OLYMPICS / Barcelona 1992: Equestrianism: Broome left out of team

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DAVID BROOME has been omitted from the British showjumping quartet that competes tomorrow for Olympic team medals. Ronnie Massarella, the British team manager who made the long awaited announcement yesterday, said that the decision had been the hardest he has ever made.

'I stayed awake all night and this morning I took a long walk and went to church,' Massarella said yesterday. 'It was very difficult leaving David out. He's been a good friend for 30 years and he's a fantastic rider. But, when I looked at the form of all the riders and horses over the last 10 to 12 weeks, I was convinced about the four I had to pick.'

Nick Skelton, riding the former Swiss team horse Dollar Girl, will be the first to jump for Britain. He will be followed by Tim Grubb on Denizen, Michael Whitaker on Monsanta and John Whitaker on Milton. Broome will stay on to support the team.

'I'm disappointed for the boys, they were getting so excited about the Olympics,' the 52-year-old Welsh rider said about his three sons. 'But that's the way it goes, there is life after Barcelona.'

Massarella insisted that Broome's back injury, sustained in a fall the previous weekend, had not affected his choice. 'It would have been easier for me if I'd made the decision a week ago, just after David was injured, because no one would have questioned it then, ' the team manager said.

Broome did acknowledge that it would have been easier for the British riders if the team of four and a reserve had been announced last month. Instead the selectors named a squad of five and apart from John Whitaker, whose place was confirmed, they have been on tenterhooks since.

Britain's dressage riders were lying third after yesterday's first half of their team competition, which will be completed today. Carl Hester, 25, is lying sixth in the individual competition. As was inevitable the German defending champion, Nicole Uphoff on Rembrandt, achieved the best score of the day with a test that was close to perfection.