Vici Max-Theurer Scratches Augustin From WEG

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The joyful enthusiasm of Victoria Max-Theurer shown here on Augustin OLD at Aachen will be missed at the World Equestrian Games. ©  Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
The joyful enthusiasm of Victoria Max-Theurer shown here on Augustin OLD at Aachen will be missed at the World Equestrian Games. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

ACHLEITEN, Austria, Sept. 13–Victoria Max-Theurer, Austria’s top rider and two-time Olympian, has scratched Augustin OLD from the World Equestrian Games to eliminate the stress of transatlantic travel on the 10-year-old stallion that underwent major colic surgery last year.

Vici, 24, who is ranked 10th in the world with Augustin, said she will focus on the European Championships in Rotterdam next year and the Olympics in London in 2012. She and Augustin placed fifth in the European Championships last year right before the colic and was sixth in the Grand Prix of Aachen in Germany two months ago in one of their first competitions back.

“It certainly wasn’t an easy decision for me and my parents to make,”Vici said, “but I believe everyone will understand that the health of our horse Augustin OLD has absolute priority and we do not want to take any avoidable risks.”

She said that Augustin requires very special feed and continuous monitoring which cannot be guaranteed for WEG because of special regulations for entry into the United States and his stay at the Kentucky Horse Park.

Augustin OLD, bred by Victoria’s mother, Sissy Max-Theurer, is fed small portions several times a day and feeding times must be strictly observed. The presence of a groom at night is not permitted in Kentucky.

“Our veterinarian did not think it would be a good idea for Augustin to switch hay and the import of European hay into the US is not permitted,” she said.

“In addition, Augustin also needs an elaborate exercise program to avoid every risk of coming down with colic again. The two-day trip to Liege (Belgium) and the nine-hour flight is followed by at least 42 hours of quarantine.

“During this time, these horses which are at the height of training may only be walked in hand. These requirements are incompatible with the measures that are necessary to prevent any risks for Augustin’s health.

“I am very thankful for the willingness and engagement of all concerned who tried to make it possible for Augustin OLD and me to compete in the World Equestrian Games, but the risk is just too great. I now have my sights set on the EC in Rotterdam in 2011 and the Olympic Games in London in 2012. Augustin will be of prime age then and the requirements for entry and brief stay will not be so difficult.”