Lyon, France – Nov. 5, 2018 – For the fourth time and the third in a row, the German rider Isabell Werth won the FEI Dressage World Cup stage in Lyon. As the reigning champion having won the Final in Paris last April, Werth scored 84.410 on Emilio, a 12-year-old Westphalian gelding she owns with Madeleine Winter-Schulze.
Werth, who took triple-gold at the 2017 FEI European Championships and double-gold at the FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) just seven weeks ago, is already aiming for a fifth FEI Dressage World Cup™ title, and her third in a row, when the series finale returns to Gothenburg, Sweden next April. However she only just managed to keep Sweden’s Patrik Kittel at bay in the Grand Prix and was deeply disappointed with that performance. But with typical skill and determination, Werth, who has three horses in the top four in the current World Rankings, just turned it all around again in the Freestyle with a relaxed ride that left the result beyond doubt.
“Emilio felt better today and was much calmer,” Werth explained. “Still, I was very careful and the result is as much as I could have hoped for. I’m very happy – yesterday Emilio was full of tension but today he was much better from the beginning, and he got back his confidence step by step during the competition.”
Werth exchanged her Freestyle programs, with Bella Rose now doing Emilio’s floorplan while Emilio does the one designed for her WEG-winning mare. Emilio is looking slimmer and fitter than ever. Talking about Emilio, Werth continued, “it’s his first competition since Aachen (where he won the Freestyle and Special and was on the winning team in July). It’s his first indoor of the season and it’s a new Freestyle for him so there were a lot of new things for him to handle.
When asked about the rest of the season, the most successful rider on the planet (all disciplines combined) remained guarded: “I don’t see myself as untouchable: for sure, with this victory, the season has started well, but the objective is to qualify two horses for the Final; there is still a long way to go.”
In the second place, with a score of 80.980, the Swedish rider Patrik Kittel (another regular at the Lyon stage of the FEI Dressage World Cup) was competing for the first time with Delatio, a 14-year-old stallion that he has been riding for just three weeks.
“Before arriving in Lyon, I consulted Isabell [Werth] and asked her what she thought of our chances, entering a competition so quickly at such a level,” Kittel said. “She gave her thumbs-up and I think she was right. The horse was perfect and I think I will be able to compete more with Isabel this season, and even with my students.”
In third place, the young Swedish rider Antonia Ramel, a student of Patrik Kittel, exceeded the 80% mark for the first time with a score of 80.060. She was surprised by her result, but particularly appreciated the warm welcome given to the riders and horses at this FEI dressage World Cup stage in Lyon. Ramen has been on two winning Nations Cup teams for her country and has been training diligently with three-time Olympian Kittel for the last two years.
Great Britain’s Hayley Watson-Greaves (35) and Rubin’s Night gave a solid performance of 77.355 percent in the closing stages and young Spaniard, Juan Matute Guimon (21), slotted in behind her when posting 77.070 for an eye-catching test with Quantico that included a one-handed pirouette.
The three French riders involved in the home country competition managed to qualify for the Grand Prix Freestyle presented by FFE Generali. With a score of 69.955 percent (below their usual results), Marie-Emilie Bretenoux and Quartz of Jazz finished fourteenth in the class. One place higher, with a score of 73.265 percent, Ludovic Henry was more satisfied with his performance on After You, recording his second-best result with this horse. In ninth position, Morgan Barbançon Mestre came close to the score she was aiming for when she arrived in Lyon, with an average of 75.990 percent.
“By the end of the year, I will be competing in all the stages of the FEI Dressage World Cup, and my goal is to reach the final in Gothenburg,” she said. “People had told me about the amazing atmosphere in Lyon when the French riders come into the arena and I can confirm it’s true. I also confirm that Lyon is my favorite stage of the FEI Dressage World Cup.”
Results: CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle Lyon
Rider / Country / Horse / Total Score
1. Isabell Werth / GER / Emilio / 84.410
2. Patrik Kittel / SWE / Delatio / 80.980
3. Antonia Ramel / SWE / Brother de Jeu / 80.060
4. Dorothee Schneider / GER / 79.365
5. Hayley Watson-Greaves / GBR / Rubins Nite / 77.355
6. Juan Matute Guimon / ESP / Quantico / 77.070
7. Hans Peter Minderhoud / NED / Zanardi / 77.040
8. Victoria Max-Theurer / AUT / Blind Date / 76.575