World of Showjumping
World of ShowjumpingWorld of Showjumping

Positive tests on synephrine traced back to contaminated hay provided by show organiser

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Photos © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping Photos © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping


Text © World of Showjumping



Two riders who had their horses provisionally suspended by the FEI after testing positive on synephrine, have been found to bear no fault or negligence for the rule violations. The two cases, that involved Slovenian rider Gaj Riossa’s horse Famorku as well as Finnish rider Ville Peltokoski’s horse For Fun – both competing at a FEI sanctioned tour in Carmona, Spain back in February this year – have now reached their conclusion in the FEI Tribunal.

Both riders argued that the synephrine had entered their horses’ systems through hay provided by the organiser of the tour. The horses had both been fed this hay, and both riders had invoices attesting to the purchase of the hay. The riders also argued that the hay provided by the organiser was teff hay, which is now known to potentially contain synephrine – also acknowledged in the FEI Warning regarding synephrine issued by the FEI and distributed via email in the FEI Veterinarian Update on 13 May 2019.

Suspecting possible contamination, the FEI contacted the organiser of the tour requesting if hay samples were still available for testing against synephrine. With bales from the same supplier still available, samples were sent for testing. The organiser also confirmed to the FEI that the supplier had informed them that the hay was indeed teff hay. The agreements reached between the FEI and the riders, approved by the FEI Tribunal, details that: “The samples were collected by an FEI Steward and sent to LGC Newmarket Road Laboratory (“LGC”) in Cambridgeshire, UK, an FEI accredited Laboratory. On 13 June 2019 the laboratory informed the FEI of the results of the analysis namely that the screening tests indicated the possible presence of Synephrine. (Exhibit 6)” 

Finally, the agreement concludes: 

“The FEI is therefore satisfied that the PR established:

(a)  on a balance of probabilities, a plausible explanation of how the Synephrine entered the Horse’s system, which was via the hay provided by the organizer of the Event;

(b)  that the PR did not know or suspect, and could not reasonably have known or suspected even with the exercise of utmost caution, that the hay contained a Banned Substance;

(c)  in consequence the FEI is satisfied that the PR established that he bore no Fault or Negligence for the Rule Violation.”

Over ten other cases concerning positive tests on synephrine taken at different FEI sanctioned events in Mexico and South-Africa this year are still pending, however the provisional suspensions of the horses have all been lifted. 

Click here to read the full FEI Tribunal decisions. 

Click here for the Case Status Table for horses. 


No reproduction without permission, copyright © World of Showjumping 

This photo has been added to your cart !

Your shopping cart »
This website is using cookies for statistics, site optimization and retargeting purposes. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use this website. Read more here.