USEF President David O’Connor and CEO John Long, Explain USEF Position on CAS Decision in a Press Conference This Morning

August 21, 2004


Statement from David O’Connor, President of the United States Equestrian Federation, On the Decision from The Court of Arbitration for Sport Regarding the Eventing Stadium Jumping Competition on Wednesday, August 18th, 2004.

Today the Court of Arbitration for Sport accepted the appeal of the National Olympic Committees of France, Great Britain and the United States on the Eventing competition of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

Consequently, France earns the team Gold medal, Great Britain the Silver, and the United States the Bronze.

Leslie Law of Great Britain is the new individual Olympic Gold medal winner; Kim Severson of the United States wins the Silver medal; Pippa Funnel of Great Britain wins the Bronze medal.

The following is a statement from David O'Connor President of the United States Equestrian Federation:

The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is satisfied with the decision made by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and believes it is the correct outcome, maintaining the integrity of our sport. The entire affair is a very unfortunate situation for all the countries involved, but most especially for our athletes.

Everyone at the USEF feels badly for the German team and especially for Bettina Hoy, because no one wins in a situation such as this.

We are very appreciative of the support given us by the United States Olympic Committee who have made every effort to help us protect our athletes, and of the quick action by CAS in hearing this case and bringing it to a rapid resolution.

It is unfortunate that the situation escalated to this level, it should have been resolved as a field of play issue, which it originally was if the ruling by the Ground Jury had been upheld. It is our hope that as a result of this controversy the FEI (Federation Equestre International) will reevaluate how they will handle situations such as these in the future. A more open and inclusive appeals process could have avoided the controversy and dissatisfaction created by Wednesday evening’s events.


The United States Equestrian Federation Inc.(USEF), as the National Equestrian Federation of the U.S., is the regulatory body for the Olympic and World Championship sports of dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, reining, show jumping, and vaulting, as well as 19 other breeds and disciplines of equestrian competition. As the country’s largest multi-breed organization, the Federation has over 80,000 members and recognizes more than 2,800 competitions nationwide each year. It governs all aspects of competition, including educating and licensing all judges, stewards, and technical delegates who officiate at these shows.


The vision of the United States Equestrian Federation is to provide leadership for equestrian sport in the United States of America, promoting the pursuit of excellence from the grass roots to the Olympic Games, based on a foundation of fair, safe competition and the welfare of its horses, and embracing this vision, to be the best national equestrian federation in the world.

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