Five-thousand viewers, five judges, one rider and many other fans were stunned when Ulla Salzgeber's Herzruf's Erbe suddenly stood on three legs while travelling the ring in Aachen for the CDIO Grand Prix Special on Saturday 4 July 2009. Much was expected of this horse in the Aachen CDIO Tour as he had finished twice in bronze medal position at the 2009 German Dressage Championships in Balve two weeks before..
The horse made a wrong move in trot and became lame instantly. Ulla Salzgeber dismounted while "Herzi" was standing on three legs, lifting his swollen right hand leg in the air. The horse was led out of the ring by the groom and rider and was immediately checked upon by a vet.
"It was horrible waiting for a diagnosis," Salzgeber commented. "I was prepared for the worst!" A severely pulled tendon was the diagnosis and the horse was immediately put in a cast to support the hoof.
Herzruf's ErbeSalzgeber immediately withdrew her mare Wakana from the CDI Grand Prix kur competition in Aachen and travelled home to Bad Worishofen the same day. "I was so devastated that I didn't have the nerve to ride the kur. And Wakana didn't really deserve that. I only wanted to go home," she admitted.
The 10-year old Rhinelander gelding Herzruf's Erbe (by Herzruf) was brought to the equine clinic of Dr. Brems in Zorneding, Germany, on Sunday. Fortunately, Dr. Brems' examination of the horse led to a less discouraging prognosis. Herzi has strained his suspensory but it will fully heal in about three months time.
"What a relief," sighed Salzgeber. "Herzi is level again in walk but I will wait for Dr. Brems' approval before I start working him again. If it it takes longer than 3 months, I will give it all the time it needs. Herzi will only return to competition in top condition and I won't compromise his health."