Equestrian Canada (EC) says a review of Mark Laskin’s job was underway when he resigned as technical advisor – jumping, which includes acting as chef d’Equipe for the Canadian show jumping team.
Laskin, a Langley resident, cited a lack of a contract and interference as the reasons for his decision, announced Nov. 9.
In response to a Langley Advance Times query, the EC released an unsigned statement that said the technical advisor position was being reviewed by an outside third party, with Laskin’s cooperation.
“As early as 2020, in planning for the Tokyo Olympics, it was identified by both internal stakeholders and funders of high-performance equestrian sport that there was a need to review the technical advisor roles for Team Canada. In keeping with best practices of the quadrennial cycle, Equestrian Canada (EC) enacted a positional review process to coincide with the Tokyo Olympics. Technical advisor Mark Laskin’s contract was in extension, and he agreed to remain in the role during the process and his input and expertise were sought.”
EC said the review of the position gathered input from stakeholders, including jumping discipline experts, high performance committee members, national team athletes, owners, and Laskin.
“Mr. Laskin resigned from his position prior to the publication of the leadership review post-Tokyo, the completion of the job description, and the move into the hiring process. We wish him all the best in his future pursuits.”
The EC statement did not directly address Laskin’s allegations of interference by Equestrian Canada leaders who, he said, lack understanding of the sport.
Laskin said he had been pressured as to which athletes were selected for Nations’ Cup team competitions.
“The leaders at our national federation need to have understanding and experience with our sport,” stated Laskin. “Unfortunately, Equestrian Canada has had many people in leadership positions that have no background in the equestrian field.”
Laskin was supported by the EC High Performance Committee – Jumping, a volunteer committee that he chairs, comprised of Gail Greenough, Mike Lawrence, Beth Underhill, and Marni von Schalburg.
“The high performance committee – jumping is 100 per cent unanimous in its support of Mark’s decision and the rationale behind his resignation,” said Lawrence. “We share Mark’s frustration at the lack of communication and consultation with our committee.”
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