On Aug. 7, Eric Lamaze caused an uproar by telling Equine Canada President Michael Gallagher that he wouldn’t compete on any more Canadian show jumping teams until Equine Canada revised their statement regarding the disqualification of Victor, Tiffany Foster’s mount for the Olympic Games.
A day later, Equine Canada came out with a clarification calling for a review of the hypersensitivity protocol:
“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,” states Mr. 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.
The previous statement said that the Equine Canada fully supported the FEI in its hypersensitivity testing protocol.