Court of Arbitration for Sport Hears Cian O’Connor/Horse Sport Ireland Ring Interference Case


Irish show jumper Cian O’Connor’s protest against a ring interference incident during the 2015 European Championships was heard today by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The incident occurred during the team final of the European Championships in Aachen, Germany on August 21, when a member of the jump crew ran in front of O’Connor’s horse, Good Luck, while horse and rider were on course. The subsequent rail that the horse knocked on the following fence cost Team Ireland their qualification for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Horse Sport Ireland immediately lodged a protest to the Ground Jury and a subsequent appeal to the Appeals Committee, but both were dismissed by FEI officials who ruled that O’Connor should have stopped on course under Article 233.3 of the FEI Jumping Rules.

Taking the case to the CAS, an international governing body for sport, is Ireland’s last chance at reversing the decision of the Ground Jury and gaining the points back to qualify for Rio. As of now, Spain holds the qualifying position.

In Laussane today, Irish chef d’equipe Robert Splaine was joined by O’Connor, fellow show jumper Darragh Kenny, and an extensive legal team to present their case. Both Team Ireland and the argument of the FEI were heard in full during the day-long hearing.

The CAS will now consider the case and issue its decision in the weeks to come.

“We had a full and complete hearing with the CAS today,” commented O’Connor. “We now have to wait for the panel’s decision and won’t be making any further comment until then.”

For video of the incident in question, follow this link.