WITH just five hours to go before the FEI deadline of 12 midnight, Horse Sport Ireland officials and team manager Robert Splaine are working on documentation for its Olympic-nominated horses and riders.
Top of the equine list will be MHS Going Global, the Irish Sport Horse owned by Caledonia Stables and ridden by Greg Broderick.
The gelding is at the centre of allegations that he may not be eligible to represent Ireland in the Olympic Games, a claim that Horse Sport Ireland has strenuously denied.
Speaking to The Irish Field this evening, Horse Sport Ireland’s Elaine Hatton said:
“HSI's selection criteria for the Olympic Games included a clause on eligibility and provides for an appeal to Just Sport Ireland. No appeals were submitted before or subsequent to the appeal deadline.”
She continued: “If any party has evidence that any horses selected for the Olympic Games in dressage, eventing or show jumping are ineligible to compete they are welcome to submit it to Horse Sport Ireland.
“However, as it stands, we are satisfied that all horses nominated in all three disciplines are eligible to compete.”
The FEI website currently lists MHS Going Global as being owned by Caledonia Stables and the owner’s nationality as Irish, while at the Dublin Horse Show launch last week, Greg Broderick told The Irish Field: “Thankfully I own him with people that are huge supporters and they have kept him in Ireland, it’s lucky that it’s gone our way that I’m going to the Olympics, it could have gone either of four ways and a very strong case could have been made for all four riders with fantastic horses.”
Lee Kruger, owner of Caledonia Stables, told Horse Canada (http://www.horse-canada.com/) last weekend that Broderick owns a share of all her horses, as referred to in this extract from a blog published on the site:
“The publisher of Horse Canada kindly called Lee on my behalf yesterday. She advised that Greg owns 10% of all her horses, though she also mentioned she was not fully apprised of the FEI rules regarding ownership.”
Under FEI rules on Olympic show jumping places, Ireland can name up to three horses per individual qualifying spot.
So Horse Sport Ireland’s Rio-nominated pairing of MHS Going Global and Greg Broderick will be joined on the list by two reserves from the three reserve combinations already named by Robert Splaine – Bertram Allen and Molly Malone V, Denis Lynch and All Star 5 and Cian O’Connor and Good Luck.
Officials in FEI headquarters in Switzerland will tonight begin processing the paperwork submitted by each individual national federation to ensure the eligibility of all horse and rider combinations nominated to compete at the Rio Olympic games, including ownership requirements.
All national federations must send a Certificate of Capability for all athletes and horses nominated to the FEI no later than June 20th.
The final deadline for the Rio 2016 Organising Committee to receive the definite list of teams, individuals and horses is July 18th next.
An FEI spokesperson said: “Horses entered for the equestrian events at the Olympic Games must have been registered with the FEI as property of owners of the same nationality as the athlete by 15th January 2016.
“It is the responsibility of the individual National Federation to ensure the eligibility of all horse and rider combinations nominated to compete at the Olympic Games, including the ownership requirements, prior to submitting nominated entries to the FEI by 20th June. The FEI will only review nominated entries once they have been submitted by this date. Only then, can we advise which horses have been nominated.”