Lengthy suspensions for event riders Matthew Wright and Matthew Heath

  • Event riders Matthew Wright and Matthew Heath will serve suspensions at the start of the eventing season (2 March), following their convictions for assault.

    They admitted common assault at separate magistrates’ hearings last autumn, in relation to a fight at a party at Houghton Horse Trials (news, 31 May 2012).

    Rider Oliver Smith is understood to have been injured in the incident.

    In a statement, British Eventing (BE) said Wright and Heath “also accepted that they had brought the sport into disrepute”.

    The riders were both suspended for two weeks last summer.

    BE said its disciplinary committee had “reviewed all of the relevant evidence” and decided to suspend Matthew Heath for a further six weeks and Matthew Wright a further 24 weeks.

    Matthew Wright told H&H he wanted “to draw a line” under the episode.

    He said: “I’ve done wrong and I’ve been punished — I just want to put it to bed now.

    “I’m very lucky to have some loyal owners and a great family and team,” he added

    Matthew Heath thanked his family and owners for supporting him “through a mistake that I made”.

    He added that he was looking forward to “coming out and competing and getting some results for the people that stood by me”.

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