‘I’m absolutely devastated’: Spencer Wilton withdraws from grand prix special at WEG

  • Britain’s Spencer Wilton has withdrawn from today grand prix special at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina.

    Spencer and his own and Jen Goodman’s Super Nova II helped Britain win team bronze yesterday, but the 15-year-old De Niro gelding, known as Neville, was not feeling 100% today after getting excited in yesterday’s medal ceremony.

    “I’m obviously devastated for myself and Jen as we were so looking forward to building on what we achieved in the grand prix,” said Spencer. “Prize-givings are not Neville’s favourite thing and normally I wouldn’t do them but we’re at a championship.

    I helped the team secure qualification for Tokyo 2020 and that was my primary focus, so with that in mind, Neville’s welfare was key to this tough decision.”

    Britain’s Emile Faurie and Dono Di Maggio are currently lying 19th, having scored 70.38%. Emile reported that the huge 18hh gelding was feeling the humidity and the heat, which had reached 30 degrees.

    “It was not easy today; he’s a massive horse and he struggled with the heat. The tank was a bit empty,” Emile told H&H. “With these big horses it takes a bit longer to get the strength too, but this has been a great experience for him. I’m really happy with him — he really tried. He’s a fantastic horse and I just know he’s going to be really great for the future.”

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    Sweden’s Juliette Ramel is currently leading the grand prix with Buriel KH, having scored a personal best of 77.28% with a brilliant performance. Her Swedish teammate Therese Nilshagen is lying second with Dante Weltino, on 75.82%.

    Britain’s Carl Hester will ride his own, Ann Cory and Anne Evans’ Hawtins Delicato in the special at 4.10pm (9.10pm UK time), with Charlotte Dujardin the penultimate rider of the class, beginning her test with Emma and Jill Blundell’s Mount St John Freestyle at 5pm (10pm UK time).

    Horse & Hound has two journalists and a photographer in Tryon for WEG. Keep up to date with all the news on horseandhound.co.uk and in the magazine issues dated 20 and 27 September

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