Victoria Max-Theurer to Skip WEG for Welfare of her Horse

Top Austrian dressage rider Victoria Max-Theurer has announced that, in the best interest of her horse, she will not compete in the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG). The 24-year-old's dressage horse, Augustin OLD, underwent colic surgery in fall 2009, and Max-Theurer is not yet ready to expose him to the stress of overseas travel and quarantine.

"It certainly wasn't an easy decision for me and my parents to make," she said in a recent press release, "but I believe everyone will understand that the health of our horse, Augustin OLD, has absolute priority, and we do not want to take any avoidable risks."

Augustin follows a strict post-colic exercise program and requires a special diet that includes multiple small meals a day. The two-day trip to Belgium, nine-hour flight to the United States, and 42 hours of quarantine, along with feed importation restrictions, would disrupt his routine. The Max-Theurers and their veterinarian decided that, for the welfare of their horse, Augustin should remain in Austria and prepare instead for the 2011 European Championships in Rotterdam and the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

About the Author

Alexandra Beckstett, The Horse Managing Editor

Alexandra Beckstett, Managing Editor of The Horse and a native of Houston, Texas, is a lifelong horse owner who has shown successfully on the national hunter/jumper circuit and dabbled in hunter breeding. After graduating from Duke University, she joined Blood-Horse Publications as Assistant Editor of its book division, Eclipse Press, before joining The Horse.

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