Jock Paget has been suspended from national and international competitions with immediate effect after the horse that gave him back-to-back Badminton and Burghley wins, Clifton Promise, tested positive for a banned substance after his Burghley win (11 September).

The horse tested positive for the substance Reserpine. This is a powerful tranquilizer which is on the FEI banned substance list. According to the FEI these are: “substances that have been deemed by the FEI to have no legitimate use in equine medicine and/or have a high potential for abuse i.e. human antidepressants, antipsychotics, nervous system stimulants, etc”

Clifton Promise has been provisionally suspended from competition for two months pending the testing of the “B” sample,

H&H could not reach Jock for comment, but a statement from Equestrian Sport New Zealand (ESNZ) said: “Surrey-based Paget was understandably shocked at the finding.

“He and all relevant parties state categorically that none of them have taken any actions with the intent of administering any prohibited substance.

“ESNZ and Paget are establishing a likely cause of the positive test and will provide submissions to the FEI Tribunal as required.”

The FEI Tribunal’s list of pending cases also shows that Clifton Pinot, ridden by Jock’s mentor — Australian eventer Kevin McNab — also tested positive for the same substance at Burghley.

If the “B” sample returns positive Jock will automatically lose his Burghley title and face an FEI tribunal to determine the length of any subsequent suspension.