Helena Weinberg out of the Olympics

  • Helena Weinberg has sustained a bitter blow to her hopes of gaining a place on Germany’s Olympic show jumping team because her best horse, Kasting Horses Gavi, who won the World Cup qualifier at Olympia last December, is off through injury.

    “He tweaked his off-hind suspensory ligament,” says British-born Helena. “After I rode him in a show in Holland, the leg was a bit puffy, but I didn’t worry because I’d decided to let him down for a month before the World Cup final. I became concerned two days later when the leg looked the same and called in my vet.”

    He was treated with box rest and walking, but the injury did not recover as fast as the Weinbergs anticipated, so they decided to use stem cell therapy.

    Marrow was taken from Gavi’s breastbone and injected into the ligament to regenerate new tissue. The outcome is that Helena will not be able to start riding him before July at best, so his season will be over almost as soon as it has began.

    However, with typical Yorkshire resilience, Helena says: “I’m a born optimist: you have to be with horses.”

    Gavi is still only 10 years old so Helena has changed her focus and set her sights on a place in the German team for the 2005 European Championships.

    Meanwhile, Ramonus, who has grand prix victories to his credit, will stand in as Helena’s top string, and she has two eight-year-olds to bring on. Both are mares and bred for the job. Chanell, by Corrado, recently took the German eight-year-old title, and, Jessica, by Polydor, has a grand prix to her credit.

    • This news story was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound (22 April 04)

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