O'Connor confirmed as Lynch replacement for Olympics

By John Tynan

By John Tynan

The Olympic Council of Ireland have confirmed that show jumper Cian O'Connor is to take Denis Lynch's place in the Olympics.

It comes after Lynch had his nomination dramatically withdrawn yesterday by Horse Sport Ireland.

Ireland manager Robert Splaine selected O'Connor and his horse Blue Loyd ahead of Corkman Shane Sweetnam, who was the other main contender to replace Lynch.

The OCI said in a statement: "The Olympic Council of Ireland has approved Horse Sport Ireland’s nomination of Cian O’Connor as the second Irish show jumping rider for the Olympic Games in London.

"The nomination was made by Horse Sport Ireland’s show jumping Chef D’Equipe Robert Splaine for the combination of Cian O’Connor and his horse Blue Loyd. Ireland will now be represented by Billy Twomey and Cian O’Connor in the individual show jumping event in Greenwich, London, which commences on August 5th."

The Meath-based rider has had some good results with his new horse and London 2012 will be a chance for him 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However, he had his nomination withdrawn yesterday by HSI after his horse Lantinus was disqualfied from Aachen show in Germany last Friday for failing a hypersensitivity test on its legs.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.

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