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Reports - Ireland to appeal to FEI
03 Sep 2015 09:09
It has been reported this evening that Horse Sport Ireland met with their legal team this morning and plan to proceed with legal action against the International Equestrian Federation following the Cian O'Connor incident at the recent European Equestrian Championships in Aachen, Germany, which the organisation claim cost the Irish show jumping team a place at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
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It is believed that the HSI will be notifying the FEI of their intentions to proceed with legal action, which would be dealt with by a special tribunal.
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An appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport is another option still open should the FEI tribunal fail.
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Ireland finished an agonising 0.380 penalties, behind third place and the final Rio qualifiers Spain, following a dramatic finale to the team competition in Aachen, Germany. Great Britain and Switzerland secured the other two Rio tickets on offer, with Ireland finishing seventh.
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O'Connor, Ireland's third of four team riders, had jumped clear approaching the 11th fence, but a member of the arena staff then appeared to run in front of him, before leaping into a flowerbed to avoid horse and rider. O'Connor had the next fence down.
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Had he completed a clear round, the 35-year-old London 2012 individual bronze medallist would have helped secure an Olympics place for Ireland, especially as fourth team member Denis Lynch then left all the fences up.
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O'Connor could be seen gesticulating angrily as he exited Aachen's 44,000-capacity main arena on his somewhat inappropriately-named horse Good Luck, and while world champions the Netherlands celebrated winning gold, with Germany finishing second, Switzerland third and Britain fourth, Ireland began an appeal process.
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An immediate protest to the ground jury was rejected, before a subsequent appeal was made to the appeal committee, with the HSI revealing both bids had been unsuccessful during the following day.
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