In spite of rain, the stands around the arena at Schindlhof were crowded; as on Saturday, more than 2,000 equestrian fans had come to see Isabell Werth. It paid off. Isabell Werth and her current number three in the stable, the 16-year-old Hanoverian gelding Don Johnson FRH (current number 8 in the world), showed their full potential in the Freestyle.
With the highest degree of expression and absolute responsiveness the duo rode to the sounds of the cult band Queen to incredible 82.675 percent. The 6-time Olympic champion was the superior winner ahead of her German team colleague and first-time participant at Schindlhof, Fabienne Lütkemeier with D’Agostino FRH (77.825), and the US-American P.J. Rizvi with Breaking Dawn (74.6).
“It is really fun to ride Johnny, he now has the maturity and responsiveness that we can really test our limits. He will have a break now until the European Championships. I hope Weihegold and Emilio will do a similar good job in Aachen and during the European Championships,“ Isabell Werth said in the winner’s interview on ClipMyHorse.TV.
And in the aftermath, she thanked the hosts Evelyn and Klaus Haim-Swarovski, “Here the two make sure all four- and two-legged beingsare offered optimal conditions – andthen there is still this family environment. I’ll be happy to come again!“
Best Austrian (and the only one, because Victoria Max-Theurer hadn’t brought her Della Cavalleria to the start) in this world-class field was Renate Voglsang with Royal Happiness OLD, the horse of Tyrolean Stefanie Palm who is currently on maternity leave. The duo received a score of 71.3 percent, placing 7th in the final of the top 15.
Before Isabell Werth and the other athletes entered the arena for the Freestyle, the traditional hat competition was held. This time the participants also had to prove their weather resistance. The victory was taken by 15-year-old Theresa Gruber from Kolsassberg with a self-made alpine hat, ahead of Eva Frank (Absam) and Edith Albrecht (Vienna). The competition Hat & Dog was won by three girls from Gnadenwald in blue dresses with the dogs Lara and Molly. The winners received honorary prizes sponsored by D. Swarovski KG, Swarovski Optik, Brennerei Rochelt GmbH and Bodega Norton. All participants received a sweet gift from Sacher Innsbruck.
Fore more information visit www.schindlhof.at
Competition 07 – Grand Prix Freestyle
1. Isabell Werth (GER), Don Johnson FRH | 82.675 percent
2. Fabienne Lütkemeier (GER), D’Agostino FRH | 77.825
3. P.J. Rizvi (USA), Breaking Dawn | 74.6
7. Renate Voglsang (AUT), Royal Happiness OLD | 71.3