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Olympic bid over for NZ dressage rider

Vanessa Way and Arvan on a clinic with US rider Steffen Peters in 2009.

Vanessa Way and Arvan on a clinic with US rider Steffen Peters in 2009.

A last minute effort by Taranaki equestrian Vanessa Way to qualify for the 2012 Olympics has failed.

Way and Arvan had hoped to join Louisa Hill in the dressage at London, but on Friday she had to withdraw from a competition that was to be her last chance at attaining the necessary qualifying scores.

It’s been a tough few weeks for Way, who also recently lost her father. Arvan, who has been dogged with health issues since he arrived in the United Kingdom, is now lame, and Way made the tough decision to withdraw him from the competition at Hartpury.

“This heartbreaking decision was not made lightly.”

The horse had been working well in the build-up to the show, but went slightly lame on Tuesday during a lesson.

“We localised the pain to being in the foot and after many hours desperately poulticing and icing under veterinary and farrier advice, have failed to improve him enough to compete.”

The 39-year-old campaigner, who shifted to the UK early this year to base herself with world-class dressage rider Carl Hester, will now shift her focus to the 2014 World Championships, which will be held in France.

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” she said, extending a heart-felt thanks to the many who have supported her in their Olympic quest.

 

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