John Whitaker, one of the stalwarts of British showjumping, has come to terms with the fact he has missed out on the "once in a lifetime" chance of competing at the London Olympics.
The 56-year-old Yorkshireman has appeared at five previous Games, starting with Los Angeles in 1984 where he won a team silver medal.
As well as winning Hickstead's King George V Gold Cup three times, he is also approaching a staggering 200 Nations Cup appearances for his country.
But neither Whitaker, his brother Michael nor indeed any members of the 'first family' of British showjumping will be in the British team riding at London's Greenwich Park.
Instead, team manager Rob Hoekstra has chosen Nick Skelton, Ben Maher, Peter Charles and Scott Brash as his Olympic quartet, with Tina Fletcher as non-travelling reserve.
"I realised after the Rotterdam Nations Cup last month that selection wasn't going to be a possibility," Whitaker said.
"Up until then, I felt that I had a chance. I am very disappointed. I've done five Olympics, but to do one in your own country is a once in a lifetime chance.
"I think we are quite lucky as showjumpers. We get more than one chance at an Olympics, whereas many sportsmen and sportswomen only get the one chance.
"I've had my share of Olympics. I am disappointed not to be at this one, but that's how it is."
Whitaker was in the British Nations Cup team that finished fourth in Saturday's Hickstead round of the series in southern England, a result that saw them climb three places to third in the overall standings.
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