Eventing Ireland (EI) is to launch an investigation after a large number of riders withdrew before the cross-country at Ballindenisk International Horse Trials last weekend.

Hard ground resulted in the organisers aerovating the ground for 36hr before the event. Despite this, only nine combinations from 39 opted to run across country in the CIC*** class.

EI has requested information from the International Equestrian Federation in order to conduct its inquiry.

In a statement, it said: “It is most upsetting that the event has ended in such controversial circumstances.”

Ballindenisk event director Peter Fell told H&H: “We’re extremely disappointed that so many chose not to run their horses across country, especially as we had made superhuman efforts to make the best of the situation.

“We understand many riders specifically came to Ballindenisk because they expected soft ground, but nobody could have predicted that we would have five weeks without any rain.”

Don’t miss Horse & Hound’s full report from Ballindenisk International Horse Trials in today’s magazine (26 April, ’07)