The result were not a full 90 percent, but “a perceived 90 percent” Isabell Werth said after her victory in the Grand Prix Freestyle at the CHIO Aachen. Werth and Weihegold OLD showed a freestyle that was near perfection and were rewarded with 89,675 percent. The exceptional rider made no mistakes which resulted in a piaffe-passage tour without parallels. Evi Eisenhart, chief judge the competition even would have liked to award an 11 for the transitions. That Laura Graves and Verdades could not endanger their victory was clear to Werth: “In a battle the dead are counted in the end. But I couldn’t imagine that she would beat me again.” In the special Werth had mistakes and Graves didn’t. This time it was the other way round and the US American and the KWPN gelding finished in third place with 82,550 percent. They made costly mistakes in the one-time flying changes and in the trot tour in the end Verdades tried to gallop. “How it ended today was completely fair,” Graves said, showing that she is a fair loser.
Isabell Werth emphasised how much she appreciates the duel: “It’s good to push each other. That’s the way top performances occur. That’s how the sport is supposed to be.”
Second place went to 22-year-old Sönke Rothenberger with Cosmo. 87,750 percent – a first for the team Olympic winner. Had Cosmo not been spooked while looking to the audience the result could have been even higher. However, Rothenberger had reason to be pleased: “Cosmo showed his whole potential today.”
Dorothee Schneider and Sammy Davis Jr. made some mistakes and finished in 11th place iwth 75,075 percent, but the rider who is nominated for the EC is not dissatisfied: “Today he was nervous, jittery and therefore not completely focused. But that is unwarranted whining. Of course the mistakes are nothing to be proud of, but the course of the week is. I want to make him more stable in the pirouettes, so that he has more strength, for Gothenburg.”
German national coach Monica Theodorescu said that there was still homework to do. “We will not rest on our laurels.”