Brigid Colvin—who was suspended, effective Sept. 1, by the U.S. Equestrian Federation for seven months after Betsee Parker’s Inclusive tested positive for GABA at the 2014 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championships (Ky.)—has had her suspension temporarily lifted after filing a civil suit in New York County against the USEF.
According to a show cause order filed on Sept. 1, Colvin has been granted a stay of enforcement by Judge Debra A. James of the New York Supreme Court. Colvin’s attorney, Courtney Devon Taylor, had argued in a petition filed Aug. 28 that unless the ban was lifted while the case proceeds through legal channels, her client “will have been deprived of the opportunity to challenge the suspension, as she will have served some or all of it during the very pendency of the proceeding itself.”
Colvin, of Loxahatchee, Fla., can now attend USEF-sanctioned competitions and act as trainer. She’s also been granted a stay in terms of paying the $7,000 fine originally levied by the USEF.
Colvin’s lawsuit alleges “the USEF decision [to ban and fine her] was arbitrary and capricious, an abuse of discretion and not supported by substantial evidence.”
The next hearing in this case is scheduled for Sept. 17.
“We are gratified that the court entered a stay,” stated Sam Silver, an attorney and representative for Colvin. “While we do not want to argue this matter in the court of public opinion while it is pending in an actual court, Brigid Colvin has a very compelling case, and we look forward to presenting it to the court in the near future. We hope that everyone will resist the urge to rush to judgment before then. We have all seen that administrative bodies are not infallible, and that review by the courts is extremely important to protecting the rights of the accused in our society.”