Olympic medal-winning horse’s next event delayed: ‘His health and well-being is our utmost priority’

  • Vassily De Lassos, who won individual bronze and team silver medals at the Olympics with Australia’s Andrew Hoy, will miss competing at Aachen owing to a hoof abscess.

    Aachen would have been the chestnut’s first event since the Tokyo Games.

    “Vassily has developed a foot abscess, which has thankfully been located and also cleared by our vets and farrier – but he won’t be ready in time for Aachen to return to the international competition stage,” said Andrew. “The horse’s health, well-being and best interest is always our upmost priority, so he will have to watch the Aachen cross-country from at home this year.”

    Andrew said that he and Vassily’s owners, Paula and David Evans, are “looking at the schedule of the remaining 2021 season and will make a decision soon if we are going to re-route to another autumn event or if we will move straight onto our 2022 schedule”.

    Andrew will still ride at Aachen despite news of Vassily De Lassos’s foot abscess, piloting Odaria Finemore’s Bloom Des Hauts Crets in the Ride N Drive competition, and said he is looking forward to taking part in the opening ceremony tonight.

    “CHIO Aachen always brings the best of equestrian sports from around the world together and I am looking forward to being a small part of it,” he said.

    One horse who competed in Tokyo will start in Aachen, with Japan’s Yoshiaki Oiwa bringing forward Calle 44, who was eliminated across country at the Olympics due to a rider fall.

    Tamie Smith and Mai Baum, who were the alternate combination for the US in Tokyo, also start at the German event. And Cathal Daniels will pilot Rioghan Rua, who was swapped into the alternate spot in the Irish team at the last minute in Tokyo so did not end up competing.

    Additionally, Tom Carlile is on the start list for the French team for Aachen with Birmane, who was withdrawn from the Olympics when she showed signs of tying up after arriving in Tokyo.

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