Richard Davenport, who was short-listed with Martin Dawes’s Luc for one of Britain’s two Olympic show jumping places at Athens, has been forced to pull out.
The horse’s slightly filled foreleg turned out, on investigation, to be caused by damage to his off-fore tendon. Although now sound, the gelding has been away from competition for two months and could not compete in the last of Britain’s four Olympic trials, Rotterdam CSIO (l7-20 June).
Luc, by Libero, has an outstanding Nations Cup record: last year, his worst score in all his Super League appearances was four faults.
Richard, although bitterly disappointed, says: “Luc’s only 11, and now that I’ve got him back in work I’m hoping to get him fully fit and selected for Aachen at the beginning of July. Looking ahead to next year, a place in our team for the European Championships is now my main aim.”
With Nick Skelton virtually assured an Olympic spot with John and Lisa Hales’s Arko II after double clear rounds in the La Baule and Rome Nations Cups, the main contenders for second place now are Robert Smith (Mr Springfield) and Michael Whitaker (Portofino).