90% for 1st Time for Isabell Werth Riding Weihegold to Lyon World Cup Freestyle Victory

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Isabell Werth and Weihegold OLD. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Isabell Werth and Weihegold OLD. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

LYON, France, Oct. 28, 2016–Isabell Werth scored 90 per cent for the first time in her career riding her Olympic team gold and individual silver medal mount Weihegold OLD to win the World Cup Grand Prix Freestyle Friday in her campaign to go to the final in Omaha next March.

The 47-year-old rider and mother ranked No. 2 in the world on Weihegold posted a result of 90.090 per cent to became only the fourth combination ever to break the 90 per cent level–the others being Charlotte Dujardin on Valegro who holds the world record of 94.300 per cent, Edward Gal on Totilas and Helen Langehanenberg on Damon Hill.

Isabell and the 11-year-old Oldenburg mare were competing in their first CDI since the Rio Olympics where they won team gold and individual silver to give the rider a total of 10 Olympic medals, more than any other equestrian.

“I was expecting she could do a super job,” Isabell said, “but to get more than 90 percent, now that was amazing! She has really improved since Rio.

“Since Rio my mare has even more power and more muscle, and I know we can be even better. I need a few more competitions to make it really come together but it’s so exciting.”

The previous freestyle high score for Isabell and Weihegold was 89.071 per cent for silver at the Rio Games in August. The pair posted a personal best of 83.940 per cent in the Grand Prix Thursday.

Great Britain’s Carl Hester and Nip Tuck also logged a personal best of 85.02 per cent to place second, as he did in the Grand Prix also on a personal best result in the second of nine qualifiers in the Western European League.

“Christmas has come early!” was Carl’s response to his personal best result.

He joked that he felt he had a great chance now that his protege, the world-beating partnership of Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro, are retiring. “I thought this season might be my opportunity, but now that Isabell is getting so much better it’s going to be a tougher fight.”

Defending champion Hans Peter Minderhoud rode Glock’s Johnson TN to third place on 80.220 per cent in the first of two competitions required to earn a berth in the final at the end of March. The defending champion does not earn points.

Isabell took over the ride on Weihegold 10 months ago after being competed successfully by Beatrice Buchwald who was her assistant at the time.

Isabell is a two-time World Cup champion, on Fabienne in 1992 and Warum Nicht at Las Vegas in 2007.

For the victory, she picks up the maximum of 20 points.

“My plan is to compete Weihegold in Stuttgart, then she has a break and I will bring out Johnny (Don Johnson) and we will see how it goes,” she said of her plans. “Of course she (Weihegold) should be my first choice for the Final.”

Carl Hester team silver medal winner on Nip Tuck at Rio now has 17 points in the first event since he has brought the horse to a competition without the Valegro as a traveling companion.

His plans are to compete in the World Cup qualifiers at Olympia in London at Christmas, the same show where Valegro will formally retire, and Amsterdam in January.

Terhi Stegars of Finland on Axis TSF placed 11th Friday to earn six points and move her to the top of the Western European League World Cup standings, having a head start from competing in the Central European League earlier in the year.

The next WEL event is scheduled for Stuttgart, Germany Nov. 16-20.

Edward Gal and Totilas was the first combination to score at least 90 per cent in freestyles and did so five times between the 2009 European Championships and the 2010 World Games that was the last competition for the Dutch partnership.

Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro, 14-year-old KWPN gelding, holds the freestyle world record score of 94.300 per cent set at London Olympia in 2012 and scored above 90 per cent 11 times between July 2012 and the Olympics in August this year.

(Correction: An earlier version stated the combination was the third to achieve 90 per cent. It was the fourth.)


CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle

Judges–E: Evi Eisenhardt GER H: Susanne Baarup DEN C: Isabelle Judet FRA M: Francis Verbeek-von Rooy NED B: Stephen Clarke GBR

1. 611 Weihegold Old Isabell Werth GER  A: 
black / 11y. / M / OLDBG / Don Schufro / Sandro Hit / 102ZI90 / Arns-Krogmann, Christine  B:  90.09 %
2. 607 Nip Tuck Carl Hester GBR  A: 
bay / 12y. / G / KWPN / Don Ruto / Animo / 102UB47 / Mr C Hester, Miss Jane de la Mare  B:  85.02 %
3. 613 Glock’s Johnson TN N.O.P. Hans Peter Minderhoud NED  A: 
bay / 14y. / S / KWPN / Jazz / Flemmingh / NED41431 / Glock Holding BV & Team Nijhof  B:  80.22 %
4. 608 D’Agostino FRH Fabienne Lütkemeier GER  A: 
chest / 16y. / G / HANN / De Niro / Shogun XX / GER42139 / Capellmann-Lütkemeier, Gina  B:  79.62 %
5. 610 Zaire-E Jessica von Bredow-Werndl GER  A: 
bay / 12y. / M / KWPN / Son de Niro / Jazz / 102VM17 / Aubenhausen GBR  B:  79.53 %
6. 616 Deja Patrik Kittel SWE  A: 
bay / 12y. / M / SWB / Silvano / Don Schufro / 102ZW84 / Marie Harward  B:  77.97 %
7. 604 Ricardo Karen Tebar FRA  A: 
bay / 13y. / G / HANN / Rosentau / Ragazzo / 102MH60 / Tebar, Karen & Schetter, Gerhild &  B:  76.68 %
8. 615 Smeyers Molberg Marcela Krinke-Susmelj SUI  A: 
bay / 15y. / G / DWB / Michellino / Rambo / DEN40115 / Meyer Irene + Krinke Susmelj Marcel  B:  76.47 %
9. 609 Imperio Hubertus Schmidt GER  A: 
bay / 13y. / S / TRAK / Connery / Balfour XX / GER45557 / Bayrisch.Haupt-U.Landgestüt Schwaig  B:  76.15 %
10. 605 Badinda Altena Pierre Volla FRA  A: 
chest / 10y. / M / KWPN / Tolando / Goodtimes / 103HK27 / Monsieur PIERRE VOLLA  B:  74.80 %
11. 602 Axis TSF Terhi Stegars FIN  A: 
black / 17y. / S / TRAK / Sixtus / Angard / GER44244 / Stegars Terhi + A Bis Grand Prix  B:  73.72 %
12. 606 Bubblingh Richard Davison GBR  A: 
bay / 10y. / G / KWPN / Lingh / Picandt / 104QJ85 / Mrs G Meyer, Mr R Davison, Ms J Ell  B:  72.42 %
13. 614 Dandy de la Roche CMF CH Antonella Joannou SUI  A: 
chest / 11y. / G / CH / Dressage Royal / Walt Disney / 104JV36 / Joannou,Antonella&Joannou,Léana  B:  72.10 %
14. 603 Amorak Stephanie Brieussel FRA  A: 
bay / 11y. / G / KWPN / Special D / Inspekteur / 103ZQ10 / Mme STEPHANIE BRIEUSSEL et M. DOMIN  B:  70.78 %
15. 612 Raffaldo Pierluigi Sangiorgi ITA  A: 
black / 18y. / G / DWB / Come Back II / Raffaelli Z / FIN40133 / Neri Andrea  B:  69.35 %