Friday, May. 24, 2024

FEI Releases New Guidelines For Hypersensitivity Protocol

In light of the recent controversy over Sapphire’s disqualification at the Rolex FEI World Cup Show Jumping Final due to hypersensitivity, the Fédération Equestre Internationale has undertaken a review of the protocol for thermography and clinical examination (hypersensitivity of the legs). In an effort to further strengthen the protocol, the FEI issued the following mandatory guidelines to be applied by the veterinary commissions appointed for FEI events.

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In light of the recent controversy over Sapphire’s disqualification at the Rolex FEI World Cup Show Jumping Final due to hypersensitivity, the Fédération Equestre Internationale has undertaken a review of the protocol for thermography and clinical examination (hypersensitivity of the legs). In an effort to further strengthen the protocol, the FEI issued the following mandatory guidelines to be applied by the veterinary commissions appointed for FEI events.

The new guidelines state that:

  • All horses that are tested pursuant to the protocol for thermography and clinical examination will continue to undergo a thermography examination as one part of the evaluation process for hypersensitivity.
  • No horse may be retroactively eliminated from a competition pursuant to the protocol for thermography and clinical examination.
  • The person responsible, or his or her designee, will be presented with a written form if his or her horse is disqualified for hypersensitivity that expressly describes the examination process and the rights of the person responsible under the circumstances.
  • If any horse is disqualified pursuant to the protocol more than 12 hours prior to a competition, the person responsible, or his or her designee, will be advised that a written request to the ground jury for re-examination may be submitted within 30 minutes of being notified that the horse is disqualified. Such request must be granted, and the horse will be re-examined prior to the next competition at a time determined by the ground jury. If it is not clear and obvious that the horse is unfit to compete due to signs of hypersensitivity upon re-examination, the horse shall be allowed to compete in that next competition. However, the horse remains eligible for examination under the protocol throughout the entire event. This specific written request opportunity may only be exercised one time during any event for the same horse.

The FEI hypersensitivity protocol came under fire when McLain Ward’s mount Sapphire was disqualified after Round 2 of the World Cup Final, based upon a positive hypersensitivity test. The mare was leading the competition at the time. The U.S. Equestrian Federation subsequently filed a complaint following Sapphire’s elimination.

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On July 2, the FEI released a statement saying that Sapphire was incorrectly eliminated from the second round of the World Cup.

The new guidelines are effective immediately.

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