Germany took the Gold Team medal today at the European Championships with The Netherlands in Silver and a delighted Sweden in Bronze position after Charlotte Dujardin was eliminated leaving Great Britain out of the medals in 4th place.
Official Statement on the elimination of Charlotte Dujardin at the FEI Dressage European Championships 2019
Following their test, a routine post-test inspection by the FEI stewards revealed a small trace of blood on the flank of Mount St John Freestyle, the ride of Charlotte Dujardin. As is the FEI rules, any blood found during this inspection results in elimination.
Having consulted with our dressage team veterinarian, Andre Buthe, who also inspected the horse, we feel this decision is fair in respect that the welfare of our horses and riders is absolutely paramount. We will not be appealing their decision.
In the short journey from the inspection area to the stable, the rub site remained dry and clean.
Vikki Underwood, Chef de Mission for Great Britain, commented: “This is extremely difficult because in Britain we pride ourselves on our animal welfare. Charlotte is one of our most respected and talented athletes, who dearly loves her horses, but she would not hesitate to accept this decision. It takes a great deal of teamwork to get the horses and riders to a championship, and all the connections will be devastated, but the horse is fit and well and will contest many more championships. This obviously means the end of the European Championships for Charlotte and Freestyle, but she’ll be with us cheering on the remaining three combinations.”
Charlotte Dujardin commented: “I’m obviously absolutely devastated – nothing like this has ever happened to me before. The health and welfare of my horses is always my number one priority, but of course I accept the decision.”
Emma and Jill Blundell, owners of Mount St John Freestyle, commented: “We fully support Charlotte. Today’s was a great performance, but we accept the decision. We know how seriously Charlotte takes the welfare of our horse and we’re proud to have her ride for us.”
Charlotte’s elimination brings a total of 4 horses that have been eliminated on welfare grounds so far at these championships, 2 horses that were showing lameness and 2 under the blood rule. This has to be good for the sport and shows that horse welfare remains at the forefront.
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