Australia’s Mary Hanna & Calanta Out of Paris World Cup, Steffen Peters Turns Down Last-Minute Invite for Rosamunde

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Mary Hanna of Australia and Calanta.

April 4, 2018

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

Australian Olympian Mary Hanna pulled an injured Calanta out of the World Cup Final but America’s Steffen Peters that the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) tried to enlist as a last-minute replacement on Rosamunde turned down the invitation as too much of a strain on the mare.

The FEI that had earlier turned down a request for a start from Cathrine Dufour on Cassidy that would have set up an exciting showdown between the world’s top three ranked combinations said it would announce on Thursday the substitute to join the lineup of 18 horses and riders to be in Paris next week.

“I am very sad to say having come all the way from Australia to represent the Pacific League at the World Cup final in Paris, I now have to withdraw,” said Mary of the one slot allocated to a combination from Down Under that earns a start by competing in a head-to-head league final.

“Calanta has sustained an injury, and is not ready to compete. It’s been a very difficult campaign so far with both horses suffering from a change in farrier, however we are hopeful of a full recovery, and back to top form soon.”

The FEI notified the U.S. Equestrian Federation Wednesday morning offering an invitation to Steffen on the 11-year-old Rhinelander mare based on world ranking.

The 2009 World Cup champion rider on Ravel competed “Rosie” in two World Cup qualifiers for the 32nd final of the annual championship–both in Del Mar near his base in San Diego, California. One was almost a year ago and the second two months ago.

The pair were ranked No. 36 in the world at the end of February, the date for standings to decide World Cup invitations if required.

He was already planning to go to Europe with a squad of American prospects for the Tryon World Equestrian Games team and tentatively scheduled to competed at Rotterdam in June and Aachen in July, but felt two trans-Atlantic round trip flights could be a strain that he did not want to put on Rosamunde, owned by Akiko Yamazaki as were Ravel and Legolas.

Cathrine Dufour is ranked No. 3 in the world on Cassidy, behind defending World Cup titleholder and world No. 1 Isabell Werth on Weihegold OLD. Isabell is also ranked second in the world.

The American Laura Graves who is shipping Verdades to Paris Thursday as the leading combination for the two North American slots–the other went to Shelly Francis on Danilo–is the only rider to beat Isabell and Weihegold since the 2016 Olympics. Laura of Geneva, Florida and the 16-year-old KWPN gelding she owns with her partner, Curt Maes, and is ranked fifth in the world won the World Equestrian Festival CDIO5* Grand Prix Special at Aachen, Germany last July with Isabell and Weihegold placing second.

Cathrine Dufour of Denmark, who established herself as a star on Cassidy at the 2017 European Championships, also competed in two qualifiers for Paris that she won but did not accumulate enough points to make the cut. At Stockholm, the pair beat Isabell on Emilio, her world No. 2 mount in both the Grand Prix and the Freestyle. She asked for a wild card but was turned down.