Isabell Werth & Bella Rose Move to World No. 2 to Edge Ahead of America’s Laura Graves & Verdades, But Behind Weihegold No. 1 for 29th Month
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May 1, 2019
By KENNTH J. BRADDICK
Bella Rose, ridden by Isabell Werth in a miraculous recovery from almost four years away from top sport, is now ranked second in the world behind only the German superstar’s three-time World Cup and Olympic mount, Weihegold OLD, No. 1 for 29 months.
The success of Bella Rose, a Westfalen mare now 15 years old, edged America’s Laura Graves and Verdades to No. 3 after much of the past two years ranked second, highlighted by taking over the top slot for two months in late 2018, a first for a horse and rider outside western Europe.
Complete rankings are available at https://data.fei.org/Ranking/Search.aspx?rankingCode=D_WR
Bella was first competed at Big Tour in June, 2013 and 14 months later led Germany to gold at the Normandy World Games and later the same year performed at Stuttgart.
Bella did not show again for three years and seven months after successful treatment of a persistent injury. Isabell and the horse she describes as “the one” of her lifetime led Germany to team gold and took individual gold at the Tryon World Games and then went back to Stuttgart to dispel any lingering bad vibes by logging the pair’s 10th straight undefeated performance since the comeback and earning a long break.
Shuffling of much of the top tier of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) rankings as of the end of April underscored the dominance of German dressage with 12 of the 30 highest ranked combinations, four of them with history’s most decorated Olymic equestrian–Weihegold (No.1), Bella Rose (No. 2), Emilio (No. 6) and Don Johnson (No. 16).
Helen Langehanenberg, German Olympian and former world No. 1 on Damon Hill, and the American-owned Damsey that brought the crowd to its feet by a stunning freestyle at the World Cup Final last month moved up to stand fourth. Other German stars include Dorothee Schneider and Sammy Davis Jr. ranked ninth and on Fautus ranked 29th with Jessica von Bredow-Werndl at No. 11 on TSF Dalera BB and 23rd on Zaire-E.
The United States along with Sweden had the most combinations after Germany in top 30 combinations–a significant cutoff because of priority in draws for starting positions.
Laura and Verdades at No. 3, Kasey Perry-Glass on Dublet at No. 5, Adrienne Lyle on Salvino 20th, Shelly Francis with her highest ever placing with Danilo at No. 21, Steffen Peters on Suppenkasper jumping nine places to No, 27.
Denmark’s Daniel Bachmann Andersen on Bue Hors Zack moved up two places to No. 7 and at No. 12 on Blue Hors Don Olymbrio.
Patrik Kittel led the standings for Sweden with Delaunay standing 10th and Well Done de la Roche at 18th. Seven-time Olympian Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén who ended Don Auriello’s championship career at the World Cup at home last month was at No. 14, one place ahead of team mate Therese Nilshagen on Dante Weltino with Juliette Ramel on Buriel K.H. 22nd.
Great Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin and Mount St. John Freestyle that has not competed since the Tryon World Games last September slid one place to No. 8, while Carl Hester who also hasn’t competed Hawtins Delicato since Tryon was at No. 26.
Hans Peter Minderhoud, long a mainstay of the Netherlands team, ranked 13th on Glock’s Dream Boy up two places from the end of March. Emmelie Scholtens on Apache leaped six places to 24th.
Judy Reynolds of Ireland on Vancouver K edged up to 19th from 21st the previous month.
Top 30 Ranked Combinations: