Isabell Werth 51 Years Old Today, Tuesday July 21

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Isabell Werth celebrating victory on Bella Rose in the World Equestrian Festival CDIO5* at Aachen, Germany, in 2019 on her 50th birthday. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

July 21, 2020

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

Isabell Werth is 51 years old today, Tuesday July 21.

Isabell would have been just days away from her sixth Olympics, but for the coronavirus pandemic, and the opportunity to add to her 10 Olympic medals, already the most of any equestrian in more than a century of horse sports at the Games.

One more gold medal for the German superstar–now having to wait until 2021 if the Games go ahead–would place her among the top 20 Olympic gold medalists of all time.

Two more golds–dressage team and individual medals are at stake in the Olympics–would boost her to eight along with four silver and into the ranks of the top Olympic medalists that numbers 14 as of now. It would also match the record of kayaker Birgit Fischer as the German with the most golds.

Isabell’s six golds–four on Gigolo at three different Olympics–match those of Germany’s Reiner Klimke but she has four silvers to bring the total to 10. Reiner had two bronze medals to add to his six golds for a total of eight.

Among the extraordinary successes of Isabell has been ranked the No. 1 rider in the world for 43 of the past 45 months, 32 months on Weihegold OLD, her 2016 Olympic team gold and individual silver mount, and the past 11 months on Bella Rose. Since the rankings switched to rider and horse combinations in 2006, Isabell was also at the top of the standings on Satchmo and Warum Nicht for a total of 14 months.

Her international championship career began more than three decades ago with team gold at the European Championships in 1989, the first of 20 golds, three silvers and a bronze at the continental championships. She has recorded nine world championship golds and two bronzes.

She also has five World Cup titles, five silvers and two bronzes. Covid-19 stymied for now the chance to become the first rider on the same horse, Weihegold OLD, to win four straight World Cup titles. The pair won in Omaha in 2017, Paris in 2018 and Gothenburg, Sweden in 2019. The Las Vegas Final for this year was canceled.

Also, the only rider to have scored at least 80% at Grand Prix on three different horses (Bella Rose, Weihegold and Emilio) and the only rider to log at least 90% at Grand Prix Freestyle on two different horses (Bella Rose and Weihegold).