Friday 9 December 2016

Thornton set to face 'abuse' case equestrian

Published 11/11/2016 | 02:30

The international equestrian governing body FEI yesterday announced that it has opened a case against Irish showjumper Kevin Thornton for alleged abuse of a horse.

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The 10-year-old grey stallion Flogas Sunset Cruise collapsed and died on October 10, a non-competition day during a tournament taking place at Cagnes-sur-Mer in France.

The 28-year-old Swiss-based rider was the subject of a social media storm when news emerged of the horse's death.

In a statement he rejected accusations of any wrongdoing.

"There is no way I would hurt a horse or endanger its well-being. I did not do that and I never would. I'm not that person," he said.

Horse Sport Ireland said it was "extremely concerned" about the circumstances leading to the horse's death, and the FEI launched an investigation, with a post mortem taking place on the horse on October 11.

The stallion was co-owned by Vinnie Duffy from Ballina and had competed in five international competitions since June with Thornton in the saddle.

Yesterday's FEI statement said: "The athlete has been given the opportunity to provide a written reply to the allegations, including any documents, witness statements or other evidence that may be used in any legal proceedings arising out of this case."

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OLYMPIC lightweight champion Estelle Mossely looks poised to follow Katie Taylor into the pro ranks.

The French fighter has not entered the European Women Championships which begin in Sofia next week and could switch codes early in the new year.

Bray native Taylor, who will make her professional debut in London on November 26, beat Mossely in the 2014 European Elite and 2015 European Games finals.

But Mossely beat Taylor en route to gold, denying the Bray woman six in a row, at this year's World Championships.

Irish Independent

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