Oliver Townend has withdrawn Ashdale Cruisemaster from Britain’s reserve list for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG, 25 September – 10 October).
Oliver was a non-travelling reserve, with Daisy Berkeley and Spring Along, Sharon Hunt and Tankers Town and Lucy Wiegersma and Woodfalls Inigo Jones.
But now he says he wants to concentrate on preparing himself and his horses for next year and qualification for the London Olympics in 2012.
He said: “Next year is going to very important in terms of qualification for the Olympics and it is in everyone’s interests here to prepare well over the coming winter. I want to start that preparation as soon as possible.”
And Sharon Hunt says she has had to withdraw from Burghley as Tankers Town is not fit.
She had given him time off in anticipation of a trip to the WEG in Kentucky and has not been able to get him ready in time for the four-star.
Oliver will be at Burghley next weekend where he will defend the title on board Carousel Quest, the grey who took him to glory 12 months ago.
But has decided not to take Ashdale Cruise Master, from whom he suffered a shocking fall at the Rolex Kentucky three-day event in April.
“I was going to take Ashdale Cruise Master as well but decided against that,” said Oliver, won both Badminton and Burghley last year.
“He has done enough this season and it is far more important that he is rested. After all, he is going to be an important horse for me in the next couple of years.
“It was a huge achievement for the whole team to win at Burghley last year and it will be great to try and do it again with Carousel Quest.
“He is a true Burghley horse, who has had a relatively quiet season and I’m sure he will rise to the occasion.”