Philipp Weishaupt, 27, will have to wait a bit longer to ride in his first Olympic Games for Germany. His mount, Monte Bellini, contracted an infection and was rushed to the veterinary clinic on July 20, according to The Telegraph.
“He had a high fever; the blood test results were bad,” said Susanne Strübel in a statement for the Ludger Beerbaum Riesenbeck stables, where the horse lives. “On Wednesday he was still OK, and then he suddenly stopped drinking and eating. We immediately took him to the equine clinic at Telgte.”
While the 10-year-old Westphalian stallion (Montender—Ramira, Ramiro) is expected to recover, he won’t be fit in time to travel to London.
That means team alternate, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, will take his place with Bella Donna 66. The 42-year-old ex-pat from California rode in her first Olympic Games in 2008 and has long been a top contender in the international show jumping scene with three Rolex FEI World Cup titles to her name.
At just 9 years old, Bella Donna won’t be the most experienced horse in the field, but the Holsteiner mare (Baldini II—Orlis I, Calido I) has been competing in grand prix classes with Michaels-Beerbaum for the last two years, and she recently placed third in the Rolex Grand Prix at the Aachen CHIO (Germany).