Kiwi eventer Joe Meyer has told H&H he is “dumbfounded and furious” to have been named in evidence in the Jock Paget case.
Last week (6 August), Jock Paget was cleared of any wrongdoing after his horse Clifton Promise tested positive for banned substance reserpine at last year’s Burghley Horse Trials. The substance was found to have come from a contaminated calmer called LesstressE, made by Trinity Consultants.
In his submission to the FEI, Jock stated that he “had started using LesstressE in 2010 on recommendation of Mr. Joe Meyer who had previously used it, and that it had resulted in negative testing results for FEI prohibited substances.”
However, Joe Meyer told H&H that he was “furious” when he found out he had been mentioned in the case via online web reports.
Joe insists that he had been asked to use LesstressE by one of the owners of Clifton Lush — Lucy Allison — after a poor dressage test in 2008. He added that he had used the product a “few times” in the spring of 2009, but that he didn’t like it.
“I felt that it did have a strong calming effect. But I was very uneasy with the product because I couldn’t find out exactly what it had in it and I didn’t feel it was a good thing for the horse,” said Joe. “I felt it made the horse too calm and I was worried about the welfare of the horse and myself to go out and jump if the animal was still under the influence of the stuff.”
Joe stopped using the product in 2009 and instead uses WINNINGEDGE.
Mrs Allison — who is a part owner of two of Jock’s rides (Clifton Lush and Shady Grey) — confirmed to H&H that she had “recommended the product” to Joe having previously used supplements from Trinity Consultants for horses, herself and her dogs.
“I have nothing against Jock, but I haven’t even spoken to him in years,” Joe added.
“I didn’t hear anything from anyone beforehand about it. Not from Jock or his defence and not from the FEI.
“A recommendation and letting someone know that something is on the market are two completely different things.”
However, despite his rebuttal Jock maintains that Joe did recommend LesstressE to him.
“I am sorry for Joe Meyer that he has been dragged into this mess,” he told H&H. “But I gave evidence under oath. He did recommend the product.”
For an in-depth look into the FEI tribunal verdict with reactions from riders and vets don’t miss this week’s Horse & Hound — out today (14 August)