Isabell Werth & Warum Nicht Win Exquis World Dressage Masters Grand Prix at Cannes

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Isabell Werth and Warum Nicht in Exquis World Dressage Masters Grand Prix at Cannes. © 2010 Sportfot
Isabell Werth and Warum Nicht in Exquis World Dressage Masters Grand Prix at Cannes. © 2010 Sportfot

CANNES, France, June 10–Isabell Werth on Warum Nicht led a German sweep of the top three places in the Exquis World Dressage Masters Grand Prix Thursday, but was disappointed the horse was distracted by flowers blowing in the wind that reduced their score.

Riding in her third WDM this year–she came third in Palm Beach in February and at Munich last month–and her first ever competition in Cannes, Isabell and her 2007 World Cup champion mount scored 71.489 per cent, a fraction ahead of Anja Plönzke on Le Mont d’Or with 71.447 per cent and Matthias Alexander Rath on Triviant UNICEF with 70.851 per cent.

This French Riviera resort was the launching pad in 2008 for the world’s richest lineup of dressage competitions that has grown to five premier CDI5* competitions this year, each one with prize money of €100,000 (US$120,000). Falsterbo, Sweden, has been added to the calendar this year and then the 2010 finale at Hickstead, England.

Isabell said she was disappointed with the score because it was below the 14-year-old gelding’s capabilities as at Munich last month Warum Nicht scored more than 76 per cent in the Grand Prix.

“But I don’t mean to be critical of the judges,” she said, “I was just deceived by some mistakes the horse made because he was distracted by the flower decoration that was moving in the wind. That made me mess up the piaffe and change of leg. This morning Warum Nicht was more relaxed, but the flower decorations had not been hung up then.

“We won, though, and that’s the most important thing.

“For me it will have been a good lesson as well, because I had no idea how scared my horse was of flowerpots. I will ask the organizers of the event to put some on the arena for the training tomorrow, so his problem should be sorted out by Saturday.

“I already told my groom that it was necessary to spangle our own arena at home with flowers so they won’t ever be a problem again.”

Isabell said that the World Dressage Masters is “a great circuit for us and not only because of the prize money, but rather because it adds a new vibe to the discipline.”

Grand Prix Results:

1.    Warum Nicht                             Isabell WERTH              GER      71.489

2.    Le Mont D’Or                            Anja PLÖNZKE              GER      71.447

3.    Triviant UNICEF                         Mathias ALEXANDER       GER      70.851

4.    Appolo Van Het Vijverhof          Jeroen DEVROE             BEL       69.915

5.    Eremo del Castegno                  Valentina TRUPPA         ITA       69.234

6.    Withney Van’T Genthof             Stefan VAN INGELGEM   BEL       68.298