Isabell Werth Rides Weihegold to 3rd Straight World Cup Title, Beating Back USA’s Laura Graves & Verdades for Third Runner-Up Finish
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
GOTHENBURG, Sweden, April 6, 2019–Isabell Werth and Weihegold OLD on Saturday won the third straight World Cup victory for the German partnership, beating back the USA’s Laura Graves on Verdades for a third runner-up finish. The American-owned Damsey FRH ridden by German Olympian Helen Langehanenberg to a personal best score placed third.
Isabell rode one-handed passage on the final centerline on the 14-year-old Oldenburg gelding to score 88.871% for the victory. The most decorated equestrian Olympian in history began the string of three World Cup titles on Weihegold in Omaha in 2017, won in Paris in 2018 and came to Gothenburg to complete the hat trick.
Laura Graves on her 17-year-old KWPN gelding set the bar high with score of 87.179%, but three rides later in the Scandinavium stadium jam packed with 11,500 spectators the world’s No. 1 combination moved ahead with a one-handed passage on the final centerline.
Helen Langehanenberg, 36, World Cup winner on Damon Hill in 2013, elevated the drama on Damsey FRH, the last of 18 rides that at one stage was leading but finally settled at 86.571% for third place after a dramatic finish. The horse kept going at the end of the test before C that judge Magnus Ringmark of Sweden admitted he was “really shocked as I thought he was coming into my lap.”
Ten of the 18 rides in the Freestyle were awarded more than 80%–all three Americans, two each from Germany, Netherlands and Sweden plus the one rider from Denmark. Three achieved personal bests: Helen on Damsey; Daniel Bachmann Andersen of Denmark on Blue Hors Zack, America’s Adrienne Lyle on Salvino and Emmelie Scholtens of the Netherlands on Apache.
Isabell, 49 years old has won a total of five World Cups, the first on Fabienne at this same venue in 1992, the second on Warum Nicht in Las Vegas 2007 and the last three on Weihegold.
She admitted she was watching Helen’s ride on Damsey who was doing so well, “we all went like, aaaawww.”
Wei, as she calls the horse, “was really fantastic. She derseves it; it was a nearly perfect ride. Today was her day
“I felt I was safe, a little bit too arrogant, and when the crowd started to clap I made a mistake in the one-tempi changes. I felt like I wanted to clap. The crowd gave me goosebumps.”
Laura, of Geneva, Florida said that the 17-year-old Verdades she has had since a foal was focused from the second they rode into the arena. A mistake in the one-tempi changes maybe cost her a couple of points, she said, but described the crowd and clapping as “amazing.”
She said “Diddy,” as he’s nicknamed, will “just keep going” so has to be smart about taking care of him.
Asked about the possibility of competing in Tokyo when Verdades will be 18, she said: “If there’s a chance of Tokyo we have to be very smart with him.” She will meet with the U.S. federation to discuss future options.
Helen Langehanenberg was on a real high after her ride, the last in the competition, that was scoring highest for Damsey FRH, the 17-year-old Hanoverian stallion that’s owned by Louise Leatherdale of Long Lake Minnesota and Suzanne Meyer, the wife of the breeder.
“I am so proud that I did not get the ride on Damsey until he was 14 years old,” she said, “and I had to find a way for him to trust me and work with me after he had been trained and ridden by someone else.
“Now, it is such an achievement to have done this, for Damsey to have confidence in my riding. To come third in this level of competition, well, it is incredible.”
She said that Damsey was very fit and ready for the World Cup despite a length and highly competitive qualifying season over winter .
“When the crowd started clapping as we were near the end of the test, he said, ‘Oh, they want me to go again.’ So he kept going.”
Daniel Bachmann Andersen on Blue Hors Zack placed fourth on 80
World Cup Grand Prix Freestyle
|1.||88.871||GER||Isabell Werth||Weihegold OLD – 207||88.725||90.750||88.175||87.000||87.700||90.125||89.625||88.071 (1)|
|2.||87.179||USA||Laura Graves||Verdades – 216||88.875||87.900||86.175||85.625||86.375||86.650||88.650||83.863 (3)|
|3.||86.571||GER||Helen Langehanenberg||Damsey FRH – 204||84.025||89.650||85.800||86.500||88.275||85.250||86.500||85.856 (2)|
|4.||85.468||DEN||Daniel Bachmann Andersen||Blue Hors Zack – 201||83.050||84.550||86.425||85.800||85.275||86.650||86.525||82.615 (5)|
|5.||84.975||USA||Kasey Perry-Glass||Goerklintgaards Dublet – 218||82.425||85.125||85.050||86.550||84.450||85.425||85.800||83.518 (4)|
|6.||82.464||SWE||Patrik Kittel||Delaunay OLD – 214||82.675||83.625||82.575||79.400||83.475||83.000||82.500||82.367 (6)|
|7.||81.832||USA||Adrienne Lyle||Salvino – 217||81.600||79.975||82.000||79.625||82.100||82.950||84.575||79.283 (8)|
|8.||80.782||NED||Emmelie Scholtens||Apache – 210||80.375||81.500||81.150||79.600||81.950||80.325||80.575||77.535 (10)|
|9.||80.718||SWE||Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén||Don Auriello – 215||80.025||80.600||80.750||81.800||81.050||80.375||80.425||80.320 (7)|
|10.||80.286||NED||Hans Peter Minderhoud||Glock’s Dream Boy N.O.P. – 209||83.250||79.575||80.050||80.500||79.975||78.875||79.775||77.691 (9)|
|11.||79.350||IRL||Judy Reynolds||Vancouver K – 208||78.950||77.650||81.625||78.075||81.250||76.400||81.500||77.502 (11)|
|12.||79.118||GER||Benjamin Werndl||Daily Mirror 9 – 205||79.250||78.200||80.525||76.525||79.750||79.325||80.250||75.480 (13)|
|13.||76.393||POR||Maria Caetano||Coroado – 211||75.900||77.000||76.225||75.625||76.550||76.650||76.800||75.504 (12)|
|14.||74.511||FRA||Morgan Barbançon Mestre||Sir Donnerhall II OLD – 203||75.000||74.300||74.425||72.425||75.175||74.900||75.350||72.570 (14)|
|15.||69.325||RUS||Regina Isachkina||Sun Of May Life – 213||72.850||68.425||67.975||69.700||68.075||71.175||67.075||68.481 (16)|
|16.||68.868||DOM||Yvonne Losos De Muniz||Aquamarijn – 202||71.200||66.800||70.900||65.075||68.150||70.025||69.925||67.788 (17)|
|17.||67.886||BLR||Olga Safronova||Sandro D Amour – 200||70.825||67.250||68.600||66.825||68.300||65.800||67.600||68.568 (15)|
|18.||65.164||RSA||Tanya Seymour||Ramoneur 6 – 212||67.275||68.125||66.400||64.200||64.450||63.500||62.200||66.035 (18)|