Isabell Werth & DSP Quantaz Win Aachen CDIO5* Grand Prix Freestyle Beating Back Challenge by Dutch Phenom Dinja van Liere & Hermes

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Isabell Werth celebrating Aachen World Equestrian Festival CDIO5* Grand Prix Freestyle victory. © 2021 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

AACHEN, Germany, Sept. 19, 2021–Isabell Werth rode DSP Quantaz to win the Grand Prix Freestyle Sunday, the sixth different horse the 52-year-old rider has been crowned champion 16 times in the history of the World Equestrian Festival. Dutch phenom Dinja van Liere on Hermes staged a strong challenge in only their second Big Tour musical performance.

The personal best score of 88.335% for Isabell and the 11-year-old German Sport stallion clinched the Nations Cup for Germany and that also took gold for the trans-Atlantic series that was cut to three competitions from six because of coronavirus.

Quantaz, Isabell said, was “really inspired when we came into the stadium where it is something special” with about 3,000 spectators for the freestyle but the atmosphere created made it feel a full stadium. Restrictions on crowd sizes kept the total of paying spectators for dressage, jumping, driving, eventing and vaulting to 121,500, one-third the usual number.

Quantaz has been ridden by Isabell since May 2019 and is under lease until next year from Austria’s Victoria Max-Theurer, who is coached by Isabell.

An ecstatic Dinja van Liere on Hermes after the World Equestrian Festival Grand Prix Freestyle performance. © 2021 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

The Dutch team rider and the nine-year-old KWPN stallion Hermes that she has brought up from a youngster were awarded 86.740%. The pair’s only other Big Tour freestyle was 73.205% posted in April.

“If you said a week ago I would be sitting here I would have said, ‘you’re crazy’,” Dinja joked after the ride. Not only was it only the second Grand Prix Freestyle for the pair it was only the rider’s third at Big Tour.

Dinja and Hermes were selected for the Dutch team for the Olympics but a bureaucratic snafu in identifying the horse as German led to her going to Tokyo as a reserve on her second Grand Prix mount, Haute Courture.

Charlotte Fry of Great Britain on Dark Legend, one of three Grand Prix horses she competes. She rode Everdale on the Olympic bronze medal team two months ago and for team silver at the European Championships a week ago. © 2021 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Germany won the Nations Cup, as they did at the Global Dressage Festival at Wellington, Florida last winter that kicked off the trans-Atlantic series. The Netherlands placed second here, Great Britain third, USA fourth, Spain and Sweden tied for fifth and Canada seventh.

Results:

CDIO5* Grand Prix Freestyle

Judges:E-Magnus Ringmark H-Andrew Ralph Gardner C-Katrina Wuest M-Susan Hoevenaars B-Francis Verbeek-van Rooy

Place Rider

Total
Horse

1
Isabell Werth
GER
88.335
2
Dinja van Liere
NED
86.740
3
Charlotte Fry
GBR
83.675
4
Patrik Kittel
SWE
83.410
5
Frederic Wandres
GER
82.070
6
Denise Nekeman
NED
79.405
7
Charlotte Jorst
USA
79.105
8
Yvonne Losos de Muñiz
DOM
78.370
9
Lara Butler
GBR
77.000
10
Juan Matute Guimon
ESP
76.810
11
Benjamin Ebeling
USA
76.325
12
Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu
CAN
75.855
13
Kazuki Sado
JPN
74.885
14
Borja Carrascosa
ESP
72.220
15
Chris von Martels
CAN
71.755
16
Jacob Noerby Soerensen
SWE
71.240