Splaine had no qualms in giving Lynch the nod

Ireland show jumping manager Robert Splaine says that as a “pragmatic” manager he had no qualms in allocating the World Cup slot in Geneva to Denis Lynch at the weekend.

Lynch was selected for the Olympics, but was dropped by Splaine when his horse Lantinus was disqualified at Aachen, Germany, after vets deemed the gelding’s legs were hypersensitive. There was much speculation as to the Tipp rider’s future involvement in the Irish squad under Splaine.

However, the manager said: “I just do my job and I don’t fall out or fall in with anybody. I’m fair and impartial. As such, Denis got selected for Geneva as he deserved it.

“My job is to get results, and I select riders and teams and individuals, accordingly. The selection for World Cups is based on who has been good to the team during the year. Loyalty to the team gets rewarded as best we can,” said Splaine, who is hoping to see his contract renewed in the new year.

Lynch’s bid for World Cup points in Geneva started brightly with an opening-round clear on Abbervail van het Dingeshof. The bay gelding had helped the Tipp rider pocket €60,000 when second in last week’s Gucci Grand Prix in Paris, but eight faults yesterday left the pairing last of the eight to qualify for the jump-off. Australian Edwina Tops-Alexander took the top prize on Cevo Itot du Chateau.

Lynch did taste victory in a 1.50m accumulator on Saturday with the 10-year-old Dutch warmblood gelding Vedor, the world champion six-year-old in 2008.

At the four-star show in Salzburg, Austria, Shane Breen was also in winning mode, beating 52 rivals in a 1.45m speed class on Ominerale Courcelle, while riding Balloon to third place in a subsequent competition.

Wexford 17-year-old Bertram Allen again featured in the ribbons, piloting Molly Malone to second in the Euro Youngster Cup.


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