Friday 20 April 2018

Authorities investigate death of horse ridden by Irish showjumper Kevin Thornton

Horse Sport Ireland is investigating the death of a horse in France.
Horse Sport Ireland is investigating the death of a horse in France.

Irish showjumper Kevin Thornton is at the centre of an investigation following the death of a horse he was riding at an event in France on Monday.

Ireland's governing body for equestrian sport, Horse Sport Ireland, said it is "extremely concerned" by reports of the incident at the two-star show in Cagnes-sur-Mer.

It also said it was liaising with both the French equestrian federation and world governing body the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI).

A statement to the Press Association read: " Horse Sport Ireland, the national governing body for equestrian sport in Ireland, are extremely concerned about reports of the alleged circumstances leading to the death of a horse ridden by Swiss-based Irish rider Kevin Thornton in Cagnes-Sur-Mer in France on Monday October 10th 2016.

"Last night, Horse Sport Ireland was in contact with our colleagues in the French Equestrian Federation, and the rider, to gather information on what happened. We will be continuing with this process.

"Any rider who obtains a licence from Horse Sport Ireland is also subject to the Horse Sport Ireland rules and code of conduct. Accordingly, it would not be appropriate for Horse Sport Ireland to comment further on the specifics of the case at this time as the matter will be subject to due process.

"Horse Welfare is a core value of Horse Sport Ireland. The horse is the silent partner in our sport and everyone involved has a responsibility to ensure that the welfare of the horses participating in our sport is never compromised."

Neither the French federation nor the FEI were immediately available for comment on Tuesday.

The FEI later confirmed it had launched a "full investigation" into the death of the horse, which was called Flogas Sunset Cruise.

In a statement to Press Association Sport, the FEI said: " We are in direct contact with the Cagnes-sur-Mer Organising Committee, which has filed a report on the incident with the police. A post mortem is scheduled to be carried out on the horse today.

"The welfare of our equine athletes is our number one priority and, although this incident took place on a rest day between two international events, the FEI has rules in place that mean any horse welfare issues can be addressed, even if they happen outside the duration of an FEI event.

"In order to protect the integrity of the investigation we will not give any further comment at this point in time."

Press Association

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