Tuesday 26 March - 17h14 | FEI (edited)
FEI Dressage World Cup Final: Werth faces battle as she chases 5th title
She may be the only rider to have qualified two horses for the FEI Dressage World Cup Final 2019, but Germany’s Isabell Werth has an army of opponents hoping to snatch the crown from her head when the action gets underway at the Scandinavium Arena in Gothenburg, Sweden next week.
It seems a lifetime ago since Werth – whose massive medal haul includes six Olympic and eight World Championship golds – first held the FEI Dressage World Cup trophy aloft after a brilliant performance with Fabienne in Gothenburg back in 1992. Her goal now is to do it all again in the same Swedish city 27 years later, especially as another victory would also secure a three-in-a-row hat-trick after proving unbeatable with Weihegold in both 2017 and again last year.
The only other rider to have secured three consecutive titles is The Netherlands’ Anky van Grunsven who was unbeaten with the great Bonfire between 1995 and 1997, and whose spectacular total of nine wins over a 13-year period is unlikely ever to be challenged.
With an excellent series of results on the Western European League circuit, Werth has qualified both Weihegold and Emilio this time around, but Denmark’s Daniel Bachmann Andersen threw a shot across the bows of all his rivals, coming out on top at the last leg of the series in ’s-Hertogenbosch (NED) 10 days ago. Werth and Emilio had to settle for third that day behind fellow-countrywoman Helen Langehanenberg, who produced a personal-best from Damsey FRH. Bachmann-Andersen was last to go and swept them all aside, however, laying it all on the line with the extraordinary one-eyed stallion Blue Hors Zack.
The complete line-up from the Western European League includes Bachmann-Andersen, Langehanenberg and fellow-German Benjamin Werndl (Daily Mirror), Sweden’s Patrik Kittel (Delauney OLD) and Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven (Don Auriello), The Netherlands’ Hans Peter Minderhoud (Dream Boy NOP), Portugal’s Maria Caetano (Coroado), Morgan Barbancon (Sir Donnerhall) from France and Ireland’s Judy Reynolds (Vancouver K).
Central Europe will be represented by Russia’s Regina Isachkina (Sun of May Life) and Olga Safronova (Sandro D’Amour) from Belarus while Yvonne Losos de Muniz (Aquamarijn) will fly the flag of the Dominican Republic. The FEI Extra Starting places have gone to German-based South African Tanya Seymour (Ramoneur), America’s Adrienne Lyle (Salvino) and The Netherlands’ Emmelie Scholtens (Apache) but one of the biggest threats to Werth’s supremacy may well come from Laura Graves (Verdades) who, along with Kasey Perry-Glass (Goerklintgaards Dublet), has qualified through the North American League.