Finland’s number 1 dressage rider Kyra Kyrklund is out of the European Dressage Championships, as her horse Andiamo Thyme has a foot abscess

The Surrey-based rider did not present the 11-year-old grey Oldenburg at the veterinary inspection held on Wednesday 13 August prior to the championships kicking off.

The Finnish team was widely expected to challenge Britain for one of the two remaining places at the Athens Olympics during the Europeans. The other big threats are Russia and Austria and they remain at full strength.

Two horses failed the inspection: Italy’s Red Bastian who was to be ridden by Stefano Blasi, and a Japanese horse White Foot, ridden by Yoshitaka Serimachi.

The Finnish team will compete with just three members, but the remaining two Japanese riders will now compete as individuals.

Meanwhile, Emile Faurie and Rascher Hopes kicked off the British bid to gain a place to the Athens Olympics next summer by scoring 66.4% in the grand prix today today (Thursday 14 August).

The pair performed a good test with just a couple of mistakes in the one-time changes and the piaffe. Second to go for Britain, Emma Hindle and Wie Weltmeyer will ride at 1.51pm.