Stuttgart, Germany – Nov. 20, 2017 – With style, panache and the greatest of ease, defending series champions Germany’s Isabell Werth and her wonderful 12-year-old mare Weihegold cruised to victory at the third leg of the FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2017/2018 Western European League on home ground in Stuttgart, Germany. In a feast of fabulous performances it was fellow-countrywomen Dorothee Schneider with Sammy Davis Jr. and Helen Langehanenberg with Damsey FRH who slotted into second and third places.
Sweden’s Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven and Paridon Magi finished fourth, but only fractionally ahead of Germany’s Fabienne Lutkemeier with Fabregaz and Jessica von Bredow-Werndl with Zaire-E in fifth and sixth spots. There was nothing fractional about Werth’s win however, with her score of 87.575 percent placing her well ahead of Schneider who posted 82.805 percent. It was a particularly satisfying result for the phenomenal athlete who this year alone claimed her third FEI World Cup™ Dressage title along with triple-gold at the FEI European Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden.
“Weihe has had such a great year,” Werth said. “After Gothenburg we gave her a long break but we thought it would be lovely to bring her to Stuttgart for the home crowd to see her and it was really nice. She’s only been working lightly for the last few weeks so we didn’t take the full risk like we did in Aachen or Gothenburg this summer, but I’m very happy with how she went. It was a great day!”
Werth’s freestyle test wasn’t perfect, “the mistake in the two-tempis was all mine!” Werth admitted, but it was still nothing short of spectacular. Taking “the full risk” in dressage terms means chasing down marks by challenging the horse to produce each movement to the maximum, although when it doesn’t go well it can prove expensive. The fluency of Werth’s work with Weihegold was so exquisite however that even an error couldn’t prevent their absolute supremacy.
Schneider’s 11-year-old stallion Sammy Davis Jr. continues to impress in his first season at Grand Prix level. The pair posted some massive artistic scores, while Langehanenberg’s 15-year-old stallion Damsey FRH produced breath-taking extended trot on his way to earning a score of 79.615 percent for third place.
“He was super fresh but really happy to be out competing and really keen to perform,” Langehanenberg explained. “He really came to life in his test and it’s great for an older horse like him to still be enjoying competition so much!”
Werth doesn’t earn points in the Western European League series and only has to line out in the qualifiers with whichever horse she chooses to defend her title at the 2018 Final in Paris, France next April. She has three to choose from. Don Johnson, who took the runner-up spot at the opening qualifier in Herning, Denmark last month, Emilio who came out on top in Lyon two weeks ago and Weihegold following suit in this freestyle. Werth’s next outing will be at the sixth leg in Amsterdam, The Netherlands in January.
Before that however, the rest of those chasing down a much-coveted place at the Final will be battling it out in round four at Salzburg, Austria and the fifth qualifier at London Olympia in Great Britain in December. Sweden’s Patrik Kittel continues to top the league table by a considerable margin ahead of Switzerland’s Marcela Krinke Susmelj in second place, Spain’s Morgan Barbancon Mestre in third and Germany’s Dorothee Schneider who has moved up from 13th to fourth thanks to her runner-up finish in this freestyle.
Watch Isabell Werth and Weihegold take the win in front of the home crowd here on YouTube
Results: Qualifier for the Grand Prix Freestyle
1. Isabell Wert / GER / Weihegold OLD / 82.080
2. Helen Langehanenberg / GER / Damsey FRH / 76.060
3. Jessica von Bredow-Werndl / GER / Zaire-E / 74.740
4. Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén / SWE / Paridon Magi / 74.020
5. Dorothee Schneider / GER / Sammy Davis Jr. / 72.940
6. Belinda Weinbaurer / AUT / Söhnlein Brilliant MJ / 71.680
Results: FEI World Cup Dressage Stuttgart German Masters
1. Isabell Wert / GER / Weihegold OLD / 87.575
2. Dorothee Schneider / GER / Sammy Davis Jr. / 82.805
3. Helen Langehanenberg / GER / Damsey FRH / 79.615
4. Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén / SWE / Paridon Magi / 78.280
5. Fabienne Lütkemeier / GER / Fabregaz / 78.190
6. Jessica von Bredow-Werndl / GER / Zaire-E / 78.185