Two Ukrainian dressage judges are appealing after being suspended for three months by the FEI Dressage Committee.
Maria Dzhumadzhuk and Iryna Shulga were on the five-member ground jury that judged the grand prix special at Lier CDI3* in Belgium on 2 March.
The controversy concerned their judging of Ukrainian rider Inna Logutenkova riding Fleraro. Mariya Dzhumadzhuk at C awarded Inna and Fleraro 73.236% and Iryna Shulga at 74.412%. Scores from the other judges were: Maria Colliander of Finland at E 64.902%, Slawomir Pietrzak of Poland at H 64.020% and Jacques van Daele of Belgium at M 66.569%. The total score was 68.627% for seventh place. Great Britain’s Spencer Wilton won the class with 73.490% aboard Super Nova.
The FEI later found evidence of “nationalistic judging” by the two Ukrainians in favour of Inna Logutenkova and announced that the results from the grand prix special would not count towards Olympic and world rankings.
FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez said: “This was a clear example of nationalistic judging and the FEI takes this very seriously. The FEI has a duty to take the appropriate measures if it is shown that nationalistic judging has occurred. Judging at all FEI events must be absolutely fair and the integrity of the competitions and of the judges themselves must be beyond reproach.”
The FEI subsequently commenced disciplinary proceedings in relation to Maria Dzhumadzhuk and Iryna Shulag’s judging performance in the grand prix special.
An FEI spokepersons told H&H: “Both Mrs Dzhumadzhuk and Mrs Shulga have appealed their suspensions to the FEI Tribunal and the appeal proceedings are ongoing.
“The disciplinary process was managed by FEI headquarters in accordance with the FEI Dressage Rules and the Codex for Dressage Judges. The decisions to suspend the judges was issued by the FEI.
“Once the FEI Tribunal reaches its final decision, this will be published.”
Logutenkova, 29, has qualified for an individual spot at the Rio Olympics with her top horse, Don Gregorious.