Austrian rider's Olympic run cut short by pus-filled horse tooth

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Victoria Max-Theurer's Olympic run came to an abrupt halt. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Victoria Max-Theurer's Olympic run came to an abrupt halt. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Heading into an Olympic Games, most athletes know what their worst-case scenario looks like. It’s only natural.

But for Austrian dressage rider Victoria Max-Theurer, no one could have foreseen what abruptly ended her Olympic dream in Tokyo.

A pus-filled tooth in her 11-year-old horse caused the four-time Olympian to withdraw from the competition.

Max-Theurer’s horse, Abegglen NRW, showed signs of distress during training sessions leading up to the Games. After an X-ray on Friday, the tooth was discovered to be infected.

Talk about rotten luck.

"This news is a heavy setback for Victoria. We hope that Abegglen will feel better soon and that Victoria will continue on her path," said Peter Mennel of the Austrian Olympic Committee.

The loss of Max-Theurer is also a blow to the Austrian dressage team, as without her, the country's other two riders will be forced to only compete as individuals and will be ineligible for the team competition medal.

Max-Theurer started riding when she was just two years old and made her Olympic debut in 2004 in Athens. Her highest finish in the individual competition was 13th place at the 2012 Olympics in London.

The qualifiers for the dressage competition got underway over the weekend, while the medals will be determined on July 27 and 28.

Germany is a heavy favourite in the team competition, thanks in large part to dressage superstar Isabell Werth, the heavy favourite to take home the individual gold medal.

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