Lier, Belgium Grand Prix Special Results Removed by FEI, Ukraine’s Inna Logutenkova Awarded Olympic Start
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Mar. 22, 2016
By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
The results of the Grand Prix Special at Lier, Belgium early this month were removed from Olympic qualification for “nationalistic judging” by two Ukrainian judges in favor Inna Logutenkova but Ukraine was awarded the start at the Rio de Janeiro Games.
Removal of the results followed what the FEI, International Equestrian Federation, said in a statement Tuesday was “a thorough investigation” that “found evidence of nationalistic judging” by the two Ukrainian judges in the Grand Prix Special on Mar. 2.
“As a result, the FEI Dressage Committee, with the full support of the FEI Executive Board, has ruled that the results from the CDI3* Grand Prix Special will not count towards the Olympic and World Rankings,” it said.
Removal of the Special results had no impact on the Olympic rankings as Inna did not compete Don Gregorius on which she did qualify but competed a horse named Fleraro in that class.
“In addition, the FEI Executive Board has agreed that it will recommend to the FEI Bureau support of the Dressage Committee in reviewing the judging by establishing a working group composed of committee members and external experts who will look into and supply proposals to address these matters,” the FEI said.
The Lier shows and a CDI3* in Moscow a week earlier created controversy over judging and the Olympic qualification procedures that required four scores–half the number of the previous Olympics in London in 2012–from the year to the Mar. 6 deadline.
Luc Schelstraete and Piotr Wawrzyniak from Schelstraete Advocaten and European US Asian Equine Lawyers said that the FEI Secretary General confirmed Inna Logutenkova qualified to represent Ukraine at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in August. The lawyers had written to the FEI last week in support of Inna’s qualification.
The removal of the results of the CDI3* Grand Prix Special from world and Olympic rankings does not remove the results from the FEI database.
Great Britain’s Spencer Wilton on Super Nova II won the Special with a score of 73.490 per cent, the second highest result for the pair that are seeking to earn a place on his nation’s team at the Olympics.
FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez said of the Grand Prix Special: “This was a clear example of nationalistic judging and the FEI takes this very seriously. The FEI has a duty to take the appropriate measures if it is shown that nationalistic judging has occurred.
“Judging at all FEI events must be absolutely fair and the integrity of the competitions and of the judges themselves must be beyond reproach.”
The FEI said the dressage committee based its decision on the Fairness Principle: “The FEI has the right to accept reasonable exceptions to these rules, in the interest of the riders and the sport in general. The FEI Dressage Committee may decide not to include the scores obtained at an event in the rankings, should the event not have been organized in accordance with general principle of fairness. The Executive Board should confirm the decision of the Dressage Committee.”
The final qualifications for the 60 places for dressage at the Olympics are:
Teams of four combinations: Australia, Brazil (host), France, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, United States of America plus Denmark with four individuals qualified for a “composite” team.
Individuals: Austria, Belgium, Canada 2, Dominican Republic, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Palestine, Russia 2, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland and Ukraine.
The two Ukrainians found by the FEI, International Equestrian Federation, to have given “a clear example of nationalistic judging” in favor of a Ukrainian rider were Mariya Dzhumadzhuk, FEI 4*, and Iryna Shulga FEI 3*.
The Ukrainians were on the five-member ground jury for the Grand Prix Special at Lier, Belgium on Mar. 2 in which Inna Logutenkova of Ukraine rode Fleraro and the results were removed from Olympic qualification scores.
Removal of the scores was meaningless as Inna riding Don Gregorius, her top Grand mount, qualified for a start at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in August.
Inna and Fleraro were so far down the rankings at No. 45 on the open standings that qualification for the Olympics was virtually impossible.
The FEI referred only to “nationalistic judging” in the Grand Prix Special but made no reference to either of the two Grand Prix or the Freestyles.
In the Grand Prix Special, Mariya Dzhumadzhuk at C awarded Inna and Fleraro 73.236 per cent and Iryna Shulga at 74.412 per cent. Scores from the other judges were: Maria Colliander of Finland at E 64.902 per cent, Slawomir Pietrzak of Poland at H 64.020 per cent and Jacques van Daele of Belgium at M 66.569 per cent. The total score was 68.627 per cent for the pair for seventh place.
In the Grand Prix to qualify for the Special, Iryna Shulga was one of two judges from the Ukraine on the ground jury and her score of 71.600 per cent was the lowest of the five with the total of 72.840 per cent enough to give Inna and Fleraro first place.
Both Ukrainian judges Mariya Dzhumadzhuk and Iryna Shulga were on the ground jury for the Grand Prix in which Inna and Don Gregorius competed to qualify for the Freestyle. The scores of both judges were the highest at more than 75 per cent while the other three scores ranged from a low of 71.800 to a high of 74.200 per cent with the total of 73.980 per cent.
All five judges placed Inna and Don Gregorius first.
In the Freestyle, Iryna Shulga at H and another Ukraine judge, Larysa Valyka at C gave Inna and Don Gregorius the highest scores for both technical–above 78 per cent with the other three between 71.750 per cent and 74.000 per cent–as well as for artistic, 82 and 83 per cent, respectively with two other marks of 80 per cent and one of 79 per cent that gave the pair a total of 77.850 per cent and first place. The total was 2.450 per cent higher than the second placed duo.