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Paget’s London hearing just days away

Jonathan Paget and Clifton Promise.

Jonathan Paget and Clifton Promise. © Nigel Goddard/KS Digital Photography

New Zealand three-day eventer Jock Paget will put his case before the FEI Tribunal in London next Tuesday over the discovery of reserpine in his Burghley-winning mount, Clifton Promise.

It will be a joint hearing with Australian Kevin McNab, whose Burghley mount, Clifton Pinot, whose blood also tested positive for the long-acting sedative.

The hearing could last two days, with a ruling unlikely for up to six weeks.

Late in April, Paget was formally stripped of his Burghley title, won last September, in a move engineered to clear ongoing uncertainty around individual standings as the northern hemisphere season began.

The disqualification of Paget and his mount, Clifton Promise, was handed down by the FEI Tribunal after the rider pushed for the matter to be dealt with ahead of the main hearing.

Details released in the case at that time revealed the nature of Paget’s defence. The FEI Tribunal’s ruling on the disqualification made mention of his “no fault and no negligence” defence.

Equestrian Sports New Zealand confirmed at the time that Paget had submitted a “comprehensive dossier of evidence” in January explaining and supporting such a claim.

Paget has not contested the presence of the banned substance in the horse, detected in a blood sample taken after the Burghley win. The result was subsequently verified by testing of the B sample, carried out in France.

ESNZ has said Paget is clear that all available evidence shows that neither he nor anyone else knew of the presence of the banned substance before the sample was taken.

However, as the Person Responsible for Clifton Promise under eventing rules, he accepted that a rule violation had occurred.

Paget’s Burghley disqualification would ultimately have been automatic, regardless of whether he succeeds in his defence next week.

 

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