It was a long back and forth at the Equestrian World Championship. Does the distance race take place or is it canceled altogether? Finally, the choice fell on the latter – for understandable reasons.
Chaos at the beginning, then restart and finally the demolition: At the distance race of the World Equestrian Games in Tryon / North Carolina, it came to serious problems. The first medal decision of the World Cup was canceled on Wednesday evening (local time) due to the "potentially highly dangerous combination of heat and moisture", as the World Federation FEI announced. The deep soil after heavy rains in the afternoon also led to the demolition. The German Equestrian Federation welcomed the step.
Chaotic start in the morning
The decision is in line with the FEI Code of Conduct for the welfare of horses. Thus, competitions may not take place in extreme weather conditions that endanger the well-being or safety of the horses.
The distance ride had begun in the morning already chaotic. The race had to be restarted, as some riders were wrongly led to the first round at the original start in the morning. Because the FEI saw no possibility for a relocation of the competition, the race was then shortened to 120 km. The events of the day are now to be examined by an expert commission, the Equestrian Community Integrity Unit (ECIU).
"That's such a shit"
For the German team, the medal dream was already over after the first round of the newly started race anyway. The horse Serpa of Rebecca Arnold (Nürtingen) showed too high a pulse at the obligatory medical check before the second round and the couple retired. Since the German team, which only competed with three riders, did not have a tricky result, Bernhard Dornsiepen (Balve) and Ursula Klingbeil (Book) only rode in the individual ranking.
Bernhard Dornsiepen was unhappy with the events. (Source: imago)
Dornsiepen had already criticized the organizers after the start-up chaos. "We athletes are preparing for a World Cup all year long, to this climax, that's such a shit! It's disrespectful to us riders, us athletes, and most of all our horses," he said.
In addition, Dornsiepen (50) complained that the riders were not allowed to visit the track in advance or to get route maps. "I've been here for almost 40 years, it's never, never, never been, that we were not allowed to look at each other, that we do not get any information, no decent height profile – nothing," he complained.