Doping move is driving fair play forward
Horse Sport Ireland (HSI) is to roll out a major new national anti-doping and medication control programme this year.
HSI chief executive Damian McDonald said that in more than 400 tests carried out by the FEI on Irish horses over the past three years, Ireland had no positive tests on horses ridden by Irish riders in international competition.
"This is as it should be and the next step is to introduce testing at national level," said Mr McDonald.
While Showjumping Ireland has been testing in recent years, the new programme will cover all disciplines.
The HSI boss said Ireland must have a clean sport where the welfare of the horse was paramount.
"Sometimes people in the sport don't fully realise how much damage has been done to the perception of our sport by high-profile violations of the FEI anti-doping and controlled medication cases," he said.
"If we are to attract new owners, sponsors, spectators and increased media coverage, we need to continue to have a robust anti-doping and medication control programme in place."
Looking forward to this year's Olympic Games, Ireland has not yet qualified a team in eventing and cannot now qualify a full team in showjumping, but we can still qualify a number of individual riders. These places will be allocated based on Olympic ranking points and the cut-off date is March 1.