Ireland’s sole Rio-bound showjumper has been given the go-ahead to compete at this year’s Games after questions were raised surrounding the gelding’s ownership.
Earlier this month (8 June) horseandhound.co.uk reported that Greg Broderick and MHS Going Global had been nominated to represent the country at the Olympics, with Bertram Allen, Denis Lynch and Cian O’Connor as reserves.
However, following the submission of the nominated entries to the FEI on 20 June, Horse Sport Ireland (HSI) received a query from the governing body in relation to the ownership of the nine-year-old horse.
Under Olympic rules, competing horses “must have been registered with FEI as property of owners of the same nationality as the athlete by 15 January, 2016”.
Last week (19 June) the Irish independent reported that “although MHS Going Global is registered in Ireland, the owner of the horse has been listed as Caledonia Stables, a Canadian company… This being the case, the horse may have been registered in error in Ireland for the last four years.”
HSI has since responded and released a statement detailing the FEI’s position.
“[The FEI] has confirmed that it has no further enquiries to make regarding MHS Going Global and has no objection to the horse’s inclusion in the nominated entries list,” an HSI spokesman said.
Team manager Robert Splaine said it was a “difficult decision” choosing who should represent Ireland, but that Greg and MHS Going Global are “at the very top of their form”.
The combination jumped a double clear to help Ireland to victory in the Nations Cup in St Gallen, Switzerland, on 3 June and two days later secured a double clear and fourth place in the grand prix.
“Greg Broderick and MHS Going Global have been outstanding contributors for Ireland in Nations Cups and have been consistent clear round jumpers at five-star level,” said Robert.
Greg, 31, is currently 252nd in the FEI rankings, while Bertram is at 10, Denis 32nd and London 2012 bronze medallist Cian is 58th.
Ireland secured its individual showjumping slot for Rio in March thanks to Bertram Allen’s Olympic ranking.
Denis Lynch just missed out on achieving a second place, instead securing the first reserve slot, should another country not be able to take up its qualification.