USEF announced today that it has resolved the litigation with Kelley Farmer and Larry Glefke for their alleged July 2016 GABA violation. USEF is voiding the proceeding from the outset and vacating all penalties and suspensions, thereby restoring Farmer and Glefke to active membership effective July 1, 2017. They are free to enjoy all privileges of membership including participation in competition.
The rider/trainer pair were initially suspended in January 2017, after Farmer’s horse, Unexpected, reportedly tested positive for GABA following the Kentucky Horse Show series in July of 2016. Farmer was facing a one year ban from USEF competition and a $12,000 fine, while Glefke, Unexpected’s listed trainer, faced a two-year and $24,000 fine. On January 4, the USEF temporarily lifted the suspensions pending arbitration.
“The USEF must always treat its members fairly,” said Murray S. Kessler, President of the USEF. “Late in the arbitration discovery process, the legal teams for USEF and Ms. Farmer and Mr. Glefke learned about errors in the laboratory’s handling of the blood sample in this case, that the USEF hearing committee was unaware of. Simply said, these errors were serious enough that we no longer can rely on the validity of the test and therefore, regret any negative impact that this had on Ms. Farmer and Mr. Glefke.”
Murray continued: “All our members must be treated fairly. Accordingly, we are setting aside the suspensions as the USEF’s procedural integrity must be pristine in order to fairly protect our competitors. I have ordered a thorough compliance audit of the laboratory to ensure that what occurred in this case never happens again and that the proper procedures and checks are in place to be certain of that. I can assure our membership that any necessary corrective action will be taken.”