Isabell Werth and Weihegold secured their third win of the FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2016/2017 Western European League in Amsterdam. Photo by Arnd Bronkhorst/FEI.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands — January 27, 2017 — As if to further cement their absolute supremacy, the world no. 1 partnership of Germany’s Isabell Werth and the mare Weihegold secured their third win of the FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2016/2017 Western European League in Amsterdam (NED) today. Having produced a personal-best score to top the line-up at the second leg of the series in Lyon (FRA) in October, they fell just short of that when also securing pole position at the next round in Stuttgart (GER) the following month. Today, however, their Freestyle mark of 90.720 percent is the highest ever achieved by the 47-year-old rider who is widely acclaimed as the most medalled equestrian Olympian of all time.
Werth and her 12-year-old mare received a standing ovation. “I’m so happy, this is our best form ever and I hope to save that for as long as I can!” she said. “We are becoming safer with the music, more confident and together with it, this was really a perfect day!”
Great Britain’s Carl Hester went into his ride on Nip Tuck confident, and came out pleased after earning second place with 83.325 percent. “The nicest feeling I’ve had in a test with him – ever!” Hester said.
“I alway save everything for one day,” he explained. “I had to be reserved yesterday (in the Grand Prix). I had a great feeling today, when we came into the arena and the crowd went crazy because of Isabell’s score I just thought, ‘I might as well just go for it!’”
Sweden’s Patrik Kittel and the mare Deja took third. Dutch riders filled the next five places, headed up by 2010 FEI World Cup™ Dressage champion Edward Gal who slotted into fourth with Glock’s Voice and 2016 title-holders Hans-Peter Minderhoud and Glock’s Flirt in fifth.
Kittel’s mare danced to Stevie Wonder in the Freestyle, and held the lead with a mark of 80.269 percent before Werth’s top-notch performance. He said afterwards that this was his “very best Freestyle.”
“M mare was absolutely fabulous and I love competing here!” Kittel said. “I think today was the strongest field of the World Cup qualifiers so far.”
Gal was first to post a score over 80 percent when 11th to go of the 15 starters, and he expressed his excitement about the outcome.
“The first day (yesterday’s Grand Prix) is always hard because the horses are sharper but today was much better,” he said. “My horse felt good and I’m very happy. I will now compete at Den Bosch for sure, and maybe Gothenburg, because I’d like to make it to the Final.”
Werth has now moved to the top of the Western European League table ahead of Hester in second and Ireland’s Judy Reynolds in third. This performance puts the German rider a prime position going into the series Final set to take place in Omaha, Nebraska (USA) in eight weeks time.
Amsterdam Grand Prix Freestyle Results
1. Isabell Werth/GER/Weihegold/90.720
2. Carl Hester/GBR/Nip Tuck/83.325
3. Patrik Kittel/SWE/Deja/80.269
4. Edward Gal/NED/Glock’s Voice/80.425
5. Hans Peter Minderhoud/NED/Glock’s Flirt/79.610
6. Emmelie Scholtens/NED/Apache/78.016
7. Madeleine Witte-Vrees/NED/Cennin/77.649
8. Patrick van der Meer/NED/Zippo/75.320
9. Jorinde Verwimp/BEL/Tiamo/75.095
10. Jessica von Bredow-Werndl/GER/Zaire-E/75.055
11. Borja Carrascosa/ESP/Foco Loco W/74.170
12. Mai Tofte Olesen/DEN/Rustique/72.399