Carl Hester has been temporarily reunited with his European Championship partner Liebling II and hopes to qualify him for the World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Kentucky (25 September-10 October).

“I am delighted and very excited,” said Carl, who was part of the silver medal-winning British team at Windsor last year with Liebling and scored his personal best scores on the horse at Olympia at Christmas.

Liebling, a 13-year-old Holstein gelding by Lorentin, was formerly the ride of Anna Ross Davies, before being moved to Carl’s yard in September 2008 in preparation for being sold.

The horse was bought in the spring this year by John Risley for Canadian rider Cheryl Meisner.

But since taking over the ride Cheryl has had disappointing scores and “Lenny” has returned to Carl’s Gloucestershire yard, with Cheryl popping over for lessons.

She hopes to be on the Canadian team at WEG on her number one ride Paganini.

“Cheryl just ran out of time to qualify Liebling and is more in contention with Paganini,” explained Carl.

“But she felt that a horse like Lenny should get the chance to go to WEG. I just need to come up with some good scores now to get on the team.

“We already part-qualified at Olympia, so now I’ll take him to Hartpury and Hickstead and hope to claim a place on the team.”

Team captain and H&H columnist Richard Davison welcomed the news.

“We know that Carl and Liebling are high scorers from last year’s Europeans. It also means that we can save Carl’s other ride Uthopia for the Olympics, which was the original intention,” he said.

“I am very keen that Uthopia shouldn’t be rushed,” Richard concluded.

This article was first published in Horse & Hound (15 July, ’10)