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Denis Lynch

Denis Lynch

Personal information
Full name: Denis Lynch
Nationality: 22x20px Ireland
Discipline: Show jumping
Born: 3, 1976 (1976-05-03) (age 40)
Tipperary, Republic of Ireland
5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
172 lb (Template:Convert/kg stlb)

Denis Lynch (born May 3, 1976) is an Irish German show jumper.

As of the end of June 2010, he is ranked 14th in the Rolex World Rankings - Irelands no. 2.

He represented Ireland at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.[1] Early on 21 August it emerged that he had withdrawn from the equestrian individual final which was due to have been held later that day. [2] It was later confirmed that Lynch was banned from entering the show jumping final due to his horse, Lantinus, being found to have been in contact with illegal substances. Latinus was found to have capsaicin in his system due to the use of a cream similar to Deep-heat called Equiblock. Lynch had been using the banned substance for some time but maintained that he did not know it was illegal. He described himself as "shattered" due to missing out on his chance for an Olympic medal. [3] Lantinus was one of four horses banned on doping offences; the others were from Brazil, Germany and Norway. [4] Lantinus and Lynch had been described prior to the scandal as "Ireland's best chance of an Olympic medal in Beijing". [5]


2008 scandal


Denis Lynch had qualified for the final on Thursday 21 August by posting his worst result of the equestrian event the previous Monday. He recorded six penalty points in his third outing of the competition. Four of the points had been for jumping errors, whilst two came about due to him exceeding the 88 second time limit. Lynch had had only two points going into the Monday's event. [6]


In the hours that followed the revelations, Horse Sport Ireland made a statement on Lynch's Olympic shame, saying it was "informed by the world equestrian governing body, the FEI, at 2.15pm Hong Kong time on Thursday (21 August), that Irish Olympic rider Denis Lynch's horse, Lantinus had tested positive for a banned substance and that as a result he would be suspended from taking part in tonight's show jumping final." A urine sample from the horse's bladder was subjected to a voluntary screening testing process made available by the FEI on the horse's arrival in Hong Kong, the results of which proved negative. [7]

The head of the Irish Olympic team, Dermot Henihan, refused to speak to Lynch, calling it "a bitter pill to swallow". [8] A row is currently escalating after the President of the Olympic Council of Ireland threatened to ban the equestrian team from participating in future Olympic Games. [9] In an interview with the Irish Independent Pat Hickey accused the show-jumping industry of dragging Irish sport "through the mud" and said the embarrassment caused by Lynch could have "very serious repercussions for the entire equine industry in our country". Damien McDonald, the chief executive of Horse Sport Ireland, called it a "nightmare" and expressed his disappointment at Hickey for commenting publicly instead of first meeting with him in Ireland. He says he believes show-jumping could be removed from the Olympics altogether, with the International Olympic Committee scheduled to meet in Copenhagen in October to consider applications from five new sports to be included in future Olympic Games.

Political reaction

Minister for Sport Martin Cullen, who had been expected to fly from Beijing to Hong Kong if Lynch and Lantinus had won a medal in the final, was said to be "staying silent" as the controversy unfolded. The sports spokesperson for Fine Gael, Ireland's opposition party, Olivia Mitchell called it an understatement to say it was disappointing because "we knew we (Ireland) were going to be in the spotlight". She said there was no other option other than for it to have been an act of cheating or "incredible stupidity" and called for "swift condemnation and appropriate sanctions" to be handed out to Lynch. Mitchell did not accept Lynch's excuse of ignorance saying that "it is well known that capsaicin is a banned substance". She said the scandal would lead to "dismay among the public". [10]


Doubt has been cast on the future of equestrianism as part of the Olympics. [11] The doping scandal follows previous incidents at past Olympics, most notably the Cian O'Connor incident at Athens in 2004. O'Connor won an individual showjumping gold medal with his horse Waterford Crystal but was later stripped of it because of drug offences. Also in Athens, a doping scandal cost team Germany a jumping gold after the horse ridden by Ludger Beerbaum was disqualified when it tested positive for drugs. World number one, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, was left off the German team for Athens after her horse tested positive, though she was later cleared.


Towards the end of April, Lynch was selected as part of Ireland's Nations Cup Team in Lummen, Belgium. He was selected as first to jump (with Abberuail van het Dingeshof) followed by Alex Duffy (Tampa), Shane Breen (Carmena Z), and Billy Twomey (Tinka's Serenade). In the first round they all jumped clear apart from Alex Duffy, who had 22 faults. As Duffy had the discarded score, he did not jump in the second round. The remaining trio then produced 3 more clear rounds to tie for first place with Australia on zero penalties. The jump-off saw Chris Chugg of Australia go head-to-head with Billy Twomey. With Chugg having four faults and Twomey jumping his third clear round of the competition, Ireland won. Lynch also achieved good placings on his new ride - Lacroix 9. He directed the 15 year old gelding to 3rd place in the CSI2* Grand Prix, and 2nd in a CSI2* Table A class.

The opening leg of the Global Champions Tour in Valencia: Although many of the worlds best riders - including Lynch - had faults in the €285,000 Grand Prix on Saturday, he was narrowly beaten into second in the 1m50 'Trophy Massimo Dutti'. The class was won by fellow Irish rider - Jessica Kuerten - just 0.32 seconds in front.

At the Global Champions Tour in Hamburg, Lynch (with Nabab's Son) won the 'Mercedes-Benz Championat of Hamburg' - the 1m55 qualification class for the Global Champions Tour of Germany Grand Prix.

Lynch took the top spot in the Grand Prix qualifier at the CSI4* Weisbaden, Germany, with Abberuail van het Dingeshof. He had been competing at the Global Champions Tour of Italy on the Saturday and travelled 600km to win the class (and €7,500) in Weisbaden on the Sunday. Lynch then made his long trip very worthwhile by also taking the winners purse of €23,000 in the Grand Prix, again with Abberuail van het Dingeshof. He beat the recently crowned World Cup Champion (Marcus Ehning on Noltes Kuchengirl) into second place by just 0.08 of a second.

Lynch then travelled to the CSI3* Norten-Hardenberg, Germany. He and Lacroix won the 1m50 'Championat von Nörten-Hardenberg', Lynch also finished 5th on Nabab's Son in the 1m50 'Gothaer Trophy'.

He continued to chase the DKB Riders Tour shows, as he travelled to the CSI4* Balve. It was another worthwhile trip for Lynch as he finished second in the Grand Prix on his Olympic ride - Lantinus - putting him 18 points ahead of second place in the DKB Riders Tour standings at the half-way mark of the tour. Lynch also enjoyed the Medium Tour of the show, finishing 3rd in both the Grand Prix qualifier, and the Grand Prix with Abberuail van het Dingeshof

The fourth leg of the Global Champions Tour in Cannes, France was next for Lynch. On day 3, he was 0.09 seconds off the pace in the Table A 1m50 class with Lacroix.

For the final weekend of June, Lynch travelled to the CSI5* Global Champions Tour of Monte Carlo. He got off to a good start with Lacroix by taking top-spot in Thursdays 1m45 speed class, and bagging €6,400 in prize money. Lacroix continued his great form by finishing 8th in the Grand Prix with just four faults over the two rounds.

The sixth leg of the Global champions Tour was next for Lynch - the CSI5* Estoril, Portugal. On the opening evening, he jumped a double clear on Abberuail van het Dingeshof to secure 5th place and €1,750 in the 1m45 jump-off class - The 'Trophy Massimo Dutti'. He again chose to ride Abberuail van het Dingeshof in Saturday's GCT Grand Prix but were unlucky to have the final fence down in the first round.

Lynch travelled as part of the Irish squad to the CSIO5* Falsterbo, Sweden. In the opening competition - a 7 year old class - he steered All Star 5 to 4th place. In the 5th leg of the Meydan FEI Nations Cup, which was won by the home team, Ireland finished 5th on 24 faults: Dermott Lennon (Hallmark Elite) 4/12, Jessica Kuerten (Castle Forbes Myrtille Paulois) (8)/(12), Shane Breen (Carmena Z) 4/4, Denis Lynch (Nabab's Son) 0/0. He then went on to win the 'Six-Bar' competition on Saturday evening with the 7-y-o All Star 5.

Major Results

  • 2010
    • 2nd, Grand Prix - CSI4* Balve, Germany, (Lantinus)
    • Grand Prix - CSI4* Weisbaden, Germany, (Abberuail van het Dingeshof)
    • FEI Nations Cup of Belgium - CSIO4* Lummen, Belgium, (Abberuail van het Dingeshof)
    • 3rd, Grand Prix - CSI4* Braunschweig, Germany, (Abberuail van het Dingeshof)
  • 2009
    • 2nd, Grand Prix - CSI5* Paris, France, (All Inclusive)
    • 3rd, Grand Prix - CSI4* Kiel, Germany, (Tarpan)
    • 3rd, Grand Prix - CSI2* Valkenswaard, Holland, (Abberuail van het Dingeshof)
    • Meydan Nations Cup - CSIO5* Falsterbo, Sweden, (Lantinus)
    • Grand Prix - CSIO5* Aachen, Germany, (Lantinus)
  • 2008
    • 3rd, Grand Prix - CSI5*-W Olympia, London, United Kingdom, (Nabab's Son)
    • Grand Prix - CSIO5* Rome, Italy, (Lantinus)
    • Grand Prix - CSIO5* La Baule, France (Lantinus)
    • Grand Prix - CSI5* Global Champions Tour, Doha, Qatar, (Lantinus)
  • 2007
    • Grand Prix - CSI3* Dresden, Germany, (Lantinus)
    • 3rd FEI World Cup Qualifier - CSIO4*-W Zagreb, Croatia, (Upsilon D'Ocquier)
  • 2006
    • Samsung Super League Nations Cup - CSIO5* Falsterbo, Sweden, (Lancelot 200)


  1. http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/olympics/7285/262806.html
  2. "Showjumper Lynch withdraws from Olympic final". Irish Independent. 2008-08-21. http://www.independent.ie/sport/other-sports/olympics-2008/irish-news/showjumper-lynch-withdraws-from-olympic-final-1460615.html. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  3. http://www.breakingnews.ie/sport/mhqleyeygbmh/
  4. "Showjumper Lynch withdraws after positive drug test". Irish Independent. 2008-08-21. http://www.independent.ie/sport/other-sports/olympics-2008/irish-news/showjumper-lynch-withdraws-after-positive-drug-test-1460684.html. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  5. "Lynch and Lantinus bookies' favourite to join elite group of Irish medal winners". Irish Independent. 2008-08-06. http://www.independent.ie/sport/other-sports/olympics-2008/news/lynch-and-lantinus-bookies-favourite-to-join-elite-group-of-irish-medal-winners-1448012.html. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  6. "Lynch qualifies for final". RTÉ. 2008-08-19. http://www.rte.ie/sport/olympics2008/2008/0818/lynchd.html. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  7. "Horse Sport Ireland make Lynch statement". RTÉ. 2008-08-22. http://www.rte.ie/sport/olympics2008/2008/0821/lynchd1.html. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  8. "Olympic chief devastated by horse doping scandal". Irish Independent. 2008-08-21. http://www.independent.ie/sport/other-sports/olympics-2008/olympic-chief-devastated-by-horse-doping-scandal-1460850.html. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  9. "Doping row escalates over team ban threat". Irish Independent. 2008-08-23. http://www.independent.ie/national-news/doping-row-escalates-over-team-ban-threat-1461699.html. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  10. "TD condemns 'incredible stupidity'". Irish Independent. 2008-08-22. http://www.independent.ie/national-news/td-condemns-incredible-stupidity-1461071.html. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  11. "Lynch banned from Olympic Jumping". RTÉ. 2008-08-22. http://www.rte.ie/sport/olympics2008/2008/0821/lynchd.html. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 


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