Isabell Werth Confirms Start at Mechelen World Cup Event Day After Christmas

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Isabell Werth on Warum Nicht FRH as 2007 World Cup Champions. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Isabell Werth on Warum Nicht FRH as 2007 World Cup Champions. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

RHEINBERG, Germany, Dec. 24–Isabell Werth confirmed Thursday that she will return to the competition arena on Warum Nicht FRH at the Mechelen World Cup event the day after Christmas.

Jumping Mechelen organizers announced last week that the German multi Olympic, World Equestrian Games and World Cup gold medalist will compete in the event that starts just three days after the end of her suspension from individual competition for six months for doping. The suspension for team competition is for 12 months so that will end June 23, 2010.

The Mechelen World Cup qualifier is the sixth of nine West European League events leading to the final in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands, in mid-March.

“…around this time I give thanks to all my fans, my friend, my team and of course my family for their support.” she wrote on her Internet site. “Again a year is over and again the pensive and cosy holiday is up to come. The horses get vaccinated and therefore they can enjoy a little from work, my appointment book is shut down to the most necessary and also here in the stables everything slows down.

“Only Hannes has to start once more, we quickly go to Mechelen and join the World Cup.

But first we enjoy the Christmas Day with family – this year the first time with our little Frederik in the arm.”

The strongest competition at Mechelen is likely to come from Adelinde Cornelissen on Parzival who shares the top of the West European League leaderboard with fellow Dutch rider Edward Gal and Moorlands Totilas.

Isabell, who gave birth to a baby boy, Frederik, at the end of October, is still ranked third on Satchmo in the FEI Rider Rankings although she has not competed for six months. She is ranked 53rd on Warum Nicht.

Other top riders scheduled to compete at Mechelen include The Netherlands’ Imke Schellekens-Bartels on Hunter Douglas Sunrise, Belgium’s Jeroen Devroe and Sweden’s Patrik Kittel.