Horse Sport Ireland Decision Not to Send Team to Olympics Upheld for 2nd Time

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July 2, 2021

The decision by Horse Sport Ireland not to send a dressage team to the Tokyo Olympics was upheld Friday by a second independent arbitrator who rejected an appeal by riders Dane Rawlins and James Connor.

The arbitrator, Horse Sport (HSI) said in a statement, “found that the selection process was conducted fairly.”

The decision by the arbitrator David Sharpe came three days after an earlier appeal was denied by another arbitrator.

“In the arbitrator’s view,” HSI said, “there was an athlete nomination policy in place and the requirements which were simply not met. Any suggestion that the process was unfair was not made out.”

The two riders sought to be selected for Ireland’s first ever Olympic dressage team after other prospective combinations with results that met the criteria required by HSI dropped out due to retirement or fitness of horses.

Horse Sport Ireland selected Heike Holstein on Sambuca as an individual for the Olympics that open July 23.