Any chances of a team and individual medal for the British young rider eventing team were brought to an abrupt halt this morning (25 September) due to the injury of a key contender.

Opera House, the ride of Sam Ecroyd (pictured), was found to have suffered a minor injury following the cross-country at the European Young Rider Eventing Championships in Montelibretti, Italy yesterday.

Chef D’equipe of the British young rider team, Alex Colquhoun said: “We discovered a minor injury to Opera House following the cross-country and was unable to present to the second trot-up this morning. It’s very unfortunate and obviously hugely disappointing for Sam and the team.”

Britain was in fourth place in the team competition after the cross-country, within striking distance of bronze behind the Italian team, but when team member Will Furlong retired on the cross-country, the team was down to three members. With the loss of Sam, who was in individual fifth and also had a shot at an individual medal, the team is now eliminated.

There are three British young riders left in the competition. India Wishart and The Masters Harry finished the cross-country in 19th place, while Ella Hitchman and Rocky Rockstar are in 27th place and Katie Bleloch and Bulano are in 28th.

The showjumping phase begins at 12pm GMT.

All British medal hopes will now be pinned on the junior team who currently hold bronze. The final medals will be decided later this morning, concluding at 11.30am GMT.

For a full report from the Junior and Young Rider Eventing Championships, don’t miss next week’s issue of Horse & Hound magazine (29 September).