Ben Maher and Cella out of World Equestrian Games squad

Ben Maher and Cella will not be jumping at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) next week (2-7 September) as the horse has a “small overreach injury”. 

Jane Forbes Clark’s 12-year-old grey mare picked up the injury during training, meaning Cella and world number three Ben Maher are out of the squad.

“Cella is a once in a lifetime horse, so we have made the decision to withdraw from WEG 2014,” Ben tweeted this morning (Saturday 30 August).

The pair last year helped Britain win team gold at the European Championships in Denmark (picture top), as well as taking individual silver. 

World number one Scott Brash (Hello Sanctos), Joe Clee (Utamaro d’Ecaussines), Spencer Roe (Wonder Why) and Michael Whitaker (Viking V) will be jumping for Britain.

22-year-old Jessie Drea from West Sussex now gets the call up for the squad as a travelling reserve with 13-year-old mare Touchable.

It is sad that Cella, with all her experience, is out of the competition, however I am pleased that Jessie who is a talented up-and-coming rider gets the opportunity to go to her first senior Championship,” said the British Equestrian Federation’s Will Connell.

Team manager Rob Hoekstra told H&H it was “hugely disappointing”.

“This is obviously disappointing for Ben, and all connections, especially for something like this to happen so late in the day, in the final training session,” he said.

“Ben is number three in the world, and Cella is one of the top horses so it’s a blow. But having said that it’s a fantastic opportunity for the younger guys in the team who are going to a championship for the first time. They’ve had a great season and we go to Normandy very positive.”

Don’t miss all the action at WEG on H&H online, plus for a full showjumping report see 11 September issue of the magazine.

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