Zara Phillips and Toytown at the Eventing European Championship in Italy on September 16, 2007

Zara Phillips will not be participating in the Beijing Olympic Games after her horse, Toytown, suffered an injury. The injury, which has not been specified, was sustained during training.

Zara, the reigning world equestrian champion, has been considered a serious contender for Olympic gold. However, the equestrian teams are chosen in horse and rider pairs. Toytown’s injury meant that the pair had to be withdrawn from the games. Zara has been riding Toytown since 1999, and has won several awards with him.

The injury to Toytown, a 14-year-old chestnut gelding, was discovered on Tuesday, (Yogi Breisner, the chef d’equipe of the senior British eventing team) said, declining to specify where the horse had been hurt. Though relatively minor, it meant horse and rider would be unable to maintain their training schedule. “By the time he recovers he will have missed his chance of going, because he will have lost his fitness.” The eventing competition begins in Hong Kong on August 9.

Zara also missed the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, after Toytown suffered a leg injury.

via Daily Mail; image used with permission from Newscom