Equine Canada respond to the disqualification of Tiffany Foster and Victor at the Games in London with a statement void of support…
Tiffany Foster and Victor were disqualified from further competition on Sunday, August 5th following the FEI Ground Jury’s assessment of the 10 year old Gelding, Victor. It was decided upon examination of a small cut on the coronet band on the left forelimb, that Victor was unfit to compete due to hypersensitivity on the very leg in question.
The horse was assessed in the stables and was not evaluated for soundness. It was an assessment regarding the hypersensitivity of the leg due to the lesion.
Statement by Federation Equestre International (FEI)
“The Canadian horse Victor, ridden by Tiffany Foster, has been disqualified under the FEI’s hypersensitivity protocol due to an area of clear and obvious hypersensitivity on the front of the left forelimb. There is no accusation of malpractice, but the horse has been deemed unfit to compete by the Ground Jury.”
First statement by Equine Canada President Michael Gallagher…
August 7, 2012; London, England
“We fully support the FEI in its hypersensitivity testing protocol. This is an important testing procedure for the fairness of our sport and for the welfare of the horse which must always be paramount. Victor, our team horse, did have a small but sensitive area on the coronary band as a result of a minor lesion. This resulted in the disqualification of the horse in accordance with the FEI’s hypersensitivity protocol. The Canadian Team is disappointed with the outcome, and the impact both on our team and the Olympic dreams of our athlete Tiffany Foster,” states Mr. Gallagher.
“Equine Canada appreciates that the FEI has shared with us the findings of the veterinary examinations. We also thank the FEI and its president, HRH Princess Haya Al Hussein, for making it clear that the disqualification in no way implies any wrong doing on the part of the Canadian Team, nor athlete Tiffany Foster.”
Second statement, after Eric threatened to boycott all future Nations Cup events such as Spruce Meadows, until Equine Canada demonstrated a more appropriate level of support for Tiffany Foster, Equine Canada issued the following further statements regarding the International Equestrian Federation’s (FEI) hypersensitivity testing protocol.
(Photo: EC President Michael Gallagher helps Tiffany into her Canadian jacket, as a member of the 2012 Canadian Olympic Team)
August 8th, 2012; London, England
“Equine Canada agrees that the FEI’s hypersensitivity protocol is in place to protect the welfare of the horse and the fairness of our sport,” stated Michael Gallagher.
“Victor sustained a superficial cut on the front of the left front coronary band,” states Canadian Olympic Team Veterinarian for Jumping Dr. Sylvie Surprenant. “In our opinion the horse was fit to compete as he showed no signs of lameness. However the FEI hypersensitivity protocol is such that if the horse is sensitive to the touch, regardless of the cause, the horse is disqualified. While the FEI rules for the hypersensitivity protocol were followed, we believe that there should be a review of this protocol.”
“We feel that further discussion of the hypersensitivity protocol needs to take place in order to ensure a balance is reached between the philosophical intent and the real-world application. Canada looks forward to playing a role in those discussions along with other nations within the FEI family,” states Mr. Gallagher
“Equine Canada wants to make it clear that there is absolutely no accusation of any wrongdoing on the part of our athlete Tiffany Foster or any member of the Canadian Team. Equine Canada fully stands behind and supports our athlete Tiffany Foster, as well as our entire team. Everyone at Equine Canada and the Canadian Olympic Team are disheartened and extremely disappointed over the premature ending of Tiffany Foster’s Olympic dream, and remain fiercely proud of both her incredible sportsmanship and athletic achievements,” states Mr. Gallagher.