Will Coleman has withdrawn veteran partner Chin Tonic HS from the Defender Kentucky Three Day Event in Lexington.

The American rider announced on Thursday that he has pulled the 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding from the CCI4*-S start list to prevent a potential injury.

Posted Coleman on Facebook:

“I’m sorry to say that Chin Tonic HS will be withdrawn from this year’s Kentucky 4*S. Chin arrived here after a great spring season and is in fabulous form. He’s sound and well, his usual happy and proud self. Despite his wellness, an issue in his carpal sheath has surfaced that could present the possibility of injury were we to compete here, and so we’ve made the obvious and responsible decision to pull him from the competition and explore this issue more fully.”

Coleman and Chin Tonic finished second in the CCI4*S in Aiken earlier this month and won their final CCI4*S of 2023 in October. The pair has finished top five in 13 of their 21 career international starts since 2019.

“With so much riding on this year, this may seem to have been a difficult decision to make,” continued Coleman. “But it honestly wasn’t. It never is a hard decision to do right by your horse, and protecting them from a potential injury is a responsibility I take very seriously, regardless of our aspirations.

“Grateful to my team at home, my wife, Chin’s groom Erin Jarboe, and my vets Lisa Casinella and Tim Ober, all of whom have played such a huge role in getting Chin to this point in his career. I am especially thankful for Chin’s owner, Vicky Castegren of Hyperion Stud. She could not be more supportive of this decision, and her always horse-first attitude cannot be commended enough. It is truly an honor to ride for her, as it is for all of my incredible owners. Chin will be back, and I have no doubt he will better than ever when he does return to top sport.”

Coleman sits in second in the CCI4*S division with Diabolo on a score of 29.9 and in third with Off the Record on 30.1 after Thursday’s dressage. Boyd Martin tops the leaderboard with a one point lead on Commando (28.9).