Top Irish show jumpers have told Horse & Hound of their surprise at not being consulted over Horse Sport Ireland’s (HSI) proposed raft of new regulations to “clean-up” Irish equestrianism.

Riders Denis Lynch and Cian O’Connor welcomed the review, but questioned the legality and practicality of some of the recommendations.

Mr O’Connor told H&H: “Riders want a good reputation and clean sport, but we are business people, as well as sportsmen, and it’s our livelihoods we are talking about.

“These recommendations have legal implications and I think we should have been allowed to discuss them.”

Under the proposals, affiliated riders will be licensed, required to fill out a logbook of medication given to their horses, and their yards will be subject to spot checks, in a bid to counter a “lax culture to prohibited substances”, the HSI revealed on Friday (6 March).

A report by anti-doping experts, commissioned by the HSI last October, discovered that only Show Jumping Ireland tests horses for drugs, and then only for two substances, because of the expense involved.

A full testing schedule will now be set up for all Irish disciplines and the HSI wants any forthcoming Irish welfare legislation to include a list of unacceptable training practices (like rapping and the use of spiked boots).

The report’s findings will be added to the rulebook by the end of the year.

Read this news story in full, including the views of Denis Lynch and Jessica Kurten, in the current issue of Horse & Hound (12 March, 09)