The FEI announced that blood was detected on the 12-year-old Holsteiner at the post-competition check, and that under FEI jumping rules, this is automatic elimination.
“Elimination under this rule does not imply there was any intent to injure the horse, but the rules are in place to protect the welfare of all competing horses,” the FEI stated.
Daniel told H&H the mare was not hurt at all, and sent pictures showing that she had no wound, rub or sore.
“Cinca deserved to keep her place for history,” he added. “It was a tough track and she jumped amazing, I thought the heat just caught up with us in the end. I was first out and it was still very hot.
“It ruined what was a really proud moment for my team and country. I look forward to tomorrow’s team competition and doing my best again.”
Daniel, who competed at the 1996 and 2004 Olympics, and Cinca were the only New Zealand combination to make it through to yesterday’s individual final, completing the qualifying round with just two time-penalties.
Daniel said after that first round: “I was proud of her. It’s by far the biggest occasion ever for her. She took a little time on some jumps, and we went over time, but really I couldn’t have asked for more – she was perfect tonight.”
They went on to lower three rails and clock up time-faults in the final.
Equestrian Sports New Zealand appealed against the elimination, which was heard by the ground jury but dismissed.
H&H has previously reported on the controversial “blood rule”, under which a combination can be eliminated for “almost invisible” marks on a horse.
Cinca passed today’s (5 August) trot-up for the team competition, which starts tomorrow, in which she and Daniel will compete, along with Bruce Goodin on Quasimodo Z and Uma O’Neill on Clockwise Of Greenhill Z.
You might also be interested in:
An interesting case brought before the FEI Tribunal has once again given rise to concerns that the current blood rules
The proposed changes would also mean sanctions dependent on the severity of the violation
Global Champions League co-founder Jan Tops said the rider is ‘great with his horses and didn’t deserve that at all’
Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade to access our H&H Plus online service which brings you breaking news as it happens as well as other benefits.