Bella Rose Returns to Stuttgart that Four Years Ago was Feared May Have Been End of Mare’s Career

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Isabell Werth on Bella Rose celebrating the World Equestrian Games individual gold medal. © 2018 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

STUTTGART, Germany, Nov. 12, 2018–Bella Rose this week returns to Stuttgart that four years ago was feared may have been the end of the career of the mare that is the favorite of German superstar Isabell Werth.

This week will also see Bella Rose, now 14 years old, compete in her first World Cup event.

Isabell debuted Bella Rose (Belissimo x Cacir AA) in international sport in May, 2013 and racked up five wins that year.

The World Equestrian Games in Normandy was the goal for 2014.

The Westfalen mare had become Isabell’s top horse and was ranked No. 7 in the world when the combination placed second to Charlotte Dujardin on Valegro in the WEG Grand Prix and led Germany to team gold. However, Bella Rose was withdrawn before the Grand Prix Special.

The next competition for Isabell and Bella was the CDI4* at Stuttgart, one of Germany’s premier indoor competitions.

The pair won both the Grand Prix and the Special.

Bella Rose ridden by Isabell Werth at Stuttgart in 2014.

But the unsoundness issue that appeared at the Normandy WEG reoccurred shortly after Stuttgart.

Isabell, backed by Madeleine Winter-Schulze, owner of Bella Rose and several other horses ridden by Isabell, wouldn’t give up searching for the cause that was elusive for almost three years before the issue could finally be treated.

Bella Rose returned to competition 4 1/2 months ago and has won all eight starts, including leading Germany to World Equestrian Games team gold in Tryon and winning individual gold in the Grand Prix Special.

The pair are ranked No. 4 in the world, behind Isabell on Weihegold OLD at No. 2 and Emilio at No. 3. American Laura Graves on Verdades is No. 1.

Isabell as defending World Cup champion–she won on Weihegold in 2017 and 2018–has only to start on the same horse in two World Cup qualifiers to earn a ticket to the Final in Gothenburg, Sweden in April. She has logged one start on Emilio.