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More Appeals for Equine / Equestrian Canada


Last week Equine / Equestrian Canada finally officially announced the "non-news" of who will be on the Canadian Olympic Team for Rio 2016.

Their tactics of keeping everything shrouded in mystery didn't seem to work very well as the reports from various media outlets for the past couple of weeks seemed to be right on the money with the official team compositions. 

What is surprising is that Equine / Equestrian Canada (EC) included Dressage in their July 14th announcement.

We have heard through reputable sources that an appeal had been filed with EC prior to July 14th regarding the Dressage selections.

The appeal was heard July 16th by SDRCC (Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada ), the same  body who heard the appeal for Jessica Phoenix. Jessica subsequently won that appeal against EC and was named to the Olympic Eventing Team heading to Rio.

We understand that the dressage appeal involved the Cedar Valley CDI3* held June 17-19, 2016. This is the same competition we covered recently which had originally been scheduled as a Gold competition, and was then upgraded to a CDI3* in April reportedly thanks to the financial assistance from Deer Ridge Equestrian, sponsors of Megan Lane who is now named to the Canadian Olympic Team. The competition also generated discussion regarding the judging in the Grand Prix division, with some Canadian FEI dressage judges taking to social media to voice their opinions.

The FEI confirmed to us that it has an ongoing investigation into this competition.

"The investigation is ongoing. At this stage, we cannot confirm the date by which a final decision will be made.", said an FEI spokesperson.

Equine / Equestrian Canada (via it's President Jorge Bernhard ) initially refused the athlete's request for an appeal.

We were surprised to hear this so did some research. When it comes to disputes regarding elite athletes and selection of athletes to teams / the Canadian Equestrian Team, EC uses the "Dispute Resolution Policy - Elite Athlete". It clearly states that the EC President determines if the Elite Athlete dispute policy applies, or if the matters are more appropriately dealt with pursuant to another EC policy. 

Article 5. Within 3 days of receiving the written notice of the complaint and summary, the President in the sole exercise of his discretion shall determine whether the matters in dispute and the parties to the dispute are properly within the scope and application of this policy, or are more properly to be dealt with pursuant to another policy of the EC. In the absence of the President, a designate shall perform this function. This decision regarding jurisdiction is final and may not be appealed. - EC Dispute Resolution Policy Elite Athletes

This seems to be the latest in a long list of questionable decision-making from the national governing body for equestrian sports in Canada. EC's own mandate, which they publish on their press releases, states that they are a "significant contributor" to the "emotional wellbeing" of the equestrian industry. We're not sure if their actions are in alignment with that lofty statement.

As with most appeals heard by SDRCC, the decisions are published on their website . We will keep you posted as we receive more information.

Have a comment? We'd love to hear from you below. 


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