Title contender to miss Badminton after top horse injured

  • Ingrid Klimke‘s 2014 world eventing team gold medallist SAP Escada FRH is injured and will not be available for the German team for this summer’s Olympics.

    As a result, the German star has decided to withdraw her other top horse, Horseware Hale Bob OLD, from Badminton in order to focus on preparing him for Rio.

    Ingrid said: “At one of the regular vet checks for the team horses our team vet, Carsten Rhode, found an irregularity with SAP Escada FRH. Further testing showed that Escada has damaged a ligament and therefore we have to put her health before any competition, including our bid for the Olympic Games in Rio.

    “Her owner, Madeleine Winter Schulze, the entire team and I are all extremely disappointed and sad that SAP Escada FRH needs an extended break.”

    Escada, a 12-year-old Hanoverian mare, was an individual silver and team gold medallist at the 2013 European Championships in Malmö and a team gold medallist at the following year’s World Equestrian Games in Caen.

    Escada won Luhmühlen last year and Ingrid was the 2014/2015 FEI Classics champion thanks to these horses’ strong results.

    Ingrid added that Hale Bob is in “top form” and will now be aimed at Wiesbaden, Luhmühlen and Aachen. He is also 12 years old, a thoroughbred by Helikon, and belongs to Ingrid and Andreas Busacker.

    Hale Bob was Ingrid’s ride at last year’s European Championships at Blair, finishing fifth individually and contributing to team gold. He was second at Badminton last year and won Pau CCI4* in 2014.

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    Ingrid therefore still has a very strong option for the German team for the Olympics, but the news about Escada will be a blow as it leaves her with only one horse in the running, a vulnerable position because he could also be injured in the next few months.

    British fans will also be disappointed not to see her at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials next week, where she would have been a genuine contender for the title.

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