Showjumpers face wait for verdict in Rio legal appeal
Irish showjumping will be holding its breath over the next few weeks following the appeal heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland yesterday.
In a bizarre incident during this summer’s European Championships in Aachen, Germany, an arena steward ran across the path of Cian O’Connor’s horse, Good Luck, in the pivotal closing stages of the team competition. The subsequent four faults picked up by the pair at the next fence left Ireland marginally outside a team qualifying spot for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and following protests and appeals to the international equestrian federation (FEI) an appeal was lodged with the CAS who yesterday heard their case.
Horse Sport Ireland CEO Damian McDonald said afterwards: “We had a long hearing today. We now have to wait for the decision which we are unlikely to receive before early January. We won’t be making any further comment about the case until then.
“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.”
O’Connor, whose legal team included Neville Byford from Eversheds in London and Jeffrey Chapman QC, described the hearing as “full and complete”.