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WEG Countdown: Three weeks to go

Kurten pulls out of Irish team

Show jumper Jessica Kurten will not ride for Ireland at WEG. Last week she and her top ride, Quibell, were included in the long-list of nominations — to her surprise.

“It’s the first I’ve heard of it,” said Jessica, currently world number two. “I was prepared to go to WEG, but the last time I spoke to the chef d’equipe I was told I wasn’t good enough, so I changed my plans.”

But on Monday the Equestrian Federation of Ireland said Jessica had withdrawn.

Ireland’s show jumping nominations will now be: Marie Burke (Chippison); Marion Hughes (Heritage Transmission); Cameron Hanley (Hippica Kerman); Cian O’Connor (Echo Beach and Waterford Crystal); Shane Breen (World Cruise); Billy Twomey (Luidam and Anastasia); Peter Charles (Panthera); Capt Shane Carey (Killossery); Edward Doyle (Effective) and Kevin Babington (Carling King).

Anna Merveldt and Judy Reynolds have been nominated for the dressage, with Barry Capstick for the driving. The endurance team comprises George Finlay, Yvonne Croke, Emer Lennon, Emily Miller and Iona Rossely.

Boyd Exell to miss WEG

Australian carriage driver Boyd Exell suffered a horrific quad bike accident last weekend, ruling him out of WEG. While driving with a carriage fixed to the back of his quad at home, Boyd tried to change up a gear, but changed down instead.

“The bike locked and the weight of the carriage made it somersault,” said Boyd from his hospital bed. “It landed on me twice, dragged me and ran over my legs.”

The current British national four-in-hand champion broke his leg in six places, and his ankle, and has a dozen stitches in his face. He underwent an operation on Tuesday to have his leg pinned.

British drivers chosen

George Bowman and Dick Lane have been picked to join Karen Bassett on Britain’s driving team at WEG. The pair were chosen following a final selection event last weekend at Catton.

British reiners named

Britain’s reining team for WEG has been announced. Doug Allen, Mark Howl, Francesca Sternberg and Rosanne Sternberg will all go to Aachen. A pool of 10 horses has been nominated, with a decision on final pairings closer to the competition.

  • This report was first published in Horse & Hound (27 July, ’06)
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