Top Swiss rider to miss European Championships

  • Top Swiss combination Steve Guerdat and Nino Des Buissonnets will not be taking part in next week’s FEI European Showjumping Championships (19-23 August) as the horse remains suspended.

    The horse tested positive for banned substances in May.

    The FEI Tribunal yesterday (Monday 10 August) ruled that the two-month provisional suspension on the 2012 Olympic gold medal-winning horse was to be upheld.

    Two other Swiss horses — Nasa, also partnered by Steve, and Charivari KG ridden by Alessandra Bichsel — also remain suspended after testing positive for banned drugs.

    Both riders were cleared to compete again last month (27 July), following a hearing in which they pleaded food contamination caused the postive tests.

    This meant that the Olympic champion would be free to jump at the Europeans. However, he is now without his top horse.

    “The FEI Tribunal subsequently responded to Guerdat’s request for a further decision regarding the lifting of the provisional suspensions on his horses to be taken by 10 August, the closing date for definite entries for the FEI European Showjumping Championships 2015 in Aachen,” read a statement from the FEI.

    “As a result of the FEI Tribunal decision to maintain the provisional suspensions of the horses, although Guerdat is eligible to compete in Aachen, he will not be able to ride Nino Des Buissonnets, one of his horses declared for the championships and will need to select an alternative pre-declared horse.”

    But last night (Monday 10 August) the Swiss squad was chosen, and Steve — who is ranked at number three in the world — is not on the list.

    Romain Duguet and Quorida du Treho, Paul Estermann and Castlefield Eclipse, Martin Fuchs and Clooney III, Niklaus Rutschi and Windsor XY and Janika Sprunger and Bonne Chance CW have had the call-up.

    The Swiss Equestrian Federation added that Niklaus takes the place of Steve, in light of his strong performance in the Dublin Nations Cup.

    Samples were taken at the CSIO5* at La Baule in France on 17 May from Steve’s London 2012 gold medal-winning partner Nino Des Buissonnets, on the day the 14-year-old gelding won the grand prix.

    The tests returned positive for codeine and oripavine — banned substances — and morphine, a controlled substance.

    At the same show but a day earlier (16 May), samples were taken from Steve’s other ride, Nasa, after the 14-year-old grey mare finished third in the La Baule Derby.

    These tests were positive for codeine and morphine. The horse’s sample also showed traces of oripavine, but not at a sufficiently high level for the testing laboratory to declare a positive for the substance.

    You may like...