“They shoot riders, don’t they?” Where are the disciplinary and conduct proceedings of the Barbados Equestrian Association? Many Bajans feel top rider Natya Soodeen has been marginalised in petty in-house squabbles!

Just the other night at Lion Castle, Tourism Minister Richard Sealy was glowing and preening about Barbados as a Sports Tourism destination. He lauded not only the very 2nd Woz Segway Polo Championships he attended, where Barbados won for the second straight year, but this country hosting the ICC Twenty20 cricket Finals at Kensington Oval and the fact that the 54th Caribbean Amateur Golf Championships will be hosted at Royal Westmoreland among other activities to come…

So imagine how Barbados will appear to be nothing less than a rodeo clown for Equestrian events, as a protest for a decision which many consider oddly arrived at, this situation which developed on Facebook and spread to Barbados Free Press and even other venues has not been touched by mainstream media.

DLP's Tourism Minister at Lion Castle recently touting Barbados as a Sports Tourism destination - but he needs to investigate the BEA first, I think...

DLP's Tourism Minister at Lion Castle recently touting Barbados as a Sports Tourism destination - but perhaps he needs to investigate the BEA first, I think...

Despite the lack of Dead Tree media’s attention, as usual, Bajan Reporter will forge the way ahead and seek to make sense of an issue which is getting whipped by many factions. The online protest states as follows;-

The Barbados Equestrian Association has issued a Letter of Suspension to Natya Soodeen, the very first rider to represent Barbados internationally in 1995. Soodeen went to the Pan American games in Argentina and funded this trip herself to carry the Barbados flag.

Natya has been showjumping in Germany and other parts of Europe for the past 5 years training to hopefully compete in the 2012 London Olympics.

She was until recently trying to qualify to represent Barbados at the up-coming CAC Games. The BEA kept changing the rules on Natya, and without any explantion sent a notice to all that Soodeen had not qualified. Soodeen and her managers had thought she HAD met all BEA criteria and would qualify.

All of Natya’s results submitted to the BEA were received from the official show office of each show (German National Shows) and printed with the German Federation stamp endorsing these results.

On Tuesday 8th 2010, a newspaper writer contacted Nicole Tull, president of the BEA to confirm whether Soodeen was in fact disqualified from representing Barbados in the upcoming CAC Games. Tull did not wish to comment and that night Soodeen was sent a letter suspending Natya from competing for Barbados for the next 6 months due to discrepancies’ with her results submitted to the BEA.

Soodeen has never been questioned by the BEA about these discrepancies’ at any given time before being suspended. Nor did the BEA tell her what the disrepancies were. The BEA simply charged and convicted their own rider without trial.

Unlike most riders here in Barbados who show as a ‘serious hobby‘, this is Soodeen’s FULL TIME JOB. This is all that Natya Soodeen does on a day to day basis and this is her only source of income.

So without any explanation, Soodeen’s own national association has stopped her from competing internationally.

What seemed rather odd was when this online protest was initiated, the BEA website was not running – not even caches of previous versions of the site, there are some Web Designers we spoke with who wonder if the URL in question was having its contents altered to reflect a given position (Like what happened with certain music contests which had NO rules, until this website questioned their integrity and their sites went down for a few days then re-appeared with Criteria all of a sudden).

Marcus Ehning (#1 in world) training with Natya Soodeen

Marcus Ehning (#1 in world) training with Natya Soodeen

My contention is they should have placed a new development on their website – they should have issued a Statement on the matter as Headline urgency in order to quell the ugly attention this situation is drawing. I am not sure if they changed their site, since they do list their constitution. Here it is as a downloadable PDF file.

Do you see what I first noticed about their document? There is nothing on Conduct nor Discipline! Where is redress for answering allegations? There are some folk who would equate such stringent methods to the equivalent of what used to be referred to as a Drumhead. There are some further who even examined cause for suspension and learned there are procedures for such disciplinary matters.

Natya at the Quivantos World Championships

Natya at the Quivantos World Championships

This Word file, as you see, was sent via e-mail and had no signature which brings its validity under scrutiny, when I send a letter officially (like Media Accreditation or Fund Raising) I usually have to insert a facsimile of my signature so as to indicate the veracity of my correspondence…

Here is the Word file for all readers to read & assess.

If there is a discrepancy or deception (strong word to use in and of itself) should it not be outlined so an appropriate defence can be communicated to the relevant disciplinary board? Oh wait, nothing in the BEA constitution about discipline nor conduct;-

From: nicole tull
Date: Wed, 9 Jun 2010 02:54:36 -0700 (PDT)
To: Natya Soodeen; ********
Cc: *********
Subject: Suspension Letter

Dear Ms. Soodeen

Please see attached document.


Dr.Nicole Tull B.Sc. D.V.M.
President, Barbados Equestrian Association
Work (246) *******
Mobile (246) *******

Another odd factor in this convoluted equation – If Natya Soodeen is suspended then how is she still allowed to be jumping in Germany and continue to be sending back results? Suspension means NO activity!

Pan Am Games - Natya has her own video channel - http://youtube.com/bajanjumper123

Pan Am Games - Natya has her own video channel, http://youtube.com/bajanjumper123

So where does the embarrassment to Barbados factor in? Well an e-mail was sent to the FEI who is the final arbiter in cases like this, and they found the whole situation odd and they in turn have referred the matter to their lawyers as they are surprised their adjudication methods have come into question;-

From: John Roche
Sent: Friday, 11 June 2010 02:27 AM
To: Sandy Turf Stables; FEI Otto Becker
Cc: Natya Soodeen; *********
Subject: RE: Natya Soodeen

Dear Mrs Sampson,

As this is not a sport issue but more of a legal issue I am passing a copy of this e-mail to the FEI Legal Department for consideration.

Yours sincerely,

John Roche

From: Sandy Turf Stables
Sent: mercredi 9 juin 2010 22:58
To: FEI Otto Becker; John Roche
Cc: Natya Soodeen; *********
Subject: Natya Soodeen

Dear Mr. Roche and Mr. Becker,

Today we have received a letter from The Barbados Equestrian Association (BEA) suspending Natya Soodeen from representing Barbados for the next six (6) months (letter attached).

Never has a rider been so victimized as is here. Natya has sent in all of her results as requested and has always made herself available for discussion with the BEA.

I also attached a copy of the present BEA Constitution as I cannot see that what they are doing is correct or fair.

Natya’s email is cc’ d here as well as her sister, Neysha Soodeen and her other manager, Fiona Kinch.

We hope that we can discuss this further with you as we are in dire need of assistance.


Sandra Sampson

PP Natya Soodeen

Where does this leave Barbados but in a steaming horse-pattie? At BFP particular factions have wanted to imply Natya is privileged, and has not been so outstanding – if she was as talentless as hinted at then why did Marcus Ehning, the #1 equestrian in the planet, agree to train and tutor her? Her money is drawn mostly through fees won in various contests.

These are the FEI-accredited results for Natya. CLICK ON IMAGE FOR LARGER PICTURE

These are the FEI-accredited results for Natya. CLICK ON IMAGE FOR LARGER PICTURE

What is also intriguing to note is the suspension came after a Freelance Journalist was seeking to verify if Natya was indeed in suspension, could a Committee member of the BEA be enraged at what, up to that point,  was a quiet family skirmish and now bubbling into a public outcry via an unofficial Leak?

From: ******@gmail.com
Date: Tue, 8 Jun 2010 21:23:02 +0000
To: nicole tull <*********.com>
Subject: Re: Natya Soodeen/CAC Games

Hi Nicole,
As my deadline looms, I was wondering if I was still looking forward to your comment for this evening…
If not, I could (although I’d prefer not to) run without and say I failed to get a comment from you in time. Should I hold on longer? No pressure, but please understand that I must tell my editor something very soon.
Thanks again
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device from LIME.

From: nicole tull <*********>
Date: Tue, 8 Jun 2010 13:33:52 -0700 (PDT)
To: **** ****** <******@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: Natya Soodeen/CAC Games

Hi Ms. ******

No Problem. I will get back to you shortly. Is it the Nation or the Advocate that you said you worked for?


Dr. Nicole Tull

B.Sc. D.V.M.
Work (246) ***-****
Mobile (246) ***-****

From: ***** ***** <*******@gmail.com>
To: ************.com
Sent: Tue, June 8, 2010 4:24:35 PM
Subject: Natya Soodeen/CAC Games

Ms Tull,
Thanks for speaking with me earlier. My questions are listed below:

We received information that Miss Natya Soodeen did not qualify to represent Barbados at the CAC Games. Is this correct?
Based on the criteria presented by the BEA and her results, would you please explain what criteria she did not meet?
Can you shed some light on this situation?
Thank you for your time. I need an answer shortly as I’m trying to make deadline.
If you need to, you can reach me by phone on the numbers below, and I will be checking email constantly.

O**** C*****
Freelance Writer

What difference does it make if you come from the Advocate or Starcom or wherever? Since any media attention in this way for this crisis is not ideal under any circumstances! Needless to say, the freelancer never received any reply, much like when I sought an answer from Secretary Naomi Roachford-Holder (only after I both texted and voice-mailed) who promised a statement is forthcoming. Many organisations prefer to hold back on a reply rather than take the issue head on, they feel inactivity will lead the public to forget the crisis – WRONG!

The popular pic which most sites carry when listing Natya Soodeen's petition

The popular pic which most sites carry when listing Natya Soodeen's petition

If those posing queries as to what is wrong continue to be PROactive, unlike the entity who is refusing even to be REactive, then that company or concern will be shown for their INactivity, which is not to the advantage of most company’s desires to Build, Encourage & Advance, eh?

CAC qualifications for Barbados, which acknowledge FEI - *NB: CLICK ON IMAGE FOR LARGER RESOLUTION*

CAC qualifications for Barbados, which acknowledge FEI - *NB: CLICK ON IMAGE FOR LARGER RESOLUTION*

If the BEA’s own criteria for CAC Qualification is based on FEI rules, click here for FEI rules on Jumping, which includes ‘Code Of Conduct’, then why are they saying one thing and doing another? When you click on this link, it shows how England has a rulebook alone for Equestrian disciplinary matters.

Now did Natya have a show jump and course set forth by May 31? Let’s examine what she had to send back here as she’s based in Germany…

Right on the last day of qualification there onkly 4 faults listed in a required round, that is - for this layman - pretty impressive.

Right on the last day of qualification there only 4 faults listed in a required round, that is - for this layman - pretty impressive. CLICK ON IMAGE FOR LARGER PICTURE

NS Handorf signed course, dated 15th May 2010, its difficulty is M star - which is fairly tough in Equestrian circles

NS Handorf signed course, dated 15th May 2010, its difficulty is M star - which is fairly tough in Equestrian circles. CLICK ON IMAGE FOR LARGER PICTURE

Here's what should have been icing on what is now an upside-down cake - Natya's results, signed & verified. CLICK ON IMAGE FOR LARGER PICTURE

Here's what should have been icing on what is now an upside-down cake - Natya's results, signed & verified. CLICK ON IMAGE FOR LARGER PICTURE

This is a cursory examination of initial findings as provided by a source who obviously has their own agenda, yet when taken into its own light, it shows there are massive gaps in what led to the suspension of Natya Soodeen – no disciplinary hearing; no listing of discrepancies; the BEA appearing to conflict with their own terms of CAC qualification and placing themselves at odds with the very arbiter they are supposed to adhere to…

Natya in happier times earlier this year

Natya in happier times earlier this year

When overseas sporting enthusiasts learn of this burr under the saddle of Barbadian equestrian history, can you blame them if they feel Barbados is just horsing around with Qualifiers and not worthy of future consideration for better events?

15 Responses

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  1. Hey you, be careful what you list on your site. I’ve been following your comments on Free Press and thought I would check your promised story and offer some friendly advice. Those in power now at BEA are rather unscrupulous. If you mash their corns, be careful, luckily – you have facts. I think the best thing to keep track of this matter is to subscribe to your site via email.

  2. This is a very good discussion – Everyone loves the mix of truth & suspicion in conjunction with some intellectual viewpoints. It?s great there’s an alternative to the papers, radio and tv. Because of the utter crap fed by so-called media nowadays I always enjoy reading the real voices in the Bajan blogs. Thank you for this bold research and keep writing, please!!

  3. If additional background would help, lets say everything was fine until it was discovered the BOA grant can only help 2 not 3. After that realisation, several committee members agreed the sister of an executive member should go fwd, so Natya gets kick down… but not without the ensuing backlash which they did not anticipate.

  4. So has the BEA announced anything on their site, or are they still leaving all champing at the bit ??

  5. On BFP they’re attacking you Ian, the detractors go on about your size when so much can be said for Roy Morris and his personal habits. I would like to know why those commentators don’t probe why Kelsey Bayley gets to go to Youth Olympics over Emily Kinch who’s better qualified?

    **Edited for legal reasons – Naughty, Naughty! You may be anonymous but I am not so please fine tune your remarks to the issue? {TBR}**

  6. What are you playing at Bourne? Types like you who betray our community are never welcome, so you feel you are some knight errant now? Get a life and go find a book or some music to review.

  7. This is a serious tragedy, I just can’t see how you all have any decent sports affairs… This indicates a real lack of maturity and I will have to let my uncle know so we just visit for suntanning and not hosting any jumps here, thanks

  8. Good to know that sh*t like this happens in the Caribbean apart from by me, LOL!

  9. Hey, I was hurt at first but now I understand you. You wanted to distance yourself and I can’t blame you, Jonathan feels he needs to suck up to his family on the board. Thank you for letting me have a say, I will try to keep quiet – just hate seeing sh*te.

  10. Dear Thundaheadly or shall i refer to you by your real name,
    I do not have to suck up to anyone, you know me well enough to know that i do not and will not suck up to anyone. I do not know much more than i have read, but i await a response from the BEA board like everyone else and I trust that it will be transparent.

  11. Well done, hope Queen Rania knows about this – think she’s in Barbados for an event. It has to be nipped in the bud.

  12. I haven’t seen anything new and yet I understand the BEA backed down and withdrew the nasty letter attacking Natya, well done for Ian Bourne, Underground & Free Press! The association is yet to explain what discrepancy or deception Natya made, and the group are still yet to have any comment on their site. ** EDITED FOR LEGAL REASONS – TH, you use proxies, but I will ban our e-mail if you continue your questionable editorials, ok? **

  13. Fascinating! But you ought to check your comments more carefully. You seem to be taking on some dodgy comments. I had a similar problem myself. So these days I look at everything carefully.



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