Clifton Promise fails drugs test
Badminton and Burghley winner Jonathan Paget has been provisionally suspended after his horse Clifton Promise failed a drugs test.
Clifton Promise, owned by Frances Stead, was tested following his Burghley victory in September and returned a positive finding for the banned substance Reserpine.
New Zealander Paget, 29, was in line to fight for the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing in Kentucky next April and the £225,000 prize on offer for consecutive wins at Badminton, Burghley and Kentucky.
However, as the 'person responsible' for the horse he has been banned pending the testing of the B sample and any subsequent hearings.
An Equestrian New Zealand statement read: "Equestrian Sports New Zealand (ESNZ) has received notification from the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) of a prohibited substance in a blood sample taken from Clifton Promise, the horse ridden by Jonathan (Jock) Paget to victory at the Burghley International Horse Trials, in the UK, on 8th September, after the completion of the competition.
"Clifton Promise, owned by Frances Stead, was routinely tested as part of the FEI's strict Equine Clean Sport programme and produced a positive A sample finding for the substance Reserpine.
"In accordance with the FEI's regulations, as the 'Person Responsible' for the horse, Paget is provisionally suspended from any national or international competition with immediate effect, pending the testing of the B sample and any subsequent hearings.
"Clifton Promise is provisionally suspended for two months pending the B sample and any subsequent hearings.
"Surrey-based Paget was understandably shocked at the finding. He and all relevant parties state categorically that none of them have taken any actions with the intent of administering any prohibited substance.
"ESNZ and Paget are establishing a likely cause of the positive test and will provide submissions to the FEI Tribunal as required."
Paget was part of New Zealand's bronze medal-winning eventing team at London 2012.