Aachen is the location where one year ago the reigning Olympic and World Champion, Nissan Gigolo FRH was hurt, and it was unknown if he would return to defend his title, at the 2000 Sydney Games. His rider, Isabell Werth has since earned her law degree, and together with her trainer/mentor Dr. Uwe Schulten-Baumer Sr., continues to develop other superior horses.
This year at Aachen, Werth was in top form, with Nissan Antony, the Hannoverian stallion by Argument winning the B division of the Grand Prix. But it was the Coastriders Grand Prix, sponsored by American Tess Gilder that would determine Germany's top horses to go to Sydney.
After the class, the gold medal pair had to be content with third place to German teammates Nadine Capellmann with Farbenfroh (77.95%), and Alexandra Simons-de Ridder with Chacomo (77.16). Gigolo spooked in one corner from activity in the stands, and missed a change in the canter work, still earning a 76.56%.
A determined Werth returned to the arena for her Grand Prix Freestyle, on the rainy Sunday morning of July, 15, with her famous set jaw, and a cold stare towards the stands, that would become a jubilant smile at the end of her ride. The magical pair showed the judges, they were ready and still ruled, winning the class with a 76.28%.