We already wrote about this issue in December, but like to come back to it once again. Yesterday the organisation behind the Global Dressage Forum (GDF) in Hooge Mierde, the Netherlands, send out a press release saying to regret the way Mr. Andreas Stano, organiser of the Global Dressage Forum North America (NA Forum) in January 2013, continues to cause confusion and misunderstandings by copying the title and wording of the 'original' GDF without permission. As the GDF was recently approached by several clinicians, trainers, journalists, judges and Federations questioning if the GDF is behind Mr. Stano's project, the GDF felt forced to state that this is not the case. Some more explanation is helpful.
Her Royal Highness Princess Benedikte of Denmark is the President of the Global Dressage Foundation, which is now responsible for the program of the "original" Forum. "Last year, the initiative was taken by those stakeholders to support the organisers by creating a Foundation to guarantee the continuity of the GDF, to ensure that the high standards set by Academy Bartels would remain and that the GDF would be kept as a unique international umbrella for dressage. Together with the representatives of the Stakeholders, the GDF's future is ensured and will continue to contribute in a major way to the sport of dressage", so said Her Royal Highness in her opening words.
Being asked about the Florida Global Forum, Joep Bartels, who is the GDF organiser since 2001 and a fellow board member of the new founded umbrella Global Dressage Foundation, commented as follows: "We don't object to a North American initiative or whatever initiative. We even have set the goal and aim to open up possibilities to spread over the world and to vary in the place to held the Global Dressage Forum. Apart from this, it is always great when clinics and seminars increase the knowledge about our sport. I even like to add that the organiser of the new Florida Forum and myself have talked for some time about a possible cooperation. To have another Global Dressage Forum in three months' time without the involvement of our Foundation and program committee, is not our idea however. It is hard enough to get all stakeholders to one yearly meeting in the world to discuss training methods and developments. Unfortunately the organisers in Florida went their own way, copied not only the title of the GDF but most of the program too, which I sincerely regret", said Bartels.
It looks like the original Global Dressage Forum, which operates under an independent umbrella created by all stakeholders in dressage, is copied now by a commercial American initiative using its title and goodwill. Joep Bartels continues: "It is regretted that unfortunately Mr. Stano did not keep his promise to make his initiative clear to be something else than the Global Dressage Forum. Please be informed that the heading of the last mailing of the NA Forum did not even have the additional title 'North America', just 'Global Dressage Forum Captures International Dressage World'. The text on the website of Mr. Stano is almost literally copied from the original GDF website. No clarity was created in promoting his Forum. On the contrary, by copying the title and promotional text, confusion and misunderstanding was created and confusion was even expressed more.".
Please be informed that the official 13th Global Dressage Forum will take place in the Netherlands on 28-29 October 2013.