Beijing equestrian silver medallist Shane Rose has had his 2012 Olympic dream crushed after his horse Taurus was ruled out with a leg injury.
Rose says the nine-year-old bay gelding picked up the soft tissue shoulder injury last week but seemed to be recovering well.
However on Sunday morning, the day after a jumping session at the team’s Gloucestershire base, Taurus pulled up lame.
"It's pretty devastating really," Rose said.
"I guess when it first happened a week or so ago, at the time I was thinking this is not the timing. But then the fact that he improved so much and working really really well the last two days I was confident.
"You know, I was really starting to get excited thinking that pretty much not much can go wrong from here and obviously this morning it was pretty hollow."
It is not the first time Rose has suffered such disappointment.
At his first Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996 he was forced to withdraw when his horse, Mr Joe Cool, went lame.
It took him another 12 years to earn selection again and he was rewarded with a silver in the three-day team event.
"I guess in our sport we are probably more used to disappointment than a lot of other sports simply by the nature of our sport having another animal involved.
"We get used to it unfortunately but I guess that's what makes the good times rewarding."
Back-up rider Megan Jones will now take his place.
"I haven't had a chance to speak to Megan but we're a pretty close knit unit, the whole team.
"Megan was part of our medal-winning team in Beijing, she's a good friend of mine and I’m sure she's going to do a great job," Rose said.
Australia's Equestrian Section Manager Brett Mace says Jones is a strong replacement.
"We were in a really fortunate position this year and it was difficult for our selectors because we had a lot of good riders and horses to select from so we feel that we're still pretty much on track," he said.
"We're very confident of doing well."
Rose says he will not stay on to watch how the team goes.
"The Olympic Games is not a very nice place to be if you're not accredited," he said.
"I've got a business and a baby girl to go home to, she's only a couple of months old, so I'll probably head off Tuesday night."
But he is already planning an assault on the 2014 World Championships in Normandy and the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro with a contingency plan in place.
"Certainly this horse (Taurus) is only a nine-year-old still, so he's got time in front of him.
"And what I'd quite like to do for Normandy and Rio is have two or three horses that are in the firing line so that if something like this happens next time, hopefully I've got back up."