Collected here are documents from our effort to clear ourselves of horse cruelty and bullying charges falsely leveled against us by Hoofer Riding Club (HRC) in Madison, Wisconsin.
Why bother, you ask? Afterall, those charges were just trumped up to discourage us from riding at some horse riding club for God's sake. About 8 people would have seen the charges and none would care. Move on.
Yeah, well, animal cruelty and bullying charges really piss us off. Maybe, it's 8 people, maybe the charges wander onto the internet. We'll fight them now rather than wait until someone happens upon them online.
We really loved riding at HRC. We love the instructors and the horses. We don't like being forced to leave. We're officially on probation, but why we would ride at a place that falsely accuses us of these things?
We can put up with a bit of being pushed around. (No, two middle aged people being unreasonably denied their favorite horses by someone less than half their age is not bullying.) We push back because we are mortified to be falsely accused of animal cruelty and bullying people.
A NOTE ON TONE: Our tone in the commentary and occasionally in the documents may mislead you to think we don't take these charges seriously. That is a mistake. This stuff doesn't mean as much to you as it does to us. We try to respect that in our writing. We are glad you are here. Staying here should be as little like a chore as we can make it.
There's some background after the index.
GRUBBY details - our Incident Report
1 suspension email (12/20/17) from HRC with our response (1/8/18)
2 our email to Hoofers and various Wisc Union officials (1/8/18)
3 response from Joe Webb, Interim Director of Outdoor UW (dated 1/12/18, but delivered 1/19/18)
4 our response to Joe Webb (1/24/18)
5 Joe Webb of Outdoor UW response to us (1/26/18)
6 our response to Joe Webb (1/29/18)
7 our cover letter to Mark Guthier, Wisconsin Union Director, and Tim Bouchert, WU HR Director (1/29/18)
8 Hoofers Suspension Procedure Guidelines from Joe Webb
9 Joe Webb of Outdoor UW response to us (1/31/18)
10 our response to Joe Webb (2/1/18)
11 our cover letter to Mark Guthier, Wisconsin Union Director, and Tim Bouchert, WU HR Director (2/1/18)
12 Joe Webb cover email to us with attachments (next 2 documents) (2/1/18)
13 Hoofer Conduct Board decision (2/1/18)
14 unsigned, undated Hoofer Riding Club incident report concerning Dec 17 incident (photograph of Classy is placeholder until signed & dated version arrives.)
15 Mark Guthier, Wisconsin Union Director, response to us (2/2/18)
16 our response to Mark Guthier (2/5/18)
17 Mark Guthier response to us (2/6/18)
18 our appeal request to the Hoofer Conduct Board of their 2/1/18 decision (2/9/18)
Using our website for our personal issues is poor form. We apologize for doing so. If this needs to be a permanent page, we will move it to a standalone site.
We love making art together. We also like to ride horses together, which consists of taking lessons at a few places around Madison, WI.
Our favorite place, HRC, is one of the outdoor clubs that make up Hoofers which is part of the Wisconsin Union (WU) of the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
And then on December 17, 2017, we were treated unprofessionally by the UW employee in charge of the HRC, Sable Bettencourt. HRC's report on the incident was falsified with accusations against us of cruelty to one of the horses and bullying behavior towards Sable and another. For this, on Dec 20, the HRC suspended us until Feb 1 (or 43 days) with probation to follow. We protested to the board of HRC on January 8, 2018 and never got a response. (document 1)
Fortunately, the same day, we also contacted Hoofers and relevant WU officials asking them to look into Sable's behavior and HRC's false charges. (document 2) The response we got back from them was written Jan 12. (document 3) We got it on Jan 19 because a WU official forgot to send it to us until we prodded her on January 19.
We pondered: How could she forget about an incident reported to her concerning animal cruelty as well as hostile and intimidating behavior?
After pondering, we decided to put the relevant documents online as they accumulated. We don't want to bring attention to this, but UW being part of state government, it will probably get out there anyway. We are going to be sure our side is visible.
Again, we are mortified to be falsely accused of animal cruelty and bullying people. They are unproved allegations. And yet, the UW Madison accepted the accusations as true and punished us with no due process.
We want to clear ourselves.