Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti withdraw from Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

TOKYO (July 28, 2021) – Equestrian Canada (EC) and Jessica Phoenix of Cannington, Ont., with support from the Canadian Olympic Committee, have made the very difficult decision to withdraw Pavarotti (Pavarotti van de Helle x Foxiland XX) from the eventing competition of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.  

The 19-year-old Westphalian gelding, who is owned by Phoenix, sustained a minor injury during his final preparation gallop the morning of Tuesday, July 27. With the best interest of Pavarotti, Phoenix and the sport in mind, the team decided not to present Pavarotti at the first eventing horse inspection on Thursday, July 29.

“We were so excited to see Pavarotti finally take on Olympic competition but horse health and safety remains priority number one,” said Eventing Chef d’Équipe, Fleur Tipton. “We are thankful that Pavarotti’s injury is minor and eternally grateful to his care team for ensuring his comfort and ability to fully recover. Jessica and Pavarotti are a team for the ages and we fully support them both through this heartbreaking turn of events.”

EC would like to recognize Pavarotti’s phenomenal accomplishments riding for Canada with Phoenix, including five Pan American Games medals (Lima 2019 team bronze; TORONTO 2015 individual silver and team bronze; and Guadalajara 2011 individual gold and team silver). We wish him a speedy recovery.

Canada will continue to be represented in eventing competition at the Games by Colleen Loach of Dunham, Que., and Qorry Blue d’Argouges.

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Caroline Soble
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