King Admits Heartbreak at European Championships Withdrawal

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King had hoped to ride Imperial Cavalier in France but was forced to pull out him out through injury – with next year’s World Equestrian Games and the 2012 Olympics in London the main targets.

“It’s absolutely heartbreaking to have to withdraw from the European Championships and I’m still very upset about it,” said multi-Olympic medallist King, who finished 12th with Apache Sauce and 18th with Kings Temptress at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, the penultimate HSBC FEI Classics series event.

“It came as a huge shock because we had no idea there was anything wrong until last week – Imperial Cavalier didn’t look right and it turns out he has ligament damage.

“We saw there was a tiny bit of unevenness with him when he lunged him and we took him to get checked out and found out what was wrong.

“We’ve caught it very early on and we could’ve gone to the Europeans and he would’ve made it through but we would’ve been left with a very injured horse.

“It wasn’t a hard decision to make because you have to look after the horse and even though I love the Europeans there are more important events coming up.

“The World Games are next year and beyond that there is the Olympics in three years time, so it’s much better we give him the time to be ready for those events.”

* The HSBC FEI Classics unites the top end of the international eventing circuit – namely the five four-star competitions. The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials is the penultimate event in the HSBC FEI Classics.