USA’s Jim Koford & Pharaoh Out of World Cup, Shawna Harding & Come On III In

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Shawna Harding and Come On III. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

Jim Koford of the United States on Saturday ruled out competing Pharaoh at the World Cup Final next month in what would have been his first ever championship, when the 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding sustained a minor injury at the IHS Champions Cup CDI3* in Loxahatchee, Florida this weekend.

Shawna Harding and Come On III, who were next in the North American League rankings, will join Jan Ebeling and Rafalca at the Final in s’-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands, April 18-22.

The same two combinations competed at the World Cup Final in Leipzig, Germany, in 2011.

“Could I go, yes,” said Jim 49, based in Wellington, Florida, and one of the most popular high performance riders in the U.S.

“Would I go, no.

“The injury is no big deal, caused by a hyperextension. He didn’t feel right in the Grand Prix Friday and he was utrasounded this morning (Saturday).

“Disappointing it may be, but I am so much more relieved that the horse is alright.”

Four to six weeks of rest have been recommended by the veterinarian for Pharaoh (Ferro x Heureka VH Rampelhof x Carneval/Raleigh), owned by Hannah Shook, one of his students, and Mitzi Presnell.

The injury occurred just three days after Jim and Pharaoh were confirmed by the U.S. Equestrian Federation as official entries for the Final.

“I feel so bad for Jim, superbad,” Shawna said. “He was so psyched. He’s such a good guy.”

Shawna said she is still paying off expenses from last year’s trip to Europe with Come On III and her small tour horse, Rigo.

“Now I have to do some serious fund raising,” she said, but is thrilled to be going to compete at ‘s-Hertogenbosch where she groomed several years ago for Dr. Reiner Klimke.

European organizers do not pay all the costs of entries from the North American League, unlike U.S. organizers who pay all expenses for Europeans when the Final is in America.

She will compete next week in the $120,000 (€90,000) Global Dressage Festival CDI5* at Wellington.

Come On III was a horse she bought as a five-year-old for $30,000.

Scores for the pair have been their best recently, including their first result of better than 70 per cent in a non-freestyle at a Wellington CDI3* a week ago.

The two NAL places will be filled by:

–Jan Ebeling, 53, of Moorpark, California, and the 15-year-old Oldenburg mare (Argentinius x Ratine x Rubenstein) in their third World Cup Final–their previous of the annual global dressage championship at Las Vegas in 2009 and Leipzig, Germany, in 2011. The horse is owned by his wife, Amy, and Anne Romney, whose husband, Mitt, is running to be President of the United States.

–Shawna Harding, 43, of Aiken, South Carolina, and the 13-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding (Come Back II x Canna x Lantaan) owned by Shawna. She trained in Germany with the late Reiner Klimke. She and Come On III competed in the Final at Leipzig in 2011 and other competitions in Europe.