Amy Tryon, the rider of event horse Le Samurai, has until 28 May to decide whether to give evidence to a tribunal of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI).

The US team rider is at the centre of abuse allegations after finishing the cross-country course at Rolex Kentucky three-day event on 28 April despite her horse, Le Samurai, going badly lame approaching the final fence.

Afterwards, the course vet said Le Samurai had “lost the supporting ligaments in his front leg”. The horse was put down on 5 May.

Last week, the FEI received official reports and videos from organisers at the Rolex Kentucky, who disqualified Amy after the event.

FEI spokesman Malina Gueorguiev told H&H the case was being taken very seriously.

“It happened during a major event in an Olympic discipline and the allegations are against a vastly experienced and knowledgeable rider,” said Ms Gueorguiev.

Spectators around the world watched Le Samurai go lame as part of live streaming of the entire three-day event on www.NBCsports.com. A video clip of the incident was also posted on YouTube for a short time.

The FEI has notified Amy Tryon through the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) of her right to be heard before a panel of the FEI Tribunal. An original deadline of 17 May was last Thursday extended until Monday, 28 May. If Amy decides against facing a tribunal, she can submit evidence to the FEI’s judicial committee, which is expected to convene shortly to review the case.

The FEI spokesman added: “Any case of abuse is serious and has to be sanctioned adequately.”

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (24 May, ’07)