Latest: decision due on Ireland’s Rio showjumping place

  • Irish showjumper Cian O’Connor and Horse Sport Ireland’s (HSI) appeal surrounding the European Championships will be delivered next month.

    HSI and Cian appeared before the Court for Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland, last week (16 December).

    At the 2015 European Championships, Cian looked on target for a clear with Good Luck when a member of the arena party dashed across his path and jumped into the flower bed around which Cian was turning round before tackling an oxer.

    Cian says the distraction caused Good Luck to fault. Ireland lost out on a Rio place to Spain by just 0.38 faults. On the day, HSI’s protest and appeal were dismissed.

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    Cian and HSI allege the incident cost Ireland’s showjumping team its Olympic place.

    “We had a long hearing. We now have to wait for the decision which we are unlikely to receive before early January,” said HSI’s Damian McDonald.

    “I want to thank our legal team of senior counsel Martin Hayden, specialist CAS counsel David Casserly, Joe Fitzpatrick and Eamon Carey from Smithwick Solicitors. Along with Cian O’Connor and his legal team they did a top class job in preparing and presenting the case.”

    The Ground Jury, presided over by Britain’s Jon Doney, said Cian could have stopped and signalled to the judges, but continued.

    “To have a showjumping team at the Olympic Games is very important for Ireland,” said HSI chairman Pat Wall.

    “Our riders and their owners are doing a huge amount to promote Ireland as a world leader in the sport.

    “They went to the European Championships to pursue their Olympic dream. A freak incident occurred on the day, which hindered our efforts. All we are looking for is fair play. We are convinced that if this incident had not happened, the Irish team would be going to the Olympics.”

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