Austria Appeals to FEI Tribunal Involving Debut by Denmark’s Nanna Skodborg Merrald on Blue Horse Zepter in Basel World Cup
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Jan. 27, 2023
By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
An appeal has been filed by the Austrian federation involving Denmark’s Nanna Skodborg Merrald competing Blue Hors Zepter in the Basel World Cup two weeks ago with no previous international results for the partnership.
The Austrian federation filed the appeal Friday with FEI Tribunal against the rejection by the ground jury complaining that the ride was a violation of a FEI General Rule that came into effect this year requiring a minimum Grand Prix score of 65% in a CDI3*, 4* or 5* before entering a World Cup event. It also appealed against the start by Nanna on Zepter.
The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) told dressage-news.com that the requirement was not included in the World Cup rules for 2022-23.
Austria initially filed the complaint with Hans Voser of Switzerland, president of the debut qualifier in Basel, Switzerland in which Nanna, an Olympic and championship rider, placed third on the 15-year-old Oldenburg gelding. Zepter is owned by the Blue Hors stud for whom Nanna rides. The horse was initially competed by then stable rider Daniel Bachmann Andersen from 2016 to 2020 and throughout 2022 by Patrik Kittel of Sweden.
Nanna had competed Blue Hors Schufro in two Western European qualifiers and once on Orthilia to be ranked high enough to be among the nine Western Europeans contending for a start at the Final in Omaha the first week of April.
The appeal by Austria against the Basel ride said the “start in Basel would damage all other starters. This also applies to our Austrian starter.” That was Florian Bacher, who placed seventh on Fidertraum OLD.
“We therefore demand that Mrs. Nanna Skodborg Merrald be denied the start and removed from the start list,” the appeal said.