After helping secure the World Equestrian Games team bronze medal in dressage for the United States, Debbie McDonald has chosen to withdraw Brentina from the Grand Prix Special for individual medals due to a veterinary concern.
“Brentina had a slight swelling after the competition on Wednesday [Aug. 23]. While a diagnosis is pending further evaluation by the USEF veterinary staff, Debbie McDonald and [team chef d\’equipe] Klaus Balkenhol have decided it is not in the best interest of Brentina to ask her to continue in the individual competition at these games,” said U.S. Equestrian Federation team vet Dr. Tim Ober from Aachen, Germany.
McDonald said she felt Brentina take a few tentative steps in the extended trot in the Grand Prix test. “I rode conservatively in the competition and she went fine, but it is a concern,” she said. “She seems O.K. today, but in conferring with our vets, the best decision for Brentina is to withdraw her. We came here to compete for the team. We have achieved that goal, and we\’re very happy.”
Balkenhol agreed that to do anything other than act in the best interest of Brentina would be wrong. “Brentina is a fantastic mare and a true treasure,” he said. “I\’m so proud of Debbie\’s ride yesterday, and I\’m proud of her decision to withdraw. We look forward to the Special and potentially the freestyle with Steffen Peters and Floriano and Guenter Seidel and Aragon, both very solid horse and rider teams.”
The Grand Prix Special will be contested on Friday, Aug. 25.