By M Satya Narayan, Senior Reporter
Published: November 06, 2008, 23:23
Terengganu, Malaysia: Dubai-based Jaume Punti Dachs, riding on Elvis Hob, and Maria Alvarez Ponton, on Nobby, won the silver and bronze medal at last year's European Open Championship and also the team bronze in the open category and the team silver in the European category to complete a remarkable performance for their Spanish national team.
The two were again looking to repeat that display on a larger stage in the World Championships yesterday, but Jaume's horse Elvis Hob was injured ahead of the event.
"Yes, it is a big loss to the team, as we will be one rider short and also for me as we always ride together," said Maria, one of the top-ranked riders in the world.
Jaume, who trains endurance horses for His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said he was upset but would now chip in to help in crewing for his wife and the Spanish team.
"Until yesterday we had hopes, but this morning I found my horse struggling and decided to pull out," he said.
"I have always ridden with him and together we finished winning medals in Portugal last year. Even during other international rides we ride together. But separately, this will be my first ride. I will have to wait and see," said Maria, who has been a consistent performer in the UAE domestic circuit.
Maria said there were at least 15 top rider-horse combinations that will be going for gold.
"All six UAE riders figure in that list while the French have also come with good riders. Meg Wade from Australia has brought the horse that won the Tom Quilty. So there are a good bunch of contenders," said Maria.
The Spanish ace finished sixth here during the pre-side and said she is hoping for a top five finish.
Posted By Merri to WEC Reports at 11/06/2008 11:31:00 PM
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