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No suspicion of foul play, insists Olympic hopeful following horse's positive test

Denis Lynch has issued a statement to clarify Lantinus’ disqualification in Aachen, Germany.

Image: ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

THE IRISH SHOWJUMPER whose Olympic place was thrown into doubt last night has said that no foul play was suspected following his horse’s disqualification at a show in Germany.

Horse Sport Ireland requested that Denis Lynch’s nomination to the Irish squad be put on hold after his horse Lantinus tested postive for hypersensitivity in his legs at the Nations’ Cup in Aachen on Thursday.

In a statement posted on his Facebook page this morning, Lynch said that he did not appeal the disqualification as there were no plans for the horse to compete in any other events this weekend.

“My only concern was Lantinus’ welfare and that Lantinus would receive the veterinary attention required,” the Tipperary native said. “The Veterinary commission responded by saying that the horse could now be treated effectively as it would not jump again at the event.”

Lantinus received no further sanction from the authorities and is free to compete at the next show. The Germany-based rider is also free to compete at the remainder of the events in Aachen this weekend, including Sunday’s Grand Prix.

Hypersensitivity in horses’ legs can occur naturally. Although the condition can be produced artificially — a prohibited practice known as hypersensitisation — Lynch insisted that that this was not suspected.

“At no stage, was there any inference that the hypersensitivity was anything other than natural occurring,” he said. “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.”

On Tuesday Lynch was nominated to ride Abberbvail van het Dingeshof at the London Olympics, as were Billy Twomey and Tinka’s Serenade.

Lynch was one of four riders suspended from the final round of the individual competition at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 when Lantinus tested positive for a banned substance. Lynch subsequently received a three-month ban from the FEI.

Statement from Denis Lynch regarding the disqualification of Lantinus due to hypersensitivity

Following Lantinus disqualification, I‘d like to take this opportunity to clarify a number of matters regarding the disqualification.

Lantinus was examined two hours prior to competing in the Nations Cup on Thursday. While a small wound on the left fore leg and an abrasion on the right hind leg sustained in the previous days’ competition were identified, these were not associated with any hypersensitivity or abnormalities in the thermographic examination. We were satisfied, therefore, for Lantinus to compete in the Nations Cup.

The Nations Cup was held in very difficult weather and the ground conditions were extremely testing. I’ve always found Aachen to be one of the most enjoyable but competitive shows on circuit and Thursday certainly proved that to be the case. Lantinus was re-examined again after competing in both rounds on Thursday and again on Friday morning at 8.30am. In summary, the areas of sensitivity highlighted above on the left forelimb and on the hind limbs had increased after Lantinus had competed. 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. I did not take the opportunity to appeal as I had no intention of Lantinus competing in any other event at Aachen other than the Nations Cup. Consequently the Veterinary commission responded by saying that the horse could now be treated effectively as it would not jump again at the event.

It is very important to state that Lantinus received no further sanction and is free to compete at the next show, should I decide. I am free to compete in Aachen in the remainder of the events also.

Unfortunate and incredibly disappointing as this disqualification of Lantinus has been for me, I am happy with the findings of the Veterinary Commission.

I can now concentrate in competing in the Grand Prix in Aachen on Sunday and look forward to doing so once again.

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Niall Kelly

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