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Tina Cook’s world team silver medallist De Novo News is still in Newmarket Equine Hospital but “making very slow progress”.

The four-star eventer contracted travel sickness after coming home from Strzegom, Poland, in June. This turned into pleuropneumonia and he developed an abscess at the top of the chest cavity under the shoulder blades. This is not an area that can be operated on.

De Novo News went into the hospital about six weeks ago and was given only a 10% chance of survival.

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“Everything is still very slow, but it’s more positive that he will survive,” Tina told H&H today (Monday, 21 September).

“It’s a slow process for the antibiotics to break down the abscess. They can’t go in and draw out the fluid because it’s too dangerous, being by his heart.

“The vets believe the abscess is getting smaller. He has been out in a small paddock in the sun and has put a bit of weight on. So there are positive signs that he is making progress in the right direction.”

The illness De Novo News has contracted is rare, particularly as Tina took care to give the horses adequate breaks on the journey home from Poland.

“It’s very unusual,” said Tina. “We did everything properly and broke up the journey — we stopped at Tim Lips’ place in Holland for a couple of hours. The other two horses I had on the lorry, Calvino II and Billy The Red, are fine.”

Tina bred De Novo News — he is by Last News and she rode his dam Douce De Longvaut round Burghley when she was in-foal with him. He is now part-owned by Jim Chromiak.

The pair fell in The Lake at Badminton this spring, but returned with 15th in the CIC3* at Bramham.

They were named third reserves for the British squad for the European Eventing Championships at Blair earlier this month before the horse fell ill.