Isabell Werth & Weihegold Win World Cup Grand Prix, USA’s Laura Graves & Verdades Runner-Up–Final Showdown to Come Saturday
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
GOTHENBURG, Sweden, April 5, 2019–Reigning World Cup champion Isabell Werth on Weihegold OLD, No. 1 on the globe, won the Grand Prix Friday with America’s Laura Graves on Verdades runner-up to set up a battle in the Freestyle that would give the German superstar partnership their third straight title or a possible third USA duo to hold aloft the trophy.
Isabell, who will be 50 years old in three months and is history’s most decorated Olympic equestrian rode the 14-year-old Oldenburg mare to a score of 81.755 per cent.
Laura Graves, 31 years old and on Verdades traded the world No. 1 ranking with the German combination last year, were awarded 80.109 per cent, the highest Grand Prix score for the pair since leading the United States to team silver at last fall’s World Equestrian Games.
Daniel Bachmann Andersen, the 28-year-old Danish star on Blue Hors Zack, was third on 78.152 per cent.
American team mates Kasey Perry-Glass on Dublet, ranked No. 5 in the world, placed fourth on 77.267 per centand Adrienne Lyle on Salvino tied with former World Cup champion Hans Peter Minderhoud on Glock’s Dream Boy for the eighth spot on 75.326 per cent.
The World Cup will be decided by the Freestyle Saturday where Isabell will be looking for the third straight title on Weihegold and to bring her total of wins to five–from the first on Fabienne in 1992 to the second on Warum Nicht at Las Vegas in 2007..
Weiehegold, Isabel said, “was really fantastic. She was really focused and motivated. She has been in really great shape, really motivated… maybe too motivated. That was the question. But she was fantastic. She felt really comfortable; it was a pleasure to ride her today.
“Tomorrow is another game. I feel the breeze on my neck, so you never know.”
Laura Graves who lives in the Orlando area community of Geneva and has been runner-up on her 17-year-old KWPN gelding to Isabell the past two years said: “I am uncredibly hungry to be on the top of the podium.
“I know there’s a real chance. I believe in this horse.
“We’re going to ride like there’s not another chance.”
She said she’s looking forward to be on the team for the Tokyo Olympics next year, but she is taking it day by day.
“Every fall I wait for him to tell me what he wants to do. This year is no exception; he’ll get a break. When he says, ‘mum, that’s enough,’ he’ll stay home.”
Kasey and Dublet were at the top of the scoreboard at the end of the first half of the competition that was their second World Cup. From the seven judges, the pair received a nine and two 8.5s for both the one and two-tempi changes.
Laura made a point at the news conference after the Grand Prix of of noting that all three American riders here were under 35–she is 31 as is Kasy and Adrienne is 34.
“It’s an exciting thing for us,” she said, “three young women along with their horses that have the drive and motivarion–stamping our own American training.”
All three were personally coached by Debbie McDonald, the 2003 World Cup champion on Brentina, who has since taken over as national coach.
Germany’s Helen Langehanenberg on Damsey FRH, ranked sixth in the world, placed fifth on 76.957 per cent.
Helen, World Cup champion on Damon Hill in 2013 and the Hanoverian stallion is owned by Americans Louise Leatherdale and Susanne Meyer of Long Lake, Minnesota and was one of five horses aged 17 in the competition.
World Cup Grand Prix
Judges-K: Maria Colliander-FIN E: Magnus Ringmark-SWE H: Thomas Lang-AUT C: Stephen ClarkeGBR M: Maria Schwennesen-AUS B: Henning Lehrmann-GER F: Jean-Michel Roudier-FRA
|1.||81.755||GER||Isabell Werth||Weihegold OLD||78.152||83.370||82.717||81.739||83.804||80.761||81.739||80.565 (1)|
|2.||80.109||USA||Laura Graves||Verdades||79.022||78.152||78.696||82.174||81.739||79.130||81.848||79.359 (2)|
|3.||78.152||DEN||Daniel Bachmann Andersen||Blue Hors Zack||77.391||78.478||77.174||79.891||77.283||78.043||78.804||78.131 (3)|
|4.||77.267||USA||Kasey Perry-Glass||Goerklintgaards Dublet||78.370||78.370||76.848||79.348||75.435||78.370||74.130||74.806 (8)|
|5.||76.957||GER||Helen Langehanenberg||Damsey FRH||76.957||78.261||77.935||77.174||76.630||76.522||75.217||76.438 (6)|
|6.||76.304||SWE||Patrik Kittel||Delaunay OLD||76.522||76.413||73.370||78.587||76.848||75.543||76.848||77.095 (5)|
|7.||75.792||NED||Emmelie Scholtens||Apache||76.304||76.522||73.261||76.413||75.761||75.652||76.630||78.051 (4)|
|8.||75.326||NED||Hans Peter Minderhoud||Glock’s Dream Boy N.O.P.||73.696||75.870||74.239||76.304||75.870||75.652||75.652||74.842 (7)|
|8.||75.326||USA||Adrienne Lyle||Salvino||75.109||73.804||75.326||78.478||74.239||73.478||76.848||74.075 (9)|
|10.||73.882||SWE||Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén||Don Auriello||73.261||75.326||72.283||76.196||72.174||74.239||73.696||73.858 (10)|
|11.||73.758||GER||Benjamin Werndl||Daily Mirror 9||73.370||72.935||74.239||74.130||73.261||73.696||74.674||72.681 (12)|
|12.||72.096||POR||Maria Caetano||Coroado||71.739||71.304||71.630||72.826||72.174||72.065||72.935||72.757 (11)|
|13.||71.165||FRA||Morgan Barbançon Mestre||Sir Donnerhall II OLD||71.413||71.957||70.652||70.652||70.652||71.087||71.739||71.331 (13)|
|14.||69.860||IRL||Judy Reynolds||Vancouver K||70.217||70.543||68.804||71.304||69.565||70.326||68.261||69.909 (14)|
|15.||67.019||DOM||Yvonne Losos De Muniz||Aquamarijn||63.804||67.174||66.739||69.783||67.065||65.870||68.696||67.292 (16)|
|16.||66.739||RSA||Tanya Seymour||Ramoneur 6||65.543||67.500||65.435||68.587||66.196||66.522||67.391||67.538 (15)|
|17.||66.289||RUS||Regina Isachkina||Sun Of May Life||65.543||67.174||65.761||65.109||67.717||65.652||67.065||65.631 (17)|
|18.||66.025||BLR||Olga Safronova||Sandro D Amour||65.652||68.913||66.196||63.913||66.630||67.065||63.804||65.214 (18)|