Berlin (dpa) – Due to fear for their horses, Germany’s best riders go home in a mandatory break of several weeks. After the end of the first Global Champions League station in Doha and the cancellation of the tournament series at the Verge de la Frontera, your four-legged friends will have to quarantine.
And ten European countries anyway have a tournament ban due to an aggressive herpes variant from Valencia, in which animal poaching continues. According to the latest information, there are now nine dead horses. The World Federation of FEI also reports “a large number of serious clinical cases”.
With the return from abroad, the time for uncertainty and concern about possible contagion does not end. “I pray for my horses and all other horses that they survive the virus,” writes world champion Simone Blum on Instagram. Due to the cancellation of the tournament series at Wazer, the 31-year-old from Zolling has to go home early and travel 2600 kilometers across Europe in a van. After the subsequent quarantine for his horses, “I hope we all return to a slightly more normal state”.
Due to a second horse with herpes symptoms, the Sunshine Tour at the Véger de la Frontera was canceled prior to the planned. After the first case, it was initially decided that there would be rides on Saturdays and Sundays. But, according to the organizers, another horse showed “neurological signs of EHV-1”, these two tournament days were also canceled. In addition to Blum, more than a dozen Germans were initially in southern Spain for several weeks – and actually wanted to stay until the end of March.
In Doha, however, there were no other cases, and Sven Selselberg’s four-legged friend, who tested positive a week ago, is doing well according to national association FN. The statement said that as of 12 February, none of the horses participating in the tournament in Valencia are showing symptoms of EHV-1.
Schleberg’s colleagues rode the Grand Prix as planned on Saturday, the final day of the tournament in Qatar’s capital. The FN “supported it”, as riders and horses “have been around for two weeks”.
Raisenbeck’s Christian Kukku was the best of five German starts with Mumbai finishing fifth in the Grand Prix. A 31-year-old Ludger Birbaum stable did not yield a better result due to a throw. In the saddle of the Daleks, Belgian Niels Bruinsales won over Nuance Blue with Italian Lorenzo de Luca and Canada’s Eric Lamage ahead of Dieu Mercy.
Marcus Ehing from Borken, who had two drops with Stargold, was seventh. The Doha was the first 14 stages of the Global Champions Tour, which also has two German stages with Berlin in late July and Hamburg in late August.
Meanwhile, not only has the number of dead horses increased, but also the number of countries with proven cases of the virus variant EHV-1. Apart from Spain and Germany, Belgium, France and Sweden are also affected in Europe. With the special approval of the FEI, the tournament series lasting several weeks can continue in Italy and Portugal, where more than a dozen Germans are riding together.
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