New Zealand eventer Jock Paget has confirmed to H&H that Clifton Lush is fit and healthy and is being aimed at Pau in October, following an accident at Rio that meant the horse was withdrawn from the Games.
Clifton Lush was pulled from the New Zealand team when he cut his face on a pipe outside his stable in Rio, an injury that required 100 stitches.
However, Jock yesterday (Sunday 21 August) told H&H that the horse was back to his normal self and it was full steam ahead for the French four-star (12-16 October).
“It’s business as usual, I’m back riding Lush and preparing him for Pau,” said Jock, who is based near Hungerford in Berkshire.
“He’s had his stitches out and you’d have to walk right up to him to see the scar, you’d be surprised how quickly it has healed.
“He was a bit tired when he got off the plane and he moped around the paddock for a couple of days but he’s over his jet lag now, he’s very happy in himself and is good to go.”
No one saw what happened in Rio but when the officials checked at 6am he was fine.
“However, at 7am he was found with the tap handle from the tap outside his stable on the ground next to him and there was a lot of blood,” said Jock.
“There was a 2in piece of metal that was connected to the tap handle. This was then exposed, which he could reach from his stable, so I can’t see that it could have been anything else.
“It was handled really well, we got Lush to the sick bay as soon as possible and he was stitched up, everyone was fantastic and the surgeon did a great job.”
- Clifton Lush’s Rio injury: ‘He needed a two-hour operation with 100 stitches’
- Clifton Promise to be retired at Badminton
The 17-year-old gelding, who is co-owned by Lucy Allison and Frances Stead, was not comfortable with a bit in his mouth due to the injury, so Jock was forced to withdraw from competition.
He was replaced by travelling reserve horse Ringwood Sky Boy, ridden by Tim Price. The pair fell on the flat while turning between fences across country.
Jock and Lush had previously finished third at Badminton in 2015, sixth this year, and fifth at Burghley in both 2011 and 2012.