The date for New Zealand eventer Jock Paget’s doping tribunal has still not officially been set, but there is speculation that it will take place on 30 April.

Jock Paget’s ride Clifton Promise and his mentor Kevin McNabs’ Clifton Pinot both tested positive for the banned substance reserpine at Burghley Horse Trials last year (8 September).

Jim Ellis from Equestrian Sports New Zealand told H&H: “This date for the hearing [30 April] is still being considered between Jock, his advisers and the FEI.

“My understanding [as of Monday, 7 April] is that no final decision has been made on the date of the hearing.”

Frustration has been growing in the eventing community that the tribunal has not been held sooner. It is understood that Jock handed in his submission to the FEI on 17 January.

The 30 April date falls on the Wednesday after Kentucky, meaning that Andrew Nicholson, who was second behind Jock at Burghley, will compete there not knowing whether he is attempting to win the second leg of the Rolex Grand Slam, which comprises Kentucky, Badminton and Burghley.

If the tribunal does take place on 30 April then Jock could potentially be cleared before Badminton Horse Trials (7-11 May). However, director Hugh Thomas told H&H that there is “no possibility” that he would be able to compete.

“He wasn’t eligible to enter at the time and the entries are now closed,” said Hugh.

“There is no chance that anybody who hasn’t entered would be able to run.”

This article was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (10 April 2014)