Isabell Werth & Weihegold Confirmed Back at No. 1, Laura Graves & Verdades No. 2

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Isabell Werth and Bella Rose at the Tryon World Games. © 2018 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, Dec. 3, 2018–Isabell Werth and Weihegold Old returned to the top of the world rankings, the International Equestrian Fedeation (FEI) confirmed Monday, while Laura Graves and Verdades slipped to No. 2 after two months as the first American partnership ever to lead the standings.

Isabell’s reinstatement at No. 1 was on the 13-year-old Oldenburg mare in which she has won 2016 Olympic team gold and individual silver, three European Championship golds in 2017 and the World Cup title for the past two years. A double victory at Stockholm’s Saab Top 10 after a competition break of almost four months put the German combination back in the lead.

Isabell and Weihegold were No. 1 for almost two years before Laura and Verdades took the top spot for September and October of this year. The American duo had twice beaten the German while No. 1, at the World Equestrian Festival in Aachen, Germany and the Paris World Cup Grand Prix. Germany’s Sönke Rothenberger on Cosmo was the only other pair to do so in that time.

Isabell and her favorite, Bella Rose, moved up to No. 3, a remarkable recovery in the past five months after the mare, now 14 years old, was out of competition with a soundness issue for 3 1/2 years. On Emilio, she is No. 4.

Isabell and Bella Rose were ranked as high as fifth in the world in May, 2015 but dropped off the standings altogether four months later because of a recurring injury that kept the horse out of the show ring. Isabell returned Bella Rose to competition at the end of June this year and has been unbeaten in all 10 starts, including leading Germany to team gold and taking individual gold at the Tryon World Games.

German Olympic and World Equestrian Games riders Dorothee Schneider on Sammy Davis Jr. edged up one place to No. 6 as did Helen Langehanenberg on Damsey FRH, one spot behind. Damsey, 16-year-old Hanoverian stallion, is owned by Americans Louise Leatherdale and Susanne Meyer.

Sweden’s three-time Olympian Patrik Kittel, creator of the Top 10, and Delaunay OLD that he competed last weekend, vaulted to 11th place from 97th the previous month. Delaunay is owned by Patrik and Carol and Andrew Oatley, the family of his wife, Australian Olympian Lyndal Oatley.

Daniel Bachmann Andersen of Denmark moved up one spot into the top 10 on Blue Hors Zack, up to 27th from 41st on Blue Horse Don Olymbrio and to 33rd from 175th on Blue Hors Zepter.