Isabell Werth produced an electrifying dressage performance on El Santo to the delight of the passionate New York fans who packed the stands to watch the world’s best riders compete in the U.S. Open Dressage Freestyle, Presented by Axel Johnson Group at the 2015 Rolex Central Park Horse Show.
Competing under the lights in one of the world’s most iconic locations, dressage took the spotlight in Central Park, as returning champion Isabell Werth defended her title, while first-time competitor and six-time Olympian Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfvén rode in New York City for the first time. With a score of 80.33 Rolex Testimonee Isabell Werth topped the scoreboard following her stunning performance aboard El Santo.
“I am really, really happy that we could do it twice and come back here at this beautiful arena under this outstanding skyline. Always when I start with the music and the pressure, I feel the spectators are awake and coming with me. I was really happy with ‘Ernie’ – it was a completely good test”, said Werth.
Decorated dressage rider Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén of Sweden came second on Paridon Magi competing at the Rolex Central Park Horse Show. “I’m incredibly excited to be here. As a kid I always loved New York City and enjoyed coming here, but I never imagined that one day I would have the opportunity to ride here,” said Tinne. “That was a lot of fun [tonight] and I am going to remember it for a long time. I am extremely proud of my horse.”
Summing up the night, third placed Catherine Haddad Staller said, “Everybody has already put it all into a lot of great words but I think “magic” is the best word to describe it riding here; it’s a magical feeling to ride in this atmosphere; it’s a magical arena and the crowd response is fantastic”.
After the 2014 debut of the sold-out Rolex Central Park Horse Show, Mark Bellissimo, CEO of International Equestrian Group, was delighted to see the reach and impact of the thrilling event expand to more international talent this year. “We work hard to make sure the show itself is as special as it can be, but it is the riders who truly make it unforgettable,” he said. “We are very proud to present the best in sport across so many disciplines in the heart of New York City.”