WITH Rio 2016 less than a year away, Findon triple Olympic medallist Tina Cook admits she will be taking no risks when it comes to the health of her main hope, De Novo News.
Bred at her Findon yard in West Sussex, De Novo News is one of Cook’s leading hopes when it comes to finally getting her hands on Olympic gold in Rio next year.
Last September, the duo helped Great Britain to team eventing silver at the 2014 World Equestrian Games in what was the horse’s first major Championships.
A heavy fall at Badminton in May hampered his chances of success but a 15th place finish at the three star at Bramham arrived the following month.
While it was enough to put Cook and De Novo News on the reserve list for the Great Britain team for September’s European Eventing Championships, a bout of travel sickness has since struck the promising horse.
Cook, who had pencilled him in for an outing at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials next month is taking no chances and has decided to rest the horse for the remainder of the year with Rio the main objective.
She said: “De Novo is still struggling with travel sickness so he won’t be taken out again this year. Most of the time he is fine, he is just still struggling a bit and so it is not worth taking the risk.
“It was disappointing that he was only the reserve for the Europeans but I was looking forward to taking him to Burghley. But his health comes first. He is a very special horse to me. I want him back for next year so there is no point in taking any risks.”
Cook, meanwhile, has still been kept busy, despite the absence of De Novo News from the competitive circuit.
She recorded seventh and tenth place intermediate finishes on board Dhi Zancorgino and Billy the Red respectively at the Festival of British Eventing earlier this month. With Calvino II also showing promising signs this year, despite being withdrawn midway through the three star competition at Gatcombe, Cook is full of optimism.
She said: “I had a good ride at Gatcombe. I finished in the top ten and I was very pleased with them. I did not go as fast as I would have done if the ground had not been as firm.
“I’m pleased with my horses at the moment. I’ve got two nice ones coming through in Calvino II and Billy the Red. It’s an exciting time.”
The multi-award winning Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (today until Sunday) has been established as a major international equestrian and social event in the autumn sporting calendar for over 50 years. For more information visit www.burghley-horse.co.uk.
Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.
1) Make our website your homepage
2) Like our Facebook page
3) Follow us on Twitter
4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!
Always the first with your local news.
Be part of it.