CAS to hear Ireland appeal over Aachen saga

Ireland's hopes of getting a showjumping team to the Rio Olympics remain alive, with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) yesterday confirming that an appeal lodged by Horsesport Ireland (HSI) and Cian O'Connor will be heard in December.

A spokesperson for the CAS Media Department told the Irish Independent yesterday: "We have proposed dates to the parties, but as yet nothing is confirmed".

The appeal relates to an incident during the second and deciding team competition at the European Championships in Aachen on August 21, during which a steward ran across the path of O'Connor and his horse, Good Luck. The stallion was producing a great round but hit the next fence, and those four faults saw Spain pipping Ireland for an Olympic slot by 0.38 points.

There was a protest to the Ground Jury followed by an appeal to the Appeals Committee that night, but both proved unsuccessful. The FEI agreed in September that by-passing their Tribunal and appealing to CAS directly would fast-track the appeals process.

O'Connor remains determined that an Olympic slot is still on the cards. "We are waiting to hear back about the appeal date, and hoping the venue will be London mid-December.