Canadian event rider Jessica Phoenix made the “very difficult decision” to withdraw her ride Pavarotti from the competition just hours before the Tokyo Olympics eventing first trot-up this morning.
A statement from Equestrian Canada said: “The 19-year-old Westphalian gelding, who is owned by [Jessica] Phoenix, sustained a minor injury during his final preparation gallop the morning of Tuesday, July 27. With the best interest of Pavarotti, Phoenix and the sport in mind, the team decided not to present Pavarotti at the first eventing horse inspection on Thursday, July 29.”
Jessica Phoenix: Tokyo Olympics withdrawal ‘heartbreak’
Canadian eventing chef d’equipe Fleur Tipton said: “We were so excited to see Pavarotti finally take on Olympic competition but horse health and safety remains priority number one. We are thankful that Pavarotti’s injury is minor and eternally grateful to his care team for ensuring his comfort and ability to fully recover. Jessica and Pavarotti are a team for the ages and we fully support them both through this heartbreaking turn of events.”
The statement added that Equestrian Canada “would like to recognise Pavarotti’s phenomenal accomplishments riding for Canada with Phoenix, including five Pan American Games medals (Lima 2019 team bronze; Toronto 2015 individual silver and team bronze; and Guadalajara 2011 individual gold and team silver). We wish him a speedy recovery.”
The second Canadian individual, Collen Loach, trotted up Qorry Blue D’Argouges successfully this morning and so will start in the competition.
One horse, Pawel Spisak’s Polish team ride Banderas, was eliminated from the competition at this morning’s first horse inspection.
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