Bella Rose Retired After Ridden by Isabell Werth to Olympic, World, European Gold on Return from Near Career-Ending Injury

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Bella Rose completing Tokyo Grand Prix Freestyle to go into retirement after historic Olympic, world and European championship gold on returning from near career-ending injury.

July 29, 2021

Bella Rose, THE horse of Isabell Werth’s life, goes into retirement after historic Olympic, world and European championship gold medal performances despite 3 1/2 years out of competition to overcome a career-threatening injury.

The Westfalen mare leaves the sport at the age of 17 after rides in Tokyo this week that helped Germany to team gold and captured individual silver. to bring to 12–seven gold and five silver–the number of Olympic medals earned by Isabell, to place her among the top 20 all-time Olympic medalists and equal the most ever won by a German, Birgit Fischer in canoeing.

Bella Rose and Isabell will go out as No. 1 on the world rankings as of the end of July, a place they have been entrenched for 25 months.

Isabell Werth getting the six-year-old Bella Rose used to show atmosphere alongside Edward Gal on Totilas at Munich in 2010. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Isabell and owner Madeleine Winter-Schulze will decide on the show for retirement of Bella Rose (Belissimo x Cacir).

Bella Rose had a total of 45 international Grand Prix starts from May 2013 through the Tokyo Olympics. In the first 18 months, the partnership rode in 16 competitions for nine victories and included leading Germany to team gold at the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy with Charlotte Dujardin on Valegro among the biggest competitors.

Isabell Werth on Bella Rose that led Germany to team gold at the 2014 World Equestrian Games. File photo. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Shortly after, Bella Rose dropped out of competition. The horse and rider, however, turned out to be more persistent than the injury that kept them out of the arena until June in 2018. From their first comeback victories at Fritzens, Austria Isabell and Bella Rose went on the log 23 straight victories.

The duo were dominant at the World Games in Tryon in 2018 for team and individual gold; the weather led to cancellation of the freestyle. The 2019 European Championships saw Bella Rose and Isabell again lead Germany to team gold, take individual gold, then go on to win the Freestyle with a score of more than 90% as she had done at the World Equestrian Festival in Aachen, Germany a month earlier. At that time, only Isabell on Weihegold OLD, Charlotte Dujardin on Valegro, Edward Gal on Totilas, Helen Langehanenberg on Damon Hill and Sönke Rothenberger on Cosmo were in the 90% club. Dorothee Schneider on Showtime also scored 90% at the Europeans and Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and TSF Dalera BB did so, too, at Tokyo.

Isabell Werth on Bella Rose at the 2019 European Championships. File photo. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com