Medication logbook among Ireland's new horse sport rules

December 21, 2009

Ireland's Denis Lynch was fined €1142 and banned from international competition for three months over a positive test to Capsaicin at the Olympic Games last year. © Kit Houghton/FEI

Ireland has adopted new horse sport rules with the hope that any "unfortunate incidents" will be avoided in the future.

The rules will apply to all riders who represent Ireland in international competition, and a key part of the new rules is the medication log book.

The logbooks were introduced in 2009 as condition of selection for the senior European Show Jumping and Eventing Championships and had to be presented to the Horse Sport Ireland's Team veterinary surgeon before the horses were allowed to compete.

They followed a doping incident at the Olympic Games in 2008 in which Denis Lynch was fined €1142 and banned from international competition for three months over a positive test to Capsaicin.

Horse Sport Ireland Chairman Joe Walsh said that the new rules were needed and would strengthen the Governance of the Sport.

"It is an absolute honour for a rider to represent their country on a team or as an individual and we must have the very highest standards in place. These rules set out good procedures to deal with issues that may arise," he said.

"I want to thank all of those who worked on these rules over the past eight months, especially the rules committee, the affiliate bodies and the Board members," he said.

The approval of the new rule book was made at an extraordinary general meeting of Horse Sport Ireland on Thursday.

The new rules also cover areas such as the licensing of athletes, entry into international events, conduct of athletes at international events and disciplinary structures.

In 2009 more than 480 athletes were licensed by Horse Sport Ireland to represent Ireland in international competitions all over the world.

The new rules will apply from January 1 and will be circulated to all international riders in the next few days.

Walsh said that the rules would be on the agenda for a scheduled meeting with High Performance Show Jumping riders which was to take place in February and that Horse Sport Ireland will also go through them with riders from other disciplines at the various planning meetings that take place at the start of each year.

"The early part of the year is a relatively quiet time for international competition and I don't envisage any incident arising that would require us to resort to the rule book. Our international riders are our flagship and barring a small number unfortunate incidents they have brought great credit to our country," he said.