It went all the way to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but Olympic veteran Adrienne Lyle will be allowed to ride Horizon and Kaitlin Blythe can ride Don Principe next week at the Dutta Corp. USEF Festival of Champions in Gladstone.
Adrienne and Kaitlin were suspended by the FEI (international equestrian federation), along with the horses, when tests showed the animals were positive for a banned substance, ractopamine.
Legally used in the U.S. for building up swine, turkeys and cattle, it is on the FEI’s prohibited list for horses. The original question was, how did the substance get into the horses? The answer was through Progressive Soothing Pink, a gastric nutritional supplement produced by Cargill. Tests showed that ractopamine, which was not on the list of ingredients for the supplement, was found in trace amounts.
Cargill issued a statement about the situation, explaining “Upon learning of this trace finding, we immediately withdrew our Progressive Nutrition Soothing Pink product from the market. At this time, we have identified and isolated the ingredient that was the source of the contamination and we have completely stopped use of the ingredient in all products.”
Adrienne and Kaitlin, who were connected only through use of the product–they did not work together–had their suspensions lifted after it was revealed the manufacturer was at fault. However, the horses remained suspended for two months, even though the substance was no longer in their systems. The FEI policy is to invoke such suspensions, regardless of the source of contamination.
That would have meant both horses would have had to miss the Festival, since their suspensions extended to June 4. That’s where the CAS came in and issued a stay of the FEI edict.
Horizon is a top contender for the national title in the Small Tour championship, while Don Principe will be ridden by Kaitlin in the Brentina Cup Under 25 championship. It’s Kaitlin’s last chance to try for the title, as she ages out after this season.
Adrienne also will be riding Salvino, a prospect for next year’s World Equestrian Games team, in the Grand Prix Championship at Gladstone. Another big name in that section is Kasey Perry-Glass on Goerklintgaard’s Dublet. Kasey is the only member of last summer’s Rio Olympics bronze medal team who will be in the Grand Prix at the Festival.
The competition begins on Thursday, May 18 at the U.S. Equestrian Team Foundation headquarters on Pottersville Road in Gladstone, and runs through May 21. For more information, go to www.dressagefestivalofchampions.org .