France’s Tom Carlile has announced the withdrawal of 10-year-old Birmane from Tokyo’s eventing competition in a statement on social media this morning. The Selle Français mare, who finished in the top ten when representing France at the Nations Cup finale at Boekelo as an eight-year-old, was France’s strongest entrant in this year’s line-up as the country comes forward to defend its team gold won at Rio.
Travelling reserve and Rio competitor Karim Florent Laghouag will now step into the team proper with Triton Fontaine, leaving France without a substitute combination to use if any of their team members are unable to complete the competition.
“It is with a heavy heart that I must announce that my mare will be withdrawn from this Olympics,” reads the statement, translated from French. “I wish Karim & Triton Fontaine great games, I am sure they will best defend the hopes of the whole French team.”
Birmane’s withdrawal follows a bout of myositis, a condition that can cause muscle inflammation and weakness after exertion – more colloquially known as tying up.
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