Isabell Werth’s Top 2 Horses, Don Johnson & Bella Rose, Out of Olympic Contention

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Isabell Werth on Bella Rose that led Germany to team gold at the 2014 World Equestrian Games. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Isabell Werth on Bella Rose that led Germany to team gold at the 2014 World Equestrian Games. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

WARENDORF, Germany, April 26, 2016–Don Johnson FRH and Bella Rose, the two top horses for Isabell Werth will be out of contention for the German team for the summer Olympics because of what the German federation on Tuesday described as “long-term injuries.”

The 15-year-old Hanoverian gelding Don Johnson FRH has been on the injured list since the World Cup Final in Gothenbirg, Sweden last month.

Bella Rose, the 12 year old Westfalen mare that was on the German gold medal team at the 2014 World Games, has not recovered enough to go back into the top level of sport since the last competition in November, 2014.

“Don Johnson will need about three to four months until his injury is fully cured and it can start in professional sports again,” said Isabell, a five-time Olympian for Germany.

“And Bella Rose has not yet reached the necessary stability and consistency that would be needed for tournament sport.

“For me this is a huge disappointment, especially since both horses were on a hopeful course.”

Isabell can, however, seek to qualify Weihegold OLD and Emilio for the Rio de Janeiro Games in August.

“I will now contest with Emilio and Weihegold OLD, with the full support of my rider Beatrice Buchwald, in Olympic qualifications,” Isabell said. “With these two I have two great horses available that will hopefully prove so in sport as in the past tournaments.”

Isabell competed Weihegold, an 11-year-old Oldenburg mare, for a Grand Prix score of 80.020 per cent two months ago. On Emilio, a 10-year-old Westfalen gelding, Isabell began international Grand Prix last September.

Kristina Bröring-Sprehe and Desperados FRH is the top ranked German combination and No. 1 in the world while Jessica von Bredow-Werndl on Unee BB is fifth on the world standings. The 21-year-old Sönke Rothenberger on Cosmo has emerged as a standout partnership this year. Olympic riders Anabel Balkenhol on Dablino and Dorothee Schneider on Showtime as well as World Games team rider Fabienne Lütkemeier on D’Agostino are also ranked within the top 25 in the world.