Mankini-wearing Australian equestrian Shane Rose cleared to continue Olympic preparations

<span>Australian equestrian Shane Rose has been cleared of misconduct after wearing a mankini in an event as a ‘bit of fun’</span><span>Composite: Reuters / Shane Rose</span>
Australian equestrian Shane Rose has been cleared of misconduct after wearing a mankini in an event as a ‘bit of fun’Composite: Reuters / Shane Rose

Shane Rose, the Australian equestrian who caused a stir when he wore a mankini in competition, has been cleared to continue his preparations for the Paris Olympics after apologising for the eye-opening stunt, while warning others about the pitfalls of wearing a G-string on horseback.

Rose, a three-time Olympic showjumping medallist, was stood down by Equestrian Australia this week after the sport’s governing body received a complaint at the event in the New South Wales southern highlands this month.

The costume put his plans for Paris in jeopardy, with any ongoing investigation potentially preventing him from competing in the buildup to the Games, which start in August.

But Equestrian Australia confirmed that Rose had not breached its code of conduct, accepted his apology and said he was free to resume competition.

The episode has also forced Equestrian Australia into a rethink of its minimum dress standards, and a “review the education modules for the high performance program to ensure they’re fit for purpose”.

“Equestrian Australia has an obligation to look into any concerns of this nature that comes from the community,” said Equestrian Australia’s chief executive, Darren Gocher.

Related: Showjumper Shane Rose stood down after wearing mankini during event

“Having now thoroughly reviewed the incident and spoken to relevant parties, Equestrian Australia has confirmed that there was no breach of the code of conduct by Shane Rose.

“We take the recommendations on board and will move quickly to ensure the relevant actions are taken. Our sport is made up of wonderful individuals and we have plenty to look forward to in the year ahead.”

Rose said his intention was only ever to “have a bit of fun”.

“In saying that, it’s a pretty serious thing … if that [his Paris program] was going to be compromised by missing an event in two weeks in New Zealand, it would be a massive compromise to my program,” he told Channel Nine’s A Current Affair on Monday night.

“It’s a nerve-racking time, not knowing, but I was always hopeful that common sense would come to the conclusion we’re at.”

After being stood down, Rose received support from some quarters, with several members of the equestrian community changing their social media profile pictures to Borat in a show of solidarity.

Borat, a creation of the British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, is widely considered responsible for bringing the mankini into the popular consciousness but Rose’s inspiration for the stunt did not lie with the fictional character.

The rider had also dressed up as Duffman – a character from The Simpsons – and a gorilla in the same mankini on the day.

“I’ve done it, haven’t I? I don’t need to do it again,” Rose said. “I’m comfortable with my decisions but, because some faceless person makes a complaint, a lot of things have happened over the last 24 hours that are not nice.

“I would not recommend a G-string to anyone, they’re not a comfortable bit of gear – and when you put that on a horse, even less comfortable. It’s been scandalous … mankini-gate.”

Rose is one of Australia’s pre-eminent equestrians. He won silver medals in team eventing in Beijing in 2008 and at the 2020 Games in Tokyo, and a bronze at the 2016 Rio Games.