The French Equestrian Federation (FFE) has announced that it will not be sending any dressage competitors to the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, USA, in September.
The following list of nominated entries had been submitted to the FEI earlier this month:
Alexandre Ayache, Zo What
Morgan Barbançon Mestre, Sir Donnerhall II OLD
Marie Emilie Bretenoux, Quartz Of Jazz
Barbara Clement Klinger, Dirbini
Bertrand Liegard, Star Wars
Arnaud Serre, Ultrablue De Massa
Anne Sophie Serre, Vistoso De Massa
Pierre Volla, Badinda Altena
The FFE had set a minimum target score of 70% for riders wishing to attend WEG and hopefully qualify France for a spot for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games; when the only horse-and-rider combination to achieve this score, Pierre Volla and Badinda Altena, withdrew from contention, the FFE decided to not send a team or any individuals.
“Following the withdrawal of the only couple having already obtained this 70% and no other couple having reached this score in the grand prix event in the past three months, the necessary conditions are not met to constitute a group capable of reaching the average required,” read a statement released by the FFE. “Given this, and despite the unprecedented efforts made by all in favour of dressage, the French Equestrian Federation will not engage dressage riders at the Tryon World Equestrian Games.”
Volla, who scored wins in the grand Prix (72.67%) and freestyle (76.33%) at Hickstead CDI3*, and led the French team to Nations Cup victory there, cited financial reasons for his decision to withdraw, and stated that his mare is for sale for lack of finding a sponsor willing to invest in his competitive endeavours.