Equestrian: Reigning Olympic showjumping champion Eric Lamaze furious after disqualification

 

Reigning Olympic showjumping champion Eric Lamaze said he was ashamed of the sport tonight after his Canadian team-mate Tiffany Foster and her horse Victor were disqualified from London 2012.

In an emotive press conference at Greenwich Park, Lamaze was sitting just feet away from Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) president and International Olympic Council member HRH Princess Haya Al Hussain, and next to an inconsolable Foster.

Her horse was suspended under the FEI's hypersensitivity protocol after an area of inflammation and sensitivity was discovered on the horse's left forelimb.

There was no accusation of malpractice by the FEI, although their disqualification left no avenue of appeal for the Canadian team and Lamaze said a "miscarriage of justice" had occurred.

Overly-sensitive legs could give a horse an unfair advantage - they would be more careful to avoid hitting jumps, for instance - and are also a concern on welfare grounds.

Hypersensitivity can be caused by a range of problems, including infections and injuries, but also malpractice.

Vancouver-born Foster, 28, is at her first Olympic Games, and she only recently returned to riding after suffering a serious back injury.

Lamaze, who repeatedly consoled Foster during the often painful 25-minute media session, said: "This is a complete miscarriage of justice.

"We all know why the tests are done, but this has nothing to do with this rule.

"In the space of six minutes, five people poked at this horse's leg 50 times.

"This horse was fit to compete. How can five people declare him unfit to compete? How can they ruin someone's Olympic dream?

"I am ashamed of my sport, I am very much ashamed.

"There was no cheating involved. This was a simple injury which would not have put this horse in danger by any means, and would not have made it gain any advantage in the ring.

"This horse is in perfect condition.

"He does have a little superficial cut, but in such a short period of time without watching the horse jump, without taking him out of his stall, without assessing him in the warm-up ring, without doing all that, they can come to that conclusion."

Lamaze added: "Coming to the Olympics is a dream for everyone.

"Horses are going to have a little nick. There are big fences being jumped and they are difficult courses.

"Some people are not fit to ride these courses, and nobody calls that not fair.

"We have to take a hard look at what has happened today. I sure hope Canada wins a medal for Tiffany.

"Tiffany can hold her head up high. She did absolutely nothing wrong. The horse is sound, and she was dealt a really raw deal today."

Canada qualified for tomorrow's second phase of the team competition, but they will bid for a medal with just three riders - Lamaze, Ian Millar and Jill Henselwood.

PA

Suggested Topics
News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
peopleReports that Brand could stand for Mayor on an 'anti-politics' ticket
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
News
Voluminous silk drawers were worn by Queen Victoria
newsThe silk underwear is part of a growing trade in celebrity smalls
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Candidates with surnames that start with an A have an electoral advantage
newsVoters are biased towards names with letters near start of alphabet
Arts and Entertainment
Isis with Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jay James
TVReview: Performances were stale and cheesier than a chunk of Blue Stilton left out for a month
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?