The decrease in entries is in large part down to a majority of German riders competing in the CCI4*-S German National Championships, as has become standard practice in a championship year. And with the FEI European Eventing Championships taking place at Luhmuhlen last this summer it is no surprise that more German riders have chosen to compete in the short format class. As a result, only two German riders will compete in the CCI5*-L – Andreas Dibowski (FRH Butts Avedon), who won in 2016 and 2011, and Andreas Ostholt (Corvette), who was victorious in 2015.
Despite lower numbers, there are still top class combinations who will be in action. The third rider in the field who has won the event previously is World Number One Tim Price. With Ancona M, the pair come to Luhmuhlen having won at Tattersalls two weeks ago, and Price will be looking to take victory 12 month’s on from his wife Jonelle, and reclaim the crown he won with Wesko back in 2014.
Two other top ten world ranked riders will be competing. Britain’s Tom McEwen – currently ranked seventh in the world, brings forward Figaro van het Broekxhof, winner of the Grantham Cup at Belton earlier this spring, and with whom he has gone on to take third at Burnham Market and second at Chatsworth. Ireland’s Sam Watson is ninth in the world rankings and he has Tullabeg Flamenco entered in the feature class and who will be making his debut at this level.
There have been a number of high profile withdrawals in the run up to the event including five from Great Britain. This includes Kristina Cook and Calvino II. Rachel Robinson (MJI Limmerick Bell), Sarah Pickard (Polo Striker), Isabella Innes-Ker (Carolyn) and Roberta Fox (Fleet Street) are the other British riders who have also withdrawn. Great Britain will now be represented by 17 combinations. Five other combinations have decided not to run at the German event including New Zealander Mark Todd and Kiltubrid Rhapsody and Dutch rider Tim Lips and Bayro. Louise Bloomer (Ireland, Hollybrook High in the Sky), Hanna Berg (Sweden, Quite Survivor) and Arnaud Boiteau (France, Soriano ENE HN) will also not take part when the event gets underway with the first horse inspection on Wednesday.