Event riders Andrew Hoy and Madeleine Brugman have both been found innocent of charges of abuse of the horse.
It had been alleged that they used a pair of spiked over reach boots on Madeleine’s horse Sundancer6 at the CCI*** event Barroca d’Alva on 9 March 2008.
In a statement the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) said: “The tribunal took into consideration the numerous briefs, witness statements and other documents presented by the parties and found the evidence circumstantial, i.e. indirect, in nature; it contained various unresolved contradictions and inconsistencies.
“The Tribunal therefore concludes that the FEI did not meet its burden of proof and did not provide evidence of a nature sufficient to substantiate a case of abuse against either Madeleine Brugman or Andrew Hoy.
And FEI Secretary General Alex McLin, added: “The tribunal’s decision reflects the independence of the FEI’s judicial branch — we must respect it and heed its lessons.
“We will certainly pay close attention to what it means for our enforcement systems and make any necessary adjustments. Abuse of horses in any form is unacceptable and we will continue to bring charges against those responsible for such conduct.”
Andrew Hoy said: “I have always maintained the fact that I had no involvement in this situation. I welcome the findings which support this position.
“Whilst I regret the fact that I was called upon to participate in this investigation, I’m glad that I can put it behind me and that I can now concentrate on my horses and the sport I love.
“Apart from thanking my friends for their support, I have no further comment to make.”