Gareth Hughes is out of the running for a place on the British team at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

His ride, the 10-year-old mare Briolinca, went lame in the warm-up at Rotterdam CHIO yesterday (24 June) in the Netherlands.

She did not pass the initial vet inspection at the show, but represented in the morning of 24 June and was fit to compete.

However, Gareth was then warming up the Trento B daughter, but felt her go lame “just before we were about to take the bandages off” in the Nations Cup grand prix on Thursday.

“She’s tweaked an old injury,” Gareth told H&H. “Of course it’s disappointing that we won’t be going to Rio as I thought she had a good chance, but she is only 10 years old and we’ll take her home and give her a few months off. She will be back!”

British team vet Andre Buthe concurred, adding that a return to competition in time for next year’s European Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden, was certainly possible.

The mare, who belongs to Gareth, his wife Rebecca and Classic Dressage’s Julia Hornig had been a strong contender for a team place at the Rio Olympics in August.

Gareth added: “I wish all the other nominated riders the best of luck and to the team that makes it to Rio.

“I’d like to thank all my sponsors, family and friends for their support this year. We have been very fortunate to have extraordinary support from World Class — without them this would not be possible — and of course our own ‘at home’ team.”

The bay mare had a very realistic chance of a place on the team had things gone to plan in Rotterdam: every one of her six international grand prix starts has yielded a score of over 70%.

Gareth has produced the mare, who is only lightly competed, from a young horse.

For a full analysis of scores and the rider most likely to claim the fourth team spot, pick up a copy of Horse & Hound magazine on Thursday, 30 June.