Mistral Hojris Withdrawn from Hickstead Nations Cup, Europeans Confirmed as Last Championship

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Great Britain's Laura Behctolsheimer in tears as she completes her Grand Prix Freestyle on Mistral Hojris at the London Olympics. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
An emotional Laura Tomlinson as she completed her Grand Prix Freestyle on Mistral Hojris to win individual bronze to add to her team gold at the London Olympics. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

Mistral Hojris has been withdrawn from the Nations Cup at Hickstead, England next week and Laura Tomlinson confirmed Wednesday that the horse she rode to Olympic and European Championship team gold will compete for Great Britain in his last championship at the European next month.

Laura and Mistral Hojris were named as members of the British team along with her 2012 Olympic team mates Carl Hester and Uthopia as well as Michael Eilberg and Marakov and Gareth Hughes and DV Stenjkers Nadonnto.

Eight countries have entered teams for the Nations Cup–Spain, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Sweden and the United States as well as Britain. Individuals from another three countries are also entered.

Laura confirmed to dressage-news.com that “Alf,” as she calls the bright chestnut Danish Warmblood gelding now 18 years old, will compete at the Europeans in Herning, Denmark, the land of his birth, as their last championship.

British Dressage accounced Monday that Nikki Crisp and Pasoa will replace Laura and Mistral Hojris on the British team at Hickstead where the Nations Cup will be decided by the Freestyle and not the Grand Prix as is usual.

She said that Mistral Hojris may go to Olympia, the Christmas holiday show in London that is a World Cup event, for his retirement farewell.
Mistral Hojris (Michellino x Ibsen) was competed by Laura as a Young Rider in 2005 and moved to Grand Prix in 2007. Since then, the pair has competed at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, the 2010 World Equestrian Games and Herning will be the fourth straight European Championships.

World No. 1 Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro are scheduled to compete in the CDI3* at Hickstead.

The musical Freestyle to be held on Sunday will decide the Nations Cup for the first time in this year’s series–the other three events followed tradition and were decided by the Grand Prix–and possibly only the second time ever.

All combinations, both teams and individuals, entered in the Nations Cup CDIO3* get to compete in the Grand Prix but only team combinations will move on to the Freestyle.

Great Britain is one of eight teams in the last of four Nations Cups in Europe this year as a pilot program designed to create a series to mirror the success of jumping’s Nations Cup leagues.

The top three countries in the Nations Cup standings, Netherlands, Germany and Sweden as well as Britain and the United States, entered in their second event in the series, are in the lineup.

The Nations Cup and the accompanying CDI3* has attracted so many entries that the Grand Prix for both events will run over two days–Thursday and Friday.Only the Nations Cup at the World Equestrian Festival in Aachen, Germany attracted more teams, nine, while Rotterdam had seven and the inaugural event at Vidabaun had four after Britain had to drop out because one of its horses had to scratch.

The Nations Cup standings after three events:
1. Netherlands 30 points
2. Sweden 28
3T. Germany 22
3T. Denmark 22
5. Great Britain 15
6. France 13
7T. Belgium 11
7T. United States 11
9. Switzerland 6
10. Spain 5
11. Finland 4