The policy that allowed CDI3* events outside Europe to use a
majority of three home country judges and led to a legal challenge
over London Olympic selection procedures in South America will
officially end on Jan. 1, 2013.
National federations would be informed by the International
Equestrian Federation "that no more exceptions for three home
judges at CDIs3* would be granted," the FEI said in response to
questions from dressage-news.com. Approval of dressage competitions
for 2013 will be made on Oct. 1.
Brazilian rider Luíza Tavares de Almeida became the sole rider
from South America at the Olympics after qualifying atop the
standings for the region based on results that were attained
primarily at events in which three of the five judges were
Brazilian. She competed in London on Pastor, one of two horses she
rode in qualifying events.
A legal challenge by the Dominican Republic on behalf of Yvonne
Losos de Muñiz who placed second in the rankings after competing
only in competitions with a minimum of three foreign judges in
Florida and California was rejected in July by the Court of
Arbitration for Sport based in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Eduardo Muñiz, the husband of Yvonne and active in
Dominican Republic horse sports, said of the decision: "It's quite
surprising to see the FEI backtracking now by discontinuing the
controversial exemption they fought so hard for in CAS and their
own tribunal. I would assume if it was so fair and favorable for
promoting the sport they should have included it in the permanent
"This change clearly shows, in my opinion, that the exemption
was unfair and unjustified, especially for Olympic
Controversy arose over applying for the 2012 Olympics the policy
that was introduced in 2010 in an effort to increase participation
at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky. That memo stated:
"Memo: Ground Juries at CDIs3* and below outside Europe for
"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
" - 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."
Qualification as an individual for the Olympics in London was
based on the eight best results for a horse and rider combination
at CDI3* or higher for the year to Mar. 1, 2012. No South American
nation was able to field a team at the Games.
Yvonne Losos de Muniz and Liebling II
competing in California. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
In response to the initial appeal by the Dominican Republic over
the exceptions, the FEI Tribunal stated that Australia, Canada, New
Zealand and the United States had requested "exceptions" to the
three-foreign-judge rule for competitions and the FEI had approved
However, the Tribunal made no distinction between small tour and
big tour, though only big tour Grand Prix counted for Olympic
A dressage-news.com review of the FEI database found that 51
CDI3* or higher rated competitions were held outside Europe during
the Olympic qualifying period from Mar. 1, 2011 to Mar. 1, 2012,
and they were in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and
the United States.
The FEI database of Grand Prix, Olympic/Grand Prix Special and
Grand Prix Freestyle showed:
Australia-Nine events in which seven had three foreign judges at
Grand Prix levels, one event with four foreign judges and one with
three foreign judges for Grand Prix and the Freestyle and two for
Brazil-13 events, 10 with three Brazilian and two foreign
judges, three with four foreign and one Brazilian judge.
Canada-Four events, one of which had seven judges, including
four foreign, two with three foreign judges and a fourth with three
foreign judges in the Grand Prix, four in the Special and two in
Japan-Two events, each with three foreign judges and two
New Zealand-Two events at which both employed two foreign judges
and three New Zealand judges in all Grand Prix classes.
United States-21 events with four employing four foreign judges
and 17 with a minimum of three foreign judges.
Exceptions are permitted in extenuating circumstances.
For example, at a World Cup event in Saugerties, New York, the
weekend of Sept. 14-16 a foreign judge was involved in an accident
and unable to be on the ground jury for the Grand Prix Special. The
only available judge was an American that meant the panel of five
members included three home judges.