3 things the horse world is talking about right now: Wednesday 15 September 2021

Horse & Hound’s daily debrief, brought to you every weekday morning

  • 1. Isabell Werth mentioning retirement for the first time

    The world’s most decorated equestrian, German dressage rider Isabell Werth has spoken about her plans to retire from the sport some time after the Paris Olympics in 2024. The Olympian has won gold at all five Games she has contested, including team gold at the Tokyo Olympics. “Paris is a turning point,” she told the German Press Agency, shortly after winning team gold and individual silver at the European Dressage Championships. “Then at some point [my] active career will end.” This is the first time the 52-year-old has discussed her possible retirement, having now revealed she “certainly no longer wants to ride at the age of 60”. Admittedly this is rather noncommittal – after all, there is another Games after Paris before Isabell reaches the age of 60…

    What Isabell had to say

    2. Andrew Hoy’s Tokyo medallist not going to Aachen

    Vassily De Lassos, Andrew Hoy’s Tokyo Olympic ride and individual bronze and team silver medallist, will not contest Aachen this week owing to a hoof abscess. Aachen would have been the horse’s first event since the Tokyo Games. Andrew said: “Vassily has developed a foot abscess, which has thankfully been located and also cleared by our vets and farrier – but he won’t be ready in time for Aachen to return to the international competition stage.” Disappointing for all who love watching this beautiful chestnut super star, but reassuring for any concerned by his non-appearance that it is nothing more serious than an untimely abscess. Talking of which top horses and riders are going – or not going – where, at the time of writing, British Olympic silver medallist Leslie Law is the only British entrant for the much anticipated Maryland CCI5*, being US-based, and yesterday was the closing date for entries. Watch this space…

    Read the full story

    3. That Laura Collett is appearing on A Question Of Sport this month

    Each year the line-up for Strictly Come Dancing is announced, I cross my fingers for a rider in the mix. Why would they do it, when they have to give up so much time they would otherwise be training their horses? But given the viewing figures and the impact on the careers of those who appear, what a platform from which to extol the virtues of horsesport? I’ll wait another year, but in the meantime Olympic eventing team gold medallist Laura Collett is putting her newfound mainstream fame to good use in her desire to highlight eventing to a wider audience, and appearing on the BBC’s Question of Sport on Friday, 24 September. Laura admitted she was not brilliant at answering the questions on the iconic quiz programme but had a great time, and I’m sure she came across brilliantly as ever.

    How Laura felt about appearing on the show

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