Denis Lynch will not represent Ireland at the Olympics

Updated: July 9, 2012

HORSE Sport Ireland has decided not to proceed with the nomination of Denis Lynch to represent Ireland in show jumping in the London Olympic Games after Lynch’s horse Lantinus was found to be suffering from sore feet and hypersensitive after Thursday evening’s Nations Cup at the Aachen show.

Horse Sport Ireland has now asked Show Jumping Team Manager Robert Splaine to put forward another combination from amongst his list of reserves.

We could have sensational recall for Cian O’Connor and his mount Blue Loyd. O’Connor you will recall took Gold for Ireland in 2004 on Waterford Crystal, a result which was later overturned after banned substances were found in his horse’s system. If Lynch is to be replaced – which now seems likely – then the choice will surely be between O’Connor and Shane Sweetman on Amaretto d’Arco.

After a further examination on Friday, Lantinus was deemed unfit for competition and disqualified from the event.

On Saturday, Denis Lynch had this to say in a statement regarding the disqualification of Lantinus.

“Following Lantinus disqualification, I‘d like to take this opportunity to clarify a number of matters regarding the disqualification.

Lantinus was examined two hours prior to competing in the Nations Cup on Thursday. While a small wound on the left fore leg and an abrasion on the right hind leg sustained in the previous days’ competition were identified, these were not associated with any hypersensitivity or abnormalities in the thermographic examination. We were satisfied, therefore, for Lantinus to compete in the Nations Cup.

The Nations Cup was held in very difficult weather and the ground conditions were extremely testing. I’ve always found Aachen to be one of the most enjoyable but competitive shows on circuit and Thursday certainly proved that to be the case. Lantinus was re-examined again after competing in both rounds on Thursday and again on Friday morning at 8.30am. In summary, the areas of sensitivity highlighted above on the left forelimb and on the hind limbs had increased after Lantinus had competed. We were advised that Lantinus was now considered hypersensitive within Annex XI of FEI Veterinary Regulations and on this advice, Lantinus was disqualified by the attending FEI vets.

At no stage, was there any inference that the hypersensitivity was anything other than natural occurring. I feel this is very important to clarify and I would also like to state for the record that I fully support all measures regarding hypersensitivity implemented by the FEI.

My only concern was Lantinus’ welfare and that Lantinus would receive the veterinary attention required. I did not take the opportunity to appeal as I had no intention of Lantinus competing in any other event at Aachen other than the Nations Cup. Consequently the Veterinary commission responded by saying that the horse could now be treated effectively as it would not jump again at the event.

It is very important to state that Lantinus received no further sanction and is free to compete at the next show, should I decide. I am free to compete in Aachen in the remainder of the events also.

Unfortunate and incredibly disappointing as this disqualification of Lantinus has been for me, I am happy with the findings of the Veterinary Commission.

I can now concentrate in competing in the Grand Prix in Aachen on Sunday and look forward to doing so once again”.

Lynch stressed that there was no suspicion of any foul play involved. Only on Tuesday , Horse Sport Ireland had nominated Billy Twomey and Denis Lynch to the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) to represent Ireland in show jumping at the Olympics in London.

The riders were selected by show jumping Team Manager Robert Splaine and following the expiry of the deadline for lodging HSI selection appeals, the names of the two riders were forwarded to the OCI.

Twomey was selected with Edwin and Sue Davies’s mare Tinka’s Serenade, while Lynch will ride Thomas Straumann’s gelding Abbervail van het Dingeshof.

Ireland did not qualify a show jumping team for London but two individual slots were secured by Twomey and Lynch from the Olympic rider rankings.

However, under IOC (International Olympic Committee) rules these places are allocated to Ireland and any qualified Irish rider could be selected to fill the place. However, after strong performances recently, Twomey and Lynch are now to be nominated to the OCI to fill the places.

At Tuesday’s announcement , Horse Sport Ireland CEO Damian McDonald said that while it was important to have success at the games it was vital that there were no infringements of anti doping or medication regulations at the event.

“Since 2008 a number of measures have been put in place to address what happened at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic games. Since 2008 over 300 horses ridden by Irish riders have been tested during international competitions by the FEI and all have tested negative which is as it should be,” he said.

“However, we cannot be complacent. We have been working closely with the OCI to put the right protocols in place in the lead up to the games. The OCI /HSI monitoring group met with the riders in Dublin airport yesterday to ensure all possible further safeguards are put in place.

“The riders have gone out of their way to work with us on these issues and I know they are determined to ensure that Ireland and Irish show jumping is represented with distinction at the 2012 Olympic games in London,’ he said.

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