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No Olympic team competition for Brash as Jefferson is out with minor strain

Thursday, 05 August 2021
Tokyo Olympic Games

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping Scott Brash and Jefferson will miss out on competing in the Olympic team competition for Great Britain. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

Great Britain’s Scott Brash will be missing out on the Olympic team competition, due to his horse Jefferson (Cooper van de Heffink x Irco Mena) sustaining a minor strain in Wednesday’s individual final in Tokyo. Brash and the 12-year-old gelding finished with only a time fault in Wednesday’s individual final, and their absence will be a big loss for the British team which now will consist of Olympic gold medallists Ben Maher and Explosion W (Chacco-Blue x Baloubet du Rouet), Harry Charles and Romeo 88 (Contact vd Heffinck x Orlando) as well as Holly Smith and Denver (Albfueheren’s Memphis x Chico’s Boy).

A statement from British Equestrian on the pre-competition change made ahead of the team qualifier, which takes place on Friday 6th of August, reads: 

“Ahead of Friday’s Tokyo Olympic Equestrian Jumping team event at the Equestrian Park at Bajikoen, Team GB has made a pre-competition change in accordance with the FEI Regulations for Equestrian Events at the Olympic Games (article 609). Harry Charles, riding his own and Ann Thompson’s Romeo 88, will now join Ben Maher with Charlotte Rossetter, Pamela Wright and his own Explosion W, and Holly Smith and Denver, owned by Ian Dowie, who make their Olympic debut, in the team line-up.

Jefferson, owned by Lady Pauline Harris and Lady Pauline Kirkham and ridden by Scott Brash, will not compete because Jefferson sustained a minor strain while jumping the individual final.

Equestrian Team Leader Richard Waygood commented: “In consultation with Scott, his valued owners and our team vet, we’ve decided it’s in the horse’s best interests to withdraw from the competition as a preventative measure to avoid a more serious injury. While disappointing for Scott and his connections, the team is still a strong proposition ahead of Friday’s team competition, and we thank Lady Harris and Lady Kirkham for their support at these Games and to the sport. Ben and Holly were always going to be in our team line up and it’s great to bring Harry into the trio at his first Games.””

Scott Brash has also released a statement on his official Instagram page, which reads as follows: "Deeply disappointed to announce that Jefferson will not compete again this week in Tokyo. Although he is sound this morning a scan shows a slight strain on one of his front legs where an abnormal swelling has appeared after yesterday’s competition. After discussing with two top class vets, competing him again this week could result in a more serious injury so their advice is he has to rest allowing him to recover as quickly as possible. This is very disappointing for everyone I know, especially for the rest of team GB, my entire team, owners, sponsors, family and friends who have worked so hard to get us here and I would like to thank them all for their support and dedication. We are all wishing Jefferson a speedy recovery. I will be doing everything I can to support Ben, Holly and Harry and I know they have a great chance to bring home a medal." 

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