It is unknown what precipitated the move, however Rate My Horse PRO has confirmed that a number of USEF’s Board Members recently received an email from Mandarino’s husband. One board member we spoke to was told not to worry about the letter, because “John Long would take care of it.” Another said the email did not threaten legal action but explained how Mandarino was suspended without a hearing.
Rate My Horse PRO called USEF Chief Executive Officer John Long multiple times with questions, but he wouldn’t speak to us. Kathy Meyer, Vice President of Marketing and Communications for USEF gave us the following written statement prepared by Long but was unwilling to answer any questions.
“Following review of the case file regarding the investigation of the death of the pony “Humble,” I have concluded that the continuance of the temporary suspension imposed on Elizabeth Mandarino is not warranted. Therefore, I am lifting the temporary suspension effective Friday.”
In late May, Mandarino admitted to police that she caused the death of the pony, Humble, at the Devon Horse Show with a faulty injection. Eyewitnesses state Mandarino gave the unknown injection to the pony in the tack stall – minutes before his death. When he went into convulsions, he was reportedly being tacked for the morning schooling session. He was leased to a child for the horse show.
Long issued the temporary suspension in June.The suspension came two days after an eyewitness to Humble’s death filed an official protest against Mandarino.
Last month the Hearing Committee Co-Chairs denied a motion to dismiss filed by Mandarino’s attorney, Tamara Tucker. We contacted Tucker to get her client’s reaction to Long’s decision, but we did not receive a callback.
A statement published by Tucker this afternoon states, “We are pleased that after reviewing the evidence we submitted to USEF CEO John Long, USEF’s temporary suspension of Elizabeth Mandarino has been lifted. Ms. Mandarino was temporarily suspended … after a protest was filed relating to the death of Ms. Mandarino’s pony “Humble” at the Devon Horse Show. We understand that the accusations made in the protest … appeared serious; however, they are not consistent with the facts in this case. We look forward to the hearing on the protest … will present any evidence she has to support the allegations she has made. Because of the pending hearing, we will make no further statements at this time.”
While Tucker states the accusations “appeared serious,” most in the hunter/jumper community are still outraged by Mandarino’s admitted actions that left Humble dead.
The Hearing Committee is scheduled to hear the protest issued against Mandarino regarding the pony’s death and a number of other grievances before the end of the year. Mandarino has another protest filed against her, that will also be heard later this year, although a date has not been scheduled.