Injury to Maksymilian Stymies Plans for USA Team at Aachen – Update

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Catherine Haddad and Cadillac at the Exquis World Dressage Masters in Cannes. © 2009 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Catherine Haddad and Cadillac at the Exquis World Dressage Masters in Cannes. © 2009 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

LEXINGTON, Kentucky, June 12–An injury to Jane Hannigan’s Maksymilian has nixed plans for the United States to field a dressage team at the World Equestrian Festival CHIO in Aachen, Germany in July.

Instead of being the first USA squad to compete as a team at Aachen since 2005 when the Americans won bronze behind The Netherlands, gold, and Germany, silver, the U.S. will be represented by Steffen Peters and Ravel and Catherine Haddad and Cadillac and Maximus JSS as individuals.

The withdrawal of Maksymilian was confirmed Friday by Gil Merrick, the U.S. Equestrian Federation Assistant Executive Director of Sport Programs. He was to have led the team with Jessica Ranshousen, a three-time Olympian as chef d’equipe.

Peters of San Diego, California, and Ravel became only the second American combination ever to win the World Cup which they did in Las Vegas this year. Haddad, who is based in Vechta, Germany, was second in the Exquis World Dressage Masters Grand Prix Special to Music at Munich on May 23.

Hannigan, who lives in Harvard, Massachussets, was a 2008 World Cup Finalist with Maksymilian.

She told dressage-news.com that Maksymilian has a blind splint on the inside of his left front that is enlarged and close to his suspensory.

“He is sound but I had shock waved it already and had to make the choice myself to risk going over to Aachen and having a problem or staying home and injecting it,” she said. “I chose to stay home because we were not a full team and if anything happened I would get the team a zero. Mak is sound and still working…”

“I’m disappointed that we won’t have a team in Aachen,” said Haddad. “I was really looking forward to representing my country at such a prestigious event.”

Haddad was the reserve for the U.S. team at the World Equestrian Games in Aachen in 2006, a World Cup Finalist in Las Vegas in 2007 and a member of a U.S. team with Sue Blinks and Heather Blitz at Mondorf-Les-Bains, Luxembourg in September, 2008.

Will there be enough World Cup shows on West for Steffen Peters & Ravel to defend their title. © 2009 Ken Braddick
Steffen Peters and Ravel, 2009 FEI World Cup champions. © 2009 Ken Braddick

The CDIO in Aachen is the biggest team event on the international equestrian calendar in 2009–the FEI World Cup that was held in Las Vegas in mid-April is for individuals. Dressage competition at Aachen is held in its own 5,000-seat Deutsche Bank stadium, a spectacular permanent facility that is usually packed for the five days of dressage scheduled from Wednesday, July 1 to Sunday, July 5 and highlighted by the Grand Prix Freestyle to Music CDI under lights.

Since the 2005 team, the U.S. competed at Aachen in 2007 with Peters and Lombardi II and Courtney King-Dye and Idocus in the CDIO while Arlene Page and Wild One and Haddad on Maximus JSS rode in the CDI individual event.