The preparations for the WEG are planned months and years ahead of the championship. Despite this, problems can get in the way of participation for the riders and their horses. As we have already reported some of the horses, such as Cash and Hello Sailor, have been withdrawn from the championship at the last minute due to injuries.
Well, this year there are especially three horses we will be missing in Kentucky – for one reason or another!
We can start with one of our personal favourites; the wonderful grey stallion Winningmood (Darco x Lassini) ridden by Luciana Diniz. The two have really showed themselves as a great match over the last year, and in April they were really close to winning the World Cup final in Geneva. Unfortunately they ended up 4th with one fence down in the final round.
Winningmood and Luciana make a beautiful team and we had our fingers crossed that they would make it at the WEG. Unfortunately Winningmood had to undergo colic surgery in July and there was not enough time to get him ready for Kentucky. Let’s hope the European Championship in Madrid next year can be their chance for a medal instead!
Another horse we would have loved to follow in Kentucky is Lamm de Fetan (Fergar Mail x Le Tôt de Semilly). The stallion won the first leg of the Global Champions Tour this year with the French rider Timothée Anciaume, and there have been great expectations as to what this horse is able to perform. Unfortunately disagreements between the previous owners and the French Federation, ended up with the horse being sold to the French businessman Edouard de Rothschild, who is also the owner of Winningmood.
After a lot of speculations concerning who would get to ride the wonderful stallion, it is now known that Edouard de Rothschild will ride the horse himself. De Rothschild has recently immigrated to Israel, and he will also be riding for Israel in the future. His ambition is to become a championship rider, and with a great ride as Lamm de Fetan he is probably a step closer in achieving this goal.
At last but not the least - we will once again miss Peppermill (Burggraf x Voltaire). John Whitaker felt there was something wrong with the lovely stallion when competing in Aachen in July.
When examining the horse they found a light injury that unfortunately has kept the horse from yet another championship. John also had to withdraw Peppermill during the Olympic Games in Hong Kong in 2008 due to extreme stiffness before the second round of the team-competition. In 2009 it was John Whitaker himself that got injured when he broke two bones in an ankle after Peppermill took a huge jump and threw John out of the saddle during a show. This injury kept them away from the Global Champions Tour final in Doha last year. Peppermill could certainly need some luck in the future!
So, this year’s WEG in Kentucky will have to go on without these three wonderful stallions. The conclusion is; you can plan as much as you want (and the preparations are very important). With that being said - you will always need some luck on your side as well!
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