Call me crazy, but I cannot figure out the mess that has turned out to be the disqualification of McLain Ward's horse Sapphire from the World Cup show jumping finals in Geneva, Switzerland. Fran Jurga is doing a fabulous job over at the Jurga Report in gatherng explanations as to what hypersensitivity is, how it is tested and the FEI's protocol in dealing with these situations. Her latest post is a video of an FEI vet defining hypersensitivity and its potential causes (all of which can be quite innocent -- or at least induced without intent to harm). I'm reposting it here:
I still can't really make heads or tails out of the situation. I get that McLain Ward is furious and confused by the disqualification, but I guess I can't see a reason for the outrage / appeals to the FEI that are being lodged. Maybe I'm naive, but it seems that the FEI acted appropriately and consistently with its policies, and I don't believe they have an agenda against any rider.
If you're really fascinated by this story, you ought to take a look at this article by the New York Times. I never realized that McLain Ward's father was the infamous criminal who arranged to have 4 horses killed in an insurance scam. That was incredibly shocking to me, but it's clear it has had at least a psychological effect on McLain Ward. He's been trying to keep his nose clean, so to speak, for years, but you can tell he has a bit of a complex about the industry being out to get him for the sins of the father. Can't blame him, but you wonder how much of his outrage at the disqualification stems from this distrust at the industry's governing bodies. I can't say I wouldn't be thinking the same thing. Must be hard to have a career in horses and have that skeleton follow you around. I don't think I could do it personally.