‘I am broken to the core’: Medal contender out of Tokyo Olympics dressage

  • Sweden’s leading rider Patrik Kittel has been forced to withdraw from the dressage at the Tokyo Olympics.

    Patrik’s horse, the 13-year-old mare Well Done De La Roche CMF has sustained an injury in training while at the Olympic venue.

    “Well Done tripped in yesterday’s training; a small injury prevents us from competing in the Tokyo Olympics. I am broken to the core [but] Welly will always come first,” said Patrik in a handwritten statement that he released today (22 July).

    “I will now support my students and team friends, in the honour of representing Sweden.”

    Patrik and the Swiss-bred Furstentraum x Walt Disney mare are currently ranked 14th in the world, and were serious contenders for both team and individual dressage medals in Tokyo, having led Sweden to team bronze at the 2019 European Championships in Rotterdam.

    Sweden will now call on their travelling alternate combination Antonia Ramel, on Brother De Jeu, to join her sister Juliette Ramel (Buriel KH) and Therese Nilshagen (Dante Weltino) on the Olympic team.

    Tokyo was due to be Patrik’s fourth Olympic Games, but his first with “Welly”. They represented Sweden at the World Equestrian Games in 2018, finishing fifth individually. The following year they won team bronze and finished eighth individually in the freestyle. They had proved themselves to be on top form in 2021 – they remained unbeaten in their final three shows before Tokyo, including sweeping the board and leading Sweden to Nations Cup victory in Compiègne in May.

    “I am grateful to the people that are my friends and family, and support me so much,” added Patrik.

    Patrik is the second dressage rider to have withdrawn from the competition after arrival in Tokyo – South Africa’s Tanya Seymour has also been forced to pull out with Ramoneur 6.

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