit Russia at least 8
times per year.
***Apparently KSSwigart also does not know a lot about Akhal Teke and the
breeding of them or she would not maintain that the best horses are bred in
Turkmenia. At the moment, and even the turkmenian breeding officials know
this, the best horses are bred in Russia, being best regarding purity (which
is very low in Turkmenia where the average of foreign infusion in the Akhal
Teke is above 10% non-Teke blood, whereas the russian studfarms have an
average of below 5% non-Teke blood in their horses), best in quality (for
several years now the overall champions and best horses of breed, accorded by
the official management of the Akhal Teke, have been bred in Stavropol
studfarm and Dagestan, including such superstars as Gelishikli, Juldus,
Guldshachan, Sere, Horog, Orlan, Gaisan, Achmed or Gaykysis) and best in type
(again Orlan, Keikgul, Achmed, Arslan, etc. etc...). But recently, and
through the hard work of Geldi Kerisov, president of the breeding
organisation, the quality and purebreeding of Akhal Teke have taken a turn to
the better in Turkmenia. Yet the standart still is not at all comparable, as
still quite recently the Akhal Teke was being wildly crossbred with other
breeds in Turkmenia and the care for the horses was not up to normal
standarts. On the other side, all the renowned russian studfarms have horses
in peak condition and health.
***the "pleasure hacks" she talks about come, if at all, from Turkmenia,
being more often than not only Teke halfbreeds. And we had a really good
laugh about the comparison of Germany and the USA regarding the quality of
Teke. Firstly, nearly all of the US Teke have been either bred by Germans or
bought from them and this is provable. Secondly, Germany is at the moment
third in regard of importance among the breed, with dozens of superbe
breeding horses and offspring graded Elite class by the studbook officials
regularly, offspring, which the russians have begun to think of buying back
themselves. And lastly, the Akhal Teke bred in the USA seem to be but very
rarely endowed with correct papers and a registration in the closed studbook,
which makes them - as breeding horses - virtually worthless, a lot of them
also are crossbreeds and partbreds, also without a registration/papers. Apart
from the original imports none of them can be discovered in the current 9th
edition of the closed studbook, which does include all horses of the rest of
the world. Thus from us there can be only the earnest warning (if a buyer
also wants to breed) not to buy US-bred Akhal Teke, as long as the seller
cannot show him/her the correct papers/registration of the studbook!
***piroplasmosis is indeed rampant in the Caucase and the studfarms do know
about this. And as veterinarian tests (taken and proceeded by russians) for
rage were accepted by the UK it is doubtful that the russian
studmanagers/officials are unable to procure equally acceptable (even under
severe scrutiny) tests regarding piro.
***we did not - you should have read thoroughly - imply that costs are low
because no shipping agency will be involved, in fact we wrote that the new
owners will have to engage someone experienced with such work on the US-side.
What we said is that because there will be noone else making his cut out of
the transport (the horses already belonging to their new owners and not being
generally marketed at US prices for Akhal Teke) they will be less expensive.
There are un-registered Akhal Teke on the US-market for up to 30.000$$, with
which a registered, purebred Akhal Teke for 6.000 or even 16.000$$ compares
very (!) favourably. And a purebred Teke mare for 10.000$$, even plus
additional 5.000$$ for transport, already is of Elite class, the US prices
being far too high to give the layman a correct idea of the usual prices. A
stallion for 1.000$$ (circa 6.000$$ after import) still is purebred, healthy
and has all the necessary qualities to make a very good competition prospect,
noone implies that it also is a super breeding horse, still it can be
bred.Yet a US-bred Teke without a correct registration certainly definitively
is no breeding horse, whatever the price.

KSSwigart, your letter is offensive, rude, prejudiced and also wrong in so
many aspects, that many among us wonder whether maybe you never even were in
Russia, or else that - displaying this attitude just as freely in front of
the Russians - you were (justifiedly) given a run-down. Someone with such
negative beliefs and chauvinistic opinions about other countries should
really stay at home and nurse her character.

Thus, we all were quite taken aback, even inspite of the many positive
reactions. It also seems quite symptomatic that there seems to be no "culture
of well-meaning and positive intentions" among horse-people in the USA, else
such ingrained distrust and suspicion of others would not be that evident. It
really must be difficult to be helpful in the States, well, european tourist
agencies do warn of helping a stranded motorist in the US, in Europe it is a
duty whose disregard can be punished, maybe this applies as well among
horse-people of the States. This was ironic, but exemplary of the
impression/opinion we begin to get about the States.

Again - anyone seriously wishing to ride/breed Akhal Teke can contact us and
again, we have no financial gain through this, if you will, we are naive
idiots, who charitably do what in America apparently always is done by
calculating businesspeople,;-}, and again, this is no saleslist, nor the wish
to run down on US breeds, this is an offer to those who have fallen in love
with a certain breed and prefer it inspite of the many, certainly just as
good, american breeds.

And - apart from our reaction to KSSwigart - this letter is actually written
on a saddened tone, gee, what a view of the world and people!

President: R. Kirsch
Board members: Kluth, Quinte, Schwab, Kleindienst
and the IGATER members who scanned the pages/reactions as well and e-mailed
to the above content.