Don Johnson Ridden by Isabell Werth in Final Big Tour Competition After 9 Years of Top Sport With Victory
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
FRANKFURT, Germany, Dec. 20, 2019–Don Johnson, the sometimes feisty Hanoverian gelding that Isabell Werth competed at top sport for nine years, was performing in the 18-year-old horse’s final international competition, going out with a victory in the CDI5* Grand Prix Friday.
Isabell and “Johnny,” as she calls the Hanoverian gelding (Don Frederico x Warkant) scored 75.869% for the win.
Ingrid Klimke, the German eventing star, placed second on 74.913% with Hubertus Schmidt on Escolar third on 74.804% and Benjamin Werndl on Famoso fourth on 73.826% to complete a German sweep of the top placings.
By Don Johnson’s final competition, the Grand Prix Freestyle scheduled for Sunday, the pair will have started 120 times since the first Big Tour event on Mar. 5, 2011.
Along the way, the duo competed for on the German gold medal team at the European Championships in 2013 and on the bronze medal team in 2015.
Their highest ranking was No. 3 in the world, in a period of nine years in which the most successful equestrian rider in history was also competing Satchmo at Grand Prix at the end of his Olympic gold medal career. Isabell’s other horses over the same span were 2007 World Cup champion Warum Nicht, El Santo, Der Stern, Harmonie, Laurenti, Emilio, Quantaz, Quintus, Bella Rose both before and after a 3 1/2-year absence now No. 1 in the world and three-time World Cup champion Weihegold OLD ranked No. 2. Totilas was being competed by a new rider at the time, and Valegro was soon to come along to be the dominant combination with Great Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin from the historic 2012 London Olympics to 2016 Rio Games.
“He really educated me,” Isabell told dressage-news.com after the Grand Prix.
Although Don Johnson was high behind and the position of the head not seemingly the best when she first saw the horse at four years of age, Madeleine Winter-Schultze agreed to buy the horse for her. And Isabell received help from her long time coach Dr. Uwe Schulten Baumer.
Isabell was patient in developing Don Johnson. The horse reached his peak from the end of 2016 to mid-2018 when the pair started 30 times for 26 victories and four second places.
Isabell never competed Don Johnson outside Europe.
CDI5* Grand Prix
|Judges:||Yuri Romanov||Elke Ebert||Dr. Evi Eisenhardt||Janet Lee Foy||Christof Umbach|
|1.||75.869||GER||Isabell Werth||Don Johnson FRH||77.065||73.696||75.978||75.978||76.630||72.952 (5)|
|2.||74.913||GER||Ingrid Klimke||Franziskus 15||74.674||74.674||75.109||75.217||74.891||73.921 (2)|
|3.||74.804||GER||Hubertus Schmidt||Escolar||73.804||74.348||73.043||74.674||78.152||73.564 (4)|
|4.||73.826||GER||Benjamin Werndl||Famoso OLD||74.022||72.174||74.239||73.478||75.217||74.803 (1)|
|5.||73.739||POR||Maria Caetano||Coroado||74.348||72.717||73.913||74.457||73.261||72.190 (8)|
|6.||72.543||ESP||Juan Matute Guimon||Quantico||74.130||72.065||69.239||73.478||73.804||72.265 (7)|
|7.||72.239||GER||Dorothee Schneider||Faustus 94||72.283||71.087||71.413||72.609||73.804||73.569 (3)|
|8.||71.609||GER||Matthias Bouten||Meggle’s Boston||69.674||70.870||72.065||72.826||72.609||71.213 (9)|
|9.||71.435||GER||Jil-Marielle Becks||Damon’s Satelite NRW||71.413||71.196||71.196||70.217||73.152||72.319 (6)|
|10.||70.500||FRA||Alexandre Ayache||Zo What||70.652||69.891||70.000||68.804||73.152||69.961 (11)|
|11.||69.630||NED||Patrick van der Meer||Chinook||70.217||69.674||68.043||69.565||70.652||70.423 (10)|
|12.||69.608||GER||Helen Langehanenberg||Annabelle 110||73.043||70.217||65.978||68.261||70.543||69.874 (12)|
|13.||69.565||SUI||Estelle Wettstein||West Side Story OLD||69.022||71.848||68.696||68.804||69.457||69.180 (13)|
|14.||68.217||AUT||Astrid Neumayer||Sir Simon NRW||66.087||69.457||67.609||68.043||69.891||67.734 (14)|
|15.||64.783||MAS||Mohd Qabil Ambak Dato’ Mahamad Fathil||Delatio||62.500||63.587||65.435||66.739||65.652||65.507 (15)|
|16.||61.413||KOR||Young-Shik Hwang||Despino 15||58.587||61.196||61.196||63.696||62.391||64.235 (16)|