Geoffroy Soullez of France was the only competitor to suffer nervous moments at the first horse inspection at Luhmühlen CCI4* in Germany today (15 June).
The Frenchman’s ride, the 16-year-old chestnut gelding Madiran Du Liot (above), was coughing during the trot-up and was sent to the holding box by the ground jury of Christian Landolt (Switzerland), Ernst Topp (Germany) and Marilyn Payne (USA).
When Geoffroy brought the horse back for re-inspection, the ground jury passed him.
The rest of the horses were accepted without drama. It is a small field in the CCI4* at Luhmühlen this year with only 30 starters.
This includes eight British horses. Louise Harwood has two rides (Mr Potts and Whitson) and so does Oliver Townend (Dromgurrihy Blue and Black Tie). Kirsty Short rides Cossan Lad, while Lydia Hannon makes her four-star debut with My Royal Touch. The final Brits are H&H blogger Coral Keen, who went well here last year on Wellshead Fare Opposition, her ride again this time, and Sarah Bullimore with Reve Du Rouet.
New Zealand has a strong chance this week with Andrew Nicholson — winner of Bramham CCI3* last week with Jet Set IV — riding Perfect Stranger and Qwanza in his first four-star since his accident last year. And Tim Price brings forward Ringwood Sky Boy, last year’s Burghley runner-up.
The Australians are using this event as an important selection trial for the Rio Olympics. Bill Levett has two rides, Improvise and Alexander NJ, while Emma Dougall pilots Belcam Bear and Andrew Hoy will compete with Rutherglen.
Last year’s dressage leader, Belgium’s Julien Despontin with Waldano 36, returns again this year so he is one to watch in the first phase.
There is a CIC3* running alongside the CCI4* and the main German contenders for the Olympics are running in that class. These include Sandra Auffarth on her world champion Opgun Louvo and Ingrid Klimke on Horseware Hale Bob OLD.
The weather stayed nice for the trot-up, but as it finished heavy clouds were gathering and the press were moved out of their tent into the permanent building next door because of warnings of severe thunderstorms.
Full report of Luhmühlen in H&H next week, dated 23 June.