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Defending WEG endurance champion taken to hospital after fall

Endurance’s defending Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games champion, Spain’s Maria Alvarez Ponton, is out of contention after being taken to hospital.

The rider fell from Qualif Du Poncelet earlier today (Thursday 28 August) at the event at Sartilly.

She was the second rider of the day to be taken to hospital. The first was Costa Rica’s Claudia Romero Chacon, who fell earlier today when her horse Dorado suffered a fatal injury colliding with a tree.

Meanwhile, the heavy going is also causing concerns.

The British team was in 13th place after phase two, with the scoreboard ever changing as the weather warms up and the terrain changes from sticky mud to sandy beach with stretches of tarmac.

Both Annette Masterson (Millennium Chorus) and Catriona Moon (Leila) lost shoes, but the quintet is looking out for each other and riding as a unit.

Anna Williams was in 79th place on Crystal Wissum.

“It’s quite wet and very muddy out there and the long stretch along the beach was pretty energy-sapping, but we’ll just keep plugging away. Lots of people are losing shoes out there, but we’re doing OK,” she said.

“This is the first time Sam has done anything this tough. The course asks a lot of questions but he’s coping really well. The mood in the British camp is good — we’re sticking together and helping each out.”

The UAE team, which had held a substantial lead, has dropped out of contention with only Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum riding Yammah left in. They are the current leaders in phase three of the competition.

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