Isabell Werth Moves to No. 3 in World on Don Johnson for Highest Ranking for German Olympian in Six Years

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Isabell Werth on Don Johnson FRH in the European Championships Grand Prix Freestyle. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Isabell Werth on Don Johnson FRH in the European Championships Grand Prix Freestyle. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, Jan. 4, 2016–Isabell Werth and Don Johnson FRH moved up to No. 3 in the world at the start of this Olympic year, the highest ranking for the German superstar in six years.

Isabell and the Hanoverian gelding that became 15 years old four days ago, sharing an official birthday with every other horse registered in the Northern Hemisphere, was third in the the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) rankings released Monday.

Charlotte Dujardin on Valegro and Kristina Bröring-Sprehe on Desperados FRH were first and second in the standings as of the end of 2015. The year end top spot for the British Olympic gold medal pair was the fourth year in a row in that slot, more than any other horse and rider since the current system of global standings was introduced a decade ago.

The German star, 46 years old with five Olympic gold medals going back to Barcelona in 1992, moved into the top three on Don Johnson with eight victories in 22 starts at Big Tour in 2015–the most successful for the pair since starting Grand Prix in March 2011.

She is also ranked No. 17 with El Santo NRW that she competed at the World Cup Final in Las Vegas last April and the Central Park Horse Show in New York, No. 312 on the new at Grand Prix Emilio and 418th on Laurenti. Bella Rose, her 2014 World Games mount, has not competed in more than a year so has no rankings points as they include results from the previous 12 months.

Isabell was last in the top three on her 2008 Olympic team gold medal mount Satchmo in January 2010. The Dutch pairs of Edward Gal on Totilas and Adelinde Cornelissen on Jerich Parzival were No. 1 and No. 2, respectively that month.

She replaced Edward Gal of the Netherlands on Glock’s Undercover that dropped to 16th in the rankings, the biggest move in the top 25.

Spain’s Beatriz Ferrer-Salat on Delgado moved up to No. 4, Germany’s Jessica von Bredow-Werndl on Unee BB to No. 5, the Netherlands’ Hans Peter Minderhoud on Glock’s Johnson TN to the sixth slot, America’s Steffen Peters on Legolas up to seventh and Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén of Sweden on Don Auriello to eighth.

Great Britain’s Carl Hester on Nip Tuck ranked ninth, the first time in the top 10 for the pair that ended the year by winning the Grand Prix Freestyle at the London Olympia Christmas show. Patrik Kittel of Sweden on Deja rounded out the top 10.

Beatrice Buchwald, Isabell’s assistant, made the most dramatic leap in the standings, up to 35th in the world from the 336th spot at the end of November.

FEI rankings as of Dec. 31, 2015:
Rank Previous Athlete Horse NF Points
1 1 DUJARDIN, Charlotte
VALEGRO GBR 3101
2 2 BRÖRING-SPREHE, Kristina
DESPERADOS FRH GER 2729
3 4 WERTH, Isabell
DON JOHNSON FRH GER 2428
4 5 FERRER – SALAT, Beatriz
DELGADO ESP 2379
5 6 VON BREDOW-WERNDL, Jessica
UNEE BB GER 2340
6 7 MINDERHOUD, Hans Peter
GLOCK’S JOHNSON TN N.O.P. NED 2285
7 8 PETERS, Steffen
LEGOLAS 92 USA 2278
8 9 VILHELMSON SILFVÉN, Tinne
DON AURIELLO SWE 2272
9 12 HESTER, Carl
NIP TUCK GBR 2256
10 10 KITTEL, Patrik
DEJA SWE 2255
11 11 MINDERHOUD, Hans Peter
GLOCK’S FLIRT NED 2246
12 16 GAL, Edward
GLOCK’S VOICE NED 2228
13 13 VAN SILFHOUT, Diederik
ARLANDO N.O.P. NED 2196
14 14 MERKULOVA, Inessa
MISTER X RUS 2189
15 15 GRAVES, Laura
VERDADES USA 2189
16 3 GAL, Edward
GLOCK’S UNDERCOVER N.O.P. NED 2183
17 20 WERTH, Isabell
EL SANTO NRW GER 2134
18 18 LÜTKEMEIER, Fabienne
D’AGOSTINO FRH GER 2121
19 19 BALKENHOL, Anabel
DABLINO FRH GER 2117
20 17 KITTEL, Patrik
WATERMILL SCANDIC SWE 2104
21 21 MAX-THEURER, Victoria
BLIND DATE 25 AUT 2078
22 24 SCHMIDT, Hubertus
IMPERIO 3 GER 2072
23 23 PETERS, Steffen
ROSAMUNDE USA 2064
24 25 BIGWOOD, Fiona
ATTERUPGAARDS ORTHILIA GBR 2049
25 26 VAN DER MEER, Patrick
PRESIDENT’S MAJESTIC UZZO NED 2021