Horsepower shortage prompts late call to WEG veteran

Sweden’s Dag Albert, a veteran of two World Equestrian Games, only found out last weekend that he was competing in Normandy, all of which meant some frantic last-minute reorganisation at home.

Horsepower shortage prompts late call to WEG veteran
© PSV Photos

Why the late call up?

I refused to go to team training in Malmo, which was a requirement for WEG selection — it was too much of a time commitment when I have a busy yard to run in the UK.

In the middle of last week there were still five Swedish horses in contention for the Games but then two went lame, including Anna Hasso’s Clover who went wrong at the weekend.

The Swedes were so successful in Malmo last year. Where are all those competitors now?

Eight out of the 10 Swedes competing at those European Championships finished but since then a lot of the horses have incurred injuries, plus one of our best riders, Sara Algotsson-Ostholt, is currently pregnant.

When did you get that all-important phone call?

The call came on Saturday night so I spent all day Sunday trying to reorganise my yard at home. I had been planning to ride Tubber Rebel [his WEG horse] (above) at Burghley.

What is Tubber Rebel’s story?

He contested the Boekelo CCI*** as a seven-year-old and I rode him at the Hong Kong Olympics when he was only eight. He’s done a four-star or championship every year since and he’s 14 now. I’m really hoping the course here will suit him.

Tell us about your previous World Games experiences

My first ride, at The Hague in 2004, was a disaster and I fell off twice. Eight years ago in Aachen was altogether more successful [he finished 14th with Whos Blitz].

What do you think of the WEG cross-country course?

It’s big enough, it’s technical and it’s very forward striding. The ground also needs to dry up. It felt very soft underfoot when I walked it, but, having said that, my horse will be fit enough for a test made harder by the conditions. 

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