Eric Lamaze, the anchor of Canada’s show jumping team and reigning Olympic individual gold medalist, has vowed not to compete on any teams until his national federation steps up its public support of rider Tiffany Foster.
Foster’s horse Victor was disqualified from the Olympic show jumping competition on Aug. 6 under the Federation Equestre Internationale’s hypersensitivity protocol.
Today Equine Canada’s president, Michael Gallagher, released the following statement regarding the incident:
“We fully support the FEI in its hypersensitivity testing protocol. This is an important testing procedure for the fairness of our sport and for the welfare of the horse, which must always be paramount. Victor, our team horse, did have a small but sensitive area on the coronary band as a result of a minor lesion. This resulted in the disqualification of the horse in accordance with the FEI’s hypersensitivity protocol. The Canadian Team is disappointed with the outcome, and the impact both on our team and the Olympic dreams of our athlete Tiffany Foster.
“Equine Canada appreciates that the FEI has shared with us the findings of the veterinary examinations. We also thank the FEI and its president, HRH Princess Haya al Hussein, for making it clear that the disqualification in no way implies any wrong doing on the part of the Canadian Team, nor athlete Tiffany Foster.”
Lamaze, however, has not minced words about his feelings on the hypersensitivity protocols, and today he said he would not compete on future Canadian teams, including ones he’s already been named to at Spruce Meadows (Alberta) and the Sunshine Tour (Spain), until Equine Canada took a stronger and more supportive stance on Foster’s disqualification.