Confusion has mounted over the selection of the Olympic showjumping team following a statement released confirming Scott Brash will not be at this summer’s Games in Rio — a week before the team selection announcement was due and when he apparently still has Hello Forever on the long-list.
The statement from the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) stated that two — not all three — of Scott’s top horses, Hello Sanctos and Hello M’Lady, have been taken out of potential team selection due to ongoing injury problems.
However, the owners of the Hello-prefixed horses, the quartet of Lord and Lady Harris and Lord and Lady Kirkham, said that they were “extremely disappointed that we are unable to help team GB in their quest to win another team gold medal at this year’s Olympics”.
This would appear to suggest that all three horses owned by the Harris/Kirkham partnership are out of the running for Rio selection. So why were only two of their horses which were long-listed for the Rio Olympics mentioned by the BEF in their statement?
The exclusion of Scott Brash from the selection race — which appears wide open after disappointing performances in the Nations Cup in Rotterdam, where the British team finished last — would deal a major blow to British hopes of a team medal in Brazil, where the team will defend the gold won in London 2012.
The BEF would not comment on the situation, saying that they were “not able to divulge specific information from the selection process” ahead of the public announcement next Tuesday.
Their statement said: “We greatly regret that showjumper Scott Brash is unable to be selected to compete at the Rio Olympics. Scott’s top two Olympic hopefuls Hello Sanctos and Hello M’Lady picked up minor injuries at the start of the season and are still not back into full competition work and therefore will be unable to reach full fitness in time for Rio.”
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Four team riders — plus a travelling reserve — will be announced on Tuesday, 5 July. However, the recent statements seem to indicate that Scott has not made the team for Rio.