Rio Olympics 2016: Spencer Wilton set for dressage debut on Super Nova II

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Wilton to make dressage debut in Rio
Olympic Games on the BBC
Venue: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Dates: 5-21 August Time in Rio: BST -4
Coverage: Watch on BBC One, BBC Four, Red Button and up to 24 HD video streams on mobile, desktop and connected TVs, plus follow on Radio 5 live and via live text commentary.

Dressage Rider Spencer Wilton knows the chance to make an Olympic debut might not have come his way.

Wilton, 43, from Reading, will ride Super Nova II as part of the Team GB's four-strong team in Rio.

But a serious, career-threatening injury to the horse two-and-a-half years ago threatened to scupper their chances of going to the Games.

"It's been six years, our relationship," Wilton told BBC Sport. "But quite a bit of that has been putting him back together."

Super Nova II, a 13-year-old, suffered hind leg ligament damage in early 2014 - an injury some vets felt would be too serious to overcome.

"That was a moment when I thought, 'This is it, it's all over," Wilton added. "But he's surprised everybody by coming back.

"The moments prior to selection (for Rio) were really challenging. Then I had a few days of feeling elated after being selected.

"Then, the reality of the thought of trying to keep the horse in one piece between now and actually cantering down the centre line in Rio struck.

"That's been probably more stressful than the whole build-up to selection."

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