Injury hampers Team GB’s European Champs bid

William Fox-Pitt and Lionheart.
William Fox-Pitt and Lionheart. © Mike Bain

Injuries have caused two horse substitutions to British squads heading to European Championships events this month.

William Fox-Pitt’s Olympic team silver medalist, Lionheart, has been withdrawn from the eventing team heading to Malmö, Sweden, and London 2012 individual bronze dressage medalist Mistral Hojris, ridden by Laura Tomlinson (neé Bechtolsheimer), has also been withdrawn from the British team to Denmark.

Lionheart finished his final outing strongly at Hartpury International Horse Trials last weekend, but subsequently was found to have bruised a sole. He is expected to be back in work soon and will then run at Pau.

Fox-Pitt will now ride Chilli Morning, a 13-year-old chestnut stallion, owned by Chris and Lisa Stone at the European Championships, from August 29 to September 1.

Mistral Hojris also sustained a slight injury and was withdrawn only a day after the team was announced. It has been decided not to risk his wellbeing by taking him to the European Championsips for Dressage, Showjumping and Para-Equestrian Dressage, which begin next week in Herning, Denmark.

Reserve Gareth Hughes with Mrs Jane Brewin’s DV Stenkjers Nadonna will now join Charlotte Dujardin (Valegro), Carl Hester (Uthopia), Michael Eilberg (Half Moon Delphi) at the championships.

Laura Tomlinson and Mistral Hojris. © Karl-Heinz Frieler
Laura Tomlinson and Mistral Hojris. © Karl-Heinz Frieler

World Class Dressage Programme Manager Richard Waygood said it was disappointing not to have Alf [Mistral Hojris] out at the Championship.

“We feel he has been the most amazing servant to the British team and British Dressage and that he owes us nothing and we owe him everything; we wish him a speedy recovery. We welcome Gareth onto the team, for what will be his senior Championship debut.”

Equestrian Performance Director Will Connell, said: “Mistral Hojris has been at the forefront of British dressage and for GB. All within Great Britain owe Laura, Mistral Hojris and the Bechtolsheimer’s a huge debt of gratitude and this decision has been made with the welfare of the horse in mind.

“We welcome Gareth to the team and look forward to the competition in Denmark.”



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