SHOWJUMPER DENIS LYNCH has spoken out against the decision to withdraw him from the Irish team for the upcoming Olympic Games.
The 36-year-old’s gelding Lantinus was disqualified from the premier fixture in Aachen, Germany, last week after testing positive for hypersensitivity.
Lynch contends that the diagnosis was made after cuts and abrasions that the horse received in competition on Wednesday. Lantinus was passed fit to compete in the Nations Cup on Thursday, but tested positive for hypsersensitivity on Friday morning and was disqualified from the event.
In a statement on Monday, Horse Sport Ireland (HSI) said it, “has decided not to proceed with the nomination of Denis Lynch to represent Ireland in show jumping in the London Olympic Games. Horse Sport Ireland has now asked Show Jumping Team Manager Robert Splaine to put forward another combination from his list of reserves.”
However, Tipperary native Lynch contends that the hypersensitivity occurred naturally, and that, “at no stage, was there any inference from the FEI veterinary commission that the hypersensitivity was anything other than natural occurring. This is extremely important to note.”
Lynch also claimed that he has been pressured by Splaine to compete while injured in the past, under threat of losing out on the Olympics.
“Hindsight is wonderful and I fully understand if the public wonder why a chance was ever taken with Lantinus in competing in the Nations Cup on Thursday but I’d like to put this decision into perspective also,” he wrote.
“In May, having won the Derby at La Baule, I broke two ribs and had nine stitches to my head. I was advised by my doctor that I would be unable to compete for at least six weeks. However, Mr. Splaine had continued to pressurise me into riding for Ireland in the Nations Cup as the Irish team were unfortunately struggling badly.
“In the meeting today, he said he kept a spot open for me at the Rome Nations Cup. This is true and it is also true that this was 12 days after I had broken my ribs!!
“He informed me at the time that I may be jeopardising my chance for the Olympic nomination if I was not back riding in the Irish team very soon. This is a spot that I had spent 14 months competing to secure for Ireland and succeeded by finishing top of the individual Olympic rankings.
“This was important as the Irish team, of which I was also a part of, failed to secure a team spot at the Olympics.
“Perhaps (being urged to compete while injured) gives an indication to the pressure that was exerted on me in Aachen to compete in the Nations Cup with Lantinus.”
He went on to say that the public perception of him has been adversely affected by the actions of the panel that dropped him from the Olympic Games, and that he has been denied the chance to argue his case in the proper forum.
“Today, public perception was raised at the meeting by Mr. McDonald. Well, when no effort is made by the governing body to clarify matters, then naturally public perception will be suspicious,” he added.
“Finally, to top it all off, my participation in the Nations Cup in Falsterbo this week was withdrawn by Mr. Robert Splaine with no explanation provided. This raises the question as to the extent of the support provided for me by Horse Sport Ireland.
“At this stage, we are considering an appeal. However, although we have the right to appeal the decision this morning, we have been informed no appeal process is in place. This again, we find very unusual.”