Tokyo was due to be 19-year-old Ramoneur 6’s swansong, ridden by South Africa’s Tanya Seymour. The pair made history at the Rio Games in 2016, when Tanya became the first dressage rider to represent South Africa at an Olympic Games.
Tanya is based in Germany, and Ramoneur arrived in Tokyo last week having quarantined at Aachen and flown from Liége in Belgium.
“When he arrived he was doing so well. During training he was looking fresh and feeling great. He had travelled well,” said Tanya in a statement issued by Team South Africa.
“When I got on him yesterday, I could sense there was something amiss. He was holding in his front feet a bit and it felt a little odd. The vet and farrier had a look at him and initially we thought it might be a stone bruise, that he had a painful front hoof after standing on a stone.
“But by this morning his condition had worsened and he was sent for X-rays and subsequently he was diagnosed with laminitis. The vets can’t say what brought it on, so it’s something of a mystery. Needless to say, the news is devastating.”
Tanya has partnered the Rohdiamant x Alabaster gelding for 12 years, and despite his age, he had been on good form – he posted his highest score in 18 months on his last outing at Grote-Brogel, Belgium, in May.
“I was so excited to be in Tokyo with him and to represent Team South Africa at the Games here,” added Tanya. “The one saving grace is that we reacted quickly and he has received treatment quickly. But, for a longer-term prognosis we will have to wait a day or two. Obviously we’ve had to withdraw him from the Olympics.”
Tanya’s withdrawal leaves South Africa with just one equestrian competitor: eventer Victoria Scott who rides Valtho Des Peupliers.
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