British dressage team arrived safely in Germany despite Calais crisis

  • Despite concerns that the journey to Aachen might be fraught with problems due to the worsening migrant crisis in Calais, the British dressage team have all arrived safely in Germany.

    Ahead of the FEI European Dressage Championships, the British dressage team were forced to take action and book a back-up route for their journey to Aachen.

    However, thankfully all horses “travelled across well” and arrived safely and the competition begins today (Wednesday 12 August)

    In anticipation of problems at the terminal, the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) booked a ferry for the horses from Harwich to Holland, to avoid the Channel Tunnel should issues occur.

    “We altered our plans slightly to ensure that the horses travelling out to the Europeans have as easy a journey as possible,” a BEF spokesman told H&H.

    “Horse welfare is always our priority and we will continue to monitor the situation closely. We have a flexible travel strategy depending on the current situation.”

    Valegro, Nip Tuck, Atterupgaards Orthilia and Marakov arrived safely via the tunnel on Sunday (10 August).

    Their riders Charlotte Dujardin, Carl Hester, Fiona Bigwood and Michael Eilberg joined them a day later.

    Calais’ migrant crisis is posing increasing problems for horseboxes returning from France.

    There are more than 3,000 people at the migrant camp in Calais known as “the jungle” with poor access to food, water and health treatment.

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    Last month (29 July) a man, believed to be a Sudanese migrant, was found under a horsebox — hidden above the rear axle — at the Royal International Horse Show.

    In October the lorry carrying Olympic gold medal-winning dressage star Valegro was targeted.

    The dressage star’s lorry was preparing to board the train at the port on his return from a demo in Norway when a stowaway was discovered clinging on under the chassis.

    In May Dutch eventer Tim Lips had problems while travelling to Badminton.

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