Dutch rider Edward Gal was eliminated during his Grand Prix Special test in the European Championships on Saturday (August 15), after blood was spotted in his horse’s mouth.

Tense

Following Gal’s performance on Thursday (13 August) that helped the Netherlands win team gold – Dutch supporters had high hopes for Gal and his ride Glock’s Undercover.

The pair was last to go into the arena in the Special, but Undercover looked tense from the start. Entering the arena in front of a 28,000 strong crowd, he cantered down the centre line and failed to achieve the first halt.

The horse continued to look unsettled and failed to get the marks he had previously achieved in the Grand Prix.

Elimination

The Dutchman was then pulled up during his test when the judges noticed blood and foam coming from the horse’s mouth.

The decision was then taken to elimate Gal under the ‘blood rule’, which is intended to protect the health of horses. TheFEI Rules for Dressage Events states that any horse with “fresh blood” on its body will be definitively eliminated from the competition and the elimination will be final.

On inspection from the vet it was discovered that the horse had bitten his lip and the bleeding stopped quickly upon leaving the arena, but this year’s European Championships is prematurely over for the 2010 World Champion.

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