Isabell Werth & Don Johnson Wrap up Stuttgart With Victory in CDI4* Special on Personal Best
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17 November 2013
STUTTGART, Germany, Nov. 17–Isabell Werth and Don Johnson FRH claimed their 10th German Masters title in winning the CDI4* Grand Prix Special Sunday on a personal best score of 77.333 per cent just a day after the European Championship team gold medal pair produced a personal best Grand Prix result.
The Special result for Isabell and the 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Don Frederico x Warkant) improved on their previous best of 76.578 per cent set in Hagen, Germany 18 months ago. In Saturday’s Grand Prix, the pair scored 77.745 per cent that eclipsed their previous best of 77.702 per cent posted in February this year.
Don Johnson had gotten over small inconsistencies that, Isabell said of the horse she has been competing at Grand Prix for more than 2 1/2 years, and “shows he’s slowly maturing.”
Fellow German Olympian Ulla Salzgeber and Herzruf’s Erbe, competing at a CDI for the first time in 14 months and whose Grand Prix career has been interrupted by injury, scored 76.854 per cent for second place, the same finish as in the Grand Prix. Switzerland’s Marcela Krinke-Susmelj and Smeyer’s Molberg placed third on 74.688 per cent.
The German Olympic Committee also awarded two nine-year-olds, Bella Rose, trained and competed by Isabell, and Dresden Mann, ridden by Ingrid Klimke, the prestigious Otto Lörke award recognizing successful young Grand Prix horses.
Bella Rosa is a Westfalen mare that Isabell has trained from young horse and has won all four starts since their first CDI Grand Prix at Munich in May this year.
In the World Cup competition at this premier European indoor event that attracted 62,000 spectators over five days, Isabell placed second on El Santo NRW to Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill NRW in both the Grand Prix and the Freestyle.
El Santo, a 12-year-old Rhinelander gelding, is the horse that during a routine drug test in June, 2012 was detected to have cimetidine that is typically used to treat stomach disorders in its system. The drug is not a doping, and the German federation earlier this month accepted the explanation that El Santo could have ingested it while stabled next to a horse receiving cimetidine treatment.
The 44-year-old rider was determined by the German FN Disciplinary Commission to have allowed “a negligent breach of duty of care in the stable” and imposed a six-month suspension from competition.
Isabell has appealed the suspension and is able to compete in the meantime. The five-time Olympic dressage gold medalist was suspended in June, 2009 for a positive test in the small tour horse Whisper after the drug fluphenazin was found in the horse. The drug is normally used as an antipsychotic for humans with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder but a side effect is sedation. As a result, she missed out on competing in the European Championships that same year.
The latest case has come at the same time as Isabell’s career is resurgent as is German dressage.
This year saw Germany win its first championship gold medal, the team at the Europeans, since the 2008 Olympics and the first World Cup title since 2007. Isabell on Satchmo led the team to Olympic gold in 2008 and on Warum Nicht FRH won the 2007 World Cup, the annual individual global championship for dressage.
The Netherlands won gold at the 2009 Europeans and 2010 World Equestrian Games. Great Britain stood atop the medals podiums at both the 2011 Europeans and the 2012 Olympics, the country’s first medals in dressage in the 100-year-history of the Games that also broke Germany’s string of team golds that spanned seven Olympics.
This year’s Stuttgart was also the third time that the partnership of Isabell and Don Johnson have won both starts at an event when they took the Grand Prix and the Special; the pair turned in double victories at Mannheim, Germany in 2011 and at Vienna in 2012.
CDI4* Grand Prix Special
|Judges:||(E)||P.Holler (GER)|| Total prize money: