All y'all, I saw a notice on Facebook this morning that shocked me:
Dennis Summers was handed a 1-year suspension for "unsportsmanlike conduct" by
the AERC Protest and Grievance Committee.
I mean, WHAT???!!!
I'm not going to pretend to be neutral and unbiased. I know too many fine things about the Summers to be impartial, and I feel much too strongly to remain silent.
In fact, I am going to post my entire open letter to the AERC Board (it's down below).
This is a timely issue, with only 30 days for an appeal to be submitted, so rather than wait for the next issue of Endurance News to be mailed, I will post the entire text of the findings of the Protest and Grievance committee on this blog in the next few days. Please stay tuned.
If you want to write your own letter, the email addresses for the BOD are on THIS PAGE.
Here's my letter:
To the AERC Board of Directors and all other AERC members,
To say that I am appalled by the findings of the Protest and Grievance committee against Dennis and Sue Summers is to understate the situation by 50 miles or more.
Since I first joined AERC in 1999, it has been obvious to me that the Summers exemplify the ideals of endurance riding: they ride fast, they ride far, they ride safely. They take care of their horses and they campaign the same horses for many years--Sue has THREE decade horses!
They mentor other riders and they assist wherever and whenever they are able. They have managed rides and they help ride managers of other rides. They showed up three days early to a ride in 2011 so they could provide photo model horses and riders for my book Endurance 101.
All of this was done without pay or expectation of recognition. They are people, and people sometimes make mistakes. But these people have made enormous efforts over many years to make our sport better, cleaner, safer for horses and more fun for riders.
With this decision, AERC has chosen to chuck out not only the baby and the bathwater, but also the tub and all the plumbing as well.
We need more riders like the Summers. We need to recognize and celebrate their contributions, not censure them.
Banning the Summers from rides for an entire year is a tremendously unwarranted over-reaction to the situation, I urge you to seriously consider their appeal to this finding, and reverse the decision.
|Dennis and Sue Summers, re-marking sabotaged trail at April Daze 2015|
They also ran big stretches of the trail on foot to fix trail markings in
places not accessible to the quad.