The FEI Jumping Committee has ruled that the German team, which was withdrawn from the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ leg in St Gallen (SUI) on 31 May, will be allowed to participate in its remaining three Nations Cup qualifying competitions and earn points towards the 2013 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Final. The German team will not be awarded any points from St Gallen and a further request from the German National Federation for a wild card for the Final in Barcelona has been turned down.
Prior to the start of the season, and in line with the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ rules, the German National Federation had nominated St Gallen, Rotterdam (NED) on 21 June Aachen (GER) on 27 June and Hickstead (GBR) on 2 August as the four events where it would aim to earn qualifying points for the series final. Under the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ rules, any National Federation that does not respect its written commitment to take part in the specified qualifying competitions will lose its points for the entire season. However, according to a preamble to the series rules, “In any unforeseen or exceptional circumstance which is not addressed by these Rules, it is the duty of the FEI Jumping Committee to interpret them and render a Decision in a manner compatible to the fullest extent possible with the other provisions of these Rules, the GRs and any other applicable rules of the FEI, as well as sporting spirit."
German Secretary General Soenke Lauterbach contacted the FEI on 3 June asking the FEI to consider allowing Germany to collect points during the 2013 Europe Division 1 season. The FEI Jumping Committee met via conference call the following day to review the events at St Gallen and voiced its full support for the decisions taken on the ground during the event, which had all been taken based on the conditions at the time and in full consultation with all Chefs d’Equipe, the Ground Jury, the Organising Committee and the FEI.
In a follow-up call, the decision to allow the German team to receive qualifying points at its three remaining qualifying competitions was made by FEI Jumping Committee Chair John Madden (USA) and two of the Committee members, Ian Allison (CAN) and Vladimir Platov (RUS). Stephan Ellenbruch (GER), athletes’ representative Max Kϋhner (GER) and Deputy Chair Marco Fusté (ESP) were not involved in the decision making process due to a potential conflict of interest.
The three-man panel of John Madden, Ian Allison and Vladimir Platov clarified that the intention of the rules was to prevent teams from not showing up at a given event. They then signed off on the final decision, ruling that the German team had met its commitment according to the rules by bringing a full team to the Swiss event with the clear intention of participating. German Chef d’Equipe Otto Becker attended the Chefs d’Equipe meetings, declared the German team for the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Competition and took part in the draw, at which the German team was selected to jump second. Less than an hour before the start of the Nations Cup, Otto Becker informed the Organising Committee that the German team had no choice but to withdraw from the competition as the owners would not allow their horses to jump due to the weather conditions.
“The German National Federation respected its commitment by sending a team to take part in St-Gallen and acted in good faith with respect to that obligation,” John Madden said, “but the horse owners did not want their horses to jump due to the conditions. Neither the German National Federation nor the FEI has the right or the authority to instruct owners on what they must do with their horses at an event. It would not be in the spirit of fair play to sanction the German National Federation because of a decision beyond its control, so the Jumping Committee has ruled that Germany will be eligible to collect points at its three remaining qualifying competitions at Rotterdam, Aachen and Hickstead in an effort to try to qualify for the 2013 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Final.”
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