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French's Olympic dream shattered
British eventing star Piggy French has admitted she was "broken-hearted" after seeing her Olympic dream cruelly destroyed.
French, Badminton runner-up last year and a former European individual silver medalist, will miss London 2012 due to her Olympic Test event-winning horse DHI Topper W suffering an injury.
The 31-year-old, who is based in Leicestershire, will be replaced by Nicola Wilson and Opposition Buzz alongside world number one William Fox-Pitt, five-time Olympian Mary King, double Olympic bronze medal winner Tina Cook and former world champion Zara Phillips.
French's other top horse Jakata is also injured, although all initially appeared well after she gave Topper a final competitive run before London at the Barbury International event in Wiltshire two days ago.
They finished third in a CIC two-star class, but a statement on French's website has confirmed the horse had suffered a "minor injury". The statement read: "We are devastated to announce that Piggy will be unable to fulfil her long-held dream of competing at the London 2012 Olympics.
"DHI Topper W has sustained a minor injury, and while he will be back to fight another day, he will not be fit for London. In a cruel twist of fate, Piggy's other Olympic hope Jakata also suffered an injury towards the end of last month."
Barely 48 hours ago French told Press Association Sport about her excitement at being selected for London, and how it had been a dream that was "five years in the making". But it is all now such a different story for one of the finest event riders Britain has produced in years.
"I am broken-hearted," she said. "My dreams are shattered, but most of all I feel so sorry for my support team that have been such a vital part of my success, and for my family and joint owners, the Underwoods.
"My great friend Nicola Wilson is to take my place, and I wish her every success with Opposition Buzz. I hope that Team GB have a fantastic Games and do our country proud.
"I will be rooting for them every step of the way, and I look forward to joining them on the team again in the near future."