Supreme Court of New York Once Again Rules in Favor of Horse Welfare by Supporting USEF’s Anti-Doping Program

Lexington, Ky. – The New York Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and upheld Archibald Cox’s penalties for violations of USEF’s Drugs and Medications rules, which prohibit excessive levels of GABA in a horse’s system.


Following a hearing in June of 2015, Mr. Cox was issued a five-month suspension and a $5,000 fine, after a finding that he had violated the Drugs and Medications rules. In response, Mr. Cox filed a proceeding against the USEF in the state of New York challenging the Hearing Committee’s decision. Today, the New York Court denied Mr. Cox’s petition, as it held that the Hearing Committee’s decision was supported by substantial evidence.


“Once again, the decisions of the Hearing Committee were upheld in court. In fact, the USEF has never lost a challenge in court related to its anti-doping program, which protects horse welfare,” stated USEF General Counsel Sonja Keating. “The USEF works diligently to eradicate doping in equestrian sport. We take the issue of doping very seriously. Our anti-doping protocol and the Drugs and Medications program go to the core mission of the USEF – to provide access to and increase participation in equestrian sports at all levels by ensuring fairness, safety, and enjoyment.”


“Doping cannot and will not be tolerated in our sport. From the grassroots through the Olympic level, competitors must be given an opportunity to compete on a level playing field,” said USEF CEO Bill Moroney. “The USEF will always enforce its horse welfare rules to the fullest extent possible. We will continue to defend those decisions of the Hearing Committee fervently in court, if necessary.”