The New Zealand team have made a substitution to their eventing team for the Rio Olympics following this morning’s first trot-up.
Earlier this week Jock Paget’s ride Clifton Lush cut his cheek on a pipe outside the stable that had somehow become exposed during the night, according to a statement from the national federation.
The cut required suturing and the vets have been happy with the horse’s progress. Under expert supervision Clifton Lush has been kept in work and has been working well. However, despite the positive daily progress, it has been decided that the horse should be given further time to heal to make a full recovery.
“Obviously it is very disappointing for me and Clifton Lush’s owners, but we’ve decided this is best for the horse,” said Jock. “It’s been a real team effort from the Rio 2016 veterinary hospital and our own vet Christiana Ober — they have all given Lush exceptional care and attention.”
Clifton Lush looked lacklustre at the trot-up this morning and was asked to trot twice by the ground jury (the USA’s Marilyn Payne, New Zealand’s Andrew Bennie and Britain’s Sandy Phillips) before he was accepted.
Following the withdrawal, Tim Price, the travelling reserve with Ringwood Sky Boy, will compete. The teams with a travelling reserve trotted up that horse this morning too, and they can be substituted until two hours before the dressage starts tomorrow morning at 10am.
Tim will make his Olympic debut, riding alongside his wife Jonelle, who won team bronze in London on Flintstar. The other members of the New Zealand team are Mark Todd (Leonidas II) and Clarke Johnstone (Balmoral Sensation).
“I am really proud to make the team, but it’s disappointing that it comes off the back of the misfortune of my team-mate Jock and his connections,” said Tim.
Tim will trailblaze for the team, followed by Mark and Clarke, with Jonelle riding in the anchor position.
New Zealand are one of the leading nations in the eventing competition and will compete for the medals with nations such as Germany (the favourites), France and Great Britain.
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The dressage starts tomorrow at 10am and continues on Sunday. Monday (8 August) is cross-country day and the competition concludes on Tuesday. Follow the dressage as it happens with H&H Live.