Monday 23 April 2018

Show jumping champ faces €250,000 court battle over use of yard

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Stock Picture
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

A dispute involving two high-profile figures in the world of Irish show jumping appears set to be fought out in the High Court.

The row involves a claim that almost €250,000 is owed by national champion Aidan Keogh to a company called Droimsi Developments Ltd for the use of a yard and stables in Kilternan, Dublin 18. Mr Keogh is disputing the claim.

One of the main shareholders in Droimsi is Stephen O'Connor, who sponsors the Irish show jumping team through another business he is involved in, The Underwriting Exchange.

Droimsi bought the property from Mr Keogh's mother in 2007, but immediately licensed it to him for an annual fee of €25,000. He has continued to use the property ever since.

According to a summary summons issued by lawyers for Droimsi earlier this month, naming Mr Keogh and his wife Christine as defendants, payments totalling €249,149 were owed to the company up to September 28 last year.

The summons alleges the Keoghs defaulted in discharging the licence fee due under the terms of the agreement.

Despite demands, they had "failed, refused and neglected" to pay the sum owed, it was alleged.

Dispute

Droimsi has now asked the High Court for an order for the sum allegedly owed, interest and the company's legal costs.

However, Mr Keogh told the Irish Independent he was disputing the claim, which he described as "spurious". He said he was consulting his solicitors and plans to defend the case.

Mr Keogh confirmed he was still using the premises at the centre of the dispute, but declined to comment further.

Mr O'Connor had no comment when a representative was contacted by the Irish Independent.

Both men are high-profile figures in the equine industry.

As well as sponsoring the Irish show jumping team, Mr O'Connor's firm, The Underwriting Exchange, is also a sponsor of successful national hunt trainer Gordon Elliott.

Mr Keogh, meanwhile, is a senior international eventing rider who won a national championship with his horse Master Tredstep last year.

He has represented Ireland abroad in three-day eventing.

As well as competing, Mr Keogh also runs Tredstep Ireland, a well-known business specialising in the sale of horse-riding clothing and boots.

Irish Independent

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