Tag Archives: Isabell Werth

Isabell Werth and Weihegold Old Back to Top FEI Dressage World Rankings

Isabell Werth (GER) and Weihegold Old. (FEI/ Leanjo de Koster)

Olympic silver individual and gold team medallist duo, Isabell Werth and Weihegold Old, have topped the FEI Dressage World Rankings once again (2742 points), following their win in the Grand Prix and the Grand Prix Freestyle to Music at the Sweden International Horse Show (“Saab Top Ten Dressage 2018”) in Stockholm (SWE). The famous combination, who were number one for almost two years, from November 2016, only sat in second place for a couple of months behind Laura Graves and Verdades (USA). The American duo now drop back to second place again with 2714 points.

Dressage Queen Isabell Werth can be found three times in the top four of the ranking list, as she holds the third place with Bella Rose 2 (2690 points) and the fourth place with Emilio 107 (2658 points).

A number of other combinations moved up in the rankings, thanks to the Saab Top Ten Dressage 2018 and the FEI Dressage World Cup™ qualifier in Madrid (ESP) on 23-25 November 2018. Patrik Kittel with Delaunay Old (SWE) moved from the 97th to the 11th place (2280 points), whilst Daniel Bachmann Andersen and Blue Hors Zepter (DEN) jumped from the 175th to the 33rd place (2030 points). Claudio Castilla Ruiz and Alcaide (ESP) also made an enormous leap from the 118th to the 43rd place (1923 points).

With the FEI Dressage World Cup™ season continuing over the next few months there will certainly be more impressive changes in the ranking list.

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Werth Breezes to a “Special” Victory with Bella Rose in Stuttgart

Isabell Werth with Bella Rose. (FEI/Leanjo de Koster)

She has won everything there is to win in her sport, many times over, but there was a huge sense of achievement for Germany’s Isabell Werth (49) when she steered Bella Rose to victory in the third leg of the FEI Dressage World Cup™ 2018/2019 Western European League at the German Masters in Stuttgart (GER).

“This was her last show before her injury four years ago, so to come back today and to win like this is something special!” said the super-champ who scooped double-gold with the 14-year-old mare at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 in Tryon, USA two months ago.

On a day when Germany dominated the podium as Werth’s Rio 2016 Olympic gold-medal-winning team-mate, Dorothee Schneider (49), finished second with Sammy Davis Jr and 2013 FEI Dressage World Cup™ champion Helen Langehanenberg (36) lined up third with Damsey, spectators were treated to a feast of top sport. And the fourth-place finish for Denmark’s Daniel Bachmann Andersen and Blue Hors Zepter was another highlight. Not only was the 10-year-old stallion competing in his very first World Cup competition, he was also doing his very first Freestyle test, yet he was relaxed, confident and full of promise for even greater things to come.

From the outset there was a big buzz in the Schleyer Halle, with The Netherlands’ Emmelie Scholtens and Desperado, who finished last of the 14 starters in the Grand Prix, bouncing back to set the standard with a nice pathfinding test at 75.365. Marie Emilie Bretenoux and the expression-filled Quartz of Jazz from France kept spectators spellbound with their intriguing floorplan for a mark of 75.225, and then seven-time Olympian, Sweden’s Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven, pushed the target score up to 79.670 with the veteran Don Auriello.

But Germany’s Benjamin Werndl was the first-half show-stealer when, last before the break with the 14-year-old gelding Daily Mirror, he carried the crowd through a test that oozed energy and excitement to throw down a new marker at 80.340.

With extraordinary accuracy and control, Langehanenberg went into the lead when posting 81.470 when fourth-last to go, and she was still out in front when Bachmann Andersen put 81.190 on the board. But it was compatriot Dorothee Schneider’s 81.840 that Werth was chasing when last into the arena. And she nailed it by a considerable margin, posting 85.660 despite one major blip.

“She was a bit tense in the canter work and I got behind the music, so I had to push it and that was the reason for the mistake in two-tempis!” — Isabell Werth (GER)

But as the athlete who has collected eight World Championship and six Olympic gold medals pointed out, “She was brilliant again for the rest of the test. The piaffe/passage couldn’t have been better and her half-pass extensions were super!” she said, and that was borne out by the number of maximum scores she earned from the judges which put the result beyond doubt.

It was some busy day for the defending series champion who will be going for a back-to-back hat-trick of wins, and her fifth in total, at the Final in Gothenburg (SWE) next April. It began with a practice ride at 06.00 and then a win riding Emilio, with whom she topped the qualifier in Lyon (FRA) two weeks ago, in the German Dressage Masters before flying to Northern Germany for an awards ceremony and then rushing back to compete in the FEI World Cup qualifier.

Werth seems to thrive on pressure, however, and she really wanted to show the home crowd that her precious mare is back to her best after that long four-year injury break during which she was patiently nursed back to full health. “It was a special situation and a special atmosphere here today; the arena was absolutely full of spectators and a lot of horses were tense and spooky, but Bella Rose was fantastic; she really wanted to give everything; she was just brilliant!” Werth said.

Watch highlights here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Werth Gives a Masterclass with Emilio at Lyon

Isabell Werth with Emilio. (FEI/Christophe Tanière)

Defending series champion and equestrian sports legend, Germany’s Isabell Werth (49), kicked off her FEI Dressage World Cup™ 2018/2019 campaign with a convincing win with Emilio at the second leg of the Western European League series at Equita Longines in Lyon, France.

With two Technical scores over 80 percent and one Artistic mark of 93 percent, the six-time Olympic gold medallist racked up a total of 84.410 that left her well clear of Sweden’s Patrik Kittel (42) in second and Antonia Ramel (33) in third.

Werth, who took triple-gold at the 2017 FEI European Championships and double-gold at the FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) just seven weeks ago, is already aiming for a fifth FEI Dressage World Cup™ title, and her third in a row, when the series finale returns to Gothenburg, Sweden next April. However, she only just managed to keep Kittel at bay in the Grand Prix and was deeply disappointed with that performance. But with typical skill and determination, the lady who has three horses in the top four in the current World Rankings just turned it all around again with a sparkling ride that left the result beyond doubt.

“I’m very happy – yesterday Emilio was full of tension, but today he was much better from the beginning, and he got back his confidence step by step during the competition.” — Isabell Werth (GER)

Great Britain’s Hayley Watson-Greaves (35) and Rubin’s Night raised the bar to 77.355 percent in the closing stages and young Spaniard, Juan Matute Guimon (21), slotted in behind her when posting 77.070 for an eye-catching test with Quantico that included a one-handed pirouette. But Werth blew that all into infinity with her massive score, and it was the two Swedes who proved her closest rivals at the end of the day.

Ramel’s 80.060 with Brother de Jeu was hugely impressive and took even her by surprise. But the talented rider who has been on two winning Nations Cup teams for her country this year has been training diligently with three-time Olympian Kittel for the last two years, and he was very proud of her.

He is often coached by Werth, and earlier this week he visited her to ask her advice about his stallion, Delatio. “I was at Isabell’s on Monday because I wasn’t sure if I should take him to Lyon – but she said yes!” said the Swedish star who scored a handsome 80.980 for second place.

Talking about Emilio, Werth said, “It’s his first competition since Aachen (where he won the Freestyle and Special and was on the winning team in July), it’s his first indoor of the season, and it’s a new Freestyle for him, so there were a lot of new things for him to handle and I’m very happy how it went, even though there are still some details to be worked out.” She has exchanged her Freestyle programmes, with Bella Rose now doing Emilio’s floorplan while Emilio does the one designed for her WEG-winning mare. Emilio is looking slimmer and fitter than ever.

“Yes, he has more muscle and less fat! So the canter-work is much better, and I was sad that yesterday I couldn’t show that, but today it came back!” — Isabell Werth (GER)

Werth plans to compete all three of her top horses during the 10-leg Western European League, and Emilio will be back in action for the next leg in Stuttgart (GER) in two weeks’ time where Bella Rose will also line out.

Watch highlights here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Second Time’s a Charm for Isabell Werth in Helgstrand Dressage FEI Grand Prix Special

Isabell Werth and Bella Rose. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Tryon, NC USA – September 14, 2018 – The score board in U.S. Trust Arena was ablaze when Germany’s multi-medalist Isabell Werth captivated hearts again, winning her second Gold medal at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 aboard Bella Rose. The duo bested US-stalwart Laura Graves and Verdades who captured Silver and defending champion Charlotte Dujardin (GBR) and Mount St John Freestyle to Bronze.

Werth and fiery chestnut mare Bella Rose came out as the last rider of 30, presenting a flawless test. The pair scored 86.246%, including several 10s from the judges’ panel of seven.

“Three were out with more than 80 already so I knew we had to give it our best. When Bella started to trot I felt she wanted to go and do it and the half passes could not have been better,” said Werth.

Graves had put everything into her ride, presenting the 16-year-old Verdades with utmost precision in each step, despite gusts of wind picking up during her ride.

“It feels amazing. Two days in a row we really delivered for our country. The heat is a test of a horses’ character.”

Equally sensational was Charlotte Dujardin’s ride to Bronze, piloting her mare Mount St John Freestyle to 81.489%. The nine-year-young mare showed picture-perfect passage that is usually only acquired at a more advanced age.

“Her passage was incredible. We continue to work on it and will give Isabell a run for her money.”

Germany’s Sönke Rothenberger missed the podium by 0.44 points after mistakes in the one-tempi changes.

“I am disappointed. The horse would have deserved a medal because of its overall quality, but of course, we should not make mistakes.”

Germany Takes Pole Position for World Eventing Gold in Mars, Inc. Eventing Competition on Final Day of Dressage

Germany’s quest to retain the Team and Individual Eventing world titles gathered pace in record breaking fashion on another thrilling action-packed day at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 on Friday in Tryon Stadium.

German challenger Julia Krajewski not only held her overnight lead with Chipmunk FRH after the second day of dressage, but her closest challenger emerged as team-mate and reigning European champion Ingrid Klimke.

Klimke delivered a trademark display that oozed star quality on SAP Hale Bob OLD, posting a score 23.3 penalties to trail Krajewski by just 3.4 penalties heading into Saturday’s cross-country phase of the Mars, Inc. Eventing competition.

Great Britain’s Ros Canter and Allstar B complete the top three on 24.6, while Germany hold a convincing lead in the team competition, with their score of 73.4 breaking the previous best FEI World Equestrian Games™ record for a team dressage score set by Great Britain in Jerez, Spain in 2002.

They lead the British quartet by more than seven penalties, while the United States are close behind in third, followed by France, Australia and New Zealand.

Germany are chasing a third world team crown in the last four FEI World Equestrian Games™, and they are also well-placed for another Individual Gold medal following Sandra Auffarth’s 2014 success in France.

“I am very happy,” Klimke said. “He did such a wonderful test, he was so calm and concentrated. He was perfect. He was ready and waiting to get in there. He is 14 now and very mature. He did a beautiful job and for me it was a pleasure.”

Assessing the Cross-Country challenge, Krajewski said, “There are quite a few fences where you have to have your line right and be very concentrated.”

For Canter, her dressage performance maintained consistently impressive form on the 13-year-old stallion Allstar B, and she unquestionably poses a serious threat to German domination with her colleagues Piggy French, Tom McEwen and Gemma Tattersall.

“No matter what the atmosphere, he never changes,” Canter said. “I gave him a day off on Thursday because he worked so well the day before. He has just got that temperament where he puts 100% in for me every time, and it’s more the pressure for me that I want to do him proud and everyone else who has helped get me here.”

Although Krajewski has a clear lead, just 3.9 penalties separate the riders placed from second to ninth, and it is certain that the leaderboard will change considerably across the North Carolina terrain on Saturday.

That group features riders from six different countries, including French Olympian Thibaut Vallette, Sweden’s Sara Algotsson Ostholt, New Zealand’s world number two Tim Price and leading Irish challenger Sarah Ennis, who lies sixth.

World Eventing Stars Ready to Meet Cross-Country Challenge

Concentration and stamina look set to be the key requirements when Eventing athletes takes to the Cross-Country course on the White Oak track of TIEC during the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 on Saturday, September 15.

More than 80 horse and rider combinations will tackle the course designed by Captain Mark Phillips and it is likely to prove pivotal in terms of shaping the final leaderboard when Mars, Inc. Eventing Team and Individual medals are decided at Tryon International Equestrian Center. Mars, Inc. Eventing is now scheduled to conclude on Monday, September 17, due to inclement weather expected on Sunday, September 16.

New Zealand’s twice Olympic champion Sir Mark Todd is ready for a test that poses “plenty of questions.”

With a close and exciting dressage phase completed in Tryon Stadium on Friday, attention now switches to what promises to be a blockbusting day of world-class sport.

“It looks a good course,” said Great Britain’s Ros Canter, who holds third place individually after dressage.

“The challenge is going to be the humidity and the potential weather conditions. As last team member to go, I don’t know what weather will be thrown at us yet. I will try to stick to the plan and hope I can deliver for the team.”

World number two rider New Zealander Tim Price, recent winner of the Burghley Horse Trials in the United Kingdom, added: “The cross country is demanding. None of us know what the (completion) time is going to be like because with a tight time it heightens the difficulty everywhere else because everyone else is trying to go and do a good speed.”

“It will be what it will be. We are pretty gutsy, the Kiwis, and hopefully we will make a good plan together and go and execute,” he continued.

Price’s teammate Todd said, “Is it going to be hot? Is it going to be torrential rain? We have just got to make a plan and ride to the conditions. The course looks really good. There are some more straightforward fences, but some of the combinations ask plenty of questions.”

Team USA member William Coleman, meanwhile, described the testing closing hill on the course as akin to a metaphorical climb up Mount Everest.

“It’s pretty intense in the middle part,” Coleman said. “From the third to the seventh minute it is like an onslaught, and then you finish that and then climb Mount Everest up to the main arena. It will be a stamina test and I think the middle bit will be especially testing.”

British rider Tom McEwen cautioned, “I don’t think the course should be underestimated. It is possibly not the biggest course we’ve jumped, but saying that, it is technical, it is strong, and you have got to keep your wits about you. There are plenty of strong questions out there.”

For more information on the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 and to view start lists and results, please visit www.Tryon2018.com.

Germany Wins Team Gold in Helgstrand Dressage Competition

Isabell Werth and Bella Rose. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Tryon, NC USA – September 13, 2018 – It was anything less than routine when Germany took the Team Gold medal, adding number 12 to their collection in Helgstrand Dressage competition at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 on Thursday, September 13 in U.S. Trust Arena. Team veteran Isabell Werth’s tears ran freely after her stellar performance with Bella Rose, which brought the team score up to 242.950 points to secure their stance at the top of the podium.

Sönke Rothenberger (23) and Cosmo, both at their first WEG, had added 81.444 to the scores of Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and Dorothee Schneider. Those two had set the foundation for the Gold medal on Wednesday during the FEI Grand Prix competition.

Team USA finished second on 233.136 points, securing their second WEG Team Silver thanks to a top performance from Laura Graves and Verdades. The pair rode in last and turned in 81.630 points, the second best result of the competition.

“I was a bit under the weather today, but it is amazing what adrenaline can do. There was a lot of pressure on me today,” Graves said.

Great Britain secured bronze on 229.628 keeping the Swedish team at bay by just 0.172 points. Defending champion Charlotte Dujardin and veteran Carl Hester both had brought two very young horses and Dujardin’s nine-year-old Mount St John Freestyle seems set to fill in the big hoof prints left by golden horse Valegro, coming fifth individually in the mare’s sixth’s FEI Grand Prix appearance.

“For the last six or seven years I think that people thought that British Dressage was just Valegro and that was it.

“I think this has proven that we do still have depth in British Dressage, which was the main point of coming here,” Carl Hester said.

Dressage queen Isabell Werth, at her seventh WEG, changed between crying and beaming even long after the last halt in front of the judges had earned her the top score of 84.829.

“This was my answer to all those who did not understand how I could leave the world’s number one horse at home for this one. Most horse people here know how close I am to Bella and to bring her back after the long recovery after WEG 2014 is extra special. We always knew it could be a risk, but it is like that with every horse.”

German Eventing Star Julia Krajewski Sets Scorching Pace in Tryon Sunshine

Germany’s Julia Krajewski produced a staggering performance in the North Carolina sunshine as Mars, Inc. Eventing began at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 Tryon on Thursday.

Krajewski, a renowned superstar performer in the dressage phase with Chipmunk FRH, did not disappoint the electric atmosphere in Tryon Stadium that lapped up every moment of what at times looked like an exhibition performance.

The rider herself admitted she was close to tears, such was the horse’s brilliance in scoring just 19.9 penalties, as defending champions Germany made an immediate statement of intent in their quest to capture the Mars, Inc. Eventing crown.

There were some strong dressage displays on day one of the competition, with the likes of USA’s Boyd Martin, Great Britain’s Piggy French, Australian Christopher Burton and France’s Donatien Schuly all posting sub-30 scores.

But, the German was in a different league, and she said, “Maybe something really good was going to happen today and he felt awesome during the test.

“He has done good dressage tests before, but to produce it in such an atmosphere on this day, the people went crazy.

“It is not a personal best – he has had scores of 19 something before – but it is not just push a button and get 19. With a horse like him that can really do it, it is all about the detail.

“I am so proud. I had to stop the tears when I finished the test. It is an amazing feeling.”

Boyd Martin rose to the challenge impressively on home soil with Tsetserleg to post a 27.1 score and lie second overnight, just ahead of Piggy French and Quarrycrest Echo on 27.8.

“I am very happy with him,” he said of the 11-year-old gelding. “It is only the second time he has done that test. He’s a good boy and just gets in there and does it.”

French led the British challenge on day one as they bid to reclaim a title won impressively in Kentucky eight years ago.

“He is a really cool horse,” French said. “He’s still not the most experienced and there is still more to come from him, but he has got an amazing brain and so you can be quite brave. I always give it a good go.”

Eventing icons Blyth Tait and Andrew Hoy, meanwhile, showed they had lost none of their world-class quality by holding top 10 placings overnight after New Zealander Tait – twice an Eventing World Champion – and Australian Hoy, a three-time Olympic Gold medalist, shone on Dassett Courage and Vassily de Lassos, respectively.

“I was thrilled to bits with him, to be honest,” Tait said. “My team mates told me to be brave, but when you are going out first for the team you want to post a solid score, and he did that.”

And Hoy added, “He (Vassily de Lassos) could not have done one step better. He is not the finished product, he is a long way from it, but his test was a personal best. I jokingly said on Wednesday night that I was going to ride for a sub-30 score!”

Final Qualifying Places Filled in Race for Individual Johnson Controls Reining Medals

The full picture is now complete for the Johnson Controls Reining Individual Final at FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 Tryon.

Thursday’s second Individual Qualifier saw six remaining places to be filled, joining the other athletes who had progressed from the first qualifier.

It was Austria’s Martin Muhlstatter, riding Blo Gun, that took the top spot with a score of 223 points and was followed by Italy’s Pierluigi Chioldo and Gun at the Gate, with French challenger Axel Pesek also progressing on Uncle Sparky.

“She’s an amazing mare,” said Pierluigi, of his horse. “She was in the pasture, but she started being ridden again for WEG. She’s ten and she’s great.”

The three other spots were taken by two more Italian riders – Mirko Midili on Arc Sparkle Magnetic and Mirjam Stillo with Ruff Spook – plus Uruguay’s Brigido Gabriel Diano Riccetto, riding Magnum Starlights.

For more information on the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 and to view start lists and results, please visit www.Tryon2018.com.

Werth Reigns Supreme to Become a Four-Time Champion

Photo: Isabell Werth with Weihegold. (FEI/Liz Gregg)

America’s Laura Graves chases her right to the line

In a dramatic conclusion to an extraordinary battle between two mighty forces, Germany’s Isabell Werth (48) posted a back-to-back victory at the FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final 2018 in Paris, France.

America’s Laura Graves (30) and Verdades put all the pressure on the defending champion when pinning her into runner-up spot in the Grand Prix, so in this deciding Freestyle Werth had it all to do to put that behind her and come back out fighting. But with her trademark steely determination, the phenomenal athlete produced a pristine performance to see off the challenge and lift the coveted trophy for the fourth time in her incredible career.

It was right down to the wire, however, and she knew that the slightest error was out of the question when second-last to go. Graves had already posted a massive score of 89.082 which, the US rider admitted, surprised even her. “I knew anything was possible. I knew it would take a score like that to possibly get a win and it was a huge personal best for me!” Graves said.

However, Werth mustered all the skill and experience of a lifetime to squeeze her rival out of pole position with the winning mark of 90.657. She described the Grand Prix defeat as “motivating“, and simply used it to spur herself on to better things with the help of team coach and manager, Monica Theodorescu. “Like I said yesterday, I was not really disappointed or sad; I was just thinking about how I had to prepare for today and how I had to make it better and analyse what went wrong. So Monica and I, we decided to go in the big warm-up arena today, to bring her (Weihegold) forward and to make her free again, and that worked, and today she was the horse I wanted to show yesterday.”

“This is life; a lot of people think it’s easy; you win and you win again, but it’s not like that. You have to think about it all the time and keep listening to your horse. Yesterday was not our day, but today we could solve it. And this is what I really like to do, and that’s the reason why I love to compete!” — Isabell Werth (GER)

The result was another reminder of the continuing resurgence of the German Dressage powerhouse, with Werth’s compatriots Jessica von Bredow-Werndl (Unee BB) and Dorothee Schneider (Sammy Davis Jr) slotting into third and fifth places. Von Bredow-Werndl’s success was at the expense of Sweden’s Patrik Kittel who, as always, had the crowd right behind him when producing another one of his toe-tapping performances with Deja but who just missed a place on the podium when having to settle for fourth.

Graves threw down something of a challenge at the press conference. “I never practice my Freestyle as much as my other tests, so I think now I have a bit of homework to do and I think there are many more points to be earned in the future,” she said, so she is clearly marking Werth’s card for the next time they meet.

However, the lady taking centre stage was one of the great role models in the sport whose accomplishments are so many they may never be matched. Werth is taking great satisfaction from her fourth FEI World Cup™ Dressage title, not just because it’s another success but because of the way she achieved it.

“To have experience is an advantage if you use it in the right way, and I think we did that from yesterday to today,” she said. “After a lot of years in the sport you know how many things can happen, how things can change very quickly. It gives you the confidence to go in the ring and to try your best – you know what your horse can do and you know what you can do. This was just a great day today!” said the happy German star.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Werth Wins and Gal Glitters as Final Line-Up Is Decided in Den Bosch

Photo: Edward Gal with Glock’s Zonic.  (FEI/Leanjo de Koster Digishots)

With the biggest smile on her face that said it all as she strutted down the centreline for the final time, defending series champion, Germany’s Isabell Werth (48), nailed her fourth win of the season at the last qualifier of the FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2017/2018 Western European League in ’s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. On an afternoon when many of the early starters were hampered by spooky moments in the ring, the second-half contestants really raised the bar, and once Werth and Emilio took their turn when fifth-last to go, her score of 87.405 would be the winning one.

They weren’t the only partnerships to bring the crowd in the Brabanthalle to their feet, however, as home runners Edward Gal (48) and Glock’s Zonik got the same treatment when slotting into second on 83.900 following a great test. And, last in, compatriot Madeleine Witte-Vrees (45) and Cennin posted 82.555 to demote Germany’s Jessica von Bredow-Werndl (32) and Zaire-E to fourth place. The packed stadium of spectators enjoyed a real treat in the closing stages, but it was all about Isabell once again as she marches towards the 2018 FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final in Paris, France next month to chase down her second successive title and her fourth overall.

She has rarely looked more happy and confident throughout the extraordinary career during which she has become the most medalled athlete in equestrian sport. And with two wins from her superstar Olympic ride Weihegold and another two from Emilio who was at his very best, her horses are also in the form of their lives this winter. Weihegold the wonder-mare is of course her first choice for the Final, but Werth was thrilled with her 12-year-old gelding whose presence in the ring seems to grow with every outing. Pinned back to second place in Gothenburg, Sweden two weeks ago, he stepped it up even more.

“Emilio certainly showed an improvement today; he was amazing; he felt like 90%!” — Isabell Werth GER (1st)

Another with a big smile at the end of his ride was 2010 champion Gal who can’t help but be excited by the rapid development of his fabulous 10-year-old stallion, Zonic, whose trot extensions drew gasps of delight from the crowd.

““He’s improving so fast; this was only his third World Cup! There are a few little things that need improving, but he keeps surprising me!” — Edward Gal NED (2nd)

The 2018 Final will be another big test for this lovely young horse, and the Dutch are looking stronger by the day, with Witte-Vrees’ stallion Cennin still only 11 and also looking mature beyond his years.

This result has decided the Western European League qualifying spots for the Final which takes place from 11 to 15 April at which nine riders from six nations – Austria, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Netherlands and Sweden – will do battle with the rest of the best in the world. Britain’s Emile Faurie just squeezed into equal-eighth place despite having to withdraw from this competition with his gelding, Lollipop.

Media contact:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Werth and Weihegold Are Awesome in Amsterdam

Photo: Isabell Werth and Weihegold. (FEI/Digishots)

Defending series champions, Germany’s Isabell Werth (48) and her magical mare Weihegold OLD, cruised to victory at the sixth leg of the FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2017/2018 Western European League in Amsterdam (NED). The dynamic duo floated through their Freestyle test to post 88.540, almost a full percentage point more than their winning score at the third leg of the series on home ground in Stuttgart in November.

The capacity crowd packed into the RAI Arena included stars of many other sports along with Dutch royal family member Princess Margarita, Countess of Colorno, who is a Board Member of the show organisation, Jumping Amsterdam. But it was the German Dressage queen who claimed centre stage when pinning the home side’s Edward Gal (47) with Glock’s Zonik into second, and her compatriot, Jessica von Bredow-Werndl (31), into third with Unee BB.

“Weihe was really fantastic today. I can’t describe the feeling of this power and collection; she’s like a metronome – we can do whatever we want! The atmosphere in the arena was electric so I had to be careful because she was very hot. She produced really magnificent piaffe/passage, but I stopped breathing in the collected walk because she was SO ready for the canter!” — Isabell Werth GER (1st)

Last to go, she was chasing the super leading mark of 81.860 produced by Gal and his exciting young stallion who really settled to his job. “It’s five weeks since we finished third at Olympia (London) and there is a visible improvement,” said the man who claimed the FEI World Cup™ Dressage title in 2010 with the great Totilas. This was just the third Freestyle test for the 10-year-old Zonik. “He’s getting stronger and stronger and more motivated; suddenly we are making big steps forward and I have high hopes for him for the future!” he added.

As Werth rode into the arena, her compatriot Jessica von Bredow-Werndl was just leaving after posting an impressive 81.195 with Unee BB who couldn’t take his eyes off Weihegold. “The older he gets the more powerful he gets – I think he’s going through a second youth; he certainly had plenty of extra energy today!” said von Bredow-Werndl of her 17-year-old stallion. And her result has moved her up to second place on the Western European League leaderboard behind Sweden’s Patrik Kittel who once again wowed the crowds with a great performance from Deja to finish fourth.

As title defender Werth doesn’t earn points at the qualifiers but must compete in at least two legs of the Western European League with the horse she intends to take to the Final in Paris in April and with two in the bag, and both winning ones, with Weihegold she is now turning her attention to her back-up ride, Emilio, who topped the line-up in Lyon in November. “Obviously Weihe is my first choice, but Emilio will go to the last two qualifiers in Gothenburg (SWE) and ’s-Hertogenbosch (NED),” she explained. She’s missing the next leg on home ground in Neumunster in three weeks’ time due to another commitment, but she has her fourth FEI World Cup™ Dressage title clearly in her sights.

When asked how she is feeling ahead of the 2018 Final which will take place in the French capital from 10 to 15 April, she replied, “I’m happy but I never say I’m confident; that’s not my way. This is sport – you never know what’s going to happen so you always have to stay awake!”

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Leanne Williams
Media Relations and Communications Manager
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38

Unstoppable Isabell Werth Crowned 2017 Best Athlete at FEI Awards

Photo: Harry Allen (IRE), winner of the Longines Rising Star Award (centre), pictured with FEI President Ingmar de Vos (left) and Longines’ Vice President and Head of International Marketing Juan-Carlos Capelli (right) at the FEI Awards ceremony in Montevideo, Uruguay. (FEI/Richard Juilliart)

Montevideo (URU), 21 November 2017 – Isabell Werth (GER), one of equestrian sports most decorated champions, has once again stolen the show, receiving the Best Athlete Award at the ninth edition of the FEI Awards Gala 2017 presented by Longines at the KIBON Avanza in Montevideo (URU).

The German superstar (48) was unable to attend the ceremony but spoke to guests via video message, and Soenke Lauterbach, Secretary General of the German Federation, received the award on her behalf.

“To receive the best athlete award is really fantastic it makes me really proud, really happy to get this support from so many people and that they’re really behind me and they respect what we have done in the last months,” Isabell Werth said.

“2017 was just amazing; it was a really great year. It was all horses, I have to say! Of course the highlight was Omaha with the World Cup final with Weihe; it was a fantastic freestyle!”

To the delight of the Montevideo audience, the festivities were opened by Swedish pop artists Matilda Frommegård and Martin Cederlöf, performing the world premiere of their “Two Hearts” song.

Joint-Masters of Ceremonies, TV news anchor Victoria Rodriguez (URU) together with author and entertainer Guillermo Lockhart (URU), host of Voces Anonimas, went on to present the winners of the five categories, in front of more than 270 distinguished guests, including top sporting legends, equestrian fans, FEI partners and stakeholders representing the member Federations.

Harry Allen (IRL), double gold medallist at the FEI European Pony Championships in Kaposvar (HUN) last August, was recognised for his numerous outstanding performances throughout the year, winning the Longines Rising Star Award. Presented by the FEI’s top partner Longines, this award celebrates youth, talent, determination and the stars of the tomorrow. The talented Irish athlete (16) was also presented with a Longines Conquest Classic Chronograph watch by Longines’ Vice President and Head of International Marketing Juan-Carlos Capelli.

Alan Davies (GBR), recognised for his tireless effort behind the scenes for Dressage stars Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester, was presented with the FEI Best Groom Award.  Praising the unsung heroes of the sport, Alan (48) was visibly moved by the public support for his dedication, commitment and hard work, saying, “Words can’t describe how I feel; it’s just amazing!”

The former Vice President of the Indian Equestrian Federation, Manoj Jalan, accepted the FEI Solidarity Award for the inaugural Retraining of Racehorses (ROR) project in Assam (IND).

Emma Booth (AUS) was commended for her strength, resilience, determination and drive as she was presented with the Against All Odds Award. Emma (26) was left paralysed after a road traffic accident in April 2013, yet nothing stops her passion for equestrian sport and is already planning her campaign around the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 and the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

“We received over 100,000 votes and were overwhelmed with the response to this year’s Awards,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said. “We have incredible athletes, with remarkable stories, and this year we had the highest number of nominations from more countries than ever before, which clearly shows the universality of our sport.

“The public involvement in the voting process was phenomenal and was an essential part of the judging process for these prestigious awards. It is outstanding to see the tremendous support for our athletes, who deserve the recognition, not just from within our community but of the wider sports industry and fans globally.”

Longines’ Vice President and Head of International Marketing Juan-Carlos Capelli, said: “It is my great pleasure to be here in Montevideo and to be a part of the FEI Awards Ceremony to reward remarkable people for their outstanding dedication to equestrian sports. As we have seen here tonight, all winners have shown what hard work and passion are all about.

“On behalf of Longines, I would like to address my warmest congratulations to all winners of the 2017 FEI Awards, and in particular our Longines Rising Star, the 16-year-old talented jumping rider, Harry Allen. It’s very exciting to see all these incredible people pursue their dreams and continue to be great ambassadors for their sport.”

Media contacts:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Leanne Williams
Media Relations and Communications Manager
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38

Werth and Weihegold Head Home-Side Whitewash at Stuttgart

Photo: Isabell Werth and Weihegold FRH. (FEI/Cara Grimshaw)

With style, panache and the greatest of ease, defending series champions Isabell Werth (48) and her wonderful 12-year-old mare Weihegold cruised to victory at the third leg of the FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2017/2018 Western European League on home ground in Stuttgart, Germany. And in a feast of fabulous performances it was fellow-countrywomen Dorothee Schneider (Sammy Davis Jr.) and Helen Langehanenberg (Damsey FRH) who slotted into second and third places.

Sweden’s Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven (Paridon Magi) finished fourth, but only fractionally ahead of Germany’s Fabienne Lutkemeier (Fabregaz) and Jessica von Bredow-Werndl (Zaire-E) in fifth and sixth spots. There was nothing fractional about Werth’s win, however, her score of 87.575 percent leaving her well ahead of Schneider who posted 82.805. And it was a particularly satisfying result for the phenomenal athlete who this year alone claimed her third FEI World Cup™ Dressage title along with triple-gold at the FEI European Championships in Gothenburg (SWE).

“Weihe has had such a great year, and after Gothenburg we gave her a long break but we thought it would be lovely to bring her to Stuttgart for the home crowd to see her and it was really nice. She’s only been working lightly for the last few weeks so we didn’t take the full risk like we did in Aachen or Gothenburg this summer, but I’m very happy with how she went; it was a great day!” — Isabell Werth (GER)

The Freestyle test wasn’t perfect – “the mistake in the two-tempis was all mine!” Werth admitted, but it was still nothing short of spectacular. Taking “the full risk” in Dressage terms means chasing down marks by challenging the horse to produce each movement to the maximum, although when it doesn’t come off it can prove expensive. The fluency of Werth’s work with Weihegold was so exquisite, however, that even an error couldn’t prevent their absolute supremacy.

Schneider’s 11-year-old stallion Sammy Davis Jr. continues to impress in his first season at Grand Prix level and this pair posted some massive artistic scores, while Langehanenberg’s 15-year-old stallion Damsey FRH produced breath-taking extended trot on his way to earning a score of 79.615 for third place. “He was super-fresh but really happy to be out competing and really keen to perform. He really came to life in his test and it’s great for an older horse like him to be still enjoying competition so much!” said the 2013 FEI World Cup™ Dressage champion.

Werth doesn’t earn points in the Western European League series and only has to line out in the qualifiers with whichever horse she chooses to defend her title at the 2018 Final in Paris, France next April. She has three to choose from, Don Johnson taking runner-up spot at the opening qualifier in Herning, Denmark last month before Emilio came out on top in Lyon two weeks ago, and then Weihegold followed suit. She’s spoiled for choice, and her next outing will be at the sixth leg in Amsterdam, The Netherlands in January.

Before that, however, the rest of those chasing down a much-coveted place at the Final will be battling it out in round four at Salzburg (AUT) and the fifth qualifier at London Olympia (GBR) in December. Sweden’s Patrik Kittel continues to top the league table by a considerable margin ahead of Switzerland’s Marcela Krinke Susmelj in second place, Spain’s Morgan Barbancon Mestre in third and Germany’s Dorothee Schneider who has moved up from 13th to fourth spot thanks to her runner-up finish.

Watch Isabell Werth and Weihegold take the win in front of the home crowd here on YouTube.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Leanne Williams
Media Relations and Communications Manager
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38