French Eventing Horse is Withdrawn from Olympics

The French eventing squad suffered a heavy blow Aug. 7 with the news that Jean Teulere's star performer Espoir de la Mare has been withdrawn from the 2008 Olympic Games on veterinary advice.

The 16-year old gelding aggravated an old ligament injury some weeks ago but subsequently made a good recovery and joined the remainder of the team on the trip to Hong Kong.

However, the leg flared up again after a gallop last weekend, and French Chef d'Equipe Thierry Touzaint confirmed that the horse will not compete.

He insisted, however, that the injury is not career-threatening and that the horse should be back in action with his 54-year old rider within the foreseeable future.

Together this French partnership claimed the individual gold medal at the World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain in 2002, team gold and individual fourth at the Athens Olympic Games in 2004 and fourth at last summer's FEI European Eventing Championships at Pratoni in Italy.

The remaining French horses and riders who will line out in the first veterinary inspection at the core Olympic venue in Sha Tin tomorrow afternoon are Eric Vigeanel and Coronado Prior, Nicolas Touzaint with Galan de Sauvagere, Jean Renaud Adde with Haston D'Elpegere and Didier Dhennin with Ismene du Temple.

Horse are grouped for inspection by nation, and the order of go is as follows:

Belarus, New Zealand, Poland, Canada, Denmark, Russia, Czech Republic, Chile, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Austria, USA, Australia, Ireland, China, Sweden, Japan, Jamaica, The Netherlands, Great Britain, Switzerland, Brazil and France.

The inspection begins at 4 p.m. local time.

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