Dixon and Fox-Pitt miss Olympic run

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The Independent Online
Equestrianism

Karen Dixon and William Fox-Pitt will not be participating in today's final run for the Olympic three-day event squad, which takes place at Hartpury College near Gloucester.

Dixon cracked her shoulder blade just under three weeks ago and it has been decided, on medical advice, that it should be given a little more time to mend. Fox-Pitt goes to a different venue when he takes Cosmopolitan II to the Milton Keynes Horse Trials which are organised by the horse's owner, Frank Andrew.

Today's final run will be used by the remaining six members of the squad: Charlotte Bathe, Chris Hunnable, Mary King, Leslie Law, Gary Parsonage and Ian Stark. Other riders have been invited (among them Lucy Jennings, who was named as non-travelling reserve) to make the final run into a small competition, with prizes in kind.

Dixon and Fox-Pitt will join the squad for final training at Badminton, where they assemble on Sunday night prior to taking the horses to Nicky Henderson's gallops at Lambourn on Monday morning. John Killingbeck, the team's vet, will monitor the horses throughout these preparations.

The horses fly to Atlanta on 30 June, with the riders following them two days later. There will then be a period of acclimatisation before the build-up to the team three-day event, which begins on 21 July.

Bridget Parker, chairman of the selectors, will wait until after the horse inspection on 20 July before she names the team of four riders and the three who will compete in the separate individual contest, which gets under way on 23 July.

"We will want to see how the horses are after the journey and how they acclimatise to the heat once they are there," Parker said. Her principal goal is to win the team gold medals.

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