With a Zero-Tolerance Rule, There’s Going to Be Collateral Damage

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As you know if you read yesterday’s press release from the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), the Canadian jumper Victor, ridden by Tiffany Foster, was disqualified after FEI hypersensitivity tests found an area of “clear and obvious hypersensitivity on the front of the left forelimb.”

A protest by Canada was to no avail because disqualifications by the ground jury on the basis of hypersensitivity or injury may not be appealed.

Foster, who learned of the decision 15 minutes before she was to ride, reportedly left the arena in tears. The BBC quoted Canadian team manager Terrance Millar as calling the FEI’s decision “a blind application of a rule without any common sense at all.” Miller described the area in question as a small nick on the horse’s leg–an everyday sort of minor boo-boo.

I feel for Foster and the Canadian jumping team. How foolish it must seem to them to have an apparently otherwise fit and ready-to-go horse removed from competition for the kind of minor injury that horses get all the time. We spray or dab some wound stuff on the area and off we go

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