Entries for the Luhmühlen CCI4* went live this morning, and four American pairs are on the list. As expected, Phillip Dutton is re-routing Bruce Duchossois’ Mighty Nice after the horse tweaked a shoe before cross country at Rolex. Boyd Martin is also taking the Shamwari 4 Syndicate’s Shamwari 4 and his London Olympic mount the Otis Barbotiere Syndicate’s Otis Barbotiere after both horses missed Rolex due to rider unsoundness. And Clark Montgomery is also re-routing Loughan Glen, owned by Jess Montgomery, Kathryn Force, and Holly and William Becker, after the horse ran out of steam over the grueling cross-country track at Badminton.
The Germans had always planned to forgo Badminton for the Marbach CIC3* — one of their selection trials for the World Equestrian Games — and Luhmühlen, which will have the exact same ground jury as WEG, and some notable pairs are just running the CIC3* or not on the list at all. La Biosthetique Sam FBW is not on the list after placing third at Marbach — not that the reigning World, Olympic and European champion really needs to prove anything else before being named to the German WEG team.
But Michael Jung will still make an appearance at his home country’s four-star with fischerRocana FST, a lovely little mare who stole the show in the dressage and cross country at Boekelo last fall but pulled three rails in show jumping. I expect Michael will have worked on those final-phase issues to produce a very good result in this mare’s four-star debut. Sandra Auffarth’s individual London Olympic bronze medalist Opgun Louvo will run the CIC3*, as will FRH Escada JS, who won Marbach, with Ingrid Klimke.
William Fox-Pitt and Cool Mountain and Andrew Nicholson and Quimbo are both re-routing from Badminton. William withdrew Cool Mountain before cross country, and Andrew retired Quimbo after having a refusal at the owl hole at the Outlander Bank early in the course. Word on the street is that Quimbo will not jump through owl holes, and the horse has now been retired after refusals at owl holes in his last two four-star attempts at both Pau and Badminton. It will be very interesting to see if Capt. Mark Phillips’ course at Luhmühlen includes an owl hole as well.
Mark Todd is re-routing Oloa after he withdrew the horse from Rolex following a meltown in dressage; Toddy also has entered NZB Campino after they parted ways early in the course at Badminton. Lucinda Fredericks and Flying Finish will also be looking for redemption after a less-than-ideal end to cross-country day at Badminton. She pulled up the horse when he went suddenly and terribly lame early on course due to a cut on his stifle; Lucinda has reported on her Facebook page that the horse is just fine. Also keep your eyes on Lizzie Brown, who won the Boekelo CCI3* last fall with Henton Attorney General.
In all, 67 pairs will contest the CCI4* at Luhmühlen, with 46 pairs in the CIC3*, including the sole Canadian entrants Rebecca Howard and Riddle Master, another pair to fall victim to the Badminton course; they parted ways at the Mirage Pond. That’s five pairs in all representing North America in what has been named the final selection trial for WEG before the U.S. selectors name the long list no later than June 20. No pressure, no pressure at all! Chinch and I will be your boots on the ground to bring you full coverage from Luhmühlen starting with the first horse inspection on June 11.