Top contenders ruled out of Olympia dressage

The line-up for the World Cup dressage at Olympia (17-18 December) has taken a hit as top Dutch combination Edward Gal and Glock’s Zonik announced their withdrawal from the competition.

“Glock’s Zonik didn’t really eat today and in the evening he had fever. So we had to cancel the horseshow in London because we won’t risk the long travel,” said the Glock Horse Performance Centre on Friday night. “We’re very sad but the welfare of the horse comes first.”

Edward and the 10-year-old Blue Hors Zack stallion won last year’s grand prix at Olympia, and also finished seventh individually in both the grand prix and the special at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon in September.

Glock will still be represented at Olympia by Hans Peter Minderhoud and Glock’s Dream Boy, who will be in action at 9.27pm this evening (17 December).

The young Spanish rider Juan Matute Guimon, who was due to make his Olympia debut with Quantico, has also been forced to withdraw after the 12-year-old gelding suffered a bout of colic.

Home favourite Charlotte Dujardin will be the first rider to enter the Olympia arena this evening at 8pm. She will ride Carl Hester’s WEG bronze medallist, the 10-year-old Hawtins Delicato, as her top ride Mount St John Freestyle is currently recovering from a cough.

The remaining British riders will have to wait until the latter stages of the class to begin their Olympia campaigns, with Hayley Watson-Greaves and Rubins Nite on at 9.36pm, Richard Davison and Bubblingh in action at 9.45pm and Lara Butler and Rubin Al Asad the final combination of the class at 9.54pm.

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Tonight’s class, which determines the order for tomorrow evening’s freestyle and World Cup qualifier, will trial a new grand prix test, which has been shortened by 45 seconds to five minutes. Riders will also be interviewed immediately after finishing their test, while still mounted.

Don’t miss our full coverage from the Olympia dressage, featuring expert analysis and views, online and in the 28 December issue.

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