Monday, September 18, 2006
Investigations are underway into allegations that ponies at a children's showjumping contest were fed tranquilisers by a rival competitor to hinder their performances.
The qualifying round of the British Showjumping Association's (BSJA) junior championships in St Lawrence in Jersey was cancelled on Saturday after complaints were filed with police.
Inspector Richard Bree of Jersey police confirmed: "We did attend the competition, someone believed their pony had been doped in some way, shape or form.
"The event was cancelled because they were concerned about the animals. The chief vet for the island has taken samples of blood from the ponies and enquires are ongoing. We are still awaiting the results of the blood tests."
The circumstances arose after a parent was accused of giving fast-acting sedatives, which reportedly looked like mints, to several ponies. These ponies then seemed unusually lethargic.
Local BSJA branch chairman Penny Crutwell said: "We had a few ponies that were not acting in their normal manner. We had earlier been informed that there were suspicions someone fed ponies something.
"If horses are jumping under sedation of any description it can hinder their performance and there could be an accident. It was the final of the under-16 show jumper of the year and they were competing at quite a high level."