The USEF Statement on FEI Ruling on Sapphire Elimination

The United States Eq

uestrian Federation (USEF) acknowledges today's announcement by the FEI that Sapphire (McLain Ward) was incorrectly eliminated from the second round of the FEI World Cup Final in Geneva on April 16, 2010.

"We've had full faith in the outcome of this unfortunate situation since the beginning," said David O'Connor, President of the USEF.  "There could not have been a different result. The McLain/Sapphire combination has had and will continue to have the full support of the USEF. McLain has been the consummate gentleman and our hats are off to him for the way he has handled this regrettable situation."

In that McLain and Sapphire did not participate in the final round, it is impossible to know the outcome. In the spirit of competition everywhere and our sport specifically, Sapphire's disqualification from the Final will not be challenged even though the USEF does not agree with the FEI that the mare displayed a level of sensitivity, nor do they agree with the process that resulted in her disqualification.

As a result of this situation the USEF fully endorses the FEI initiative to issue mandatory guidelines that will strengthen the hypersensitivity protocol, which it believes is in the best interest of the sport.

Photo: McLain Ward and Sapphire by Randi Muster