Olympic rider and H&H columnist Richard Davison and his young grand prix horse Hiscox Karachi will take the place of Carl Hester and the recently sold Escapado in the British dressage team at CHIO Aachen (23-28 August).
The three other team members — Emma Hindle, Fiona Bigwood and Wayne Channon — all competed at the European Championships in Hagen, Germany, last month. However, Hindle will ride Lancet instead of Wie Weltmeyer in Aachen.
The 11-year-old Karachi replaces Davison’s Olympic ride, Ballaseyr Royale. The mare has retired from competition and is three months in-foal to Geldnet Lingh, Edward Gals’ World Cup star.
“It is nerve wracking,” admitted Davison. “Karachi has only just started. He’s a bit of an Escapado in terms of being quite hot.”
It was clear at Hickstead last week that although Karachi is talented, he is not yet used to the major show atmosphere. Davison was the team’s discard score in the Nations Cup competition and described the horse as “terrified”.
Their performance led to some questioning by spectators of the selectors ‘decision to send the partnership to Aachen, but Britain’s chef d’equipe David Trott stood firm.
“Karachi has so much potential and having competed here he’s ready for the exposure of Aachen,” he said.
The scenario is reminiscent of Carl Hester and Escapado’s appearance at Aachen 2004, where they scored badly before the Athens Olympics, where they were the best of the British riders.
“That was a turning point for selectors and proved you can’t just go on percentages at this level, you have to look to the future,” said Richard. “The production of horses through experience is what’s important, and nobody wins medals safety.”