Top British medal hope to miss World Equestrian Games due to injury

  • Nicola Wilson and Bulana, who won an individual bronze medal and led the British team to gold at last year’s European Eventing Championships, will not contest the World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Tryon, USA (11-23 September).

    Bulana, owned by James and Jo Lambert, “has sustained a minor injury and with the time constraints would not be fit enough for WEG”, according to a statement from the British Equestrian Federation.

    The combination have been replaced on the British long-list by Alex Bragg with Sally Ellicott’s Zagreb. Alex and Zagreb recently won the Event Rider Masters at Jardy.

    Fifteen combinations were named on the British long-list on 28 June, the number of pairs which can be submitted to the FEI as the nominated entries on 13 August. The squad of five has to be sent to the FEI as the definite entries by 3 September.

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    Nicola and Bulana have had a slightly mixed build-up to this year’s championship before this blow. Nicola injured her knee in a fall from another horse in the spring and the mare then proved somewhat strong at Luhmühlen in June, a problem the rider put down to the fact they had lost their strong partnership as she had not been able to do all the work with this sensitive mare, as she usually would.

    They returned to form with an emphatic win in the CIC3* at Barbury at the start of July. Bulana was aimed at Aachen, but then withdrawn and replaced on the squad by Imogen Murray and Ivar Gooden.

    After Barbury, Nicola and Bulana looked to be set for a place on the British team and this will be a blow to British medal hopes as on their best form they were undoubtedly one of Britain’s strongest combinations. Nicola does not have another horse on the long-list, so will miss this year’s WEG after riding at the previous two World Championships, in 2014 in Caen, France and 2010 in Kentucky, USA.

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