Showjumper Trevor Breen said it was a “crying shame” he has had to withdraw Loughnatousa WB from this year’s Al Shira’aa Derby at Hickstead.

The 18-year-old Irish sport horse sustained what Trevor hopes to be only a minor injury, to a foreleg, but it was enough to keep him from this year’s competition (25 June).

“I’m gutted,” Trevor told H&H. “I don’t really know the extent of it yet; the vet wants to look into it and give it a few days to settle down so we’re hoping it’s minor but we don’t know.”

Loughnatousa WB has a great record in the Hickstead Derby – he won the Boomerang trophy with Trevor in 2015 and the pair finished fifth last year and sixth in 2014. The horse also won in 2012 with Paul Beecher and came fifth with Michael Lonsdale in 2013.

And Trevor said Loughnatousa WB had been going better than ever in preparation for this year’s event.

“It’s a crying shame,” he said. “He’s been in better order than ever; he’d had his last jumping session before the Derby and I genuinely felt he felt the best he had in all the years I’ve ridden him – even better than the year he won.”

Trevor thanked WB’s owner Patricia Brown and manager Bernice Cuthbert for all their support, adding on Facebook “we wish him a speedy and healthy recovery”.

Trevor said he does not yet know whether he will be aiming for a Derby entry at this year’s meeting, although he will be there to jump the international classes.

He will also take part in what is set to be an emotional ceremony, as his 2014 Derby winner – the one-eyed wonder horse Adventure De Kannan — is to be retired in front of the crowds on June 25 before the competition.