Thursday 22 February 2018

Equestrian: HSI meet as Lynch deadline looming

Louise Parkes

A meeting is scheduled by Horse Sport Ireland (HSI) this morning as the deadline for ratification of Denis Lynch's inclusion in the Irish team for London 2012 runs out today.

And Lynch is expected to attend in order to explain the circumstances surrounding the disqualification of his 2008 Olympic ride Lantinus, which tested positive for hypersensitivity at the premier event in Aachen on Friday.

Lynch finished 13th in yesterday's Grand Prix at the German fixture.

Riding Abbervail van het Dingeshof, Lynch had a single fence down in the first two rounds of the competition won by Britain's Michael Whitaker who claimed the €110,000 winner's purse.

Lynch's participation in London has been on hold since HSI announced on Friday that it was waiting for a report from show officials about the disqualification of Lantinus from the remainder of show at Aachen after the 14-year-old gelding tested positive for hypersensitivity on Friday morning. "In the interim, we have asked the OCI to pause the process of ratifying Denis Lynch's selection for the Games," HSI announced.

Graeme Cooke, veterinary director for the international governing body, the Swiss-based FEI, confirmed yesterday that the report had been forwarded to the Irish Federation. HSI has not responded to requests to reveal the contents of the report. HSI has also declined to name the reserve rider who would replace Lynch if he is delisted for London. Cian O'Connor and Shane Sweetnam are the most prominent candidates.

On Saturday at Aachen, O'Connor steered KEC Alligator Alley into fifth in the Accumulator won by Frenchman Roger-Yves Bost and the former Jessica Kuerten ride, Castle Forbes Vivaldo.

Shane Breen slotted into sixth here with Balloon and, with Ominerale Courcelle, finished third in the cross-country style Preis der Sparkasse.

Yesterday Breen and Cos I Can claimed sixth in the SAP Speed event.

Anna Merveldt, who has been selected as Ireland's sole Olympic Dressage contender, was also in action in Aachen, finishing 11th with London-bound Coryolano in the hotly-contested Grand Prix Freestyle to Music won by Helen Langehanenberg and the stallion Damon Hill.

Meanwhile at Spruce Meadows in Calgary on Saturday Darragh Kerins and Lisona took seventh in the ATCO Power Queen Elizabeth II Cup won by Beezie Madden and Simon who pipped Rich Fellers and his Irish-bred 2012 World Cup winning horse Flexible.

At Omagh on Saturday, Waterford's Tholm Keane and Warrenstown You 2 topped the latest leg of the TRM/SJI Premier Grand Prix League.

Irish Independent

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