Any hope of the Danish securing a medal in dressage at this summer’s World Equestrian Games seems to be fading fast.
The squad will be much depleted from the talented team who secured 4th place at last year’s European Championships on home soil. A number of their top combinations are out of action through horse injury, abuse allegations or rider accidents.
Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein’s Digby has retired from team duties; the nation’s number one horse, Anna Kasprzak’s Donnperignon, has recently undergone an eye operation and Andreas Helgstrand is not available for selection following welfare allegations.
Andreas was at the centre of a social media storm last month after Danish website Epona.TV released pictures of him riding his top horse Akeem Foldager in a badly fitted double bridle, revealing a blue tongue — thought to be caused by a lack of blood supply and possible spur marks.
The rider was under investigation and has since been reported to the police. He has been dropped by leading sponsors and has received death threats.H&H contacted Andreas but received no response.
The 2014 Danish championships (6-8 June) are a mandatory selection trial for the World Equestrian Games and British-based Dane Anders Dahl has travelled over to compete at the show.
Nanna Skodborg Merrald’s Millibar — the horse that failed the second vet inspection at the 2014 World Cup Final — is not fit to compete there and rider Lisbet Seierskilde had a recent fall from a young horse and is out of action with a knee injury.
Another Britsh-based Dane, Ulrik Mølgaard, has been selected to ride at the Nations Cup in Rotterdam and may well be in with a shout for the WEG team.