Bella Rose Ridden by Isabell Werth to Confirm Comeback in Packed Stadium at Aachen, CDI4* Grand Prix Special

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An emotional Isabell Werth on Bella Rose leaving the competitoon arena after claiming the CDI4* Grand Prix Special. © 2018 Ken Braddick/


AACHEN, Germany, July 20, 2018–Isabell Werth gave herself a birthday present a day early by riding Bella Rose to victory in the CDI4* Grand Prix Special Friday night in a performance in a stadium packed wth more than 5,000 spectators to confirm the comeback of the partnership that could fulfill the rider’s dream of competing at the World Equestrian Games in a few weeks.

On the Westfalen mare that was out of the competition arena for 3 1/2 years while dealing with a difficult to fix injury, Isabell was awarded a score of 80.149 per cent that included marks of 10 from three of the five judges for piaffe.

Bella Rose was 10 years old and had placed second at the 2010 world championships in Normandy, France when an injury later the same year took him out of the show ring.

Isabell, who is 49 years old Saturday, would not give up on seeking treatment for Bella Rose, that she describes as THE horse of her life.

Bella Rose ridden by Isabell Werth in the Aachen CDI4* Grand Prix Special. © 2018 Ken Braddick/

Finally, she was able to bring Bella Rose back into the competition arena at the age of 14 at the CDI4* in Fritzens, Austria, three weeks ago. She  kept silent about her plans until picking up owner Madeleine Winter-Schulze from a nearby airport and told her she had a birthday present for her.

Bella Rose was going to be ridden by her in the show. The duo won both the Grand Prix and the Special.

Fritzens, in a magnificent setting with snow-capped mountain peaks as a back drop, was not Aachen.

But the results at Fritzens put the mare in Germany’s so-called “Olympic cadre” of top performing combinations that makes them eligibe for consideration for championship and Olympic teams.

The German event is the world’s premier horse show, a virtual mini-WEG of top sport for dressage, driving, eventing, jumping and vaulting that typically attracts more than a quarter million visitors from around the world.

Isabell, No. 1 on Weihegold OLD on which she became the most decorated equestrian in Olympic history at Rio de Janeiro in 2016, captured the 2017 and 2018 World Cup as well as sweeping the 2017 European Champinships, won the CDI4* Grand Prix here on a score of 77.587 per cent with mistakes in both the one and two-tempi lines.

Steffen Peters on Suppenkasper in the Aachen CDI4* Grand Prix Special. © 2018 Ken Braddick/

Friday night, though, the seemingly unstoppable Isabell took the Grand Prix Special by a huge margin in a performance that kept, despite a mistake in the two-tempi changes, silenced the audience until the final salute that triggered an euption of applause.

Each day, she explained afterward, Bella Rose improves and she will talk with the German dressage committee about plans for the World Games starting Sept. 11. The dressage horses from Europe are scheduled to leave for Tryon, North Carolina about Sept. 3, about 45 days away.

Jessica von Bredow-Werndl, a German team mate, was second on Zaire-E on a score of 72.702 per cent.

America’s Steffen Peters on Suppenkasper and Betina Jæger of Denmark on Mane Stream Belstaff tied for third on 71.340 per cent. Belstaff, the 11-yearold Hanoverian stallion is owned by Rowan O’Riley of the United States.

Betina Jæger of Denmark on Mane Stream Belstaff. © 2018 Ken Braddick/


CDI4* Grand Prix Special

Judges-E: Ulrike Nivelle H: Christof Umbach C: Hans-Christian Matthiesen M: Juan Campos Escribanno B: Susan Hoevenaars

Pl. Nr. Rider

EUR Total

1 389
Isabell Werth
5700 80.149
Bella Rose 2

2 392
Jessica von Bredow-Werndl
3600 72.702

3 358
Betina Jæger
2300 71.340
Mane Stream Belstaff

3 381
Steffen Peters
2300 71.340

5 344
Fabienne Müller-Lütkemeier
1300 70.000

6 354
Anabel Balkenhol
900 69.872
Heuberger TSF

7 315
Denise Nekeman
800 68.426
Boston STH

8 357
Victoria E. Vallentin
600 64.851
Ludwig der Sonnenkoenig 2

9 367
Masanao Takahashi
Rubicon Unitechno

10 375
Dorothee Schneider
Showtime FRH