Isabell Werth & Weihegold Win Lyon World Cup Grand Prix Freestyle, Denmark’s Nanna Skodborg Merrald & Orthilia Post New High for 2nd

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Isabell Weth and Weihegold OLD at the Lyon World Cup. © 2021 PSV

LYON, France, Oct. 29, 2021–The three-time World Cup partnership of Isabell Werth and Weihegold OLD won the the World Cup Grand Prix Freestyle Friday for the first of two results needed to go to the championship Final to seek an historic fourth straight title.

Denmark’s Nanna Skodborg Merrald and Orthilia set a new high score for runner-up in only second international Grand Prix Freestyle, while German team combination of Frederic Wandres and Duke of Britain were third and moving to the top of the Western European League standings.

Isabell and Weihegold, a 16-year-old Oldenburg mare ranked No. 4 in the world, scored 84.910% for the win and needs only one other World Cup event to the Final in Leipzig, Germany next April. The pair is the defending titleholder from 2019–2020 and 2021 were canceled because of coronavirus. Isabell and Weihegold, 2016 German Olympic team gold and individual silver medalist, also earned three golds at the 2017 European Championships, team gold and individual silver at both the 2019 and 2021 Europeans. Anky van Grunsven of the Netherlands is the only other rider to have been champion for three straight years since the World Cup was first staged in 1986. The duo did it twice–1995 to 1997 on Bonfire and 2004 to 2006 on Salinero.

Nanna Skodborg Merrald and Orthilia, 16-year-old Oldenburg mare, that were on Denmark’s bronze medal team at this year’s European Championships, scored 83.695% for second in only their second Big Tour musical performance. The only previous Freestyle was at the Europeans in September where they scored 78.904%.

Nanna Skodborg Merrald on Orthilia. File photo. © 2021 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Nanna, a trainer for the Blue Hors stud, began competing Orthilia at Big Tour this year, taking over from Agnete Kirk Thinggaard. Orthilia was acquired from Fiona Bigwood who was on the British team that won team silver at the 2016 Olympics and the 2015 European Championships.

Frederic Wandres on Duke of Britain, a 14-year-old British-bred Hanoverian gelding, earned 81.640% for third place. The German team rider and Duke of Britain moved to the top of the Western European League standings as Frederic pursues his first World Cup Final start. He qualified for the Final in 2020 but the event was canceled.

Cathrine Dufour and Vamos Amigos, a Westfalen gelding and the youngest horse in the lineup at nine years of age, was fourth on 81.135%. Cathrine, 29, won the Western European inaugural 2021-2022 event last week on Cassidy, a popular win around the world. Cathrine and the 18-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding competed at the 2016 Olympics and became a star partnership to take individual and Freestyle bronze medals at the 2017 Europeans.

Cathrine, who has never competed at a World Cup Final, now ranks second in Western Europe. The next event in the league is at Madrid in a month.

Results:

CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle

Judges: Francis Verbeek – van Rooij Jean-Michel Roudier Isabelle Judet Susanne Baarup Katrina Wüst
Place Score Nation Athlete Horse E H C M B Spectators
1. 84.910 GER Isabell Werth Weihegold OLD 83.475 84.600 84.550 85.950 85.975 84.292 (1)
2. 83.695 DEN Nanna Skodborg Merrald Atterupgaards Orthilia 84.875 81.200 84.550 83.525 84.325 80.952 (2)
3. 81.640 GER Frederic Wandres Duke of Britain FRH 81.050 81.800 81.500 80.650 83.200 80.404 (4)
4. 81.135 DEN Cathrine Dufour Vamos Amigos 83.225 78.300 81.825 82.350 79.975 80.867 (3)
5. 80.850 ESP Beatriz Ferrer-Salat Elegance 80.875 81.225 83.200 78.350 80.600 77.468 (7)
6. 79.200 GER Carina Scholz Tarantino 5 80.400 79.225 80.475 78.075 77.825 77.495 (6)
7. 78.785 NED Thamar Zweistra Hexagon’s Double Dutch 79.425 77.825 78.55 78.575 79.55 77.205 (8)
8. 76.420 ESP Juan Matute Guimón Quantico 75.600 75.950 76.825 76.625 77.100 77.058 (9)
9. 76.165 SWE Antonia Ramel Curiosity 76.325 77.600 75.775 76.125 75.000 75.203 (11)
10. 75.980 FRA Morgan Barbançon Sir Donnerhall II OLD 76.775 76.800 75.025 76.275 75.025 79.037 (5)
11. 74.335 FRA Anne Sophie Serre Actuelle de Massa 75.775 72.700 75.625 73.250 74.325 77.055 (10)
12. 74.010 NED Denise Nekeman Boston STH 74.175 73.650 74.525 71.500 76.200 72.994 (15)
13. 73.950 BEL Domien Michiels Intermezzo van het Meerdaalhof 75.800 73.950 72.750 75.425 71.825 73.762 (13)
14. 73.800 FRA Marie Emilie Bretenoux Quartz of Jazz 72.875 73.000 73.675 75.525 73.925 75.140 (12)
15. 71.270 MAR Yessin Rahmouni All at Once 71.275 70.975 70.225 73.575 70.300 73.709 (14)