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View Full Version : McLain Ward and FEI: UPDATE



canyonoak
May. 15, 2010, 01:46 PM
http://www.dressage-news.com/?p=6433

Anyplace Farm
May. 15, 2010, 05:57 PM
What a mess.:no:

LexInVA
May. 15, 2010, 06:16 PM
Mess is when your dog poops in your bed because you gave it fried chicken thinking it was going to be okay. Mess is what you get after you eat at that questionable but fun Mexican joint in the shopping center across from your neighborhood where the cervezas are $1.50 on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday with any order of the nacho platter. Mess is that corner of your garage where you know there are mice nesting but you're too lazy to clear it out and you are afraid of mice so you really don't care enough to do it even if you weren't lazy. This is more like a spat between Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger. Crazy, slightly entertaining, and very ridiculous.

canyonoak
May. 15, 2010, 08:07 PM
Is this not a mess because it happened to this particular rider?
Or because it happened to a show jumper rider and they are all walking the fine line all the time between legal/illegal?

Or is this not a mess because this does not seem to affect horse sport in the U.S?

To me, the idea that certain elements in international horse sport feel they can DQ a rider on purely subjective grounds with no possibility of appeal --this IS a mess.

And a bigger mess than any of the examples above unless the nachos got fed to a wooly mammoth.
<g>

findeight
May. 15, 2010, 08:22 PM
We have already examined this "mess" not too long ago to the tune of 20 pages or so.

It has run it's course and disappeared along with last night's nachos...although I am sure it will come up (so to speak keeping to this metaphor) when the FEI gets off the pot here and makes a ruling. Either way, nobody will like whatever that may be.

BridalBridle
May. 15, 2010, 10:10 PM
It is a mess... now, test results come back...and forever we'll have anxiety about the FEI officials . No matter what, I will be anxious that officials will be capricious in decisions which really matter. It was done out of the US to an endearing horse. It's a mess because no matter what... it's politics. It's sad. it's sickening. So yes this thread subject has been beat to death and when the drug results come out it'll take another round of hits.
I for one will never feel comfortable nor trust the FEI and their decisions when it comes to US horses. :cry::cry:

Platinum Equestrian
May. 16, 2010, 12:56 AM
I do appreciate that the article stated the officials were acting on a tip. That is the first time I remember that being mentioned. I did NOT follow the COTH thread, so if was said there, I missed it. It will be interesting to see what comes of the final ruling.

findeight
May. 16, 2010, 07:42 AM
I do appreciate that the article stated the officials were acting on a tip. That is the first time I remember that being mentioned. I did NOT follow the COTH thread, so if was said there, I missed it.


Yeah, you did. It was mentioned in the original news item linked to along with other articals and their links and discussed ad nauseum throughout the trainwreck. Alomg with the fact the horse that won was...ummmm...very obviously a "little off" but nobody dropped a dime.

lauriep
May. 16, 2010, 10:05 AM
LexinVA, you are so very wrong. This type of call on the part of the INTERNATIONAL governing body for equestrian sport makes it impossible to compete with any sense of security or fairness. This isn't the first time the FEI has made decisions clearly favoring a country or person (dressage judging, anyone?), and it has got to stop! Contrary to what they believe, they are NOT god, nor are they operating with all countries on a level playing field, as they espouse. I hope McLain and the USEF fight this to the end, and if it happens again, to whomever, that they also choose to fight, until this corrupt organization is forced to restructure and re-evaluate its role in international competition. It is NOT a "mess" to be blown off, even though it doesn't directly involve you. Trust me, someday it will, as there is a clear trickle down history with the FEI.

Also, we only have the FEI's "word" that there was a tip. Not inclined to take their "word" on anything.

Platinum Equestrian
May. 16, 2010, 11:12 AM
Yeah, you did. It was mentioned in the original news item linked to along with other articals and their links and discussed ad nauseum throughout the trainwreck. Alomg with the fact the horse that won was...ummmm...very obviously a "little off" but nobody dropped a dime.

I'm confused... Yeah, I did what??? I'm not sure what you are trying to say. Please explain.

LexInVA
May. 16, 2010, 11:23 AM
I'm confused... Yeah, I did what??? I'm not sure what you are trying to say. Please explain.

You drank the OJ from the jug. Fess up!

YankeeLawyer
May. 16, 2010, 11:28 AM
The FEI is a disgrace and has been for some time. I hope Mclain has a very good lawyer.

Platinum Equestrian
May. 16, 2010, 11:42 AM
You drank the OJ from the jug. Fess up!

English please? Again, what did I do.

Grataan
May. 16, 2010, 11:47 AM
English please? Again, what did I do.

You missed it in the original thread.

Platinum Equestrian
May. 16, 2010, 11:53 AM
You missed it in the original thread.

Grataan Thanks. I don't think that's exactly what they were trying to say, but I like your translation. I think they need to read a little closer in my original post when I said I didn't follow it on COTH.

findeight I think you forgot to take your lithium this morning. :yes:

DMK
May. 16, 2010, 06:40 PM
Also, we only have the FEI's "word" that there was a tip. Not inclined to take their "word" on anything.

I'm inclined to believe there was a tip if for no other reason than how/when the FEI dropped that little bomb made them appear possibly more ridiculous than before (no small feat). I am desperately clinging to the idea that they are not so stupid that they thought that would improve their position in the ensuing Press Wars, just that they were stupid and oops, let it slip.

I didn't realize until this latest development that the FEI samples were pulled 30 hours later. See, now that is FEI incompetence working FOR the FEI. If the samples are clean, the FEI can claim that the substance cleared the system and after 30 hours they may not be incorrect. Pity the US pulled samples immediately.

Mara
May. 16, 2010, 06:43 PM
So why the delay in releasing the test results? Is this their way of saying, "We are the Almighty, Omnipotent FEI and we will do whatever we want, whenever we want, in whichever manner we choose. Challenge us at your own risk"?

worldclass777
May. 16, 2010, 06:47 PM
So why the delay in releasing the test results? Is this their way of saying, "We are the Almighty, Omnipotent FEI and we will do whatever we want, whenever we want, in whichever manner we choose. Challenge us at your own risk"?

There is a delay b/c the FEI realizes there is a whole lot of exposure on this ruling. This was an anti american act by foreigners who did not want to see McClain Ward win the World Cup Finals...no ifs ands or buts. He was robbed! If the FEI pulls this crap again the USEF should boycott the World Cup in the future.

3Dogs
May. 16, 2010, 07:54 PM
McLain won the GP in La Baule today - on Sapphire -

where's the Pfuiiiit to the FEI icon?

dab
May. 16, 2010, 08:11 PM
After the first few pages, I stopped reading the train wreck, and I only read the NYT article after it was mentioned in this thread -- I think the situation is terribly unfair, but the rule says the decision made at the competition is final, so I don't expect any attempt to make the situation right --

I did find it interesting that USEF lawyers are working McLain's case -- I wonder if they were ever asked to review the FEI rule changes before they were approved -- I believe the US was in favor of these changes when they were voted on last year -- When I read the rule used to disqualify Saphire, I had to wonder who let that wording slip in --

Jumphigh83
May. 17, 2010, 09:56 AM
If it were up to me (probably a good thing it ISN'T) I would tell the FEI to take a long walk off a short pier. Buh Bye! We don't need your kind of "care" and "concern" for the welfare of the horses...if they really cared about welfare issues they might want to consider the very REAL issues surrounding the eventing rotational falls and horse/rider deaths. Now THERE is a real welfare issue, not a sensitive ,careful, competitive horse who resents having the three stooges poke her in the leg fifty times in the middle of the night after jumping two clean rounds at what, meter sixty? PPffffuiiiit to the FEI!

JFJ
May. 17, 2010, 10:22 AM
And not to mention letting horses jog repeatedly and pass when they are clearly lame!!!!!

DMK
May. 17, 2010, 08:38 PM
I wonder if they were ever asked to review the FEI rule changes before they were approved -- I believe the US was in favor of these changes when they were voted on last year -- When I read the rule used to disqualify Saphire, I had to wonder who let that wording slip in --

As in the case of most rules and regs, it's rarely the actual verbiage that causes the issue, it's the actual application and interpretation. For example, most people agree "hypersensitization" is not a desirable thing. Maybe where they differ is how many pokes and prods to get a positive reaction = hypersensitization.

Fun Size
May. 18, 2010, 12:34 AM
Well, I would LOVE to be on the USEF's attorney team! Legal language and statutory interpretation as it relates to horses? Dream job :D

Too bad you probably have to live in KY to be on the team. Well, if you ever need an attorney for the CA office...:D

MHM
May. 26, 2010, 05:39 PM
Now the leg swab tests have also come back negative, to match the blood and urine results.

Reaction from Mclain:

http://equisearch.com/equiwire_news/nancy_jaffer/sapphire_negative_052610/index.aspx

dab
May. 26, 2010, 07:36 PM
As in the case of most rules and regs, it's rarely the actual verbiage that causes the issue, it's the actual application and interpretation. For example, most people agree "hypersensitization" is not a desirable thing. Maybe where they differ is how many pokes and prods to get a positive reaction = hypersensitization.I agree with your point about interpretation -- But, in addition to that issue in this case, there was the clear language about no appeal that should have been questioned before approving these rule changes -- The specific wording I'm referring to is '

There is no appeal against the decision of the Ground Jury to disqualify a horse for abnormal
sensitivity from an event (General Regulations art. 159.6.2, 159.6.4 and Veterinary Regulations
Annex XI, paragraph 10). (Updated 20 August 2009)'

3Dogs
May. 26, 2010, 08:03 PM
abnormal
sensitivity ?????

And this is defined by WHAT scientific evidence based data?

If I practiced medicine the way they do vet exams for the FEI, I would order operations on every person who said "ow" when I pressed on the region of their appendix, for god's sake.

And now that every single reportable, data driven test is negative, not the subjective, push prod method of testing abnormal
sensitivity - what do we think the FEI will do with their "rule"?

Given how flimsy their "testing" was, and unscientific, they should have allowed McLain to continue to show, and if one of the actually reliable tests came back positive, they could have stripped him of his prizes, that is if he ended up winning one.

The whole story is pathetic!

juniormom
May. 26, 2010, 08:28 PM
I can't believe this whole mess! :(

Plumcreek
May. 27, 2010, 12:22 AM
Umm, exactly what is hoped to be gained by an appeal or lawsuit?

Money damages? Official FEI apology? The opportunity to win the World Cup is gone.

MHM
May. 27, 2010, 04:58 AM
Umm, exactly what is hoped to be gained by an appeal or lawsuit?

Money damages? Official FEI apology? The opportunity to win the World Cup is gone.

This World Cup is gone, but maybe the FEI would have to change their (very bad, subjective, and unscientific) testing protocol, so the same thing could not happen to somebody else the next time around.

MHM
May. 27, 2010, 05:17 AM
Given how flimsy their "testing" was, and unscientific, they should have allowed McLain to continue to show, and if one of the actually reliable tests came back positive, they could have stripped him of his prizes, that is if he ended up winning one.



I had the same thought at the time. It's easy enough to adjust the standings afterwards due to a failed drug test, but impossible to give the person back a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to win.

I also wonder why the FEI has not released the video from the poke-and-prod test, if they're so convinced the test was conclusive.

MyGiantPony
May. 27, 2010, 09:30 AM
I had the same thought at the time. It's easy enough to adjust the standings afterwards due to a failed drug test, but impossible to give the person back a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to win.


The only flaw in that line of thought is that if the horse is really in pain, or under the influence of some substance, it can't say "help". It's the FEI's job to look out for the horse at that specific moment in time.

NOT that I think Sapphire's well-being was their motivation in this particular case. ;)

MHM
May. 27, 2010, 10:38 AM
The only flaw in that line of thought is that if the horse is really in pain, or under the influence of some substance, it can't say "help". It's the FEI's job to look out for the horse at that specific moment in time.

NOT that I think Sapphire's well-being was their motivation in this particular case. ;)

As you say, if the FEI had been genuinely concerned about the horse being in pain, they shouldn't have let her jump around a 1.60 course right before they disqualified her.

Jumphigh83
May. 27, 2010, 11:58 AM
Umm, exactly what is hoped to be gained by an appeal or lawsuit?

Money damages? Official FEI apology? The opportunity to win the World Cup is gone.

Hit them where it hurts...in the wallet...then donate the money to some horse related charity. There is no way to replace that time, that place, that opportunity but if you slam dunk them (in the wallet) they may reconsider "anonymous tips" and capricious elimination in the future so no one else ever has to go through this ridiculous circus act....They look like buffoons.

Tiramit
May. 27, 2010, 02:13 PM
I just love this statement from the FEI:

"FEI Statement, May 26, 2010
The FEI has concluded MCP testing on leg swabs taken at the FEI World Cup™ Final in Geneva (13-19 April). No prohibited substances were found. The FEI announced last week that analysis of all urine and blood samples taken in Geneva had proved negative. This now completes the MCP Testing results from Geneva."

That just seems so hollow. 'We now have evidence that we wrongfully DQd the leading horse but this is all we'll say about it.' Geez. Calling this a mess is an understatement! :no:

DMK
May. 27, 2010, 04:45 PM
As you say, if the FEI had been genuinely concerned about the horse being in pain, they shouldn't have let her jump around a 1.60 course right before they disqualified her.

That's were the interpretation and subjective standards come in. I think everyone agrees that if you have a clear cut case, YES an immediate DQ is a good thing for all involved. That's the problem when words on a piece of paper meet subjective standards. I would bet than when everyone hashed out this rule and voted on it, what was in their mind was the egregious example, not THIS fustercluck. It's when you have a system that appears to lack defined standards and seems pretty capricious in execution that the immediate DQ becomes problematic, but the DQ in and of itself is not really the problem.

FrenchFrytheEqHorse
May. 27, 2010, 07:29 PM
The thing is, how do these test results actually change anything? The FEI claimed on multiple occasions that they were not actually accusing MW of any kind of wrongdoing, so I assumed that meant they figured the tests would come up negative. Meaning this latest update only confirms what everyone (FEI included) knew was going to happen.

My point is, the FEI never changed their story and made it clear from the get-go that they didn't believe McLain's camp committed any kind of wrongdoing- simply that the horse was "hypersensitive" and "unfit to compete" for that reason.

As ridiculous as this whole thing is, I'm not sure why anyone expected these test results to have any kind of effect on the previous ruling.

Plumcreek
May. 27, 2010, 07:56 PM
Hit them where it hurts...in the wallet...then donate the money to some horse related charity. There is no way to replace that time, that place, that opportunity but if you slam dunk them (in the wallet) they may reconsider "anonymous tips" and capricious elimination in the future so no one else ever has to go through this ridiculous circus act....They look like buffoons.

I know nothing about sueing internationally, but isn't "hit them in the wallet" sort of a US mindset? In what court would this take place?

The fact that the tests came back negative does not matter, IMO. In this scenario, doesn't really matter how that spot got 'sensitive', just matters that they said it was. The rules said there was no appeal, so I don't get asking for an appeal. Not that I know much about international competition. Seems to me like the FEI basically said 'this is our sandbox and the rules are whatever we say they are, deal with it or go home'.

teddygirl
May. 27, 2010, 10:15 PM
This logic seriously makes no sense. If it's truly hypersensitivity testing, then they do suspect McLain of wrongdoing, that's what hypersensitivity is all about, making the horse extra sensitive so it won't hit a jump. If this is about the horse's welfare, then they would have jogged her for soundness, which is a different issue all together. They're trying to have it both ways, saying we DQ McLain for breaking the rules but we're not saying he broke the rule. At least have the backbone to say if you think he's cheating, and then be ready to prove it

JFJ
May. 27, 2010, 10:42 PM
I think teddygirl hit the nail on the head! That is why everyone is so mad it makes no sense! I certainly don't think McLain should just accept it! Like someone else said, something has to be done so this can't happen again...to anyone!

lauriep
May. 28, 2010, 10:40 AM
They absolutely thought, even though they didn't have the balls to say it, that they suspected him of wrongdoing. Do you really think their tipster said they suspected the mare had sensitivity due to a bee, or a bang in the stall? They were looking for something, do not doubt it. And thought they had themselves well-covered by the no appeal clause.

McLain and company MUST persue this as far as possible to force the FEI to change, and prevent them from being able to make capricious, unscientific rulings with not one wit of proof. No organization should be allowed to be so unaccountable. And NARG needs to speak with one voice to the upcoming election of a new president. Time for the Princess to take a hike...