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Britain's famous rider Whitaker withdraws from Olympics due to horse sickness
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Britain's jumping team remains confident of medal success despite the withdrawal of its top rider Michael Whitaker due to his horse Portofino's sickness, Britain's Team Chief Derek Ricketts said on Friday.

Ricketts made the remarks at a press conference, saying he is confident that his team still has chances for a medal.

"It's not clear what is wrong," Whitaker told reporters, adding that the horse has not shown much sign of improvement.

Whitaker was named by the British Show Jumping Association Leading Rider of the year and Rider's Rider of the Year for 2006.

The empty spot in the team will be taken by reserve horse Russel and rider Nick Skelton, who will compete in his fifth Olympic Games. Skelton almost retired in 2001 when he broke his neck, but he started riding again in 2002 and came 10th in the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

(Xinhua News Agency August 15, 2008)

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