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Chepstow-based show jumper Gemma Plumley, 22, has been saddled with a £50,000 bill after losing an appeal to overturn a three-month ban from national competition.

In 2007, BSJA disciplinary stewards found Miss Plumley guilty of hitting her mare Memmory on the head with a whip at Unex Towerlands on 3 June 2006. She was fined £750 with a three-month ban.

The rider unsuccessfully appealed to the British Equestrian Federation in January 2008, then launched an appeal to the BSJA tribunal, which was heard on 14, 15 and 22 May this year. The BSJA announced the result of Miss Plumley’s appeal on 12 October.

Miss Plumley’s solicitor, Jacqueline Brown, told H&H: “Gemma maintains her innocence and is disappointed not to have been vindicated, but sees little to be gained by further deliberation.”

During the appeal, the BSJA heard allegations from a collecting ring steward and two judges that Miss Plumley hit the horse around the neck, head and behind as many as 15 times.

But Miss Plumley contends she administered three sharp blows to the horse’s rear and one to the shoulder as a disciplinary measure.

The BSJA panel ruled that as Miss Plumley has not been in trouble since the incident they would suspend the three-month ban until 31 May 2010.

If there are no further disciplinary incidents in that time the ban will be written off.

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (22 October, ’09)