The 15-year-old mare, owned by Claire Poole and Chris’ wife Rebekah, has sustained a minor injury, which was discovered during pre-Olympic veterinary inspections, according to a joint statement from Chris and Equestrian Australia.
“Although with time [she] will make a full recovery, the decision has been made that her welfare shall not be compromised,” said the statement.
“We wish to acknowledge the exceptional horsemanship and overall sportsmanship displayed by Chris Burton throughout this process. Despite the personal disappointment of forfeiting his place on the Australian team, which would have been his third Games, Chris’s concern was Quality Purdey’s well being and the overall best interest of the Australian equestrian team.”
Dorset-based Chris was a potential individual medallist at the Games, being picked out as a favourite in H&H’s Olympic preview (published in the magazine tomorrow, issue dated 15 July) and sitting fifth in data analytics company EquiRatings’ prediction centre for Tokyo, with a 25% chance of a top-three finish.
Stuart Tinney now moves up from the alternate spot into the Australian Olympic eventing team with Leporis, who is co-owned by his rider and Stuart’s wife Karen, who will also groom for him in Tokyo.
Surrey-based Kevin McNab will travel to Tokyo as the alternate with Don Quidam, who loses the commericial prefix of his owners Scuderia 1918 for the Games. The rider’s wife Emma is also listed as an owner, while Lucy Hartley will groom for Kevin.
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Stuart said: “As always it is a great honour and privilege to represent Australia at the Olympic Games. A dream so many of us aim for, this time in Tokyo it has been even harder for most.
“I feel for Christopher at this time as our lovely Leporis steps up into the team. I also welcome Kevin into the fourth position and wish everyone the best of luck. I am proud to be a part of such a strong team.”
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