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Saturday, July 04, 2009

Drama at Aachen as German Horse Pulls Up Lame During Dressage

by Fran Jurga | 4 July 2009 | Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog

The limb in question: photo Kenneth Braddick of

I may not be in Aachen, Germany this weekend for the World Equestrian Festival, but the Internet certainly had me ringside at the dressage competition today when Germany's best hope for a high score in the Grand Prix Special was pulled up after entering the arena.

Niels Knippertz of the Aachen press team wrote: "Ulla (Salzgeber) was riding around the arena when all of a sudden Herzrufs Erbe went lame by (arena marker) "B". Ulla dismounted and led her horse out, but he was still very lame."

An RSS feed from US journalist Kenneth Braddick of showed the leg in question and provided more details. Click here to read Kenneth Braddick's report and see more photos.

Ulla schooling Herzi at home. (Jacques Toffi image courtesy Ulla Salzgeber's web site)

Even more amazing was that Ulla Salzgeber posted a report on her web site about the incident within hours. Roughly translated, she recalled being stopped in the arena, waiting for the veterinarian, and wrote that the preliminary diagnosis was fairly devastating: a severe "Sehnenzerrung", or bowed tendon. Ulla was so shocked by that news that she immediately withdrew her mare Wakana out of the Grand Prix Freestyle and retreated home.

"Meanwhile, Herzi's hoof is packed in plaster to give it relief. And on Sunday he goes to the clinic to Dr. Brake, for further treatment," Ulla wrote.

Ulla predicts that a year will be required to heal the tendon and believes her horse deserves the chance to come back.

Ulla and Herzi placed 15th in the Grand Prix on Friday, which was won by American rider Steffen Peters riding Ravel in his Epona plastic glue shoes.

Many thanks to Niels, Kenneth and Ulla for their excellent communication across the Atlantic and across the language barrier.

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