Popular eventing pair ruled out of Rio Olympics with injuries

  • Vittoria Panizzon and Borough Pennyz will not be able to compete at the Rio Olympics as both are injured.

    Pennyz competed in the Event Rider Masters section at Barbury Castle last weekend, but two days later was confirmed to be out of action. Then the Gloucestershire-based Italian rider broke her collarbone falling with Menlo Park in the novice at Upton House on Wednesday, just moments after winning the open novice on Argentinus.

    “Similar things have happened to me before and life does go on with plenty to be grateful for, but I cannot deny I longed to make Rio since I first heard of it and missing representing one’s country at the Olympics at this near stage is one of the toughest mishaps,” said Vittoria. “I’m devastated for my whole team and sponsors and especially for Pennyz, a medallist in my eyes and a very special friend.

    Ironically, adding insult to injury, I was visited at home for a dope test last night, not long after A&E painkillers. It took two hours and a lot of tea, luckily my visiting guests saw the funny side!”

    Borough Pennyz, a 13-year-old grey mare by Cevin Z, was bred by her owner, Sally Bullen. She is well known for her extravagant jump and she and Vittoria have many great results together, including 11th individually at the London Olympics, seventh at Badminton 2013 and eighth at the 2013 European Championships. They were recently ninth in the ERM at Bramham and would have been serious top-10 contenders in Rio.

    The Italians did not gain a team qualification for Rio, but managed to qualify to field a “composite team” of three riders through the individual rider qualification system. They recently received the good news that they would be able to enter the full four riders as a Swiss competitor had been unable to meet the minimum eligibility requirements.

    The riders still on the Italian Olympic short-list are as follows. The final team will be announced on Monday.

    • Stefano Brecciaroli on Apollo Van De Wendi Kurt Hoeve or Roulette B
    • Luca Roman on Castlewoods Jake
    • Pietro Roman on Barraduff
    • Arianna Schivo on Quefira De L’Ormeau
    • Giovanni Ugolotti on Oplitas


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