Joe Meyer never recommended LesstressE to Jock Paget

Photo by Tracy White Giesler

Eventing’s most talked about doping scandal concluded yesterday with the announcement that New Zealand’s Jock Paget and Australian’s Kevin McNab had been found to have ‘no fault or negligence’ with respect to both of their horses ridden at the 2013 Burghley testing positive for Reserpine.

Many website sites like Eventing Nation, horsetalk.co.nz and Horse and Hound all quoted Jock’s written submission to the FEI tribunal that stated, “…he had started using LesstressE in 2010 on recommendation of Mr. Joe Meyer, a fellow member of the New Zealand Eventing Team, who had previously used it, and that it had resulted in negative testing results for FEI Prohibited Substances.”

Joe Meyer was never contacted or consulted about his apparent recommendation to Jock about using LesstressE. In fact, he found out about being named at the tribunal the same time the world did when the report became public. Eventing Connect contacted Joe Meyer to get his statement about being named in this anti-doping case as part Jock Paget’s defense and he was happy to clarify his role.

“First of all I couldn’t understand why I was reading it in the press first and that no one from the FEI or Jock’s legal counsel had contacted me to ask what the real story was. I was dumbfounded. And then as I read it, I was very annoyed because it implied strongly that I had been using this product LesstressE. That I had horses tested, given Jock recommendations and guaranteed that it was going to be fine,” Joe said.

“I am doing this interview to explain what the facts are. LesstressE was a product that I was asked to use by one of the owners of Clifton Lush, Lucy Allison. I had not so great a dressage test at 2008 Martinvast World Cup CIC*** scoring a 69.8 in dressage. The following spring she pushed this product on me. I used it just a few times in 2009 to see if it would have an effect on the horses at all. 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. 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.

He explained, “When Jock came to England in 2010, I was using the product WINNINGEDGE and I have been using that product since 2008. It is not a calmer; it is a more comprehensive competition supplement. I recall a conversation with Jock about a few products on the market. I suggested that Jock could consider use the WINNINGEDGE product which is more expensive but I said if you are stuck, the LesstressE is an option. He obviously chose the latter. This is the last I heard of it. I did not give Jock any recommendations or guarantees.”

“I would hate to imagine the effect of LesstressE on the horse when it was laced with Reserpine as well. I didn’t like the product anyway and I did not think it was good for horses at all. I have never had a positive drug test. I am against any supplement that alters the horse’s behavior,” Joe said.

“I am not pleased that my name has been dragged into Jock’s mess. I am not sure why but my guess is that he is trying to gain credibility. What I can’t believe is that my name was associated with this not only in the press but it was in the report of the FEI tribunal and I found out about it on the web,” Joe ended.

Joe Meyer’s website

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