Isabell Werth to Retire 3-Time World Cup Champion Weihegold OLD at Leipzig Final in April
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Feb. 6, 2022
Isabell Werth intends to retire Weihegold OLD at the World Cup Final in April, her bid for a record-setting four straight championship victories stymied by events beyond the control of history’s most successful equestrian.
Isabell next week gets a chance at Neumünster, Germany for the second of two World Cup qualifying appearances required of the titleholder to go to the Final in Leipzig, Germany April 6-10. She fulfilled the first on Weihegold in Lyon, France in October and plans to ride Quantaz, the 12-year-old German Sport Horse gelding in Neumünster.
With organizers of the last West European qualifier of the 2021-22 indoor season at ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands March 10-13 announcing it also will go on and the Leipzig show gearing up for the Final it seems Isabell will get the chance to officially retire Weihegold after earlier plans for a farewell were put off by cancellation of most of the year-end Frankfurt Festhallen tournament.
Weihegold, the Oldenburg mare now aged 17, captured Final gold in 2017, 2018 and 2019, to equal three consecutive victories by the Netherlands’ Anky van Grunsven on Bonfire in 1992, 1993 and 1994 then repeated the feat on Salinero in 2004, 2005 and 2006.
Weihegold, owned by Christine Arns-Krogmann, was ridden by Isabell to team gold at the 2016 Olympics as well as team gold and a sweep of individual golds at the 2017 European Championships and took team gold at 2021 Europeans.
Dressursport Deutschland first reported Isabell’s intentions for the Leipzig farewell.
The Neumünster World Cup is shaping up as perhaps the most competitive in Western Europe this season.
In addition to Isabell on Quantaz, German entries include world No. 1 Jessica von Bredow-Werndl on her Olympic gold medal mount TSF Dalera BB; her brother, Benjamin Werndl, and former World Cup champion Helen Langehanenberg on Annabelle. Frederic Wandres of Germany who is competing at the Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida appears to have an unbeatable lead in Western Europe that would put him in his first World Cup Final.
Cathrine Dufour, third ranked rider in the world, will ride Vamos Amigos to lead a Danish contingent that includes her Olympic team mates Carina Cassøe Krüth on Heiline’s Danciera and Nanna Skodborg Merrald on Blue Hors Zack; Swedish star Patrik Kittel; Austria’s five-time Olympian Victoria Max-Theurer and the Germany-based Australian Kristy Oatley on Du Soleil with a record of four Olympics and three Finals.