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Olympic show jumper Shane Rose cleared to compete after review into orange mankini outfit

By George Ramsay, CNN

(CNN) — An orange mankini is the talk of the equestrian world after an Australian show jumper’s risqué outfit choice threatened to derail his hopes of making a fourth appearance at the Olympic Games.

Shane Rose was stood down from competitions temporarily for wearing a mankini at an event in New South Wales earlier this month, throwing his participation at Paris 2024 into jeopardy.

But following a review, Equestrian Australia (EA) said on Monday that Rose did not breach the organization’s code of conduct with his head-turning attire at the Wallaby Hill Extravaganza, during which riders are encouraged to wear fancy dress.

“Our sport is made up of wonderful individuals and we have plenty to look forward to in the year ahead,” said Darren Gocher, the CEO of EA.

“Shane has reflected on the incident, has apologised and understands the high standards expected of everyone involved in our High Performance program.

“With the matter now resolved, Shane and his teammates are now looking forward to continuing to focus their attention on qualifying for Paris.”

EA said that “concerns were raised” about Rose’s costume at Wallaby Hill and added that it “has an obligation” to review such complaints.

However, the 50-year-old was later cleared to return to competition and remains on track to represent Australia at this year’s Olympics, which begin on July 26.

“The support and interest in this story has been like nothing I have experienced before,” he said in a Facebook post. “Now it is time to focus on the job ahead and try to get Australian Equestrian in the media for a more positive reason, an Olympic gold medal.”

Rose has won two silver medals and a bronze across three Summer Olympic Games at Tokyo 2020, Rio 2016 and Beijing 2008. Injuries to his horses prevented him from competing in Atlanta in 1996 and London in 2012.

When riding at Wallaby Hills earlier this month, Rose also wore a gorilla costume and a Simpsons-inspired Duffman outfit, as well as the mankini.

“It’s something I haven’t worn before,” he told Nine Network’s The Today Show about the Borat-style swimwear, “and it’s not the most comfortable attire.

“Luckily, I’ve got a great saddle sponsor and my saddles are really comfortable,” he then quipped.

On social media and across the show jumping community, Rose received widespread support after the review was announced.

“Amazed at all this hoo-ha about Shane Rose, who is one of the hardest working, most decent people in the sport,” three-time Olympic show jumper Vicki Roycroft wrote on Facebook.

“I do believe it has been blown out of proportion … Just feel incredibly sorry for the silly people who obviously have no sense of humour.”

In light of Rose’s outfit, agriculture machinery supplier Bowral Kubota, which sponsors the Wallaby Hill Extravaganza, said that it will donate a mankini to all spectators at next year’s event and give 100 Australian dollars (around $65) to support men’s health for any spectator who “tries to outdo Shane.”

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