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FEI opens case against Irish jumping athlete Kevin Thornton

Thursday, 10 November 2016
Sport

The FEI has opened a case against Irish rider Kevin Thornton for alleged abuse of the horse Flogas Sunset Cruise at Cagnes-sur-Mer, France on 10 October 2016.

The FEI informs that the case is taken in accordance with articles 142 and 163 of the FEI General Regulations, that refers to abuse of horses as well as protests (see below for the full content of the two articles). 

The statement from the FEI reads: "The athlete has been given the opportunity to provide a written reply to the allegations, including any documents, witness statements or other evidence that may be used in any legal proceedings arising out of this case. Once this information has been received and a full case file has been compiled, the FEI will submit the matter to the FEI Tribunal under Article 142.2 of the FEI General Regulations."

 


 

Article 142 - Abuse of Horses

"1. No person may abuse a Horse during an Event or at any other time. “Abuse” means an action or omission which causes or is likely to cause pain or unnecessary discomfort to a Horse, including, but not limited to:

(i)  To whip or beat a Horse excessively;

(ii)  To subject a Horse to any kind of electric shock device;

(iii)  To use spurs excessively or persistently;

(iv)  To jab the Horse in the mouth with the bit or any other device;

(v)  To compete using an exhausted, lame or injured Horse;

(vi)  To "rap" a Horse.

(vii)  To abnormally sensitise or desensitise any part of a Horse;

(viii)  To leave a Horse without adequate food, drink or exercise;

(ix)  To use any device or equipment which causes excessive pain to the Horse upon knocking down an obstacle.

2. Any person witnessing an Abuse must report it in the form of a Protest (Article 163) without delay. If an Abuse is witnessed during or in direct connection with an Event, it should be reported as a Protest (Article 163) to an Official. If the Abuse is witnessed at any other time it should be reported as a Protest (Article 163) to the Secretary General for referral to the FEI Tribunal."

***

Article 163 - Protests

"Protests may be lodged against any person or body involved in any capacity in an International Event or otherwise subject to the jurisdiction of the FEI including for failure to observe the Statutes, GRs or Sport Rules or violation of the common principles of behaviour, fairness, or accepted standards of sportsmanship, whether occurring during or in connection with an International Event or at any other time.

Protests may only be lodged by the FEI, Presidents of NFs, Officials, Chefs d’Equipe or, if there is no Chef d’Equipe, by a Person Responsible or a Team Veterinarian responsible for Horses taking part in the Event. Protests for abuse of Horses may be lodged by any person or body.

Unless otherwise specified, Protests must be lodged before the end of the period of jurisdiction of the body that has the competence to hear the relevant Protest. This is true even if the person or body lodging the Protest is not present at the Event. The relevant body does not have jurisdiction to hear the Protest prior to any required deposit being paid.

Protests in the following matters can only be lodged with the Ground Jury:

4.1.  Protests concerning the eligibility of an Athlete or Horse for a specific Event or concerning the conditions of the arena. Such Protests must be filed not later than thirty (30) minutes before the start of the relevant Competition;

4.2.  Protests concerning an obstacle, or the plan or length of the course for a Jumping Competition or the obstacle Phase of a Driving Competition. Such Protests must be filed no later than fifteen (15) minutes before the start of the Competition;

4.3.  Protests concerning the cross-country obstacles or courses in Eventing or marathon course or obstacles in Driving, or the course in Endurance. Such Protests must be filed no later than 18:00 on the day before the relevant Competition;

4.4.  Protests concerning irregularities or incidents during a Competition, or the results of a Competition. Such Protests must be filed no later than thirty (30) minutes after the announcement of the results of the relevant Competition.

4.5  Protests challenging the procedures followed in the application or implementation of any FEI rule. Such Protests must be filed no later than thirty (30) minutes after the notification of the application or implementation of such rule.

4.6  Lodging a Protest before the Ground Jury within the relevant time limit in matters listed in the previous paragraphs is a prerequisite to a right of Appeal to the Appeal Committee. 

5. Protests for matters not listed in Article 163.4 must be lodged with the Appeal Committee or with the Ground Jury if there is no Appeal Committee.

6. Protests regarding matters which have not occurred during or in direct connection with an International Event and which were not known until after the end of the Event, shall be lodged with the FEI Tribunal through the Secretary General. Such Protests shall be filed no later than fourteen (14) days after the end of the relevant Event. A case shall be deemed to occur in direct connection with an Event if it occurs during the journey towards the Event or, after arrival, including during the period of quarantine, training or acclimatisation.

7. All Protests must be in writing, signed by an authorised person within the meaning of Article 163.2 and be accompanied, as the case may be, by any supporting evidence, including names of witnesses.

8. Protests to the Ground Jury and to the Appeal Committee shall be presented within the applicable time limit to the President of the Ground Jury or to the President of the Appeal Committee, as the case may be, together with the necessary deposit. Protests to the FEI Tribunal shall be sent within the applicable time limit to the FEI Tribunal together with proof of payment of the necessary deposit.

9. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, Protests may be lodged by the FEI, at its sole discretion, in the event that conduct brings equestrian sport, and the FEI in particular, into disrepute and/or in the case of match fixing, betting, bribery and/or corruption without the payment of a deposit.

10. Any person lodging a Protest should, if possible, secure witnesses to the incident and any other form of evidence, and either bring them to the body before whom the Protest is lodged, or obtain written statements from them, duly signed, together with their names and addresses. Before the FEI Tribunal, these requirements are set out specifically in the Internal Regulations of the FEI Tribunal.

11. The Foreign Judge, Technical Delegate, Veterinary Delegate and Foreign Veterinary Delegate must report to the Secretary General all acts or omissions constituting a Protest.

12. There is a statute of limitation on prosecution by the FEI, which is time-barred after:

(i)  one (1) year for offences committed on the field of play or in its immediate vicinity;

(ii)  five (5) years for all other offences;

(iii)  ten (10) years for doping offences;

(iv)  Match-fixing, bribery and corruption shall not be subject to a statute of limitations."

 

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