Cian O’Connor will now represent Ireland the London Olympics, following the disqualification of Denis Lynch.
The decision to drop Denis from the team follows the disqualification of his horse at the Nations Cup in Aachen last week (12 July). Lantinus was examinated after the competition and German officials found that he was suffering from hypersensitivity.
While this condition can be caused by a natural incident, such as insect sting or injury, it can also be created through artificial means. This is to done to increase the sensitivity in a horse's legs so that it will avoid touching the fences when jumping.
As Horse Sport Ireland (HSI) chief Damian McDonald explained, this isn’t the first time a horse ridden by Denis has tested positive.
“Hypersensitivity can be naturally occurring and there was no finding of wrong doing against Denis Lynch out of that,” McDonald said. “Unfortunately two other horses ridden by Denis in the past twelve months have tested positive for hypersensitivity and that meant this was the third incidence of hypersensitivity.”
Lynch was also disqualified from the last Olympics in Beijing when his horse tested positive for capsaicin, which is banned for its hypersensitising and pain-relieving properties.
“Our sport can’t afford to have anyone disqualified at the Olympic Games again,” McDonald added. “This is not about what happened in Aachen, it’s about concerns we have arising out of the fact that this has happened to a horse ridden by Denis three times in the last twelve months.”
In a statement released by Lynch he said that the disqualification of Lantinus was “incredibly disappointing", but that he was “happy” with the findings from the veterinary commission .
Lynch explained that his horse’s condition was caused by wounds from the previous day’s competition, which showed no signs of hypersensitivity on first inspection.
“The areas of sensitivity on the left forelimb and on the hind limbs had increased after Lantinus had competed,” Lynch said. “We were advised that Lantinus was now considered hypersensitive within Annex XI of FEI Veterinary Regulations, and on this advice, Lantinus was disqualified by the attending FEI vets.
“At no stage, was there any inference that the hypersensitivity was anything other than natural occurring. I feel this is very important to clarify and I would also like to state for the record that I fully support all measures regarding hypersensitivity implemented by the FEI.
“My only concern was Lantinus’ welfare and that Lantinus would receive the veterinary attention required,” he added.