Lynch off Irish showjumping team after bust-up with Splaine

  • Irish showjumper Denis Lynch has quit the Irish team, blaming irreconcilable differences with team manager Robert Splaine.

    Denis is now considering riding for Germany — where he has lived for the past 16 years.

    Denis told the Irish Examiner newspaper: “The team must come first, not me, an individual, but if I cannot give the same commitment, there is no point in continuing.

    “I have spoken with Horse Sport Ireland (HSI) and I don’t think we can achieve anything at the moment.

    “The relationship between myself and Robert [Splaine] has broken down, but manager/athlete situations like these occur in all sports.

    “I have to recognize our relationship is poor and this could definitely affect the team in the future. So I have to question my involvement.”

    A spokesman for HSI told H&H: “It is our view that the appropriate way to resolve any issues which a rider may have with the management of any Irish equestrian team is for the rider to sit down with the team manager and discuss them face to face.

    “In recent weeks Denis Lynch has repeatedly declined to do this, despite several proposals to this effect from Robert Splaine.”

    He said that Mr Splaine, HSI chief executive Damian McDonald and chairman Joe Walsh had offered to visit Denis in Germany on 7 January but their overture had been refused.

    “The offer to meet still stands,” said the HSI spokesman. “However, we want to make it clear that it is HSI’s prerogative to appoint the manager of the Irish showjumping team.

    “In addition, any rider who wants to ride for Ireland must be willing to comply in full with HSI’s rules and code of conduct,” he added.

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