Equine Canada’s Limb Sensitivity Protocol Task Force provides the following as an interim update to both Equine Canada’s membership, as well as the Canadian equestrian community.

The Task Force has held two meetings to discuss the current Protocol, its practical application and how it can be improved while not compromising the welfare of the horse or fair play.

This included a meeting with the Fédération Equestre Internationale’s (FEI) Lisa Lazarus (General Counsel) and Graeme Cooke (Veterinary Director) to review recent amendments to the Protocol by the FEI and to discuss potential future suggested amendments currently under discussion by the Task Force. The tone of the conversations was open and cooperative, and it was clear that the FEI representatives welcomed the feedback and ideas that were presented.

The Task Force is very encouraged to learn that one of the addendums to the Protocol effective 2013 (now known as “Limb Sensitivity”) was as a direct result of feedback from Canada – namely, that examinations will be video recorded during the initial examination rather than waiting until the secondary examination.

Discussions continue with the Task Force in order to further review and finalize what they feel could further improve the Protocol and/or clarifications required in the interest of clear communication for all parties involved. The working list of focus areas includes, but is not limited to:

• the timing of the “Initial Examination” prior to Competition;
• the role of, and impact on, the Reserve Athlete;
• the role of the identified “Person Responsible” and presence during all examinations;
• the stature of the national federation team during examinations and its input into decisions taken at international team competitions;
• the designated area where examinations are conducted and maximum number of attending veterinarians permitted at one time;
• the involvement of the Appeal Committee;
• the re-examination process of a horse in order to re-enter competition; and
• a process whereby a discovered injury can be reported and treated prior to testing.

The objective of the Task Force remains to present a list of recommendations to the international community, including FEI Veterinarians, for consultation and discussion prior to presentation to the FEI.


In September 2012, Equine Canada’s Sport Council formed a Hypersensitivity Task Force at the request of the Board of Directors. The objective of the Task Force is to review the FEI Protocol for Thermography and Clinical Examination (hypersensitivity of legs) to ascertain, from the perspective of Canada’s equestrian sport community, if the protocol and its application are achieving the intended outcomes in an equitable and effective manner.

The Task Force is co-chaired by Mark Samuel, Canada’s elected representative to and Chair of the FEI’s Group IV, member of Equine Canada’s Sport Council and former Chair of Jump Canada, and Kerri McGregor, Canadian Equestrian Team Leader, Equine Canada Board Director and Session Member to the Canadian Olympic Committee. Task Force members currently include Graeme Thom (chef d’équipe – Eventing), Gina Smith (chef d’équipe – Dressage), Mark Laskin (chef d’équipe – Jumping), Terrance Millar (former chef d’équipe – Jumping) and Elizabeth Robinson (chef d’équipe – Para-Equestrian) as well as ex-Officio members Michael Gallagher (President – Equine Canada ) and Michael Arbour (Interim Chief Executive Officer – Equine Canada). Advisors to the Task Force include Christine Peters (Manager – Dressage), Fleur Tipton (Manager – Eventing), Karen Hendry-Ouellette (Manager – Jumping), Amie O’Shaughnessy (Director – Para-Equestrian) with assistance provided by Kari MacGregor (Program Coordinator – Equine Medications).

To read more about the FEI’s Limb Sensitivity protocol, please click here.