18 April 2010 | by Fran Jurga | The Jurga Report at Equisearch.com
At the FEI World Cup Showjumping Finals in Geneva, Switzerland, an urgent appeal/protest was lodged Sunday morning by the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), USA rider McLain Ward (Person Responsible, shown at left) and Dr Tim Ober (USEF Team Veterinarian) against Friday night's disqualification of the USA's Olympic double gold-medalist mare Sapphire from the FEI World Cup? Final.
The FEI Tribunal heard the case for emergency relief to allow the horse to compete in today's final round. Following the hearing, the FEI Tribunal Chair Ken Lalo (ISR) denied the request for emergency relief on the grounds that the FEI Tribunal did not have jurisdiction to overturn the Ground Jury's decision. This means that Sapphire remains disqualified from today's final round of the FEI World Cup?.
Sapphire was eliminated from the second round of the FEI World Cup? Final on Friday night (16 April) and disqualified from the rest of the event following a positive hypersensitivity test. Sapphire was leading the event when her legs were re-tested after midnight by FEI veterinarians. A test before Friday's class found some difference in sensitivity between her right and left front legs, but the mare was allowed to compete; she finished second in the class. After the class, the decision was made to test her again.
Ward is allowed to ride his other horse, Rothschild, in competition, which he did on Saturday.
Read additional reports from Friday and Saturday on The Jurga Report.
Inset photo of McLain Ward from the Geneva World Cup web site. Ward was their rider of the day on Thursday.