Oliver Townend withdrew Black Tie, the best British horse after cross-country, before the trot-up this morning in the DHL CCI4* at Luhmühlen.
The rider piloted Karyn Shuter’s 15-year-old gelding to a clear in the time yesterday to hold fourth overnight. But the pair did not appear at today’s horse inspection, dashing hopes that they would repeat the fourth place they collected here two years ago.
Another top-10 contender was also absent when Australia’s Emma Dougall did not present Belcam Bear, owned by herself, her partner Kevin McNab and her mother Julia. The pair were seventh overnight. This ends Emma’s Rio dreams as she needed to gain her individual Olympic qualification here as well as to impress the selectors.
The other 24 horses still in the class were all presented to the ground jury — Christian Landolt (Britain), Marilyn Payne (USA) and Ernst Topp (Germany) — and passed. Aussie Andrew Hoy was asked to trot Rutherglen a second time but then the horse, who holds fifth place after Black Tie’s withdrawal, was accepted.
There was also drama at the CIC3* Meßmer Trophy trot-up with three horses withdrawn and four sent to the holding box, three of which subsequently left the competition. The ground jury in this class are Christoph Hess (Germany) and Andrew Bennie (New Zealand).
Those withdrawn were Tim Lips’ 19-year-old ride Keyflow (34th overnight), from the Netherlands, and two Swedish horses: Herta (ninth), ridden by Frida Andersén, and Reality 39 (15th), ridden by Sara Algotsson Ostholt.
The only British horse in this class is Louise Harwood’s ride Balladeer Miller Man (36th), owned by Alli Haynes, and he was sent to the holding box. He was re-presented to the ground jury but was not judged fit to continue.
Germany’s Anne-Kristin Freese withdrew Fame 152 (37th) from the holding box and it was the same story for Italy’s Sara Breschi with Midollino (30th).
The Netherlands’ Zindane (22nd), ridden by Theo van de Vendel, was accepted when he was re-presented after being held.
Full report of Luhmühlen in H&H next week, out 23 June.