Isabell Werth & Weihegold Win Cappeln CDI4* Grand Prix Special But Mare Loses World No. 1 Ranking to Bella Rose

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Isabell Werth and Weihegold OLD in the Cappeln CDI4* Grand Prix Special. © 2019 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

CAPPELN, Germany, Jult 28, 2019–Isabell Werth and Weihegold OLD won the CDI4* Grand Prix Special Sunday but lost the world No. 1 ranking held for 31 months to the German superstar’s other top mount, Bella Rose.

Isabell and the 14-year-old Oldenburg mare that she has partnered for Olympic team gold and three straight World Cup titles scored 80.851% in what is her last competition before the European Championships in Rotterdam next month.

Fellow German Victoria Michalke on Novia was second on 71.808% with Austria’s Florian Bacher on Fidertraum third on 71.766%.

Isabell, 50 years old and the most decorated Olympic equestrian with 10 medals,  first competed Weihegold (Blue Hors Don Schufro x Sandro Hit) in November, 2014. The pair moved up to No, 1 world ranking in in October, 2016 after winning team gold and individual silver medals at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Isabell and Weihegold held on to that ranking for all but two months until the rankings for July will be reported by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI). Laura Graves on Verdades of the United States took the top spot for two months late last year, a first for a horse and rider outside western Europe.

Bella Rose, a 15-year-old Westfalen mare, will move up from the current ranking of No. 2 which she has held since the end of April to take over as the leading combination based on results since returning to competition after an injury-caused break of 3 1/2 years. Weihegold will drop to No. 2, according to calculations by dressage-news.com.

Bella was first competed at Big Tour in June, 2013 and 14 months later led Germany to gold at the Normandy World Games and later the same year performed at Stuttgart, Germany before the injury break.

Isabell Werth celebrating victory on Bella Rose in the World Equestrian Festival CDIO5* Grand Pix Freestyle at Aachen, Germany. © 2019 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Since the return, Isabell and the horse she describes as “The One” of her lifetime led Germany to team gold and took individual gold at the Tryon World Games and then went back to Stuttgart to dispel any lingering bad vibes.

More recently, Isabell and Bella Rose dominated the World Equestrian Festival in Aachen, Germany to extend to 16 the unbroken string of first places since returning to competition.

Her intention is to compete Bella Rose on the team for the Rotterdam championships.

CDI4* Grand Prix Special

Judges: Alice Schwab Cesar Torrente Dietrich Plewa Thomas Lang Susanne Baarup
Pl. Score Nation Athlete Horse E H C M B
1. 80.851 GER Isabell Werth Weihegold OLD 81.277 80.745 80.000 80.745 81.489
2. 71.808 GER Victoria Michalke Novia 6 70.532 73.723 73.085 70.532 71.170
3. 71.766 AUT Florian Bacher Fidertraum – 3 72.340 70.851 72.340 72.021 71.277
4. 71.596 AUT Astrid Neumayer Sir Simon 12 72.447 71.915 72.340 69.787 71.489
5. 69.809 DEN Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein M & M’s (milan) 68.936 70.213 71.277 67.979 70.638
6. 69.489 ISR Eyal Zlatin Bonzanjo 69.574 70.213 69.574 67.128 70.957
7. 69.277 AUT Belinda Weinbauer Fraeulein Auguste MJ 68.830 71.596 67.021 69.149 69.787
8. 67.915 ESP Agusti Elias Lara Altaneiro 67.234 67.021 68.191 68.191 68.936
9. 67.851 GER Anna-Catherine Schöffner Don Darling 69.149 69.149 65.319 66.596 69.043
10. 66.702 RSA Nicole Smith Chi la Rou 67.234 67.447 65.106 65.426 68.298
11. 66.106 AUT Stefan Lehfellner DI Navarone 67.340 68.085 63.936 65.426 65.745
12. 65.936 KOR Young-Shik Hwang Despino 15 65.000 67.872 65.957 64.362 66.489