British pair receive last-minute call up for World Cup final in Paris

  • Britain’s Hayley Watson-Greaves will head to Paris next week to make her World Cup final debut with the Rubin Royal gelding Rubin’s Nite.

    Hayley and “Squeaks” finished 13th in the World Cup Western European league — just missing out on a place in the final — but were called up yesterday as a late replacement for Australia’s Mary Hanna, who has been forced to withdraw Calanta from the final due to injury.

    I can’t tell you how happy I am; I was shaking with adrenaline when I got the phone call,” Hayley told H&H.

    “After the qualifiers I had given Squeaks a breather as he had a pretty busy winter, but then started training again as though I was going to the final, just in case. After all, I’ve been on the cusp of a lot of other championships! I really didn’t think it would happen though.”

    Hayley and the 14-year-old gelding, who were crowned British national champions in 2017, are currently ranked 35th in the world. They will travel out to Paris on Wednesday to line up alongside fellow Brit Emile Faurie, who will campaign his Olympia runner-up, the 14-year-old De Niro stallion Delatio.

    “I’ve never been to Paris and I’ve always wanted to go — although I’m a little nervous about driving the lorry right into the city centre,” laughed Hayley.

    Continues below…

    She and Emile will come up against the defending champions, Germany’s Isabell Werth and Weihegold OLD, as well as the Western European league leader, Sweden’s Patrik Kittel (Deja) and the American number one Laura Graves with Verdades, still the only combination to have beaten triple European gold medallists Isabell and Weihegold since the Rio Olympics in 2016.

    Other pairs contesting this year’s final include Germany’s Dorothee Schneider and Sammy Davis Jr, the Netherlands’ Edward Gal and Glock’s Zonik and France’s Ludovic Henry with After You.

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