‘Her wellbeing is the most important thing’: European champions ruled out to injury

  • Reigning European showjumping champions DSP Chakaria and Andre Thieme have been denied the chance to defend their title after the mare sustained an injury.

    The combination had been due to compete on the German team at the European Showjumping Championships in Milan, Italy, next week (29 August to 3 September). In 2021 Andre and the 13-year-old mare claimed individual gold on home soil in Riesenbeck, two days after helping Germany to team silver.

    A statement from the German federation said that in “consultation with team management”, Andre and DSP Chakaria would not start in Milan due to a “slight injury”.

    Andre said the decision is “purely a precautionary measure”.

    “Chakaria means everything to me – that she is healthy and above all stays healthy in the long term is my top priority,” he said.

    “I’m so sorry that I can’t ride for the team. It’s very difficult for me not to be there, but her wellbeing is the most important thing,”

    The German national coach Otto Becker added that he was “incredibly sorry” that Andre cannot start.

    “It’s also a weakness for our team if the reigning European champion isn’t there,” he said.

    Gerrit Nieberg and 12-year-old gelding Ben 431 will replace Andre Thieme and DSP Chakaria, in the pair’s championship debut. Gerrit and Ben finished 13th at the World Cup final last year in Leipzig. Christian Kukuk will now compete as an individual with 11-year-old stallion Mumbai. The pair were part of the European silver medal-winning squad in 2021.

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