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Statement from Peter Charles on the disqualification of Vivaldi du Dom from the 2018 European Championships for Young Riders

Friday, 25 January 2019

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson Peter Charles with his son Harry Charles. Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.

Peter Charles – father to Harry Charles and owner of the horse Vivaldi du Dom – has this evening released a statement in regard to the disqualification of the double gold medallists from the 2018 European Championships for Young Riders. 

The statement follows the FEI's news of Charles’ horse Vivaldi du Dom testing positive to Lidocaine, a controlled medication (not a banned substance) under the FEI’s Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Regulations (EADCMRs). Read the full press release from FEI here. 

Peter Charles' statement reads:

"It is with great sadness that we have received the news of the disqualification of my horse Vivaldi du Dom from the 2018 European Championships for Young Riders, due to an accidental transference of a human skin cream containing Lidocaine.

The result is an accidental medical positive test for Lidocaine. The horse was contaminated by an innocent party who uses the cream for an advanced cancer related skin condition while she was patting and stroking the horse.

This has resulted in the disqualification of Vivaldi du Dom from the whole competition.

The horse was given a blood test after the team event on Friday. The result was positive. 

The horse was tested again on Sunday – the result was a complete negative.

I have conducted extensive research into the level found together with the International Jumping Riders Club and Professor Thomas Tobin (MVB, MSc, PhD, MRCVS, DABT, AMAORC), world number one in his field, who says:

‘Given these circumstances, the amount and mechanism of this innocent and inadvertent transfer is completely unable to produce a significant pharmacological effect. This trace level finding is therefore of no pharmacological or regulatory or forensic significance.’

Even though this comes under a medical positive, the FEI rules state very clearly that anything found, even the tiniest imaginable amount, results in automatic disqualification. We fully support the FEI in these rules as they are in place to protect the welfare of the horse at all costs. I can honestly say without any doubt that in this situation, no one is to blame, not the cancer patient, my grooms and least of all my son who adores all his horses, especially Vivaldi who jumped his heart out.

Somehow we will put this behind us and move on, as this has been a very stressful and upsetting time. Myself and my wife Tara could not be more proud of our sons’ achievements. He won his first four star GP in 2018 and was selected for the Rolex Academy and through them completes his first five star GP in Aachen of all places. Multiple successes followed on his other horses at Gijon, HOYS, Olympia and Liverpool.

We look forward to the season ahead and feel very lucky to be part of a great sport with all our beautiful horses which we love and enjoy every day."

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