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THOMAS WRIGHT and JOHN & STEPHANIE INGRAM, LLC -against- UNITED STATES EQUESTRIAN FEDERATION, INC.

New York County

Article 78 Proceeding

MEMORANDUM OF LAW IN SUPPORT OF PETITION

PRELIMINARY STATEMENT
Petitioners Thomas Wright and John & Stephanie Ingram, LLC bring this Article
78 proceeding challenging July 27, 2015, Findings and Decision (the “Decision”) by the
Respondent, United States Equestrian Federation, Inc. (“USEF” or the “Federation”). Petitioners
respectfully ask this Court to vacate the USEF Hearing Committee’s finding that Petitioners
violated Federation Rule GR 410.

FACTS

As set forth in the accompanying Verified Petition, Petitioners are the trainer and
owner, respectively, of the horse FONTEYN. Petitioners exhibited FONTEYN at a USEF licensed
equestrian event in February 2014. USEF laboratory tests of post-event urine samples
from FONTEYN showed the presence of 2-(1-hydrozyethel) promazine sulfoxide (“HEPS”) at a
concentration of 5.1 ng/ml. HEPS is a metabolite of acepromazine, a drug commonly used
therapeutically in horses. USEF’s laboratory did not detect acepromazine in FONTEYN’s blood.
Based solely on the 5.1 ng/ml HEPS result from FONTEYN’s urine sample, USEF charged Petitioners for alleged violation of USEF Rule GR 410, the anti-doping provision for therapeutic substances. Although GR 410 is undisputedly not intended to be a “zero tolerance” rule, USEF arbitrarily set its threshold of enforcement at 2 ng/ml of HEPS in urine, despite a complete absence of evidence that test concentrations below 10 ng/ml correlate to any potential effects on a horse’s performance. In fact, Petitioners presented scientific evidence that
test concentrations below 10 ng/ml HEPS in urine would not correlate to a level of acepromazine
sufficient to affect a horse’s performance.

Accordingly, the Federation’s decision to hold Petitioners in violation of GR 410
and to impose penalties against Petitioners was arbitrary and capricious, an abuse of discretion, and not supported by substantial evidence.

 

View Petitioner’s Argument  (cont)

Verified Petition

Affidavit of Joel Turner

Evidence Book

USEF Hearing Transcript

USEF Findings

Affirmation

Respondent (USEF) – Exhibit A

Stipulation of Discontinuance – March 28, 2016

 

 

USEF Back in Court for Drug and Medication Policy