Christoph Wahler riding Carjatan S will have an FEI Eventing World Championship debut to remember when he is first into the dressage arena at Pratoni del Vivaro tomorrow morning at 9.30am. Germany has been drawn first of the 16 nations fielding teams and the 28-year-old from Bad Benvenson has been chosen as pathfinder for his first time in the team.
The host nation, Italy, is drawn eighth, with the experienced Arianna Schivo the trailblazer on the 18-year-old mare Quefira de l'Ormeau; this partnership has contested a remarkable six championships together since 2015.
Great Britain, the defending champions, wore black armbands at the first horse inspection in honour of the passing of The Queen. The team has been drawn 13th and the reigning individual champion, Ros Canter, will launch the nation's title defence on a new ride, the 10-year-old Lordships Gruffalo.
The dressage phase will come to a thrilling climax on Friday afternoon with the team anchors performing their tests, including Nicolas Touzaint (FRA), Michael Jung (GER), Tim Price (NZL), Felix Vogg (SUI), Oliver Townend (GBR) and Andrew Hoy (AUS).
A total of 89 horses from 26 nations will start the dressage phase over the next two days in front of the Ground Jury of Christina Klingspor (SWE, president), Peter Gray (CAN) and Christian Steiner (AUT). Only one horse was withdrawn from the competition at the first horse inspection: the sole Mexican entry, Cecilia ridden by Daniel Moguel.
Two other horses were held for further inspection but later passed: Ruy Fonseca's Brazilian team horse Ballypatrick SRS and Swedish team member Aminda Ingulfson's Joystick.
Click HERE for starting list and results