British horse withdraws and change to Kentucky Three-Day Event pathfinder

  • A British horse is among the withdrawals from this week’s Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event (22-25 April).

    Richard Coney and Mermus R Diamonds had been due to make their Kentucky debut but the pair dropped off the starter list this week. The combination completed their first five-star at Pau Horse Trials, France, in October 2020 finishing ninth.

    Jonelle Price will be stepping into the role of pathfinder on the first of her three rides, Grappa Nera, following the withdrawal of Clayton Fredericks and FE Ophelia. Clayton said the mare, who would have been making her five-star debut, “didn’t make the trip this time” but he was “excited to arrive” with his two other rides; FE Always In Time and FE Stormtrooper.

    Kentucky marks Grappa Nera’s first appearance at five-star level. Jonelle and the 10-year-old mare took second in the CCI4*-L at Strzegom Horse Trials in Poland last August. Jonelle’s other rides are 2018 Badminton winner Classic Moet and Grovine De Reve.

    Continued below…

    US rider Chris Talley has withdrawn Unmarked Bills. The pair had competed at Fair Hill International Horse Trials (9-11 April) as their final preparations for Kentucky but Chris said the 12-year-old gelding was not “feeling himself” in the showjumping phase, and following vet checks the decision was made to pull out of Kentucky.

    “The truth is, it’s an easy decision because his wellbeing will always come first and foremost,” said Chris.

    “The hardest part is to see a horse who has given so much to so many, not feeling like his typical self. We are optimistic that he will be back to his fighting self, looking for those cross-country flags with a fire in his eyes, but no matter what, one thing is clear to us and that is that he owes absolutely nothing to anyone. I am grateful to be surrounded by such special people who make a decision like this so easy.”

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