THE chairman of ShowjumpingIreland (SJI) Ronan Corrigan has confirmed the organisation was undertaking a review of its anti-doping policy.
“We are planning a radical overhaul of the whole testing regime and disciplinary procedure this year. A group has been formalised to undertake this task and are proceeding with their work. We are hoping to have it made public by May.
“Five horses tested positive last year: Two riders accepted the sanction imposed by SJI, which amounted to a fine of 500; two cases went to appeal and were successful and a third case has yet to be finalised.”
*JOHN FLOODY bids tomorrow to extend his lead at the top of the HSI Chippison Spring Tour when it moves to Cavan. He lines out with three mounts, including John Monks’s gelding Ashbourne, who gave Floody his second win of the tour at Kernan’s Equestrian Centre, Co Armagh, last weekend.
However, he will face stiff competition in the form of double winner Cian O’Connor (Splendor and Complete) and the likes of Dermott Lennon on Allan Davidson’s speedy Tolett.
Floody, with 30 points, has a six-point lead over Conor Drain, with O’Connor third on 20 points.
Seventeen-year-old Drain will be without the consistent Fine Filly, according to the start list issued by ShowjumpingIreland yesterday.
Instead the Antrim rider saddles up Shanroe Spirit and Strandeen Western Diamond.
Another tyro, Blayne Sheehan, demonstrated his potential by winning last Sunday at Maryville Equestrian Centre, Co Cork, with the seven-year-old Rathglass Dexter.
The Allihies 18-year-old is anticipating a good year, saying the two horses he has earmarked for the Chippison Tour are showing lots of potential.
“I’ve had Allihies Diamond Boy and Rathglass Dexter since they were five-year-olds and I feel they will both be real good. I have yet to jump a round of fences where I felt them struggling. I feel they can go a lot bigger,” said Sheehan.
He said that, along with his father Eddie, he produces horses for the young rider market and has set his sights on a career involving equines.
“We get good young rider horses that are calm in themselves and are good in their flat work and we produce them and then sell them, mostly locally,” said Sheehan, who recently extended his west Cork set-up with an American-barn-type stabling complex.
Sheehan says he will return to the Chippison Tour next weekend, taking in Barnadown and Warrington.