CAS upholds FEI position in Irish Aachen appeal

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has today dismissed the appeal by Irish athlete Cian O’Connor and Horse Sport Ireland and upheld the decision rendered by the FEI Appeal Committee following an on-course incident at the FEI European Jumping Championships in Aachen (GER) on 21 August 2015.

“I am happy that the CAS has confirmed the decision of the FEI Appeal Committee”, FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez said after receiving today’s ruling. “This was a field of play issue that was covered by FEI rules, so the CAS ruling upholding the decision made at the time is an important one for the FEI.”

The appeal to CAS was lodged by Cian O’Connor and Horse Sport Ireland on 11 September 2015 and a hearing took place in Lausanne (SUI) on 16 December 2015.

The appeal resulted from an incident in which a member of the arena fence crew ran across the track as O’Connor was turning towards the 11th fence during the team Final at the FEI European Jumping Championships 2015 in Aachen. The horse Good Luck hit the fence to complete the course on four faults.

Cian O’Connor and the Irish chef d’equipe Robert Splaine lodged a protest immediately after the class, but the Ground Jury ruled that the result would stand. A subsequent appeal to the Appeal Committee later that night was rejected and the Ground Jury decision was upheld.

Today’s CAS ruling means that the results from Aachen remain unchanged, with Ireland finishing seventh overall. The full award, complete with reasons for the decision, will be issued at a later stage.

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