Four-Month Suspension for Mareike Mimberg-Hess in San to Alati Medication Case

Sun, 08/20/2023 - 12:08
Mareike Mimberg and San to Alati win the 2022 Bundeschampionate :: Photo © Stefan Lafrentz

Two weeks before the 2023 Bundeschampionate, the disciplinary committee of the German Equestrian Federation (FN) has cast its verdict and decided on a four month suspension of rider Mareike Mimberg-Hess in the positive medication case of San to Alati at the Bundeschampionate a year ago.

Prohibited Substance Firocoxib

Under Mareike Mimberg-Hess the Hanoverian stallion San to Alati (by Secret x Belissimo M) won the 4-year old stallion class at the 2022 Bundeschampionate but was disqualified and stripped off this title when he tested positive to the prohibited substance decyclopropylmethylfirocoxib, a metabolite of the substance firocoxib, a prohibited substance according to Annex II ADMR. Firocoxib is an NSAID.

The liver chestnut stallion is owned by Bernadette Brune but was under the full care of Bettina Hinnemann at Hinnemann's Krusterhof in Voerde, Germany. He was trained and qualified for the Bundeschampionate by Stefanie Wolf but when she broke her leg, Mimberg was asked to take over the ride. She commuted from Bielefeld to Voerde to ride the horse seven times before heading to Warendorf.

Person Responsible

The disciplinary committee of the German Equestrian Federation (FN) came to the conclusion that the rider was the "person responsible" and has sentenced Mimberg-Hess   to a four-month suspension in its regulatory procedure. This decision has now been confirmed by the Grand Arbitration Court.

As the rider is the "person responsible" Mimberg-Hess has now been sentenced to a four-month suspension in the regulatory procedure. This affects her start at the 2023 Bundeschampionate for which she qualified five horses. 

FN legal advisor Dr. Constanze Winter explained to St. Georg that, "the anti-doping and drug control rules clearly stipulate that the rider of a horse is the responsible person - this also applies in the case of a positive control. This also applies regardless of whether the rider himself or others take care of, care for and prepare the horse,


The sentence comes poorly timed for Mimberg right before the 2023 Bundeschampionate, for which she qualified several horses. As Mimberg-Hess is specialized in young horse trainign and only competes nationally, the BuCha are the highlight competition of the year for her.

The timing of the sentence caused an uproar in Germany amongst riders who felt that Mareike was unjustly punished.  German based Polish Grand Prix rider Beata Stremler started a petition which garnered 2290 signatures in a few days time. 

The suspension started on 15 August. Mimberg-Hess can file an injunction in a civil lawsuit, which means her suspension will be halted pending the civil proceedings.

Hot Potato

Mimberg has always claimed innocence in the matter as she only rode the horse and never cared or treated it. 

St. Georg interviewed Bettina Hinnemann who cared for San to Alati together with trainer Stefanie Wolf.

Hinnemann told St. Georg that, "I can definitely rule out an accidental administration of this drug at the Krüsterhof, since no other horse was treated with this substance and there was no drug with this active ingredient in our stable. Unfortunately, I can only speculate as to how the substance got into the horse. The stables at the Bundeschampionat should not be accessible to everyone, but a wristband does not mean that someone is 100 percent trustworthy. 24/7 surveillance is practically impossible and therefore a rider cannot protect himself from such a situation. Either way, it's now clear that it would have been better to have had an explanation of how the drug got into the horse than to stick with the truth that we just don't know. And that's really a shame!"

In January 2023 Stefanie Wolf left Stable Hinnemann to runs an independent business Munster. She rode San to Alati at the 2023 World Young Horse Championships. 

Photo © Stefan Lafrentz

Related Links
San to Alati Stripped of Bundeschampion Title after Positive Medication Test
Stefanie Wolf Leaves Johann Hinnemann, Goes Independent in Münster