Many had laughed about Laura Graves’ announcement when she said that she wanted to beat Isabell Werth in Aachen. Now she has gone and done it: The bronze winner of the Olympig Games performed flawlessly in the Grand Prix Special at the CHIO Aachen with 15-year-old KWPN gelding Verdades. Their result_: 81,824 percent. Isabell Werth and Weihegold OLD made mistakes in the two-times flying changes and were placed second with 81,059 percent. Sönke Rotenberger had to deal with a Cosmo who was distracted during the walk and made mistakes in the one-time flying changes which led to a result of 78,314 percent and third place.
The German team won after the Grand Prix and the Special with a clear result of 471,046 percent ahead of the US with 450,392 percent. Sweden finished third with 437,635 percent just ahead of Denmark (436,183 percent).
After the competition the winner said: “Today was our day. I didn’t do anything different. I couldn’t be more satisfied. But I’m not only concerned with winning the competition, I always want to improve further.” Isabell Werth was also content: “I just noticed that it was Weihegold’s first Special after Rio, She did not come and say ‘yes, mum, I know what to do’. She was a little bit insecure, but that’s no drama. She just needs a bit more confidence. The mistakes in the two-times flying changes were mine. We will work on the Special until the European Championships.”
Sönke Rothenberger was satisfied with his horse’s performance but was annoyed by the mistakes: “These trivialities are costly.” The third rider in the team, Dorothee Schneider with Sammy Davir jr. was happy: “Four months ago he was an international nobody and now he is part of the team at Aachen. In the Grand Prix he still asked me what to do but today he was really with me. I’m so happy.”
Hubertus Schmidt and Imperio had another black day: with a result of 69,451 percent their hopes for a nomination for the EC were over. “I already felt the pressure in the Grand Prix,” the 57-year-old rider said. “But today I started with a good feeling. I did not count on him working against my hand in the trot.” For Schmidt it is clear that Helen Langehanenberg will be the fourth rider of the team after her performance with Damsey. “It’s clear she belongs to the team!”