Ester Soldi has withdrawn from competing at the 2017 European Dressage Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden, on 22 - 26 August 2017. Italy will not be represented at this edition of the Europeans as it was sending only one individual combination.
On 10 July the Italian Equestrian Federation made the decision not to send a team to Gothenburg but just one combination instead. Routinier Ester Soldi and her Polish bred Harmonia (by Lord Alexander x Hars) were picked.
Soldi and her 18-year old mare Harmonia competed in four internationals this year: the CDI's in Nice, Caselle di Sommacampagna, Lipica and two weeks ago at the CDI Crozet in France, where she scored 65.120% in the Grand Prix and 67.600% in the freestyle.
After returning home from Crozet, Harmonia did not deal well with the short travel home to Italy so Soldi decided not to undertake the long journey to Gothenburg.
"The long journey could not only affect the health of the mare, but also the potential perfomance once she has arrived in Sweden," FISE officially stated. In an article in Cavallo Soldi mentioned that 2017 would be Harmonia's last year at top level competition due to her old age.
At the 2015 Europeans, Italy was still present with a team, but for 2017 its federation was unable to assemble one stating that several combinations are injured and other horses are too young. Furthermore, Italy's strongest Grand Prix rider at the moment, Pia Laus-Schneider and Shadow, declined from competiting in Gothenburg. Norma Paoli's Zandor is not fit to compete and hasn't been out since April.
Photo © Astrid Appels
Eurodressage Coverage of the 2017 European Dressage Championships