Rider Devin Ryan Handed Six Month Suspension for Hampton Classic Welfare Violation


Thirty-four-year-old Devin Ryan of Long Valley, NJ has been sanctioned by the United States Equestrian Federation after being found guilty of violating animal welfare rules at the 2015 Hampton Classic Horse Show, August 23 – 30th.

Beginning April 1, 2016, Ryan will serve a six-month suspension from all USEF activities and pay a $6,000 fine. Any horses registered in his name as owner, trainer, leased or in partnership with will also be suspended for the same time period.

The suspension stems from a high profile incident during competition at the 2015 Hampton Classic, when a show steward in the warm up ring was alerted to suspicious marks on the legs of a horse in Ryan’s care. Upon further inspection, five horses stabled under Ryan’s River Run Stables banner were alleged to have been found with irritation/questionable marks on their front legs.

Ryan was immediately asked to leave the Hampton Classic, which reported the incident to USEF steward Ralph Caristo. USEF enacted a temporary suspension of the rider on Sept. 8, 2015. The temporary suspension was lifted on Oct. 1, 2015 pending a hearing on Nov 17, 2015. Upon the lifting of the suspension Ryan immediately resumed competing at USEF “AA” rated shows. On Oct. 4th, 2015, he won the $50,000 Capital Health Grand Prix of Princeton at Princeton Show Jumping in NJ with Liratus. Ryan has continued competing throughout the winter season, and is currently based at the USEF “AA” rated HITS Ocala winter circuit in Ocala, FL.

The full text of the ruling is as follows:

“DEVIN RYAN of Long Valley, NJ, violated Chapter 7, GR702 of Federation rules in that he entered five entries to compete at the Hampton Classic Horse Show held on August 23 – 30, 2015 in a condition that was not in the best interest of the welfare of the horses. For his violations of Federation rules, Mr. Ryan was fined $6,000 pursuant to Chapter 7, GR703.1j, and, pursuant to Chapter 7, GR703.1b and GR703.1f, will be found not in good standing, suspended from membership, and forbidden from the privilege of taking any part whatsoever in any Licensed Competition for six months, commencing on April 1, 2016 and terminating at midnight on October 31, 2016. During his suspension period, Mr. Ryan is excluded from all competition grounds during Licensed Competitions: (1) as an exhibitor, participant or spectator; (2) from participating in all Federation affairs and activities, (3) from holding or exercising office in the Federation or in any Licensed Competition; and (4) from attending, observing or participating in any event, forum, meeting, program, clinic, task force, or committee of the Federation, sponsored by or conducted by the Federation, or held in connection with the Federation and any of its activities. Any horse or horses owned, leased, or of any partnership, corporation or stable of his, or shown in his name or for his reputation, (whether such interest was held at the time of the alleged violation or acquired thereafter), are also suspended for the same time period pursuant to Chapter 7, GR703.1c.”