Zara Phillips’ ride High Kingdom will not contest this year’s Longines FEI European Eventing Championship at Blair Castle (10-13 September) because he is not back to full fitness after an injury at Rolex Kentucky in April.
British eventing performance manager Yogi Breisner told H&H: “High Kingdom is well on the way to a full recovery. Unfortunately his recovery has come too late to make him available for selection for Blair.
“It’s too early yet to say if he will come back to competition this year, but he is definitely expected to be back next year.”
The 14-year-old by Master Imp, who belongs to Grand National-winning owner Trevor Hemmings, was scheduled to do his dressage at 1.08pm local time at the American CCI4* at Kentucky on Friday, 24 April. But while he was being tacked up he kicked out, splitting the skin on his off hind on the outside of his pastern.
The cut was attended to and the horse was brought to the warm-up, but unfortunately it became clear he was not 100% and would not be able to compete. It was decided, in the horse’s best interests, to withdraw him.
Zara’s father Mark Phillips then revealed in his H&H magazine column the following week (30 April) that the horse had had to go to an equine hospital to have the joint flushed under general anaesthetic.
High Kingdom travelled home with the rest of the Britain-based horses after the event and in May Zara hoped he might still be able to go to the Europeans, but it has now become clear this will not be possible.
As Zara does not have another ride at the top level, the news about High Kingdom rules her out of this year’s European Championships.
As host nation, Britain can field 12 combinations at the event instead of the usual six. Up-and-coming horses and riders are expected to be given a chance to show their mettle in the individual spots.
Read more about who is in the running for selection for Blair in this Thursday’s magazine, out Thursday, 16 July 2015.