Key British Olympic Contender Withdraws from Luhmühlen at Final Horse Inspection; One Horse Held in CCI5*

Ros Canter and Izilot DHI. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Talk about unsociable: despite last night’s party raging on until nearly three in the morning, and German party tunes still ringing in everyone’s ears, this morning’s duo of final horse inspections at Luhmühlen still, rather rudely, started bang on at 7.30 in the morning.

Everyone may have been a touch bleary-eyed, but the horses certainly weren’t. Despite running intense tracks yesterday, we saw horse after horse being flown like a kite, thanks, in no small part, to the truly exceptional ground that they all ran over yesterday.

The CCI5* presented first to a ground jury comprised of president Anne-Mette Binder, and 31 of yesterday’s 33 finishers came forward after the overnight withdrawal of Britain’s Laura Birley and Bob Cotton Bandit and Sweden’s Christoffer Forsberg and Con Classic. Two horses were asked to trot again immediately: Ireland’s Robbie Kearns and Ballyvillane OBOS were then promptly accepted, while Italy’s Pietro Sandei and Rubis de Prere were sent to the holding box for the second time this week. They were subsequently accepted and will go into this morning’s showjumping in eleventh place. Ros Canter and Izilot DHI hold their lead overnight with two rails and a second in hand; it’s hard to imagine, now, a scenario in which the Pau winners don’t win this class. Izilot hasn’t had a rail down in an FEI class since his CCI2*-S debut five years ago. 

Pietro Sandei and Rubis de Prere. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The CCI4*-S also had a horse inspection today, which is protocol when a short format class is held with showjumping last. Here, we had rather more drama in the form of morning withdrawals. Sweden’s Aria Ramkali pulled 34th placed Flanders overnight, and second-placed Laura Collett withdrew London 52 this morning due to a minor injury to his coronet band.

“Unfortunately London 52 managed to slice into his coronet band whilst out on the XC,” writes Laura in a post on her Instagram account. “Although a very minor injury I don’t feel it’s in his best interest to SJ today therefore have made the very difficult decision to withdraw him

As always his welfare comes first and it’s my job to do what’s right by him, however devastating it is. He was scintillating round the XC yesterday and we will be back fighting for the win soon.”

Yasmin Ingham and Banzai du Loir. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

This is a major moment for the competition itself, which now sees fellow Brits Yasmin Ingham and Tom McEwen in second and third place, respectively, with their Olympic prospects Banzai du Loir and JL Dublin — but it’s also a tense moment for the British selection storyline, which reaches its denouement with this final trial ahead of an announcement in the next week or so. It’s hard to imagine that the selectors will feel that London 52 still needs to prove himself in showjumping, at which he’s a specialist, but what will remain to be seen is how quickly the injury can heal so the pair can get back on track with their fitness targets. And, of course, it now gives us a rather familiar one-two: Yasmin Ingham and Banzai du Loir will showjump in second place to Michael Jung and fischerChipmunk FRH. The last time we saw that was at the 2022 World Championships, where a shock two fences for Michi saw Yas take the title. Could it be another case of déjà vu today?

Antonia Baumgart and Lamango. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Elsewhere in this class, we saw Germany’s Antonia Baumgart held with Lamango, but accepted upon representation. 

52 horses and riders will go ahead to showjumping in this class. We’ll kick off with the 5* from 9.25 a.m. (8.25 a.m. BST/3.25 a.m. EST), followed by the 4*, which incorporates the German National Championship and this crucial Olympic stepping stone, from 12.15 p.m. (11.15 a.m. BST/6.15 a.m. EST). You can follow all the action live on Horse & Country TV, and join us later for an in-depth round-up of the biggest stories of the day. 

Until then — Go Eventing!

EN’s coverage of the Longines Luhmühlen Horse Trials is brought to you by Kentucky Performance Products, your go-to source for science-backed nutritional support across all types of horses, disciplines, and needs. Click here to learn more about what KPP can do for your horse — thank you for supporting our wonderful sponsors!

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