Two horses out before eventing starts

September 30, 2010

Two horses did not make the cut to take part in the eventing competition following the first veterinary inspection at the World Equestrian Games yesterday.


The German team won the World Championships at Aachen in 2006; (L-R) Frank Ostholt, Ingrid Klimke, Bettina Hoy and Hinrich Romeike. © Kit Houghton/FEI
Some 81 competitors from 22 countries presented horses. One horse from Mexico was not accepted at the jog, and US officials made the call to pull out Kim Severson's mount, Tipperary Liadhnan, after signs of an earlier bout of cellulitis returned.

The late withdrawal means that US team alternates cannot be named to the team, but one of the individual riders, either Becky Holder (Courageous Comet) or Karen O'Connor (Mandiba) will move up to give the US a team of four. The US team currently consists of Buck Davidson (BallyNoe Castle RM), Phillip Dutton (Woodburn), and Boyd Martin (Neville Bardos).

At the inspection, two horses - one from Portugal and one from Poland - were held and then accepted upon re-presentation.

New Zealand fields an exciting team with a mix of experience and youth. Mark Todd and Andrew Nicholson share the NZ record for the most number of Olympics attended (6 each). They are joined by Caroline Powell whose star is on the rise following a win at the recent Burghley Horse Trials and young guns Clarke Johnstone and Jonathan Paget both on their WEG debuts.

While all of the New Zealand horses passed through the veterinary inspection, Mark Todd pulled his Achilles tendon on Wednesday. It means that Todd won't take part in the New York Marathon for CatWalk.

None of the individual medalists from the 2006 World Games in Aachen are here to defend their medals, but the teams that medaled in Aachen are all here to see if they can improve upon their results from four years ago.

Countries that will field full teams include Great Britain, Japan, South Africa, Belgium, Brazil, Sweden, Australia, Italy, France, Ireland, USA, Germany, Canada and New Zealand. Those countries will also aim for individual medals in addition to Austria, The Netherlands, Portugal, Finland, Poland, Argentina and Denmark.

Eventing officials presiding over yesterday's horse inspection included: judges Marilyn Payne (USA), Anne-Mette Binder (DEN) and David Lee (IRL); chief steward Sally O'Connor (USA); technical delegate Tom Ryckewaert (BEL); assistant technical delegate Gretchen Butts (USA); foreign veterinary delegate Gerit Matthesen (GER); associate veterinarian Lisa Krump (USA); and president of the veterinary commission Catherine Kohn (USA).

The competition will begin at 9am on Thursday (local time) with day 1 of the dressage phase.

Riders have walked Mike Etherington-Smith's cross-country course, and the Kiwi team all walked it individually before doing a team walk.

• British eventing Chef d'Equipe Yogi Breisner has announced his team and order, which will be:
1. Nicola Wilson riding Rosemary Search's Opposition Buzz
2. William Fox-Pitt riding Teresa Stopford-Sackvile's Cool Mountain
3. Kristina Cook riding Nicholas and Valda Embiricos and Sarah Pelham's Miners Frolic
4. Mary King riding Mr and Mrs E Davies and Janette Chinn's Imperial Cavalier

The two individuals will be:
Pippa Funnell riding Roger and Denise Lincoln's Redesigned
Piggy French riding Wally French and Michael Underwood's Jakata

British riders have also had a preliminary walk around the cross country course and first reports are that it is big and there are plenty of places to have a problem.

• Horse Sport Ireland's High Performance Manager Ginny Elliot has named the four combinations to make up the Irish team.

First into action will be Mark Kyle and Step in Time, followed by Patricia Ryan and Fernhill Clover Mist. Sam Watson and Horseware Bushman will be third of the Irish to go, with Capt. Geoff Curran and The Jump Jet in the anchor leg.

Camilla Speirs and Portersize Just a Jiff will compete as an individual.

"These are four solid combinations, all with form at four-star level," Elliot said. "Camilla Speirs is a real talent and Portersize Just a Jiff is a super little horse. Camilla is making her senior championship debut at 21 and while I would have no hesitation in using the combination in the team, I have gone for experience on this occasion."

Camilla Speirs and Portersize Just a Jiff will be the youngest rider and the smallest horse in the competition.