Several Top Riders Withdraw from World Dressage Masters Hickstead

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HICKSTEAD, England, July 19–Dressage at Hickstead announced Tuesday the withdrawal of five top riders–four of them ranked in the top 10 in the world–from the World Dressage Masters CDI5* July 30-31 that it described as “a great let down for dressage fans.”

The event is the last major competition before the European Championships to be held in Rotterdam Aug. 17-21.

In a statement on its Internet site, Dressage at Hickstead announced Adelinde Cornelissen, the world’s top ranked rider with Jerich Parzival, Edward Gal and Hans Peter Minderhoud of The Netherlands, Isabell Werth of Germany and Sweden’s Patrick Kittel “have all today withdrawn from the show at the last minute.”

The British squad for Hickstead includes Laura Bechtolsheimer on her second Grand Prix mount, Andretti H, and Carl Hester on Uthopia and Charlotte Dujardin on Valegro. Carl and Charlotte and their mounts are likely candidates for the British team for the Europeans, though Laura will most likely ride Mistral Hojris, on whom she is ranked 2nd in the world and whom she competed at Aachen CDIO that ended Sunday.

Ten horse and rider pairs from seven nations are now scheduled to compete in addition to the three combinations from Great Britain. Among them are Canada’s Ashley Holzer and Pop Art and the USA’s Catherine Haddad-Staller and Winyamaro.

Hickstead is the last of the four WDM events in 2011.

Edward Gal and Moorlands Totilas were the winners of the event in 2009 and Adelinde and Jerich Parzival in 2010.

Organizers of the first event of the year in Florida withdrew after the Dutch company running the Masters failed to get commitments from top European combinations and it was moved from the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center to a nearby government facility.

The other two events of the year were at Munich, Germany and Falsterbo, Sweden.