Kent Farrington (USA) and Germany’s Christian Ahlmann are among a group of riders to have pulled out of the penultimate round of the individual championship at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
Christian and Codex One were in 10th position in the individual standings, 5pen behind the leaders, going through to Saturday’s top 30 decider. They had also been part of the fourth-placed German team. But, in a joint-decision with his national coach Otto Becker and the horse’s owner, Christian has elected to withdraw as he felt he could no longer contest a podium place.
“I will not go in the final round with Codex One,” he says in a statement. “Codex has already yielded great performances this year, having won the Aachen and Valkenswaard grands prix and I want to protect him.”
Kent Farrington, part of the bronze medal-winning USA squad at WEG with Voyeur, has made a similar decision. He was ranked 27th individually. A statement reads:
“The decision was made after consideration with Voyeur’s owners. Kent feels that there is a lot of jumping still to do in the individual qualifying competition; a lot of ground to make up in the leader board and the likelihood of qualifying for the individual final on Sunday, with the standard of jumping this weekend is not likely. He is very pleased with the way Voyeur jumped this week and is very pleased to have had the honor of being awarded a bronze medal with Team USA.”
Ludger Beerbaum is reported to have pulled out from 30th in the individual classification and Canada’s Yann Candele (Showgirl), ranked 22nd, has also withdrawn.
“Due to the mare’s age , between Yann, myself, and Mark [Laskin, chef d’equipe], we made the decision that it was too much to put her through,” explained Eric Lamaze, who is one of Showgirl’s owners. “If they were in the top 10, we would consider sending her, but being in 22nd and having so many riders in front, it is not possible for them to advance to ‘The Final Four’. There are several other riders who have also made the decision not to go on Saturday for this reason.”
Great Britain’s Scott Brash pulled out of the individual competition on Wednesday (3 September).
The top 30 combinations are due to jump again on Saturday, after which the leading four go through to Sunday’s horse-swapping final. Beezie Madden (USA) is the current leader, with barely one fence separating the top eight riders.
Don’t miss the full reaction to these shock withdrawals, plus the full report from WEG, in next week’s issue of Horse & Hound, out 11 September.