Thursday, April 22, 2010

more FEI insanity

I've been following this story all week but haven't posted anything about it. But HERE'S A LINK to a site that has really followed the various press releases, interviews, etc. and presents them in sequence.

Worth a read.

My latest feeling is that there should be some legal action put into play against the FEI. For both not protecting horses when it should AND for targeting riders and horses inappropriately.



Grey Horse Matters said...

I just read the whole thing. The FEI is way out of line here. McLain and the owners are right to be upset about this nonsense. I personally feel he was targeted for this but don't know the real reason. Sapphire is a wonderful horse and her owners and McLain take very good care of her. I won't say how I know this but personally I do.

billie said...

Arlene, it appears to me from everything I've read that this rider is definitely being targeted.

I have no patriotic bias here, nor am I a huge show jumping fan, but it seems this horse has been cared for, and the rider and owners and vet even requested further tests to prove the soundness of the horse and the lack of drugs in her system, but were refused that by the FEI.

It makes absolutely no sense to me that this is their response to this particular situation but they did NOTHING about Scandic and his blue tongue, nor about the pattern of brutal riding that left his mouth bloody on more than one occasion.

I have read recently that there is possibly a court injunction in the works, not this particular case, but a broader scope issue.

Perhaps that's what it will take to force some change.

jme said...

thi hypocrisy is shocking, but not surprising.

this statement is my favorite:

“the FEI has very clear policies and rules and we will always protect our horses where there are welfare concerns to ensure the protection of our horses and to provide a level playing field for our athletes."

yeah, right. because they've done such a good job of protecting their horses. the politics and private agendas that seem to rule this organization make it clear we need an alternative org or a complete overhaul of the system. very disappointing.

Anonymous said...

Hello Billie,

For your information, here is some information we sent to Ken Braddick further to the article to which you are referring. I hope it is of interest to you.

We have read with interest your update on the disqualification of the horse Sapphire ridden by McLain Ward from the FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Geneva, Switzerland.

There is a pending legal case and, unfortunately, for that reason, we are unable to go into detail as it is FEI’s policy not to comment on pending legal matters.

However, you may be interested in the fact that Sapphire was jogged, i.e. she underwent the official horse inspection on Tuesday 13 April. This is compulsory for all horses competing in any FEI event in any discipline. It is, however, important to note that a trot up is not part of the FEI protocol for thermography and clinical inspection for hypersensitivity, which can be found in the 12th edition of the FEI Veterinary Regulations (Annex XI – Standard Method of Examination for Hypersensitivity of Legs, p.62). A protocol very similar to this one has been in use at FEI events since 2007 and has been known to riders and their veterinary advisers ever since. The current Veterinary Regulations including Annex XI were approved by the FEI General Assembly, i.e. by the National Federations affiliated to the FEI, in November 2009. The FEI thermography teams have worked at dozens of events and have tested many many horses.

Urine and blood samples, along with leg swabs, were taken from Sapphire on Saturday morning pursuant to standard Medication Control Programme procedures. They, along with all the other samples collected at the Event, have been sent to the central FEI laboratory for analysis.

Approximately 60 horses were tested for hypersensitivity in Geneva. That included all 42 World Cup horses, some of which were tested twice. Thirty-five horses were tested before Sapphire. No other horse was eliminated or disqualified for hypersensitivity in Geneva.

You also may want to listen to the FEI press conference which took place on 18 April in Geneva. It I is now available free-to-view on The speakers were the FEI President HRH Princess Haya; Dr Paul Farrington, member of the FEI thermography team for the Geneva event; Sven Holmberg, FEI First Vice President; and René Billardon, President of the Ground Jury.

All the best,
Malina (FEI Press Manager)

billie said...

Arlene and j, thanks for weighing in.

Malina, thank you for the information. I have emailed Ken Braddick in hopes that he will be responding to the info in a new article, which I will link to, and I also invited him to comment here.