Archive - November 2004

Ready Teddy to bow out this weekend
World Olympic riders in NZ
North Canterbury trekking business up for sale
Stolen saddle alert
Strong field for three day event
Schimanski cleans up at farrier competition
Grant Cashmore on NZ tour
Waikato regains eventing title
New equine programme launched
Eventing kicks off at Kihikihi
WC dressage this weekend
Horse stabled for 5 years solid
Equine tourism boost
Olympic horse sample stolen
Positive tests at Olympics announced


Ready Teddy to bow out this weekend -- (Nov 30) Blyth Tait's Atlanta Olympic gold medal and 1998 World Championship winner, Ready Teddy, will have his competitive swansong at the Puhinui Three Day Event this coming weekend (December 2-5) and give his admirers an opportunity to applaud his achievements and those of his very successful rider.

Now 17, the spectacular little chestnut gelding was only eight when he won gold at Atlanta - coming in to the team at the last minute as reserve horse. Two years later in Rome he led the New Zealand team to a gold world championship medal - and gave his rider his second world title.

Teddy's last event of a great international career in the northern hemisphere was this year's Athens Olympics. He has returned to New Zealand thanks to sponsorship from veterinary company Merial, and will retire after Puhinui to Tait's South Auckland farm.

Now Tait plans to see his mate go out in good style as a member of the New Zealand team in the international competition at the Puhinui Reserve, Manukau City, on Saturday and Sunday.

During those two days, when he's not in action, Ready Teddy will be on the grounds to meet the public, who have taken him to their hearts over the past eight years.

Also competing is another veteran, the 18-year-old Glengarrick which, ridden by Heelan Tompkins, was the best placed Kiwi horse at Athens. The smallest and oldest horse at the Olympics, "Nugget" has also returned home to retire after a long competitive career, but Tompkins has elected to ride him in the international competition, against top class riders from Europe and Australia.

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World Olympic riders in NZ -- (Nov 30) A brand new competition, featuring New Zealand and international Olympic riders will be a feature of the three day equestrian event at Puhinui Reserve, Manukau City, this coming weekend.

Running on Saturday and Sunday alongside the other classes, "ShowCross" will see riders compete over show jumping obstacles in the main arena at Puhinui, before galloping out to do a short course of cross-country fences, then back into the arena. Time will be a factor, but accuracy is of more importance. The competition is based on similar events in Britain and France, but this is its first time in New Zealand and it promises to be a lot of fun for riders and spectators.

A top field of international stars from Ireland, France and New Zealand will take part in the event, including five members of the Kiwi Olympic team. For those not riding their own, horses loaned by local owners will be made available. The first round of the competition on Saturday will let the visitors get the feel of strange horses, before Sunday's New Zealand v Rest of the World clash. The key to success will be in leaving up the light show jumping poles in the arena and not having any run-outs across country.

Competition in the Manakau City Council CCI*** Advanced, the Regency Duty Free CCI** Intermediate and Merial CIC* Novice trials starts with dressage on Thursday and Friday, with cross-country on Saturday and show jumping on Sunday. This is the first time in New Zealand that the new three day event "short format" will be used for the CCI classes. The format was introduced only this year internationally and utilised at the Olympic Games, and while it omits the traditional steeplechase and roads and tracks phases from the three day event, it still requires horses and riders to be supremely fit to tackle the tough cross-country. Prize money over the three classes totals almost $40,000.

There will be a full supporting programme of events including the Auckland Area Pony Clubs President's Trophy show jumping on Sunday, polocrosse and endurance riding.

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North Canterbury trekking business up for sale -- (Nov 26) A horse trekking property and business in the Hurunui region of North Canterbury is being offered for sale.

The property is located in the foothills of the high country, and encompasses a three-bedroom home, bunkhouse, camping facility and various buildings related to the horse trekking business, situated on 24 hectares of land.

Hurunui Horse Treks began its operation in 1987 and today has a client base which includes visitors from Europe, North America and the United Kingdom.

It offers horse riding adventures ranging from two to eight days in duration. There are a number of accommodation options available, such as tents, shepherd's huts and farm-stays, depending on the type of trek. The 40 horses used are mainly Thoroughbred/Clydesdale crosses.

Marketing agent Peter Harris of Bayleys Christchurch says the business has a well established international marketing and distribution network and was among the first equestrian businesses in New Zealand to have an effective internet presence.

Mr Harris says Hurunui Horse Treks has received favourable coverage in a number of international equine magazines.

"It offers a unique pioneering experience through some of the South Island's most beautiful and isolated countryside."

He says Hurunui Horse Treks is the only company of its type to pass the New Zealand Way quality assurance programme and is the first multi-day trekking operation to earn Qualmark accreditation.

Owners Rob Stanley and Mandy Platt have run the business for 17 years and are selling in order to pursue other business interests.

Hurunui Horse Treks is for sale as a freehold going concern, encompassing the stock and business, by deadline private treaty, closing December 10.

For further information please contact Peter Harris on 03 377 2215/027 227 6009 or visit

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Stolen saddle alert -- (Nov 26) Several saddles were stolen recently from a pony club in the Waitemata Rodney Area. These saddles belong to riders who graze at the pony club.

The saddles are:
Brand New fully mounted Collegiate 16.5" black leather GP
Orion English Black Leather 16.5" GP fully mounted
Bates Imperial black leather 17" dressage fully mounted with stitched stirrup leather and reassurance girth (scratch/hole in the cantle)
Morsillo black leather 17" Jumping unmounted
Maestro Dressage black leather 17" fully mounted
Wintec 2000 17.5" (44cm) fully mounted new condition
Wintec 2000 no.4138626 17" fully mounted new condition

If you are looking to buy a saddle, and suspect it is stolen, please contact the police.

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Strong field for three day event -- (Nov 23) The Puhinui Three Day Event (December 2-5) on the Puhinui Reserve, Manukau City, has drawn a strong field, including Olympic and riders who have carried the silver fern on their jacket.

Heelan Tompkins, the New Plymouth radio host who had the best finish at the Athens Olympics, has two rides in the three star competition - Steele River, owned by Englishwoman Rachel Brown and Bozton, owned by Tony Parsons the Olympic team veterinarian. Tompkins, who is bringing a truckful of horses for this and the other classes, will be riding her veteran Olympic star, the 18 year-old Glengarrick, in the international derby competition.

Kate Hewlett (Bay of Islands) who was a reserve for the Olympic team was second in the three star class last year on Internet, the stallion on which she had a great season in UK, with top ten placings at Badminton and Burghley four star events and in the British open championships. She has a ride at every level, although Internet remains in Britain where he was put up for sale in September. Her three star horse this time is Striking Distance, purchased as a four-year-old, since when Kate has brought him up to the top level.

The traveling reserve for Athens, Jonelle Richards (Christchurch) rides The Straussman and another of the Olympic short list, Kate Wood (Whangarei) has her first three star start on the homebred Staccatto.

The most experienced rider in the field is Andrew Scott (Feilding), whose international career started in the mid-80's and who was in the gold medal world championship team in 1990. He has two in the three star event this year. Mitavite Westella was originally intended to be a steeplechaser but converted to eventing because he jumped too high over the 'chase fences! Clifton Mitavite X-Factor, co-owned with Frances Stead, raced as Bonne King and was bought by Andrew for Ms Stead from young rider, Cecilie Rold who first produced him for the sport.

Stephanie Smith (Auckland) bred, broke and trained Just Jazz II herself and brought her through the grades to a highly successful career which climaxed last season with the Bell Tea Advanced Northern Circuit prize. Smith owns a south Auckland saddlery and lives at Clevedon with her husband and little daughter.

Alex de Luca Oliveira (Cambridge) who came from Brazil to learn about eventing here and never went home, moves Clifton Chequers up a grade, after their two star second placing last year.

It might just be the year for Rotorua farmer Barbara Wallis who is one of the most experienced and successful riders in the three star class at Puhinui where she has ridden every year. Top of the rider leaderboard last season and second on the national horse/rider leaderboard, she has always been close to the top placings at Puhinui and with Tried 'n'True and High 'n' Dry - just two of the quality horses she has produced over the years - she has a strong hand.

The South Island has a crop of very competitive young riders at present, and all of them will be aiming for a good performance at this event. Emily Butcher (Christchurch) has Southern Ben in the three star and two rides, Ngamatea Toa and Foxy Soxy in the two star. Jayna Dineeen (Christchurch), the 2003 young rider champion and a member of the young rider team to Sydney this year, was sixth in the two star last year. For this year she and Onawi, which is also a champion hack, move up a notch to tackle the three star event. Annabel and Sophie Wigley are sisters from North Canterbury, the former with three rides at Puhinui, including her 2003 national one day intermediate champion, Kap the Bid and Black Drum in the three star class. Sophie, a vet student, is on the experienced Mr Wendall in the three star. Alice Montgomery (Christchurch) won the national intermediate championship in April on the very exciting Gordon - winner of the Richfields CIC** at the weekend - and also has the ride on her father, Stephen's Sassyarn, both of which run three star next week.

In the two star division, it's hard to see past Bryce Newman (Bulls) on the outstanding young Bates Our Questionnaire, which has shone since its earliest outings. Newman is noted for producing top horses, many of which have been sold to international overseas riders, but this one is staying at home, having been syndicated by the NZ Equestrian's Horsepower project, which aims to retain the best horses for international teams.

Tompkins has a couple in this class, too, in Portrait and Beeline, both useful performers, while Janine Hayde (Karaka) who brought out Blyth Tait's international star Aspyring, has her up and comer, Aspyration in the line-up.

Kate Lambie (Brookby), back from a campaign in Britain, rides Charlton Noted in the two-star, and Megan Finlayson (Kerikeri) is on Prototype after a season in Europe with her star, Lionheart.

With the Trans Tasman Trophy due for competition next year and the world equestrian games in Germany in 2006, team selections are wide open and there will be much interest in which riders and horses rise to the top of the milk at this year's Puhinui event because they are likely to be contenders.

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Schimanski cleans up at farrier competition -- (Nov 22) The recent New Zealand Farrier's Association competition hosted by the Palmerston North branch was a roaring success and the top honours went to a local competitor and NZFA member.

Pat Schimanski in action
Pat Schimanski won three of the seven classes in the recent NZFA competition.
Pat Schimanski (Wanganui), recently returned from his successful overseas shoeing trip, pipped farriers from all around New Zealand to claim the first place in three of the seven farrier classes at the Palmerston North A&P show during the weekend. The 'NZ Horseshoe Company' machine-made class was seen by some to be the warm-up class of the competition where competitors were expected to correctly balance the horse then fit the shoes to the judge's specifications. Rodney King (Amberley) took second place with another local farrier, Pat Crowley (Fo xton) third.

During the classes throughout the weekend, the competitors were asked to hand-make many different styles of shoes for a range of purposes and fit them to various types and breeds of horses. The 'Woodville Horsefloats' Draught Horse class, where the three-man team of farriers work together on heavy workhorses and always a popular class with the many spectators, was won by the Waikato combination of Kim Hughes, Peter Reid and Greg Hocking.

Event One - 'NZ Horseshoe Co Ltd' Machine Made Shoeing: 1st Pat Schimanski, 2nd Rodney King, 3rd Pat Crowley
Event Two - 'Mustad' Open Shoeing: 1st Pat Schimanski, 2nd Jordaan Aplin, 3rd Kim Hughes
Event Three - 'O'Dwyer' Intermediate Shoeing: 1st Simon Baxter, 2nd Gary Morley, 3rd Jock Good
Event Four - 'Heller Legend' Eagle Eye Shoeing: 1st Pat Crowley, 2nd Jason Wood, 3rd Simon Baxter
Event Five - 'Bryant Farrier Ltd.' Intermediate Forging: 1st Ryan Batty, 2nd Paul Cross, 3rd Simon Baxter
Event Six - 'On Gas Ltd' Specialty Forging: 1st Pat Schimanski, 2nd Kim Hughes, 3rd Jordaan Aplin
Event Seven - 'Woodville Horsefloats' Three Man Draught Horse Shoeing: 1st Kim Hughes, Peter Reid, Greg Hocking, 2nd Pat Schimanski, Jordaan Aplin, John Hawthorne, 3rd Pat Crowley, Paul Nelson, Lauren Robinson.

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Grant Cashmore on NZ tour - (Nov 19) After a long, tiring journey Grant has arrived in New Zealand to start his tour. "It's lovely to get back home, there's nowhere like it. It's just great."

Cashmore is in New Zealand to set up a scolarship system to enable talented young riders to go to Britain, staying with him, for training and a taste of the international show jumping circuit.

Cashmore is conducting Clinics throughout North Island to help and encourage riders in their chosen sport.

Cashmore was born in Hamilton, and he attended Southwell School and Hamilton East Pony Club. He has returned to give other young riders encouragement to succeed in their chosen sport and the benefit of his experiences.

Cashmore is looking for help to set up a scholarship system at his centre in the UK, for talented young riders to further their career on the European show jumping circuit.

"From a very early age I had the dream of riding for New Zealand at the Olympic Games, and I am lucky enough to have had the chance to do just that. It has not been easy; but is definitely worth it! Now I have done it once, I know that if given the right support I will be on the medal rostrum next time."

Cashmore's plans for the future include gaining the vital backing which would enable him to build a strong team of horses. The next major goal is the World Championships in 2006.

The New Zealand Show Jumping squad have shown that it are truly on the up, and, as Cashmore says, "the rest of the world had better watch out!"

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Waikato regains eventing title -- (Nov 8) The Waikato Eventing Team have regained their regional crown at the Mitavite Regional Teams Event held at Kihikihi near Te Awamutu over the weekend. The Waikato team who had maintained a stronghold on the title until last year when narrowly conceding to Northland have the trophy back for another year at least after a toughly fought battle with extremely competitive teams fielded from across New Zealand. But in the end it become a race between the eventual winners Waikato, and teams from Auckland and Central Districts.

The Central Districts team were the overnight leaders after Dressage and Show Jumping phases, however ran into trouble during the Cross-Country when team members Andrew Scott and Cecile Rold both had misshapes at the water complex. While Auckland was not able to improve on their day one score, Waikato showed strength in the Cross Country phase by almost doubling their team score from the day before.

The Waikato team comprising of Chelsey Hawthorn, Jannell Smallwood, Campbell Draper and Lucy Jackson all contributed to the winning team total to narrowly win ahead of Auckland.

In the individual competition, the winner of the Mitavite ProSport Advanced class was Alex De Luca Olivera on Clifton Checkers who finished ahead of Auckland's Stephanie Smith on Just Jazz II, while Hawthorn on Look at That finished third.

It was a fruitful event for Hawthorn as she also moved into pole position on the Ideal Garages National Leaderboard.

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New equine programme launched -- (Nov 3) Stonehurst Farm Equestrian Centre and Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology are launching New Zealand's first horse trek guiding qualification.

Stonehurst director Suzanne Max says the qualification was developed in response to industry demand.

"As employers, we found that when we needed to employ horse trek guides, we were putting a lot of time and effort into training them. After consulting with other horse trek owners, we realised there was a big demand for quality, trained staff. It seemed a logical step for us to formalise what we were already doing in terms of training," she says.

In addition to the Certificate in Horse Trek Guiding level 4*, Stonehurst are also offering Certificates in Introductory Equine Skills level 2* and Equine Skills level 3*.

The programmes will be delivered at Stonehurst Farm Equestrian Centre, in Hope, near Nelson starting from February, 2005. The centre has ten full-time staff, 56 horses and attracts 120 riding students a week and 3000 - 5000 horse trekking clients annually.

Suzanne Max says students will have plenty of opportunities to gain hands-on, practical experience while studying at Stonehurst.

"The fact the training is offered at an existing riding school and horse trek will be one of its greatest strengths. Students will get real experience - they will definitely be 'hands on' qualifications," she says.

Suzanne Max said improving training for trekking staff would help to make the industry safer.

"Business owners will be able to know with certainty that their staff are trained. It's about keeping people safer, fewer accidents, better customer service and uplifting the overall impression of tourism in New Zealand."

Suzanne Max said Stonehurst valued the partnership with NMIT as a key provider of education and training for the tourism industry.

NMIT chief executive Dr Neil Barns said tourism training was a key area for the Institute and the partnership with Stonehurst would offer benefits to both students and industry.

"Tourism is one of the key drivers of the regional economy in which we reside. Stonehurst is a high quality tourism company and provider of equine training. By working with them in partnership we can jointly add value to the industry and deliver a high quality education and training programme that will help provide the skilled workforce that is needed.

"This partnership will help NMIT meet its mission of upskilling the region to meet the needs of the tourism industry," he says.

The programmes will be officially launched at a ceremony at Stonehurst Farm Equestrian Centre on Friday, October 15 starting at 1.30pm.

Information on Stonehurst Farm is available here. * Qualifications are subject to Tertiary Education Commission approval.

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Eventing kicks off at Kihikihi -- (Nov 3) National eventing action returns to the Kihikihi Domain this weekend with the spring edition of the Mitavite Horse Trial. Once again the Mitavite Regional Teams Challenge will be a major focus for competitors representing their region.

Teams are expected to be fielded from regions across New Zealand from as far as Northland to the South Island. Adding an element of unpredictability to the competition are the many wild-card challenger teams who are made up of riders who missed regional selection.

Leading the hometown Waikato Team is Te Awamutu local Chelsey Hawthorn. Hawthorn who is former New Zealand Young Rider Champion will be riding Look at That in the Mitavite Pro-Sport Advanced class. Fellow Waikato team members are Lucy Jackson, Janelle Smallwood and Campbell Draper.

The Pro-Sport Advanced Class has attracted a strong field with 22 competitors of which many will be focused on the Ideal Garages National Leaderboard in addition to the Mitavite Regional Teams Challenge. The four leading competitors on the National Leaderboard being Anne Davies (Tui's Secret Edition), Kate Wood (Staccato), Chelsey Hawthorn (Look at That) and Samuel Taylor (Supple Jack) will go head to head for crucial points this weekend.

The schedule for the two-day competition involves Dressage and Show Jumping on Saturday and Cross Country on Sunday.

The Mitavite Horse Trial is a registered event of the Waipa Networks Rose and Cultural Festival. Spectator admission is free.

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WC dressage this weekend -- (Nov 25) The second of nine Western European League qualifiers for the FEI World Cup dressage takes place this weekend in Sweden at Stockholm's Globen arena. Not only are vital qualifying points at stake, but also one of three Mitsubishi Outlanders up for grabs at the show will go to the winner of Sunday afternoon's FEI World Cup Freestyle.

Germany's Ann-Kathrin Linsenhoff currently leads the points' standings very comfortably, having won the Central league qualifier at Marianske Lazne in August then placed second in the Western European league opener in Aarhus last month. Linsenhoff, who has entered Renoir UNICEF for Stockholm, has the chance to further cement the foundations of her route to the Las Vegas Final next April.

Andreas Helgstrand, who leads a strong Danish challenge, brings Blue Hors Cavan, who he partnered to victory in Aarhus. Helgstrand is joined by his Athens team-mates Per Sandgaard (Zancor) and Jon D. Pedersen on the evergreen Esprit de Valdemar.

Sadly last year's popular winner on home ground, Jan Brink, has had to withdraw Bjorsells Briar, who sustained a knee injury before Aarhus. The stallion has recovered well, but is not match-fit.

Also sitting this one out, although she will be in Stockholm presenting 'Kyra's Corner' which will include interviews with all the top riders after Saturday morning's Grand Prix, Finnish ace and Brink's trainer Kyra Kyrklund had postpone her World Cup campaign when Max suffered a very stiff neck, probably from rolling in his stable. Although he is better, and on form to recommence at Olympia next month, Kyra's vet advised against the long journey from England at this time.

For the home side, newly crowned Swedish Champion Tinne Vilhelmson has entered Just Mickey, and Jan Brink's partner Minne Telde will compete Bjorsells Sack. Louise Nathhorst also represents the home side with Guinness,

A big challenge can be expected from Spain's Olympic bronze medallists Beatriz Ferrer-Salat and Beauvalais, who make their World Cup debut this season in Stockholm. Germany's Heike Kemmer, another former finalist, also makes Stockholm her first World Cup appearance this season with Albano.

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Horse stabled for 5 years solid -- (Nov 23) The UK fire service rescued a six-year-old stallion from an old building where he was kept for five years. The horse was in five feet of dung, and his hooved were all pvergrown, one being 20 inches long, the Scotsman newspaper reported yesterday.

Two mares, who had to be put down, were "incarcerated" for two years, at Greenberry Farm in South Cowton, near Northallerton, in North Yorkshire.

Ernest Horsefield, 66, and his daughter Deborah, 39, pleaded guilty in court to three counts of failing to provide care and attention to the horses, the Scotsman reported. The horses were rescued in June.

The RSPCA, acting on a tip-off from a dealer who visited the property after a fire, had to call the fire service to dismantle the front of the building to get the stallion out. The RSPCA welfare officer said the horse was afraid of humans because "he hadn't been near any in five years."

He said in was incomprehensible that animals were being kept int he dilapidated and damaged building.

The stallion, named Mungo by the RSPCA, is is at an equine centre in the North East andit is hoped he can be rehomed.

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Equine tourism boost -- (Nov 19) The British Horse Society's role in equestrian tourism within Great Britain has gained international recognition with the election of BHS Head of Competitions, Robert Jones, as a Vice President of the Federation Internationale de Tourism Equestre (FITE), the international organisation that promotes equestrian tourism.

The Federation, with its headquarters in Paris, aims to promote all aspects of equestrian tourism within those countries that are members of FITE. An important responsibility is to set standards within the industry, and Great Britain's British Equestrian Tourism (BET) qualifications are accredited by FITE, with these exams taking place throughout the British Isles, in Spain and in Italy.

FITE is also the international governing body for the sport of TREC, and the British Teams managed by the BHS have already established a very high reputation in international competition, having secured Individual Gold and two Team Silver medals in World Championships, and the Young Riders taking Individual Gold, Silver and Team Bronze in their European Championships since 2000.

"It is a great honour to be elected to this position, and it comes at a time when there is much wider recognition of the potential for the development of equestrian tourism within Great Britain. I am looking forward to seeing our industry build on its strengths, and develop within the international aspirations of FITE", said Robert Jones.

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Olympic horse sample stolen -- (Nov 11) A portion of the B-sample of the horse Waterford Crystal ridden by Cian O'Connor (Ireland) in the 2004 Olympic Games was illegally taken while being delivered to one of the four FEI Reference Laboratories, the Horseracing Forensic Laboratory (HFL), Cambridgeshire GBR, on 21 October 2004.

The FEI Central Laboratory, Laboratoire des Courses Hippiques (HCL), Paris FRA, had only sent the B-urine sample for confirmatory analysis to the HFL. For most medication control cases for horses, only urine is analysed; when necessary and depending on the circumstances of the case the blood sample is analysed.

The FEI Reference Laboratory, USA Equestrian Drug Testing and Research Laboratory, New York USA, will proceed with the analysis of the B-blood sample in due course in accordance with FEI Veterinary Regulations.

Police investigations are underway in Great Britain, Ireland and Switzerland and an internal FEI Secretariat investigation has also begun.

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Positive tests at Olympics announced -- (Nov 11) The FEI recently announced the results of the medication controls for the horses sampled during the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

Forty horses were sampled (20% of the participating horses), and 4 test results were positive pending any confirmatory analyses.

In accordance with FEI medication control procedures the persons responsible for the horses testing positive have been contacted through their National Federations.

FEI procedure is to publish names of horses and riders only once the case has completed the FEI legal process described below. The FEI may disclose names at an earlier date if the NF of the rider has agreed.

The persons responsible will have ten days from notification of their test results to request a confirmatory analysis (B-sample) of the initial analysis (A-sample) and to request an oral hearing before the FEI Judicial Committee.

If they do not require a confirmatory analysis, he/she must supply a written explanation as to how his/her horse tested positive or to request the oral hearing within ten days after notification of the results.

Once the FEI Legal Department has the explanation from those involved it will compile a complete case file which will be submitted to the FEI Judicial Committee for their decision (standard process time approx. 1-10 days).

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