Dominican Republic Loses Appeal Over Olympic Individual from Latin America, Brazil Sole Rider
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
The Dominican Republic and Yvonne Losos de Muñiz have lost their appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport over the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) granting approvals for several competitions with three Brazilian judges that led to a Brazilian rider becoming the sole representative from Latin American at the Olympic Games opening in three weeks.
The court based in Lausanne, Switzerland, notified the Dominican Republic and Brazilian equestrian federations and FEI of its finding on Friday but dressage-news.com could not immediately obtain details of the ruling or get reactions.
This was the second appeal to CAS involving dressage competition at the Olympics. The other, by Australia’s Hayley Beresford over her nation’s selection procedures after she was passed over for a place on the team, was rejected by CAS that is the court of last resort in most sport legal actions.
Brazil’s Luíza Tavares de Almeida will be the sole Latin American rider in the dressage competition and will compete with Pastor, a 16-year-old gelding by Hostil out of Cortiça. She finished fourth on the horse in the individual rankings for Latin America instead of Samba, the horse on which she finished first and rode in the 2008 Beijing Games.
She met the qualifying requirements at competitions in Brazil, some of which were organized on short notice and in one case she was the only qualified entry and most had the same three Brazilian judges.
The Dominican Republic’s Yvonne Losos de Muñiz placed second in the rankings. She competed only in competitions with a minimum of three foreign judges in Florida and California.
An FEI rule requiring a minium of three foreign judges was waived for countries outside of Europe in 2010 to make it easier for non-Europeans to attain the required minimum scores for the World Equestrian Games held that year.
International competitions rated CDI3* and above in the Americas were held only in Brazil, Canada and the United States.
Yvonne sought to qualify on Liebling II, a horse that was ridden by Carl Hester on Great Britain’s silver-medal teams at the 2009 European Championships and 2010 World Equestrian Games and leased from Canada’s John Risley.
She is currently based at Carl Hester’s stables in England.
Luíza is competing Pastor at the World Equestrian Festival in Aachen, Germany, this week, one of the last major horse shows before the Olympic dressage schedule starts on Aug. 2.
The appeal to CAS was made after a three-member FEI Tribunal made up of Jens Adolphsen of Germany as chairman, Vladan Jevtic of Serbia and Armand Leone of the United States rejected the Dominican Republic protest and ruled in favor of Brazil and the FEI.
A review of official records by dressage-news.com found that of 13 CDI3* or higher rated competitions Brazil staged in the qualifying period for the year to Mar. 1, 2012, Luíza and Samba were the sole qualified entry, five had two combinations and one three.
To qualify as an individual for the Olympics in London the eight best results for a horse and rider combination at CDI3* or higher are counted for the year to Mar. 1. Nations compete for teams of three combinations through placings at the World Equestrian Games and regional competitions such as the European Championships or Pan American Games.
Central to this year’s qualifying process was a decision by the FEI Dressage Committee in 2010 to allow three judges from host nations outside Europe in qualifying competitions for the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in 2010. The rules specify a minimum of three foreign judges.
The full text of the memo that was central to the case reads:
”Memo: Ground Juries at CDIs3* and below outside Europe for 2010:
“For 2010 following dispensation may be granted based on application from the relevant NF (national federation):
“For CDI3* and below outside Europe, NOT championships
” – Big tour to be judged by 5 judges as today, but an option to use three judges from host nation, instead of two as it is in the rules.
” – Small tour, incl. YR, J and P can be judged by three judges (at least two foreign).
“Please address your applications to the FEI Dressage Department in connection with submitting your Draft Schedule or earlier.”