Brigid Colvin Granted A Second Stay Of USEF Suspension

Sep 29, 2015 - 4:28 AM

Brigid Colvin has been granted another temporary stay of her suspension for Inclusive’s positive GABA test. After Judge Debra A. James of the New York Supreme Court-New York County dismissed Brigid Colvin’s petition to reverse her U.S. Equestrian Federation suspension on Sept. 25, Colvin’s lawyers filed an immediate appeal.

In response to the appeal, Judge James then issued another stay of the suspension on Sept. 25 pending judgment on Colvin’s second appeal.

In Colvin’s application for the stay, her lawyers cite that “without a stay, the Petitioner [Colvin] will suffer irreparable harm because she will miss her teenage daughter competing in one-time competitions that she will never again witness, even if relief is eventually granted.”

Colvin was originally suspended from the USEF in a July hearing committee decision after Inclusive, the horse her daughter, Tori, rode in the 2014 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championships, tested positive for “gamma-aminobutyric acid [GABA] in excess of normal physiological levels.” She recieved a seven-month suspension and a $7,000 fine. 

Colvin filed a civil suit against the USEF in New York County, arguing that “the USEF decision [to ban and fine her] was arbitrary and capricious, an abuse of discretion and not supported by substantial evidence.” In a preliminary ruling, Judge Debra A. James of the New York Supreme Court issued a temporary stay of the suspension.

As evidenced by the USEF hearing transcript, which was filed as evidence in Colvin’s civil suit, Colvin told the USEF tester to write her name as “trainer” on the tag used to identify the sample taken from Inclusive, while Steven Ricketts was listed as the “trainer” on the official entry form. Colvin denied that she had been involved in the care, custody and control of Inclusive on the day even though she had identified herself as the trainer of record to the USEF testing official. 

In her decision filed on Sept. 25 in the Supreme Court of New York-New York County, Judge James ruled to uphold the USEF suspension. “Although this court agrees with the petitioner that it would be completely irrational for her to participate in illegally medicating Inclusive and then tell the drug tester that her name be inserted as ‘Trainer,’ her lapse in judgment under the circumstances does not refute substantial evidence that she undertook the responsibility of the Trainer.”

A briefing on a full stay—which would apply until the appeal is granted—is scheduled for mid-October.

Categories: Horse Sports, Hunters, News

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