American dressage rider Debbie McDonald and Irish event rider Mark Kyle will take no further part in the Aachen action due to concerns about their respective horses Brentina (pictured) and Drunken Disorderly.

Debbie can take some consolation from the fact that she and Brentina helped the American team to win the bronze medal in the dressage, but Mark has no such reprieve as his horse was spun at the first veterinary inspection before the eventing competition got underway.

American team vet Dr Tim Ober said: “Brentina had a slight swelling after the competition on Wednesday. While a diagnosis is pending further evaluation by USEF veterinary staff, Debbie McDonald and Klaus Balkenhol have decided it is not in the best interest of Brentina to ask her to continue in the individual competition at these games.”

Debbie said that she felt the mare was not quite right in the extended trot yesterday and rode conservatively as a result: “She seems okay today, but in conferring with our vets, the best decision for Brentina is to withdraw her. We came here to compete for the Team, we have achieved that goal, and we’re very happy.”

American chef d’equipe Klaus Balkenhol added: “Brentina is a fantastic mare and a true treasure; to do anything but take the conservative route and withdraw her would be very wrong. I’m so proud of Debbie’s ride yesterday, and I’m proud of her decision to withdraw. We look forward to the special and potentially the freestyle with Steffen Peters and Floriano and Guenter Seidel and Aragon, both very solid horse and rider teams.”

Don’t miss this week’s Horse & Hound for in-depth reports on all the action in Aachen