By John Tynan
It looks certain that show jumper Cian O'Connor will replace Denis Lynch in the Olympics, after the latter had his nomination dramatically withdrawn yesterday by Horse Sport Ireland.
The decision is expected to be officially announced this afternoon by the Olympic Council of Ireland.
It is believed that O'Connor and his horse Blue Loyd were selected by Ireland manager Robert Splaine ahead of Corkman Shane Sweetnam, who was the other main contender to replace Lynch.
O'Connor has had some good results with his new horse and London 2012 will be a chance for the Meath-based rider to redeem himself, having been forced to hand back the gold medal he won in the Athens 2004 Olympics after his horse Waterford Crystal failed a drugs test.
Lynch was selected only last week as one of two show jumpers, including Corkman Billy Twomey, to participate in London 2012.
However, he had his nomination withdrawn yesterday by HSI after his horse Lantinus was disqualfied from Aachen show in Germany last Friday for failing a hypersensitivity test on its legs.
It was the third horse ridden by the Tipperary man to do so in the past 12 months.
The German-based rider is expected to appeal the withdrawal of his nomination, but has been informed there is no HSI appeals process and he may do so directly with the Olympic Council of Ireland or the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland.