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Monday, November 29, 2021

Pro & con letters on Plantation & unsigned Letter to the Editor

The loss of Plantation Field has caused a very sad display of nastiness on social media.

It is sad to see a sport that has always been color blind turned into a racial quagmire because of perhaps one or two who don't read the dictionary.

Pros and cons for The Horse's coverage of Plantation Field follows'

One is a pro letter, one of a large number of the same sort, all  of which the writers requested their names not be use due to the nastiness, and one is a con, one of two of the same sort, the other of which the writer requested the name not be used.

The Horse does not publish anonymous letters but has published letters signed by the writer, who has requested the name not be used.

If a letter is signed, and the writer does not rquest that the name not be used, the letter is published withthe name.



Dear Sara,

I’m sure you are taking some flack for publishing the letter to the editor about Leslie W. I personally appreciate it so much that I will be finding ways to support your publication. I actually never heard of it until yesterday with the publication of this letter.

I have my own story about dishonestly encountered with Leslie. I’m sure there are others. This may be the tip of the iceberg.

Thank you!


Dear Ms. Cavanagh,

I am surprised and disappointed to see that you felt it was appropriate to run an anonymous, character-assassinating letter regarding Leslie Wylie in your publication. This is an entirely inappropriate use of your forum, and as editor you should have known better.


Suzannah Evans Comfort


The letter is not anonymous - I know who wrote the letter.

At the beginning of this controversy, The Horse published a letter that the writer had requested that a name not be used.

The Horse, because of the incredible vitriol of a small section of social media, had agreed not to use a name.

I should have posted that again at the beginning of this letter.

Before posting the letter, I communicated with the writer of the letter, checked the facts and found them to be true, and felt the eventing community should know more about the person that destroyed Plantation Field Eventing.

If you read the New York Times, you will see that time and time again The Times uses information from a source that has aked not to be quoted.

Sara Cavanagh


Dear Ms. Cavanagh,

I see you have published my letter on your site, without even asking me if you could use my name! Why am I not extended the same courtesy as someone who wants to use your website to anonymously harass an individual?

Since you want to be held to the same standards as the New York Times, let me quote their rule for using anonymous sources: "Anonymous sources should be used only for information that we think is newsworthy and credible, and that we are not able to report any other way." The letter in question may meet the newsworthiness standard for the horse world - just barely - but it does not meet the credibility standard as it contains speculation on an individual's mental health. The letter also fails the test of containing information that cannot be reported in any other way.

I don't know Leslie Wylie, nor do I know the folks who own the property in question. I have no dog in this fight. However, as a professor of journalism, I know a journalistic fuckup when I see one. And you fucked up. You can quote me on that, with my name.


Suzannah Evans Comfort

The Horse of Delaware Valley

Editor: Sara Cavanagh

Advertising Director: Ginny Jenkins

Marketing Manager: Heather Mullen

Since 1980


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