Defending Gold-Medal French Eventing Team Makes Late Substitution

Jul 26, 2021 - 11:27 AM

France’s Tom Carlile has withdrawn his Tokyo Olympic horse Birmane from the competition due to the 10-year-old mare tying up at the Baji Koen Equestrian Park.

Carlile will be replaced by France’s traveling reserves Karim Florent Laghouag and Triton Fontaine.

Laghouag, who competed on France’s gold medal team at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games,  will join Christoper Six (Totem de Brecey) and Nicolas Touzaint (Absolut Gold), but the team will be without a substitute rider should they need one during the competition.

This would have been Carlile’s first Olympic Games. He’s represented France at two FEI European Championships, most recently with the well-known stallion Upsilon. “It is with a heavy heart that I announce my mare will be removed from this Olympic team,” said Carlile in a translated post on his Facebook page. “I wish Karim and Triton Fontaine a great game. I am sure they will best defend the hopes of the whole French team.”
Carlile said that the mare tied up following gallop work done this week. She’s had issues with myositis before, but her team has managed it carefully over the past two years, and she hadn’t had an issue until this week.
“Seeing this dream escape from our fingertips, we feel inconsolable,” Carlile’s statement continued. “We had been warned that weather conditions would be formidable. Despite all the measures taken by the organizers, my mare can’t acclimate to these conditions.
She will come home healthy once her buddies compete, and we hope to see her soon at the top of the podium.”
The substitution is the second for the French team, the defending Olympic gold medalists. On July 9, Thibaut Vallette, a member for the 2016 team, withdrew due to a “slight sensitivity” in one foot of mount Qing Du Briot Ifce and was replaced by then-reserve Six and Totem de Brecey.

Eventing at the Olympics begins July 28 with the first horse inspection.

There have been a few other notable substations to the eventing competitor list. Japan’s Yoshiaki Oiwa has substituted Calle 44 in for his original horse Tullyoran Cruise JRA.

Switzerland’s Felix Vogg will ride his experienced campaigner Colero in place of his original horse Cartania, while Poland’s traveling reserves Jan Kaminski and Jard have been called up to the team to replace Mateusz Kiempa and Libertina.

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