All Olympic Team Horses Pass Inspection Day Before Grand Prix But America’s Reserve Nick Wagman/Don John Withdrawn After Horse Sustains Minor Injury

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Don John and Nick Wagman in the stables at the Tokyo Olympic equestrian center. Photo courtesy US Equestrian

July 23, 2021

All horses on the 15 teams that will start the Grand Prix Saturday passed veterinary inspection Friday, but America’s reserve partnership of Nick Wagman and Don were withdrawn after the horse sustained a minor injury as did Well Done de la Roche, the mount for Sweden’s leading rider, Patrik Kittel.

The withdrawal of Nick, 47, of San Diego, California and Don John, 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, means there is no longer any back up for the United States team of Adrienne Lyle and Salvino, Steffen Peters and Suppenkasper and Sabine Schut-Kery and Sanceo. The reserves do not get to compete unless they replace another of the three horses on the team–so there is no drop score.

“After arriving safely at the venue in Tokyo, Don John sustained a minor injury,” US Equestrian reported. “He has continued to show improvement, but after further evaluation with the team veterinarian, the decision was made to withdraw him before the start of competition out of extraordinary precaution, and though it is believed he would have passed the horse inspection if presented, the team felt that he should not be considered to compete to ensure he has the proper time to fully heal.”

Nick had campaigned Don John for the duo’s first championship team over the past two years, competing at the Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida across the country from his home.

The husband and wife riders, Isabelle Pinto, 49, who was the reserve for France with Hot Chocolate VD Kwaplas, 14-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, and Carlos Pinto, 61, reserve for Portugal with Sultão Menezes, 15-year-old Lusitano gelding, were both held over. Isabelle withdrew while Carlos will present the horse again Saturday morning.

The 15 teams for a total of 45 horses and riders compete in the Grand Prix Saturday and Sunday along with 14 individuals–South Africa’s Tanya Seymour, 37, and Ramoneur, a 19-year-old stallion that was the oldest horse in the lineup, was pulled out before the vet check.

The top eight teams move to the Grand Prix Special Tuesday with a clean slate while the 18 highest placed pairs in the Grand Prix qualify for the Grand Prix Freestyle and individual medals on Wednesday.