What do YOU all think about this?
Sorry, couldn't figure out where to post this story link re: Canadian horse disqualification
London 2012 Olympics: controversy as Tiffany Foster's show jumping horse is disqualified for failing a sensitivity test - Telegraph
It is SOOOO reminiscent of getting my Coggins/health papers checked at a CW event by some bozo who doesn't know what end of the horse to feed, but I guess that's just MHO.
I think it's very unlucky for the poor girl, and she shouldn't be being accused of anything, but I agree with the FEI that failing these tests should result in elimination. It doesn't necessarily mean that the horse has been hyper-sensitised, but if he's feeling sensitive in his feet then it is safer to eliminate and stick to the rules, and know that the horse is neither going to be in pain or have been badly treated, than let her compete, go clear, even win, and everyone be slightly doubting her. It's really, really bad luck, but it's the rules, unfortunately :(.
Well, being a Canadian I'm really upset as it puts our team at a disadvantage.
In answer to your question I feel massively sorry for the rider, team, and supporters.
But I don't think it's the actions of a bozo, I think it's the highly trained specialist veterinary team seeking to comply with the incredibly tight rules that have absolutely no wriggle-room for subjectivity. I don't doubt that THIS tiny cut on the coronet band was an unfortunate unplanned injury - but imagine if it had been allowed......... What then if another competitor had two 'accidental cuts' on the coronet band, or on both front feet? The rules are there for a purpose :-(
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The bit that I wonder about is how they perform these tests. From the little I read, it entails poking the horses leg in or around the same spot over and over and over. One article said 50 times.
I think I'd flinch if someone kept poking me that many times. So not having been there, it's so very hard to say whether it was right or not.
I think it's a gross misunderstanding of a rule that cannot be contested which is such a huge injustice towards Tiffany Foster.
Victor was worked that morning and deemed 100% sound by the Canadian staff. We have some of the best and brightest people that travel with members of the Olympic equestrian team and the notion that Victor was at risk of injuring himself or at an advantage due to the hypersensitivity is pure insanity. (The injury was reported to be a scratch above the hoof. A scratch for frig sakes!)
Apparently now there is another rider from another team that has been DQ'd for the same reason. I couldn't catch the name of the rider to the team, I was busy in the kitchen making breakfast, lol!!
But how tight do the rules have to be? Of course they are there for the betterment of both horse and rider. But sometimes you get the feeling that perhaps there's a little more political BS going on behind the scenes.
I will side with the FEI because I know the regulations they are under are very strict and are that way for a reason. Yes the Canadians are crying about subjectivity but the FEI does not know how the injury got there. From what it sounds like to me the horse has a cut AND a crack in the hoof and is hypersensitive to it being touched.
Although the warm ups at FEI events are highly, highly regulated and there is security everywhere there is still sketchy stuff that goes on "behind the barn".. again the FEI does not know HOW the injury got there and IMO it is unlikely that the horse just thwacked itself in the stall. If the horse was prone to that they would have had bells or similar on the front to prevent such an injury.
It also really irks me how people always ride the FEI about upholding welfare (re: Rolkur and the blood rule, etc..) and then when they do pull an injured horse out of competition for hypersensitivity and an injury bad enough to pull up a result on a thermo everyone cries about it. I've had horses thermo scanned and while yes they will show a bit of heat where there all small injuries it is barely a blup. For the FEI to use the thermo results as grounds for elimination there must be quite an anomaly.
And of course, there are no pictures posted of the injury. When Adelinde's horse was eliminated via the blood rule two years ago, there were pictures of a pinpricked sized boo-boo flying around the internet within hours and Adelinde and the Dutch complaining about "why is this injury cause for elimination?" causing an inquiry into the blood rule. If the injury really isn't all that bad - where are the pictures??? And if the injury isn't that bad then WHY is the FEI vet claiming he would have the horse on antibiotics and not be riding it???
Choose - do you want the FEI to uphold welfare or not?!
Agreed, would be interesting to see pictures of the injury right after the ruling, not after it had time to heal.
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