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SASCOC update on Games equestrian selection

South Africa’s Olympic governing body SASCOC await the SA Equestrian Federation’s final decision on the selection issues over the allocated eventing spot at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Two eventers  Alex Peternell and Paul Hart met the qualifying standards. But the Federation submitted Hart’s name as the nominated competitor.

Peternell then took the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) who ruled that he was the better qualified individual with eligibility for selection.

SASCOC then referred the matter back to the Federation to review their nomination as per CAS decision of Saturday, 21 July 2012.

“The Federation maintain that in their opinion Paul Hart is the correct choice and therefore have not seen their way clear to submit a nomination for Alex Peternell,” said SASCOC Chief Exeutive Officer Tubby Reddy on Monday night.

‘Given this scenario and in keeping with Article 6.3.3 from SASCOC’s Articles of Association, the SASCOC Board has decided that we will not utilise the one slot available to the eventing discipline at the Olympic Games. The Board therefore maintains that the sport of Equestrian will not have any representation at the Olympic Games.’

“The Board is fully aware that A Peternell may go back to CAS for an urgent hearing and we are prepared to defend our case, while noting that CAS’s ruling on the new appeal may have to be adhered to by ourselves.”


149 comments
Juluis
Juluis

PAUL HART DONT GIVE UP YOU ARE A WORLD CLASS CHAMPION ,YOUR TIME WILL COME AND YOU WILL SHOW THEM .YOU HAVE THE TALENT AND THE SKILL AND THE HORSES TO BACK YOU UP KEEP YOUR CHIN UP BEST REGARDS

Juluis
Juluis

Paul Hart is the best what we have if was in the games we would of had a medal

erica
erica

By now everyone should realize that the truth will never come to light. Only people involved knows. The fault all points to the selection committee. They made the mistake and to pull a rider out so close is bad. They should refund him his money that was unnecessary spend. He must've gained some experience while he was over in UK. So atleast he came away with something, but the committee does need to reimburse Paul something. I wuld hav loved to have a south african on sa horse to compete, but Alex had legal right to appose the selection because we do hav some discrepancies in the selection process. But morally Alex was a dick. On the horse he was going to compete on, wasn't such a gud team as Paul was with his horse. Also Paul was already there, hard work already done with the patriotism following him from sa. Alex-legally u had a right to appeal. But with all the evidence u weren't the better man for the job.

My Africa
My Africa

My comrade Paul,i see we have know to be more ashamed, ridiculed by the inclusion by force of Alex Peterfool! Not only did he say he was hoping to do well,his arrogance that he was better than you has now been proven in full! Finally What a bad performance,a disgrace by him!He new full well he could not compete and should have let Comrade Paul ride! All this for nothing,he has brought us SA the sport and our people into disrepute in everyone's eyes! If he thinks we will forget,or let this ride away!Never We have many great surprises for him,we await his return to SA!!He will never ride for SA ever again,if he come's back to SA we will make sure he pays for his arrogance,bad sportsmanship, cowardice act's! He is the biggest dog in sport,the idiot of the Olympics,year! My Africa

Roy Hart
Roy Hart

Roy say's Fred i am not hiding ever,you dis my brother any more and you will have a problem ok,my brother has said nothing,claimed nothing,he is the big loser here,forget the rest!you talk shit about him i will make Julius look like a school boy,i travel to London often happy to meet you oblige sort you out?cool got me?Hid behind a name you got mine back off while you can!!! My brother is not the best or only rider to be or could be chosen,but he was !End

Juluis
Juluis

fred im here i will find u

Fred
Fred

To Juluis, In closing, so I touched a soft spot HA Ha. This is not the appropriate forum to discuss the merits of any athletes personal affairs, so maybe you should send me your details ,as I would really like to meet you, and I think it is you who need to bring the spare pair of pants as you come across as a real A** hole . Secondly you ought the read the text and sentences properly before answering . You seem to be driven by your heart and not your brain. Maybe you should get someone else to write your narratives for you as you currntly dont make any sense. Any time and place. When I next come to SA I will look you up and I am sure I will find you. Cant be too many of you mentality . I am now out of this debauched forum .cheers

Ruthie
Ruthie

The article says that both riders met the qualifying requirements, so why can't both of them ride in the Olympics? There are so many swimmers, track and field, etc, why can only one rider compete? I don't know much about the rules and regulation, but surely, if both riders met the qualifying requirements, both should be given the opportunity to represent South Africa?

Juluis
Juluis

fred sorry to let you in for a shocker i dont have dirty washing sunshine i think you must be thinking of the chop or some one else , but i shall do you favour i will introduce my self to you , please bring a spare pants cause you will [email protected] yourself .And as you the chop has done us proud the vets are checking the old horse out ps looking forward to meet you fred.

Fred
Fred

I am sorry juluis .I have no doubt that you are very emotional supporter of Paul and to that extent it appears you are throwing everything at everyone in his defence . What you ought to do when you are more calm is to read my text again , this may encourage you to aim your stones in another direction . By the way, you have gutted yourself in your last comment. ps. if you are looking for dirty washing look no further then our own back yard . Ha Ha, yes there is a lot of it . Just speak to his former sponser partner and landlord .

woody
woody

wow Mark hasnt your friend done us proud after the dressage. Can't wait for the cross country

Juluis
Juluis

Mark my boy Mr P.Hart was in the Olympics till your mate ran to court with his wifes families money which will be cut off very soon you know the devoirce and the rest in the nick of time and of course informing Mr P Hart just before court to appeal Mark my boy you got a chop for as friend.Mark my boy have noticed your chop soon to be devorcided.Was never chosen to ride for The Republic of South Africa Olympic team he was forced in by CAS. Your chop mate will know the feeling soon as he is forced out of his home.The poor old horse need cruthes that you are going to be abusing around the course you chop .I think that the S.P.C.A. should step in and confiscate the poor animal.

Juluis
Juluis

Fred if Paul Hart was riding then the best athlete would win

Fred
Fred

With all the emotional outcry’s, finger pointing and energy used in this forum, to date, we could supply Gauteng with electrical energy for a long time. The reality is that the more these emotional and or ill-informed folk carry on, the easier it is for those guilty parties to hide behind the smoke screen. Earlier posts refer to Jane Jackman as the culprit. Dig deeper she may have been head of a committee but the real decisions were made by her superiors. I ask the following questions: • Who is the owner of Paul’s horse?? • Which committee does this owner sit on?? • Has anyone heard any comment from him in this or other forums?? Bit of a conflict of interest I would say, but not unlike any of the other conflicts of interest that have gone unchallenged in our sport over the years. This is not an issue between two athletes, but a gigantic screw up of the authorities that now attempt to govern the sport on a National level. Just look at our sports recent track record in the eyes of the FEI and international community: • Firstly an embezzlement of millions of rand, which for all intents has been pushed under the carpet. • Secondly: other indiscretions of the leaders of the sport which has caused a reshuffle of the responsible committee, • and now this blunder . Let the best athlete win.

Mark
Mark

If Paul Hart was good enough to be at the Olympics, he would be. But he's not, because Alex is just a better rider, he has so much more experience than any other SA event riders. Of course he hasn't won anything in SA, it's because he doesn't live there anymore. What about the event legends such as Mark Todd, Andrew Nicholson etc.. they are all based in the UK but still compete for their home country. SA eventing still need to develop a lot more, that's why at the WEG it was an embarrassment watching them. I'm sorry.

My.Africa
My.Africa

Bra Paul,Comrade i apologies for what has happened to you from the youth of South Africa and our members! You were elected,chosen by all the correct body's in this regard,you are still Eventing SA and the South African Olympic team's choice,the people's choice! You have done nothing wrong my brother,but we will fix this for you!!! Also i thank you for all you have done in your sport,your work with the poor,under privileged in our townships! As for Mr Alex Peterfool!Like my comrade Julies says we await you!!! You have chosen yourself! We know of all you have done re riding,giving lesson's for free!!! Wanting money etc!Your remarks re our country and our people! We have spoken to our comrades in Customs at the airports here and in Namibia,we are waiting for you,also we have spoken to government and internal affairs about you and your passports!NO SA PASSPORT??Why You tried to ride for the English,they did not want you!And you have a Austrian passport,have never won any SA competition like Bra Paul!!! Like over comrades in Olympic SA say you have no SA colors you are not there chose,our chose the peoples chose! We are going to fix this,and you! We will make sure you can never come to SA or ride for our country again,this we promise! There is no I in Team but a me!!!Me and my comrades will make this right,any other fool's who support this dog!Watch out!! Once again Comrade Paul Hart!Sorry

D de V
D de V

Julius - This kind of defamatory post is appalling and not in any professional athletes interest. I am sure Paul Hart, who is considered a gentlemen by the South African equestrian community would as a professional, distance himself from posts like this. Your anger would be better vented at the SAEA and SAEF - to improve the selection procedure; the criteria for selection and treatment of athletes both locally and abroad. Other sports locally have athletes at home and abroad as do other southern hemisphere countries with equestrian teams that face similar distance problems. The sad thing is that WEG 2014 is not that far off and if South Africa fields a team, these athletes may have to compete in the same team. Efforts should concentrate on improving several athletes and doing well at WEG - which could result in a team qualifying for the next Olympics and not just individual athletes.

Juluis
Juluis

Mark my boy... your mate lives in the UK, you would think he would have better points and rankinking that would put anyone to shame, that he would be the only contender for the spot sadly not my mate .Your mate is only riding by default he is not even fit to clean Paul's stabbles .By the way your mate is getting devorsed is public knowledge in the riding furturnity and suprise.... so does his WIFE know.The truth hurts, pick your mates better!! Your mate must struggle to sleep at night after what he has done, I doubt he can look any person square in the eyes after his indiscretions and underhanded dealings and unethical mannerisms, and taking pleasure in someones elses misfortune .The wheel is turning

Mark
Mark

From the FEI record Paul and the horse he was hoping to take to the Olympics, only did the CIC at Jardy. That's it. You can see it yourself. And if you know anything about horses and eventing, you should know that to be chosen to take part in the Olympics you ought to do more than that. A CIC*** is just an advanced class, that's it. So, Juluis before typing, research and think. And this is not the place to talk about the private life of someone. Please. If Paul is a top showjumper or whatever, why is he not doing the Olympics? Can you please tell me, how many points has Alex got and how many Paul has gained? I really do think that SA should review the selecting criteria therefore change the selectors!

Juluis
Juluis

Very easy to say that Alex has entered more shows than Paul Hart .It is because he has lives in the UK on a dual passport a UK one and a RSA one he has been living in the UK for over 12 yearsif not more ,very easy to enter shows when you are a kept man(he currently being divorced due to his many indiscresions) living in the UK you can enter a lot of shows ,you think that his ranking would be better than it is living there full time.At least Paul Hart had the balls to travell and enter the shows that he did .Alex the only reason you are riding is that you found a loope hole in the system ,They chose Paul Hart he was chosen unanimously twice by the South African Team Selectors .Paul Hart is just not a top event rider ,he is also a world cup ranked show jumper .The Repulic of South Africa does not live in the dark ages Alex my boy. Alex would not even be condidered as as a top event rider in South Africa thats why Alex's clinics are not supported in South Africa (Fatherchristmas is true )

Michele Jankelow
Michele Jankelow

Please do not post stupid comments if you have not researched. Paul has competed on a number of occasions in Europe this year. He recently competed in France so honestly know before you blunder comments.

Mary
Mary

Yep. And the level of the SA events is nowhere near the level of the UK ones. And we are also left with the question of WHY Paul has not competed his horse for a year? There are rumors flying around that his horse has also been lame? Wonder if this is true?

Mark
Mark

Well Well Well. Alex is going to ride at the Olympics. Thank God for that. It would so embarrassing if the other chap did. I mean, what has the horse done this year? Check out his record people. Alex's horse has done two CCI*** and another CIC*** and other BE events. Paul has hardly done anything. Plus, Alex events a few more horses at Advanced level, where Paul doesn't. No one told Paul to spend the money to go to the Olympics, if he's not there, it's for a reason, Alex is a better rider, therefore a better ambassador for SA. It's on paper for goodness sake. How many points has Alex got and how many points has Paul got? The Olympics is the most important competition ever, so the best rider should go. Yes, of course it's so devastating for Paul, but Alex is much more competitive and has more experience. People have been saying that Paul has won in SA etc. but really, SA, hasn't even got a quarter of the events that the UK has. Now, Alex, keep up the good work and the very best of luck !

Mary
Mary

@Mark- damn straight. Paul and Jane are far too close, and why would Paul be paying for a horse that is Mike Marsdens?????!!!! For goodness sake ROY, stop being so damn petty.

Hester
Hester

I wholeheartedly support Paul Hart as the selected and confirmed South African individual competitor for the 2012 London Olympic Games. For heavens sake can someone make the only sane and rational decision, get the FEI involved, call up Princess Haya or Boris Johnson or Jacob Zuma or whoever it takes to get the job done, and get the guy to the Games!! This is shameful and a low point in our history of sports participation at international level. I believe this was the combination that was selected at the time and our governing bodies have repeatedly stood by their choice. It is only the actions of a single person with sour grapes that stands between us achieving this milestone. I do believe that if Paul Hart cannot go, then the decision to send no one is the right one as the other person has not conducted themselves with honour to reflect well on or represent us as South Africans. SASCOC, SAEA and the PTB, PLEASE rectify this appalling situation and find a way to get Paul to the Games!

Nicky
Nicky

Well said Mark. @Susan thank you for the clarification on the dates. Paul cannot claim ignorance in this process, he knows the rules like everyone else. I still do feel for him but he needs to get the spot in a fair and transparent mannor. For CAS rule in his favour and then to uphold their ruling over SASCOC he must have a water tight case. They do not do that lightly. I will support Alex, as I would have Paul and I hope the outcome is that the nepotism in this sport stops now!

Nicole Breen
Nicole Breen

Just as it was time to put up a united front in the hopes that Paul and Harry would be given the opportunity to compete, it is now time to bow our heads in sadness and offer our support to a man whose dream was cruelly snatched from his grasp. Let us use this as a call to action demanding better service delivery and transparent procedures by SAEF in the future. Let us demand better practice for future Olympic hopefuls so that never again can the Games become shrouded with darkness and despair for those who rightfully earned their place among the greats. Paul, you have the hearts of a nation beating alongside yours. You are still a pioneer, you are still a hero.

Lise
Lise

So was there nepotism or not? Will the full story be told to us Joe Public or not? Was protocol broken or not? Is this going to be just another media control process or not? Let's demand our right to know the full, clear, honest story that the papertrail will reveal... as South Africans we should know in order to see this debarcle clearly. "Follow the 'money'/documents"... they will reveal... INFORM US PROPERLY - stop the mudslinging!

Lise
Lise

OMG people... how to go forward is needed not this circular debate. If the protocol and criteria as written weren't followed - well,the people responsible for the initial decisions should be highlighted!

Mark
Mark

@ Roy Hart....you are ignorant and seem to be the bad looser. Read the CAS report and give the full story - if you can understand it! You make huge comparisons you know nothing about clearly, Alex has ridden in more 4 star events than Paul....Paul only rode in one year to date and sadly fell off if I am not mistaken! The authorities are to blame here - not Alex! Maybe vent your anger at Ms Jane Jackman who was heading the selectors committee at SANEF at the time - she made the mess up and she is Paul Hart's bestfriend if I am not mistaken. In addition, Paul sits on the SANEF committee for Eventing and know pleads ignorance and is crying over spilt milk when he always knew that it was him or Alex competing for the 1 spot!. According to FEI ranking Alex is way ahead of Paul. According to our understanding, Paul never paid for the keep of Harry in the UK - Mr Mike Marsden did! Know your facts! At the end of the day it is not about Paul or Alex - it is about a South African riding and the mess up in our sport system. Idiot

Roy Hart
Roy Hart

Susan & Nicky you both can go to hell! You do not know Paul he said he would win a top ten place!!! Maybe a medal???? What type of competitor would you be at this level if you did not believe you could win a medal?? Do you think he went there free?? All at his expense a dream,that he could do well!! He would never have challenged Alex if he was the choice ever,as Paul is a man of his integrity and honor!He has given all,everything his all!He is gutted,finished over this! He was chosen,has an invitation to ride,Paul had no insight to all this,the rules,loop holes ,he was trying to prepare for the games!He was chosen given a invitation. Paul has won and done more for this sport than most,Paul will beat Alex anytime over & over,he won SA champs,what has Alex won?Nothing!!! He is a bad loser,he was not chosen,other riders are higher than both of them,they have not appealed or tried to block Paul,everyone supports Paul,he is there for us,SA and wants to do well,not just ride,he has prepared for 4 years,all lost,you I we have lost,SA lost no gain! Does anyone know what Paul is going through?who is there for him?what support does he have?Who is going to help him with his huge finacial out lay ? Alec cannot compare ,Paul has had to out lay Rands not pounds,hard earned,Paul had to keep stable his horse at his cost for us,SA!NOW WHAT!!! None of you know what he is going through,he will never get this chance again,his horse and him will be to old! Thank you bad sport,bad loser that is what you are,will be!

Dee
Dee

Quinton, you've put it in perspective - great and succinct appraisal of this utter travesty. Those who truly love Eventing will applaud the fact that Alex Peternell will be riding at the 2012 London Olympics, after CAS overturned both SASCOC and SAEF rulings. The remaining officialdom who manipulated him out, should now themselves bow out. CAS is an independent body, assimilating and assessing facts. And they ruled in favour of AP tonight. Put your emotions aside, support our SA Eventing rider and be proudly South African.

Kenny
Kenny

Whether PH/HH ride or not is not in the hands of SASCOC anymore. The CAS made the rulingnot to allow this combination to participate. My understanding is that the only way SASCOC are now able to stand by the original selection is to withdraw the SA eventing team, which they have done. This means that the appelant does not get his way at the end of the day. They have therefor actually shown their allegiance to Paul and Harry, and should be commended for this, not slandered. To all you people who believe that seeking legal advise and arbitration when team selection does not go ones way is fine and justified...sis. Are you the ones who will be telling Johnny when he doesn't make the cricket team that. .."It's ok my boy, daddy and mommy will go and talk to Mr Headmaster who will instruct Mr. Coach to make sure you play on Saturday"?

Juluis
Juluis

ALEX MIGHT HAVE THE BEST LAWYERS i HOPE HE HAS THE BEST BACK UP ( I THINK NOT BUDDY)

Quinton
Quinton

This entire debacle is a disgrace to SA sport and those who love the Equestrian sport of Eventing. They have been let down by those responsible for the selection process and those that ratified it. Forget who you like or prefer, Alex should have gone in the first place based on simple performance. Those responsible have an obligation to do what is honorable and resign with immediate effect. This must never be allowed to happen again, we need new representatives of the sport!

Samantha
Samantha

Just let Paul and Harry compete, please. Just let them ride. They have worked so hard and deserve to be there.

Susan
Susan

The "new" date for the final qualification was initially 17June, then changed (without informing the nominees) to the 25th of May. Alex was informed when Paul's nomination was announced on the 28th of May. Now, how would anyone expect him to be able to meet a deadline that he was not informed about. It has been admitted that the information was deliberately kept from him. And why did Paul not step aside when he found out (immediately after his nomination) that the process was flawed and he should not have been chosen according to the criteria set by SAEF themselves, of which he is an committee member for International Eventing (or that is what it says on the SAEA webpage)? How can anyone blame Alex when there is clear corruption with the selection process and all he did was bring that to light by challenging selection according to the rules?

Jade
Jade

If I were Alex, I would have done the exact same thing. Somebody has got to stand up to what is just and fair. Just because you don't live in SA doesn't mean you are not a TRUE South African. It is much harder to live and ride in the UK than in SA.

Nicky
Nicky

Why was our "cut off" date so early, that is the question? Can Jane Jackman please answer it, the Dutch Olympic team was only chosen 3 weeks ago as we some others. This early cut off date seems very fishy to me, and the fact that Alex qualified a week later. Hmmm we need to be fair and transparent for all riders, not stack the odds against some riders. Can someone please explain the cut off date and who set it? I don't know the facts.

Georgia
Georgia

Let Paul and Harry compete!! They have worked so hard and truly deserve to represent our country at the Olympics!!

Julia
Julia

Paul Hart and Heartbreak Hill are TRUE South African's and to let them down at this late stage is appalling! Please reconsider. South Africa and our entire horse loving community has been waiting for this all year!

Louise
Louise

Lets take names out of this whole thing. Qualifications to an event are at the closing date of entries. Does it matter where or when you met the criteria for the event? If the criteria states that only one person will get the position and it will be taken as of the closing date and the person with the highest ranking will be given the position, but someone else decided to bring the date forward, for whatever reason, which excluded the other possibility of the other rider being selected. Does the rider who loses out have a right to appeal? I think so! This is not about who is popular or more seen. The person with the highest ranking at the official closing date gets the position!

Trish
Trish

Please Alex Peternell have some good sportsmanship and stand down! Paul and Harry deserve to ride!!!!!! You are not doing any favours to anyone fighting the ruling so late!

Sarita Woods
Sarita Woods

Paul Hart and Heartbreak Hill should represent our country! he has dedicated so much to the growth of not only eventing, but all equestrian sport, in S.A... He has put thousands of rands towards his olympic goal, as well as many years of hard work!! he DESERVES to be there. South Africans would be so much happier if we had a true South AFrican representing us. We are already united behind paul, and we will not support Alex. Paul is a great man, and he should not be suffering because the selection committee messed up!! SASCOC should now be standing by the decision made, and send Paul. He has been over there for almost 1 year, working hard to qualify. His horse is as ready for this as he is. Replacing Paul so close to the start, would just be a waste of time.

Val
Val

The truth of this whole disaster is that the 2012 Olympics will have come and gone, but the quality of the man will live on. Paul - by maintaining your dignity throughout this horrendous experience, you are ultimately the better man!

Cat Vincent
Cat Vincent

I know very litle about Mr Peternell, and am refraining from commenting on him, beyond saying that his behaviour seems unsportsmanlike in the extreme. I do know Paul Hart, although I am a Brit living in Swaziland, not South African. Paul is a gentleman, a true horseman and a superb ambassador for South Africa. He has given back to the lesser priviledged of South Africa over and over. Whether he wins or loses is immaterial (although a win would be the icing on the cake) what matters is that he will do South Africa proud, and after the dedication, passion, enthusiasm, determination he has put into preparing for this he DESERVES to be allowed to ride. Please,please,decide in his favour and make South Africa and all his supportes worldwide proud.

Candiese Marnewick
Candiese Marnewick

Paul has been an absolute gentleman through all of this and deserves better. He has been let down when it should never have been allowed to occur in the first place, he has the whole idea of what being an Olympian is all about, hard work, blood sweat and tears, and even more so this is his horses last chance to prove just how good he is. Horses like this dont come along everyday, and neither does a chance for South Africa to compete! Please, lets not throw this chance away - give to the man who worked, earned and deserves it! The whole South African Equestrian community wants and needs this to happen for our sport to survive and for people to take notice of our riders and our horses, for the future. Its time to take the blinkers off and give Paul his place in the Olympics!

Deon Weideman
Deon Weideman

Oh Michele, this is such a shame. Paul Hart is such an inspiration to so many people and especially young riders.He epitomises thousands of South African s dreams of one day competing in the Olympics.(NOT ME) . PETERNELL , stand down , and give the real contender , Paul Hart, who has not forsaken his country , a chance.