Sam Griffiths has withdrawn Paulank Brockagh from the Australian eventing squad for the World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Tryon (11-23 September).
“‘Brocks’ sustained a minor injury in her final preparations and will not be fit to travel,” said Sam.
“She will recuperate and then be prepared for Badminton 2019. Sam and Team Griffiths wish the Australian eventing team the very best of luck.”
The withdrawal of the 2014 Badminton winner will be a serious blow for the Australians as Sam and Brocks were likely to be one of their strongest combinations. They finished fourth individually at the 2016 Rio Olympics and were 16th at the 2014 WEG in Caen, France.
Emma McNab has been called up to replace Sam on the squad, riding 10-year-old Fernhill Tabasco, an Irish Sport Horse by Tabasco Van Erpekom. The pair were ninth at Pau last year and 11th at Luhmühlen this spring.
Emma, 30, is originally from Queensland and has been based in the UK since 2012.
“Firstly, I am sad for Sam and his horse, hopefully she will be back on track soon,” she said.
“This is something I have been working towards for my entire riding career and it’s amazing it’s happening now. I’m pleased for my horse he’s such a lovely horse as I have had him since he was first broken in.”
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Emma and Fernhill Tabasco will join the Australian eventing team camp that starts this Thursday in the UK. They fly out of Belgium to Tryon on Wednesday, 5 September.
The other pairs on the Australian squad are Chris Burton (Cooley Lands), Andrew Hoy (Vassily De Lassos), Bill Levett (Lassban Diamond Lift) and Shane Rose (Virgil or CP Qualfied). Chris is in hot form having won the Event Rider Masters (ERM) leg at Blair last weekend and consequently clinched the overall 2018 ERM series title.
Full World Equestrian Games preview in this week’s Horse & Hound (dated 30 August).