Isabell Werth & Weihegold To Be No. 1 in World, First Time in 7 Years for Top Olympic Equestrian Medalist
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Oct. 28, 2016
By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
Isabell Werth and Weihegold OLD will become No. 1 in the world when the official rankings are announced next week, the first time in seven years the 47-year-old German superstar at the top of the global standings.
The results from the Olympics at Rio de Janeiro–team gold and individual silver–in August and the World Cup event in Lyon, France at the end of October with personal best scores in both the Grand Prix and the Freestyle will boost the combination to the top of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) rankings.
The freestyle result was Isabell’s first ever score at 90 per cent and only the third rider in history to break the 90 per cent level–Charlotte Dujardin on Valegro and Edward Gal on Totilas being the other two.
Kristina Bröring-Sprehe and Desperados FRH, German team mates at Rio, will drop to second place in the rankings after holding the No. 1 spot since January.
Isabell, the mother of a son, Frederik, who celebrated his seventh birthday this month, earned the top spot based on the best eight results over the past year. She took over the ride on Weihegold, an 11-year-old Oldenburg mare, at the end of January after the horse was successful at small tour and developing Grand Prix when ridden by Beatrice Buchwald, an assistant trainer to Isabell at the time.
The partnership between Isabell and Weihegold was not even ranked at the beginning of this year and their first place in the standings was at 480 at the end of January after first and sixth placings in a World Cup event in Amsterdam.
This year has been one of the most memorable for Isabell who competed in her fifth Olympics (1992, 1996, 2000, 2008, 2016) and bringing her tally of medals to 10, six of them gold, more than any other equestrian in more than a century of horse sports at the Games.
The last time she was No. 1 was in July 2009 with Satchmo, her 2008 Olympic team gold medal horse.
Isabell has four horses on the word rankings–Weihegold, Emilio, Don Johnson FRH and El Santo NRW.