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Emily King has had to withdraw from the British squad at this week’s young rider European Championships as her ride, Jane del Missier’s Dargun, suffered a minor setback in training once he had arrived in Montelibretti, Italy.

“I’m devastated to say that we’ve had to withdraw Dargun from the young rider European Championships,” said Emily. “He hasn’t been himself since arriving in Montelibretti and obviously our horse’s wellbeing is the first thing we consider.

“Life throws some hard things at us, but there are undoubtedly worst things happening in the world. Endless thanks to everyone who has worked so hard to get us here and I’m just so sorry we can’t do you proud. Huge good luck to the rest the team… I will be cheering you on every step of the way, go for gold GB!”

British Eventing’s statement added: “Unfortunately due to a minor setback in training it has been decided to withdraw Emily King’s Dargun from the championships. This is of course a big disappointment for Emily, the horse’s owners and the team but her ride will be back in action in due course.”

Emily and Dargun had a strong season leading up to selection for the squad, with their good results including second in the under-21 CCI2* at Houghton and third in the British intermediate championships at Gatcombe.

Emily, the daughter of multi-medalled British eventer Mary King, won team gold at the young rider Europeans last year with Loxley as well as junior individual silver in 2012 on Mr Hiho. She will still be young enough to contest the young rider Europeans next year, should she be selected.

British team starting orders

The starting order for the Askham Bryan-sponsored British young rider team will be Ella Hitchman (Rocky Rockstar), India Wishart (The Masters Harry), Sam Ecroyd (Opera House) and Will Furlong (Livingstone II). Katie Bleloch (Bulano) will compete as an individual.

The Racesafe British junior team riders will be Phoebe Locke (Union Fortunus), Bubby Upton (Eros DHI), Felicity Collins (RSH Contendor) and Richard Coney (Kananaskis). The individuals are Chelsea Pearce (Albert VI) and Chelsea Round (Fleetwood Mac V).

Full report of the junior and young rider European Championships in H&H next week (out Thursday, 29 September).