British horse eliminated at first trot-up at European Eventing Championships

  • British squad member Tom McEwen’s Diesel (above) has been eliminated at the first horse inspection at the HSBC FEI European Eventing Championships in Malmö.

    Tom, making his senior squad debut, was second to present for the Brits and Diesel cantered back down the trot-up strip. He was then sent to the holding box and was failed when he was re-presented to the ground jury of Marilyn Payne, Christina Klingspor and Christian Landolt.

    “The horse has been fine and worked well since arriving, but he came off the lorry with a sore back,” said British chef d’equipe Yogi Breisner. “The vet in the holding box was happy with him and couldn’t find anything apart from that, but he then stiffened up while waiting to go back in [in front of the ground jury] and they made the right call.

    “Tom said he was sorry to me and I said I was sorry to him. That’s all there is to say. It’s always a big blow for any rider to come to a championship and something go wrong. Tom will stay here and it’s still a big learning curve for him — he’s got a big future in front of him and will hopefully be part of the team for many years.”

    Tina Cook and Miners Frolic at the 2013 European Eventing Championships first trot-up

    Tina Cook and Miners Frolic pass the trot-up

    The other British horses — Chilli Morning (William Fox-Pitt), KBIS Briarlands Matilda (Izzy Taylor), Miners Frolic (Tina Cook), Mirage D’Elle (Pippa Funnell) and Simon Porloe (Lucy Wiegersma) — all passed without drama.

    The team will consist of Pippa, Lucy, Tina and William and they will ride in that order, with the first two doing dressage tomorrow and the latter two on Friday. Izzy will compete as an individual and her dressage will be on Friday just before lunch.

    Three other horses were sent to the holding box, but all passed on re-inspection. They were Lionel Guyon’s Nemetis De Lalou (France), Dag Albert’s Tubber Rebel (Sweden) and Stefano Fioravanti’s Nodin D’Orval (Italy).

    61 riders will start in the competition, from 15 different nations. 10 countries have 3 or more riders so will field a team (3 or 4 riders, best 3 scores to count).

    Warm weather has greeted the teams arriving in Sweden this week, with blazing sunshine for today’s trot-up.

    Yogi described Rudiger Schwarz’s cross-country track as tough.

    “The ground is firm, which we knew it would be, although they’ve done a fantastic job, and the track is very twisty, again which we knew. The time will probably be tight and it will be a good competition,” he said.

    Log back on for more updates over the weekend and don’t miss H&H’s full report from the European Eventing Championships in the issue out next Thursday, 5 September.

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