Nick Wagman's Don John Withdrawn from 2021 Tokyo Olympics

Friday, July 23, 2021
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USA's Nick Wagman made the heartbreaking announcement that a decision to withdraw Don John from the 2021 Tokyo Olympis Games has been made due to a minor injury incurred several days ago after arrival in Tokyo. 

Fortunatley, Don John has already made great progress in recovery but the decision to withdraw was in the very best interest of his future with Wagman stating "his long term future shouldn’t be risked for immediate goals."

Nick posted this on his Facebook page -

"Well, this is the post I never wanted to have to write. Today, we made the heartbreaking decision to withdraw DJ from competition, as he unfortunately sustained a minor injury here in Tokyo several days ago. Everyone has been working around the clock to remedy the situation (and he has improved tremendously), but ultimately the decision was made that even though we were confident he would pass the jog, that his long term future shouldn’t be risked for immediate goals. As you can imagine, this was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make for so many reasons. The last thing I wanted to do was let my teammates down, or his owners down, or the incredible Jose, or Debbie, or all the other members of this amazing team, or all of the people who have been cheering me on through all of this. Nothing would’ve given me more joy than to live up to what we are capable of and made you all proud.

But, the truth of the matter is that this is the reality of horses. They can get hurt, and they take time to heal. They aren’t machines, nor pieces of equipment that can be fixed or replaced; and that’s why we love them so much — that’s why we love this sport so much. That’s why I love DJ so much.

So while, the tears continue to flow, I’m going to remind myself of all the good that has come out of this remarkable experience. I’m here in Tokyo as part of the US Team. I have made new friends in my teammates who have demonstrated nothing but kindness towards me, shared their vast experience with me; and I am becoming a better horseman because of it. It will be an honor to cheer you on from the sidelines. But most importantly I have DJ who no matter what, still eagerly awaits my arrival everyday, wants his neck scratched, and knows my right pocket is always full of sugar cubes.  And that, is what makes all of this worth it.

Thank you to everyone for all of the love and support. One of these days we will get to finish what we started. ♥️"

Our very best to team USA, Nick Wagman and Don John.