The American Olympic eventing team has suffered a blow with the news today that Heidi White has had to withdraw Northern Spy for “veterinary reasons”.

Heidi had competed Northern Spy in Britain several times, including finishing 10th at Badminton in 2005 and 15th at Barbury CIC*** in the same year (pictured).

The United States Equestrian Federation has named Karen O’Connor to replace Heidi, riding Mandiba. This will be Karen’s fourth Olympic Games. Her husband David won the individual gold medal at the Olympics in Sydney in 2000.

Karen and Mandiba are in Britain — they were due to run in the British open at Gatcombe this weekend — and will fly out to Hong Kong tomorrow. The British team horses also depart tomorrow.

Karen joins Phillip Dutton (Connaught), Becky Holder (Courageous Comet), Gina Miles (McKinlaigh) and Amy Tryon (Poggio) on the American team.

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