Australian eventer Shane Rose has been ruled out of the Olympics due to an injury to his ride, Taurus.
Shane tweeted: “Devastated…..however it is not in Arvey’s best interest to compete in the Olympic Games this time.”
Shane will be replaced by Megan Jones on Kirby Park Allofasudden – who will be known as just Allofasudden for the Games because horses’ names are stripped of their commercial links. Megan travelled from Australia with the horse a couple of weeks ago.
The Australian Olympic Team website reports that the decision had been left late “to provide Rose and Taurus with every opportunity to get their start at the Games.
“But after extensive veterinary examination and monitoring, [team vets] have deemed the horse not recovered sufficiently to withstand the extensive pressure of the Olympic Eventing competition,” it says.
Equestrian section manager Brett Mace said: “This is not uncommon… for a horse to sustain an injury of this nature close of a major campaign and while the injury is not serious, there is just not enough time for recovery with just under a week to go.
“There is no doubt this is a blow for the team and we feel for Shane who has worked for many years preparing Taurus for these Games. He is a hard working athlete who was a formidable part of our silver medal Beijing team.
“But we had to take the advice of our vets in relation to performance and also horse welfare and therefore Megan Jones and Allofasudden will be added to the team. Megan has been working with her horse to ensure they are competition ready. She has the experience and proven track record to make it at this level of competition after finishing with a team silver medal and fourth individually at Beijing.
“The team now needs to focus on finalising preparation, and while Shane will be a loss, we feel our medal chances remain just as strong.”
The Australian eventing team move into Greenwich on Tuesday and the first day of eventing dressage is next Saturday, 28 July.
The Australian Olympic Team website also says that the last times reserves were substituted into the eventing team was in 1992 and 1996, when Gillian Rolton stepped into the teams. On both occasions the teams went on to win team gold medals. Gillian is on the ground jury for this Olympics in London.
Don’t forget to buy the second part of Horse & Hound’s Olympic preview, out Thursday, 26 July – including a form guide to all the horses and riders and pictures of the cross-country course.