Equestrian: Irish Olympic hopes boosted as Lynch and Splaine move to iron out rift
Published 02/03/2011 | 05:00
Show jumper Denis Lynch met with Irish team manager Robert Splaine in Dublin on Monday in an effort to iron out their differences, and the governing body for equestrian sport, Horse Sport Ireland (HSI) yesterday reported that "progress was made" as a result.
Lynch has been making noises about transferring his allegiance to Germany, where he has lived with his wife and family for many years, stating that he was unhappy about a number of issues in the aftermath of the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky last year.
He has refused to make the detail of his grievances public, but it is understood that his poor relationship with Splaine is at the core of his concerns.
However, Monday's meeting appears to throw some positive light on the situation and HSI said in a statement that "it is hoped that matters will be fully resolved shortly".
Lynch's support will be pivotal in Ireland's effort to earn a place at the London Olympic Games through a good performance at the European Championships in Madrid in September.
Yesterday, Lynch handed over a cheque for €100,000 to the Irish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) to help neglected and abused horses in Ireland.
The Tipperary-born rider was motivated by an article in a leading German newspaper and his campaign got a massive boost with a single anonymous donation of €80,000 at the Basel show in January.
International journalists were shocked to find herds of wandering and neglected horses while visiting ghost housing estates during their coverage of the IMF's arrival in Dublin last November and subsequently reported on what they had witnessed.
Jimmy Cahill, a spokesman for the Dublin Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA), recently told the Irish Independent that the society counted well in excess of 2,000 animals in a helicopter fly-over of the M50 motorway area between Finglas and Tallaght last year.
Lynch intends to continue to raise funds for Irish horse charities during both the prestigious Riders Tour and the highly lucrative Global Champions Tour this summer.