Isabell Werth & Weihegold Win Amsterdam World Cup But Charlotte Dujardin & Freestyle Close to Set Up Las Vegas Final Showdown

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Isabell Werth and Weihegold OLD. File photo. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

AMSTERDAM, Jan. 25, 2020–Isabell Werth and Weihegold OLD captured the World Cup  Grand Prix Freestyle Saturday but Charlotte Dujardin on Mount St. John Freestyle posted a personal best score to come within three-quarters of a point to set up a showdown at the Final in Las Vegas.

Isabell and the 15-year-old Oldenburg mare ranked No. 2 in the world scored 90.280% for the victory that earned the German pair a start in Las Vegas in mid-April seeking to become the first horse and rider to win four straight annual championships. Isabell has also qualified Emilio, on which she is ranked 10th in the world, as a backup.

“It all started for Weihe and me when we won the World Cup here in 2016, so Amsterdam has always been a special show for us,” Isabell said. “From here we went up and up in the sport, and it’s amazing to still have have her feeling so good and motivated and engaged with me when she is 15 years old. It was a super atmosphere again today, the crowd were so emotional and they were on their feet when we finished so we really enjoyed that!”

Possibly standing in the way of another title is Charlotte on the 11-year-old Hanoverian mare that were awarded a personal best of 89.505%, just 0.775% behind Isabell and Weihegold. The British pair’s previous best was 87.600% at Hartpury, England last July.

Charlotte said: “I knew I had quite a score to beat, but my horse felt good and I tried my best to give her the most confidence possible. This is only her third inside show. Coming in today I knew I had to go for it and try my best and I was really pleased. This is the best she’s ever been!”

This competition in which Charlotte and Freestyle placed second to Isabell and Weihegold in both the Grand Prix and the musical performance was the first head-to-head contest of the two partnerships. The score for Isabell and Weihegold was the fifth above 90% since their first competition six years ago and that included 2016 Olympic team gold and individual silver behind Charlotte and Valegro.

Three of the five judges placed Isabell first for technical marks, and two gave the nod to Charlotte while four judges had the German pair highest for artistic and one gave the same result for both duos.

Isabell and Weihegold were awarded 26 marks of the maximum of 10, including 10s from all five judges for the music.

Charlotte and Freestyle received 14 marks of 10, including four for the music and three for harmony.

Dutch star Edward Gal on Glock’s Zonik placed third on 85.385%, also a personal best that beat the previous high mark of 84.271% at the European Championships in September.

Eight of the 15 starting combinations scored above 80%.

This was the eighth qualifier in Western Europe, with three more to go before the Las Vegas Final. The next event is scheduled for Neumünster, Germany Feb. 13-16.

Results:

CDI-W World Cup Grand Prix Freestyle

Judges:
Judges: Adriaan F. Hamoen Elke Ebert Mariette Sanders van Gansewinkel Susanne Baarup Susan Hoevenaars
Place Score % Nation Athlete Horse E H C M B Spectators
1. 90.280 GER Isabell Werth Weihegold OLD 90.400 88.800 91.025 91.350 89.825 86.275 (2)
2. 89.505 GBR Charlotte Dujardin Mount St John Freestyle 90.650 87.325 90.575 89.400 89.575 87.900 (1)
3. 85.385 NED Edward Gal Glock’s Zonik N.O.P. 86.150 84.775 87.200 85.300 83.500 84.909 (3)
4. 85.030 GER Jessica von Bredow-Werndl Zaire-E 85.700 84.475 87.050 83.725 84.200 84.637 (4)
5. 84.380 GER Helen Langehanenberg Damsey FRH 83.100 88.075 84.400 82.725 83.600 80.310 (7)
6. 82.780 NED Hans Peter Minderhoud Glock’s Dream Boy N.O.P. 82.750 79.525 84.600 83.625 83.400 82.819 (5)
7. 81.075 GER Dorothee Schneider DSP Sammy Davis JR. 79.750 79.125 82.650 81.175 82.675 79.000 (8)
8. 80.565 NED Emmelie Scholtens Desperado N.O.P. 80.950 77.375 84.125 81.550 78.825 81.547 (6)
9. 78.250 GBR Charlotte Fry Everdale 76.075 78.325 79.450 79.850 77.550 77.187 (11)
10. 77.690 NED Anne Meulendijks MDH Avanti N.O.P. 76.825 76.350 80.250 79.175 75.850 78.580 (9)
11. 77.645 NED Adelinde Cornelissen Zephyr 76.650 77.125 78.925 78.600 76.925 77.542 (10)
12. 75.385 GER Sönke Rothenberger Santiano R 73.700 76.125 74.050 78.475 74.575 73.287 (15)
13. 75.075 NED Denise Nekeman Boston STH 75.525 73.425 76.750 74.775 74.900 74.488 (12)
14. 74.370 DEN Lone Bang Larsen Bakkely’s Onandt 72.250 72.625 74.650 77.750 74.575 73.909 (13)
15. 74.015 ITA Francesco Zaza Wispering Romance 75.250 73.025 74.000 73.600 74.200 73.332 (14)