The spectators clapped in rhythm, the horse owner, Madeleine Winter-Schulze, wiped a tear from her eye and determined Isabell Werth clenched her fist in triumph. She celebrated an amazing freestyle routine with Emilio in the Grand Finale of the CHIO Aachen 2018 German in the Bank Prize.
After today's freestyle, Isabell Werth definitely goes down in history as the CHIO Queen of the German Bank Stadium. Today's triumph is the twelfth in her career in the German Bank Prize with Emilio the fourth horse she has steered to victory in Aachen. Werth left the dressage arena with the 12-year-old Westphalian-bred prize earning a personal best score of 87.625 percent.
Dress Rehearsal for World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018
It will be Germany's turn to cross the ocean for the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina in September, where they will be facing a fomidable American team.
Second place went to the US rider, Kasey Perry Glass with her Danish-bred Goerklintgaards Dublet by Diamond Hit on a score of 85.205, followed by her fellow countrywoman, Laura Graves with Verdades a KWPN Driving bred horse by Foil As (85.085).
After a mistake in the canter work cost valuable points, the Danish rider Cathrine Dufour ranked fourth with Cassidy (84.835). Had that not happened they were poised to top Werth with fluid movements, and an otherwise solid performance.
Helen Langehanenberg delivered the second best German result with Damsey (5th / 82.575). Dorothee Schneider and Sammy Davis. Jr, finished seventh (81.295). Sixth place was claimed by the Danish rider Daniel Bachmann Andersen with Blue Hors Zack, who was the only rider in the freestyle test to achieve a score of 10 for the degree of difficulty - which makes up one tenth of the overall score (82,195).
Victories, Defeats for Favorites, Surprising Victories and Comebacks
"This was one exciting week for us all!" A below average performance in the Grand Prix for Werth, continued with a triumph in the Spéciale and climaxed with the best ever freestyle routine with Emilio in their career. Emilio Seemed to gain confidence and courage from movement to movement and danced in harmony to music by Beethoven, Puccini and Verdi, In spite of a near record heat wave, goose bumps and shivers cooled the crowd.
As the bay horse passaged down the final center line, the crowd started clapping to the music, Isabell Werth lifted one hand to greet the crowd, and rode the last few meters of the one-handed salute. She had hardly come to a halt before thunderous applause broke out. The horse owner Madeleine Winter-Schulze wiped a tear from her eye and Isabell Werth could hardly praise contain her joy.
Breakout Performance By Kasey Perry Glass
Up until now Laura Graves was seen to be Werth's most serious rival. The rider from the USA won the Grand Prix with Verdades to seemingly set the stage for further victories after Emilio's lackluster performance. However, in the Spéciale, the test she managed to beat Werth in last year, her horse spooked at a camera and lost. Today, the KWPN gelding was back in his usual top and powerful form. But it was not enough to beat the determined Werth.
In any case, Graves' workout colleague, Kasey Perry Glass - Both train with the former Olympic participant Debbie McDonald - succeeded in beating the rider, who has already notched up a fourth place at the Olympic Games, for the first time ever, as well as all other German riders apart from Werth. That is definitely a statement too!
Kasey Perry Glass competed in Europe for the first time in 2016 causing a stir with her elegant dark bay horse earning a fourth place in the Olympic Games. After 2017 the rider gave her sports partner a break. "He needed it and so did I." Under the guidance of Debbie McDonald who will succeed Robert Dover in 2019 as Team Coach, she changed the workout around, did not drill the movements as much and made the workout more diversified. " And it paid off, because he came back stronger."
Their freestyle to the film music from the Lord of the Rings was a joy to watch, and the judges agreed.
A worthy finale to the dressage competitions at the World Equestrian Festival!