The death of a horse following an injury on the cross-country course has cast a pall over equestrian events at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The Swiss horse Jet Set, ridden by Robin Godel, was euthanised after pulling up extremely lame on the Sea Forest cross-country course on August 1.
Jet Set, a 14-year-old gelding by Nordico, was pulled up after tearing a ligament on landing in the last water jump, Mt Fuji water complex, the 20th fence on the course and the fifth jump from the finish line.
Jet Set received immediate veterinary attention at the fence and, after an initial assessment, was transferred by horse ambulance to the onsite veterinary clinic.
Ultrasound scans revealed an irreparable ligament rupture in the lower right limb, just above the hoof, and on humane grounds, and with the agreement of the owners and rider, the decision was taken to euthanise Jet Set.
A heartbroken Robin Godel said: “Jet was an extraordinary horse. He left doing what he liked to do most: galloping and flying over obstacles.”
He said he was “deeply touched” by the support from the equestrian world.
In line with the FEI Veterinary Regulations, samples have already been taken from the horse and a post mortem will be conducted.
Jet Set is the fourth horse to suffer a fatal injury on a cross-country course this year, with the loss of Pakistan Olympic hopeful Kasheer (Riverbreeze) and Nightcaps on the same day in May in Australia, and Hendrix in Britain in June.
Spanish-bred Jet Set was previously owned and ridden by New Zealand eventer Andrew Nicholson. They won the Bramham CCI3* in 2016, and Robin Godel, 22, took over the ride in 2020. Godel and Jet Set’s best results were third in the CCI4*-L at Montelibretti in Italy last October, and fourth in the CCI3* at Barroca d’Alva in Portugal last March.
The Swiss team will compete in the final phase, with substitute rider Eveline Bodenmüller and Violin de la Brasserie taking the field.
Below: Robin Godel and Jet Set on the Tokyo 2020 cross-country.
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