Australian 4* eventing rider Callum Buczak has become the first person to be provisionally suspended while criminal proceedings are ongoing for alleged sexual abuse under the FEI’s new safeguarding procedures.

Buczak, 28, was charged in August with rape. Initially the national federation, Equestrian Australia, declined to suspend him while the case was ongoing in the Melbourne courts, because the alleged offence earlier this year did not take place at a competition.

The handling of the issue has been hugely controversial in Australia, with Central Alliance senator Rex Patrick joining calls for interim action to be taken. The FEI provisionally suspended Buczak on Monday, and EA has since disclosed it has also temporarily suspended his membership. During the period of the provisional suspension, Buczak may not take part in or attend any competitions or events under the jurisdiction of the FEI or a national federation. He had continued to compete as recently as last week.

Senator Patrick welcomed the decision as “proper … in these circumstances, albeit one that has taken far too long.” Previously the senator said to EA that while he respected the presumption of innocence, “allowing the accused to continue participation in your organisation’s activities, under the circumstances, does not meet community expectations.”

Buczak strongly denies the charge. Last month he posted on Facebook: “I am devastated that such a horrendous allegation has been made against me and assure all my supporters that I will not rest until my name is cleared and justice has been done.”

He is due back in court tomorrow (October 17th).

It has also emerged that the top Hungarian pony teams driver Dávid Palkovics, 22, has been provisionally suspended under the same FEI safeguard protocols over an allegation of “physical and psychological abuse.” No further details about that case have been disclosed.