Isabell Werth Named FEI Best Athlete, Alan Davies Best Groom

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Isabell Werth riding Weihegold OLD in the victory lap at the World Cup Final in Omaha. © 2017 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Nov. 21, 2017

Isabell Werth, the most decorated equestrian athlete in the history of the modern Olympics, on Tuesday was named the International Equestrian Federation Best Athlete in a celebration at the FEI awards gala in Montevideo, Uruguay. Alan Davies  of Great Britain was presented with the FEI Best Groom award.

The German superstar, 48 years old and the mother of a pre-teen son, was not in attendance but said in a video message: “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.

“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 (Weihegold OLD), it was a fantastic freestyle!”

Isabell captured her third World Cup title in Omaha in April then swept the three gold medal performances at the European Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden in August after earning team gold and individual silver at the Rio Olympics in 2016 to bring her Games medal total to 10.

Alan Davies, 48, was recognized for his efforts behind the scenes for dressage stars Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester.

“Words can’t describe how I feel,” he said, “it’s just amazing!”

Alan Davies with Charlotte Dujardin at the retirement of Valegro at London Olympia a year ago. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Harry Allen of Ireland, double gold medalist at the European Pony Championships in August, won the Longines Rising Star Award.

Manoj Jalan, former vice president of the Indian Equestrian Federation, received the FEI Solidarity Award for the inaugural Retraining of Racehorses project in Assam, India.

Australian Emma Booth (AUS) was presented with the Against All Odds Award. The 26-year-old Emma was paralysed after a highway traffic accident in April 2013 but she is campaigning for the 2018 Tryon World Equestrian Games and the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.