Isabell Werth Pulls Off Another Victory, America’s Kasey Perry-Glass & Laura Graves 2nd, 3rd in Aachen CDIO5* Freestyle

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Isabell Werth riding Emilio one-handed to the chanting of the 6,000 spectators in the Aachen CDIO5* Grand Prix Freestyle. © 2018 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

AACHEN, Germany, July 22, 2018–Isabell Werth rode Emilio to victory in the CDIO5* Grand Prix Freestyle Sunday while America’s Kasey Perry-Glass on Dublet and Laura Graves on Verdades both scored above 85 per cent to take silver and bronze in the highlight Deutsche Bank Prize.

The dressage competition at the world’s premier horse show that was a roller-coaster ride for the top combinations, Isabell came back from a low placing in the Grand Prix four days ago to claim her 12th prestigious Deutsche Bank Prize with a personal best score of 87.625 per cent on her world ranked No. 3 partner, a 12-year-old Westfalen gelding.

The two United States Olympic team bronze medal pairs of Kasey on Dublet and Laura on Verdades placed second and third in the final competition in Europe to select the American team for the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina just seven weeks away.

Kasey and the 15-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding received a personal best result of 85.205 per cent. a whopping increase over the previous best in 2 1/2 years at Big Tour that included team bronze at Rio de Janeiro in 2016, their first year at Grand Prix.

After the buildup to the Olympics and campaigns at the 2017 Global Dressage Festival in winter and then another European tour over the summer, Kasey decided on a break.

“He needed it and so did I,” she said. “We changed the training around, didn’t drill the movements as much and made the training more diversified. And it paid off because he came back stronger.”

They didn’t return to competition until Wellington in March, then went to the World Games test event in Tryon to earn a place on this summer’s European swing.

The preparation paid off at this event–lauded by all as the best in the world and a mini-WEG of dressage, driving, eventing, jumping and vaulting. A score of 76.801 per cent and fifth place individually in the CDIO5* Grand Prix that contributed to the USA’s lead in the Nations Cup after the first phase; 78.787 per cent and third place individually in the Grand Prix Special and then Sunday’s superb Freestyle.

Kasey Perry-Glass and Dublet in the Aachen CDIO5* Grand Prix Freestyle. © 2018 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Laura and Verdades, 15-year-old KWPN gelding, ranked No. 2 in the world and the star of American dressage since the 2014 Normandy World Games, earned 85.085 per cent  for third place and a major recovery from the Grand Prix Special Saturday. Verdades, or “Diddy,” as he’s nicknamed, was startled by a video camera in the Special and made several mistakes. The result was that the pair did not repeat their 2017 Grand Prix Special performance when they became the first pair to beat world No. 1 Isabell and Weihegold OLD since the 2016 Olympics.

Laura did not receive a 31st birthday present of a victory on Sunday, as Isabell did in the Grand Prix Special on her 49th birhday Saturday.

“I knew I had to give everything,” Isabell said of her ride. The last centerline was such a special feeling when the crowd started to clap.

“It was such an exciting week, for all of us–the ups and downs. You couldn’t know what happens today and what happens tomorrow and who will have a good day or a bad day.”

Laura Graves and Verdades in the Aachen CDIO5* Grand Prix Freestyle displaying the form that has made the pair No. 2 in the world. © 2018 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

For Kasey, 30, who moved to Wellington, Florida from her California home to train with Debbie McDonald, the performance on Dublet was by far the best of their dressage career.

“I wanted to show he was up there with the top horses,” she said, sitting on the podium with Isabell and Laura.

“Yesterday,” joked Laura, 31, of Geneva, Florida referring to her Grand Prix Special, “we kept everybody excited, like jumping.”

But, she said, Verdades is a “real star.” On Sunday, she gave him a good look at the camera and, “he said, ‘OK’.”

Denmark’s Cathrine Dufour on Cassidy, who placed fourth on 84.835 per cent was named Dressage Champion of Aachen based on scores in the Grand Prix, Special and Freestyle that totaled 240.818. Kasey and Dublet were runner-up on 240.793 with Laura and Verdades third on 239.776.

Helen Langehanenberg on Damsey FRH was a crowd favorite being her first show since giving brth to a daughter less than a month ago. The pair placed fifth in the Freestyle on 82.575 per cent.

Daniel Bachmann Andersen on Blue Hors Zack may have been the most enthusiastic about his ride that was fifth place on 82.195 per cent, a personal best score. © 2018 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Results:

CDIO5* Grand Prix Freestyle

Judges-E: Andrew Ralph Gardner H: Anne Gribbons C: Katrina Wuest M: Susan Hoevenaars B: Hans-Christian Matthiesen

Rank Nr. Rider

EUR
Horse

1 341
Isabell Werth
GER
43000 87.625
Emilio 107

2 352
Kasey Perry-Glass
USA
26000 85.205
Goerklintgaards Dublet

3 388
Laura Graves
USA
20000 85.085
Verdades

4 305
Cathrine Dufour
DEN
13000 84.835
Atterupgaards Cassidy

5 323
Helen Langehanenberg
GER
7000 82.575
Damsey FRH

6 313
Daniel Bachmann Andersen
DEN
5000 82.195
Blue Hors Zack

7 371
Dorothee Schneider
GER
3500 81.295
Sammy Davis Jr.

8 329
Severo Jurado Lopez
ESP
2000 81.125
Deep Impact 3

9 326
Therese Nilshagen
SWE
1500 79.690
Dante Weltino OLD

10 370
Adrienne Lyle
USA
1500 78.920
Salvino

11 302
Emmelie Scholtens
NED
1500 78.625
Apache

12 330
Emile Faurie
GBR
1500 76.555
Delatio

13 368
Lara Butler
GBR
1500 76.370
Rubin al Asad

14 316
Madeleine Witte-Vrees
NED
1500 75.570
Cennin

15 332
Beatriz Ferrer-Salat
ESP
1500 74.165
Delgado