British combination withdraw from Olympics

  • Michael Whitaker has withdrawn from the remainder of the Rio Olympics after his ride Cassionato showed signs of colic.

    The 11-year-old grey stallion put a foot in the water to incur four faults and picked up one time fault in yesterday’s first team qualifier, leaving them in 42nd place.

    Together with Ben Maher and Nick Skelton, the combination had qualified for today’s (17 August) showjumping round as individuals.

    The decision to withdraw Cassionato was made after the horse showed signs of discomfort after yesterday’s round.

    “Obviously we’re all very, very disappointed for Michael and owners Gary and Beverley Widdowson,” said team manager Di Lampard last night.

    “Cassionato is being treated in the veterinary clinic this evening and is in very good hands. It just shows the effort the horse put into today’s round.”

    The withdrawal does not affect Britain’s position as a team — faults from all members yesterday left the Brits on a total of 13 faults and in 12th place.

    As only the top eight teams progress through to the next round, the London 2012 team gold medallists are unable to defend their title.

    An unfortunate stop together with several rails down and time faults left John Whitaker and Ornellaia on 23 faults and out of the rest of the Games.

    However Ben, Nick and Michael had all qualified as individuals.

    Related articles:

    The two remaining Brits will jump today with the aim of reaching the top 35 to qualify for the individual final on Friday, when all combinations will start on clean slates.

    Jumping begins at 10am (2pm BST) today, with Nick and Ben eighth and ninth respectively in the starting order.

    The USA, Germany, Brazil and the Netherlands are leading the team competition with scores of zero.

    You may like...