Germany’s ban on UK travellers casts doubts over whether Brits can ride at Luhmühlen

  • Doubts have been cast over whether British and British-based riders can compete at the five-star at Luhmühlen Horse Trials (17-20 June) because the German government has imposed new entry restrictions on travellers from the UK.

    From today (23 May), the UK is designated as a virus variant area of concern “which means that you may only enter Germany from the UK if you are a German citizen, a resident or their spouse/partner/child under 18, or if you can invoke an urgent humanitarian reason such as an immediate family bereavement”, according to the UK government website, which continues: “Travel from the UK is subject to pre-departure digital registration and 14-day quarantine with no exemptions and no possibility for early test and release.”

    British eventing performance manager Dickie Waygood told H&H: “It’s a bank holiday in Germany on Monday, so we will have to wait for clarity, but we hope to get confirmation of the situation on Tuesday. We weren’t encouraging riders to go to Luhmühlen as part of Olympic preparation or selection as it’s not the perfect pathway to Tokyo, but the event could have provided a good pathway to the European Championships. And of course it would be a huge blow for anyone hoping to compete if they are not able to travel.”

    The entries for Luhmühlen were released on Wednesday last week. Forty-one British combinations are entered in the five-star including reigning world champions Ros Canter and Allstar B, the 2019 Burghley Horse Trials winners Pippa Funnell and MGH Grafton Street and Piggy March with both her 2019 Badminton Horse Trials winner Vanir Kamira and her 2020 Pau Horse Trials runner-up Brookfield Inocent. Kitty King and Vendredi Biats, best of the British at the 2o19 Europeans at Luhmühlen, are also in the line-up.

    A number of Irish, Australian and New Zealand riders who are based in Britain could also be affected by the new restrictions. These include Tim Price, who is entered for the five-star with his 2019 Luhmühlen winner Ascona M and 2018 Burghley winner Ringwood Sky Boy and his wife Jonelle Price with the 2018 Luhmühlen winner Faerie Dianimo.

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    Some riders have kept their options open by double entering horses at both Luhmühlen and Bicton Arena, the Bramham replacement fixture which will run four-star long and short classes the week before the German five-star. Bicton has accepted all entries made before noon on the ballot date (18 May) and is now wait-listing further entries. There are 104 entries in Bicton’s CCI4*-L, 111 in the CCI4*-S and 40 in the under-25 CCI4*-L.

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