The 2016 Olympic bronze medal-winning combination, Kristina Bröring-Sprehe and Desperados FRH, will not compete at this September’s World Equestrian Games in Tryon.

The 17-year-old Hanoverian stallion, by De Niro x Wolkenstein II, has been declared unfit to compete at next week’s CHIO5* in Aachen, which forms the final mandatory German team selection trial.

“Unfortunately the time is too short before Aachen for Desperados. I’m very sorry, especially for Kristina,” said Klaus Roeser, head of the German selection committee.

As well as securing an individual bronze medal in Rio with their 87.14% grand prix freestyle, “Despi” and Kristina helped Germany to team gold, having won team silver in London four years earlier.

The stallion was withdrawn from contention from last year’s European Championships in Gothenburg due to injury but after 16 months out Despi returned to international competition in March this year at the Dortmund CDI4*, winning both the grand prix and special with plus-79% scores.

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The pair went on to triumph at the Hagen CDI4* in April, looking almost back to their best with an 83.85% winning grand prix freestyle, but the stallion was then withdrawn from the German championships in Balve in early June with an injury, which Kristina stated at the time had nothing to do with the previous one. It’s now been confirmed that Despi has not regained enough fitness to compete in Aachen next week (17-22 July), which he would have to do to qualify for team selection for Tryon.

Even without Desperados, the combinations in contention for a place on the German team look extremely strong, with Isabell Werth having Bella Rose back in action alongside her European champion Weihegold OLD, European silver medallists Sonke Rothenberger and Cosmo on top form and gold medallists Dorothee Schneider and Helen Langehanenberg set to compete in Aachen, the latter just four weeks after giving birth to her daughter Finja.

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