Dinja van Liere's Hermes Not Eligible for Dutch Olympic Team Selection

Sat, 07/03/2021 - 12:12
The Netherlands
Dinja van Liere, here riding her second GP horse Haute Couture, at the second and last Dutch Olympic team selection trial in Rotterdam :: Photo © Astrid Appels

Dinja van Liere's top scoring Grand Prix horse Hermes is not eligible for Dutch Olympic Team selection. The same problem that kept jumper rider Daniel Bluman and dressage Tatiana Miloserdova home from the Games has befallen Van Liere. 

Since 2018 the 9-year old KWPN licensed stallion Hermes (by Easy Game x Flemmingh) is officially registered in the FEI database as owned by Joop van Uytert, but the FEI has listed Dutchman Van Uytert with a German nationality based on a German living address.

German Joop van Uytert

In 2017 the FEI had  Hermes listed as Dutch owned but on 9 July 2018 the stallion was entered in the FEI database as German owned. Van Uytert told Eurodressage that this nationality switch probably came when the ownership was altered for his jumper stallion Diarado. 

"Everything before was Dutch and they (the FEI) have made me German somewhere because of the stallion Diarado, which I co-own with Paul Schockemöhle," Van Uytert told Eurodressage. 

Ownership Deadline

Van Liere and Hermes at the 2021 Dutch Championships
For the Olympic Games the rule is that by the deadline of 15 January 2021 a part of the horse has to be owned by a person or company with the nationality of the rider. 

Neither the owner, rider, nor the Dutch Equestrian Federation double checked Hermes' ownership nationality before 15 January 2021.

In addition, the horse only became a serious Dutch Olympic team contender in mid May 2021 when Dinja van Liere scored 74.174% at the CDI Munich in the lion's den. She then claimed bronze at the first Dutch Olympic selection trial (Dutch Championships) and this weekend was the third best scoring Dutch rider at the second and last Olympic selection trial in Rotterdam.

No Nominative Entry

The writing was already on the wall that Hermes was not eligible for Dutch Olympic Team selection as his name did not appear on the Nominative Entry list of which the deadline was 21 June 2021. Dinja van Liere is only listed with her second Grand Prix horse Haute Couture. 

Yesterday evening Eurodressage inquired with the KNHS, owner Van Uytert and rider Van Liere about Hermes missing from the Nominative Entry List, but did not receive an immediate reply.

This morning the KNHS issued a press release confirming that Hermes is not eligible for team nomination because of the "German" ownership. 

KNHS Blames FEI, Appeal with CAS

The title of the press release is "FEI Keeps Hermes Away from Olympic Games" and the KNHS accuses the FEI of having made "an administrative error". 

Van Liere in Rotterdam, sighs in relief
after scoring third best Dutch result
"Hermes, who has been owned by the Dutch Joop van Uytert, has received the German nationality in the FEI database by mistake and this prevents him from travelling to Tokyo," the KNHS stated. "The problems came to light after 21 June when the horses and riders were officially registered with the FEI for potential Olympic participation. The FEI then notified us that Hermes could not be entered as he has the German nationality since 2018."

The KNHS continues, "the necessary investigation brought to light that the stallion, as of June 2018, is  in full ownership of Van Uytert in the FEI database, wrongly entered with a German home address of Van Uytert. This is the address of the German owner with which Van Uytert co-owns horses."

The KNHS states that the mistake was made by an FEI intern, whose identity is known. "Because it's so evident that this is a very annoying omission for which neither the rider, owner or KNHS are to blame, an appeal was lodged with the FEI," said the KNHS.

This appeal was dismissed, which made the Dutch federation decide to appeal with CAS, the highest court of arbitration. 

"This can only happen if both parties agree, but the FEI refuses all co-operation at the moment," the KNHS added.

Due Diligence

Van Liere's case is not the first case where the wrong ownership of the horse has led to a certain combination being refused to go to Tokyo.

Joop van Uytert
Russian born Italian Tatiana Miloserdova could not be nominated as Italian individual rider, because the ownership of her horse was never switched from Russian to Italian when Miloserdova declared for Italy in 2018. click on the link for the details.

Similarly, the American based Israeli show jumping rider Daniel Bluman cannot go to Tokyo as his horse is owned by an American company. Bluman also claimed this was "an administrative error" but the FEI Tribunal dismissed his appeal concerning the registered ownership nationality on his horse Gemma W.  

“The reasons for the FEI to adopt this strict approach are as follows: (i) the rules are clear and the FEI ensures that all NFs are made aware of the rule by sending the Deadline Notice to the NFs; (ii) the FEI needs to ensure transparency and treat all Athletes and NFs equally and fairly: If the 15 January 2021 deadline is missed, the consequences are the same for everyone; and (iii) the competition at stake is the most important one for Athletes and NFs. For this reason, all NFs and Athletes have a right to know that everyone is competing on the same terms and conditions and have the same eligibility requirements,” reads one of the submissions from the FEI in the 28-page Tribunal decision, which can be read here

Bluman’s request to the Court of Arbitration for Sport for provisional measures suspending the effect of the FEI Tribunal Decision, was also dismissed on 30 June 2021.

Haute Couture

Van Liere still has her second Grand Prix horse, Haute Couture (by Connaisseur), in the running for Dutch Olympic team selection.

She has been accepted on the Nominative Entry List and scored 71.159 % in the national Grand Prix in Rotterdam.

At the Dutch championships, she scored 73.936% in the Grand Prix Special team selection class.

Photos © Dirk Caremans - Digishots - Astrid Appels

Related Links
Miloserdova Not Eligible For Italian Olympic Ticket due to Wrong Owner Nationality
Eurodressage coverage of the 2021 Olympic Games