This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.

Personal Statement Regarding Tiffany Foster’s Olympic Disqualification

Source: Starting Gate Communications

London, England – In a controversial deci- sion, Canada’s Tiffany Foster, 28, of Schomberg, ON, was disqualified from Olympic show jumping competition on Sun- day, August 5, at the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Less than one hour before the start of team competition, Terrance Millar, Chef d’Equipe of the Canadian Olympic Team for Show Jumping, was informed that FEI veteri- narians had performed clinical and thermogra- phy examinations of Foster’s mount, Victor, and disqualified the horse under the Interna- tional Equestrian Federation’s (FEI) hypersen- sitivity protocol.

advantage, you would have to assume that both legs would be sensitive. There is a big differ- ence between two legs being sensitive and a horse reacting to being touched over and over and over again directly on a small, superficial cut. There could not have been any advantage gained from that simple cut, and in no way was the welfare of the horse ever in danger.

“The next move should have been to see the horse jog and seen that he was fit to compete, as we knew he was,” Lamaze continued. “If they had any doubts at all, they could have observed the horse in the warm-up at any time or examined the horse again after he jumped. The decision was made way too quickly. To declare a horse unfit to compete without even taking it out of its stall is outrageous. Coming to the Olympics is

everyone’s dream. Tiffany should never have been put in this position.”

Foster, 27, was making her Olympic debut alongside Jill Henselwood, Eric Lamaze and Ian Millar, all members of the silver medal team for- Canada at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. “I never imagined when I came to the Olympics that I would be unable to compete because of something like this,” continued Foster. “I feel so very badly for my teammates. I never dreamed that this is the way that my first Olympics would end.”

Foster broke her back in 2008 after falling from a young horse while training, and was unable to ride for six months.

“I’ve come back from bigger setbacks in my career, and I know I can overcome this,” said Fos-

ter, who had just started walking again when she attended the 2008 Olympic Games to cheer the Canadian team to its silver medal, and Lamaze to the individual gold. “Victor is only 10 years old, and he has a long and bright career in front of him. I have no doubt that we will prove this in the future on the international stage.” Despite Foster’s controversial disqualifica- tion, the Canadian Olympic Team for Show Jumping moved up the leader board in Sunday’s team competition and is currently ranked sixth. The final team competition will be held Monday, August 6, followed by team medal presentations. “I sure hope Canada can win a medal,” said

Lamaze. “We lost a great teammate. Tiffany can hold her head high; she has done nothing wrong. She was dealt a raw deal.”

Canadian Olympic Team member for Show Jumping Tiffany Foster was disqualified from further competition on Monday, August 5, at the 2012 London Olympic Games.” Photo Credit – Cealy Tetley,

An official communication issued by the FEI read: “The Veterinary Commission have stated that the horse has an area of inflamma- tion and sensitivity on the forelimb just above the hoof. There is no accusation of malprac- tice, but the horse has been deemed unfit to compete by the Ground Jury.”

Terrance Millar lodged a protest which was heard by the FEI Appeal Committee before the end of the competition. As Foster was warming up her horse should the appeal be successful, she was dealt a second blow. The protest was denied based on Annex XI of the FEI Veterinary Regulations, which state: “there is no appeal against the decision of the Ground Jury to disqualify a horse for abnormal sensitivity from an Event.”

Foster and Victor, a 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Artisan Farms and Torrey Pines Stable, were disqualified from all further Olympic participation. “I would never do anything to jeopardize the welfare of my horse,” said Foster, strug- gling through tears. “What happened today is absolutely devastating to me. I understand that the rules are in place, and why they look for hyper sensitivity in the horses.” Lamaze, the defending Olympic show jumping champion, is also Foster’s personal coach. His training business, Torrey Pines Stable of Schomberg, ON, owns Foster’s mount in partnership with Artisan Farms. “I am ashamed of our sport today,” said

Lamaze. “This is a complete miscarriage of justice. Yes, the horse has a little, superficial cut on its coronary band that could have hap- pened in any number of ways. The horse was ridden in the morning, and was jumped as part of his exercise routine, with no indication whatsoever that he was uncomfortable. The horse was not bothered by it, and we had no doubts that competing would not have caused any further harm. Victor would not have gained any advantage and was one hundred percent fit to compete. He would not have been hurt in any way.”

Lamaze further explained, “When the horse was examined, they touched the right leg with no reaction, and they touched the left leg with no reaction. Only when they touched the actual cut did the horse show signs of sen- sitivity. If someone were trying to gain an

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64