Two of the original 39 horse-and-rider combinations entered in the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final have withdrawn prior to the start of the first round. U.S. rider Jenni McAllister withdrew LEGIS Touch The Sun after being held in the initial jog on Tuesday, April 10.
“We decided it wasn’t in his best interest to continue,” McAllister said. “I think he was really nervous throughout the travel, and we rode him a couple days in Germany, and he felt OK, but then I thought here he looks a little extra stiff.”
McAllister rode LEGIS Touch The Sun at the 2017 Longines FEI World Cup Final in Omaha, Nebraska, and has campaigned the horse at the FEI level since 2015. The 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding has multiple career grand prix wins and placings with McAllister.
A veterinarian looked over LEGIS Touch The Sun briefly in Paris, and McAllister plans to do full diagnostic work-up upon her return to Sun Valley, California.
“Other than the stiffness he’s happy and healthy; he’s actually unhappy because he doesn’t know why he’s not doing this,” McAllister said. “But he needs to be feeling 100 percent to do what I’m asking him to do.”
The stallion will travel back to the States as soon as he is ready, and McAllister plans to stay and cheer on her teammates.
“We were super excited to be here, and it’s always difficult when you have to make that decision, but now we’re going to be super cheerleaders for our friends,” McAllister said.
Latvian rider Kristaps Neretnieks also withdrew the 13-year-old gelding Moon Ray.