Experience shows that the Grand Prix Special usually has more participants than the Grand Prix Freestyle since the Freestyle requires the riders to have a horse that is fit for a performance in the floodlight. In the classic competition the audience was able to see almost the whole German A squad, led by Isabell Werth and Oldenburger mare Weihegold OLD. With a result of 79,480 percent they were the undisputed winners. The other results were in a more narrow margin; Hubertus Schmid and Trakehner stallion Imperio showed a great performance, which was awarded 75,220 percent, Anabel Balkenhol and Dablino FRH’s performance with its many highlights received 75,120 percent and third place. Fourth place went to Fabienne Lütkemeier and chestnut gelding D’Agostino (74,180 percent).
Isabell Werth didn’t ride her Don Schufro daughter with full force yet, later she also confirmed that they are working on fine-tuning their performance right now. “She is supposed to take away experience for further shows,” the rider from Rheinberg said. “All in all I’m really satisfied with our perceived 80%. It’s no secret that the change between the pirouettes wasn’t accurate, here the jockey should have payed more attention. But the ease and sovereignty with which she performed here has inspired me.”
Balve will be the mare’s next competition, then Werth hopes for a performance in Aachen. Emilio, one year younger than Weihegold and who also could be an alternative option for Rio after Bella Rose and Don Johnson are out due to injuries, could be competed at one more event, maybe in Wattens. “He doesn’t have that much show experience yet,” so Werth said about her second candidate for Rio. The rider is happy about the fact that even though two of her horses are injured she still has two horses that can perform for 80 percent or more: “It’s so much fun to further develop those two. They themselves will show who’s the number one in the end.”
Isabell Werth can easily name the difference between the two horses: the serenity. While Weihegold already performes unbelievably focused and technically correct, Emilio still perceives everything at a show. “Then sometimes his temper just takes over, ” the current team World Champion said and laughed. “But he doesn’t want to make mistakes. If makes a mistake he’s often more nervous than I am.” However, so Werth further said, both horses didn’t have weaknesses. “Now I will wait for their further development. There’s no need to decide now. I didn’t expect them to apply themselves so quickly to their new challenges. It’s almost like they said: Just let those two stay at home, we’ll just do it.”
Werth admitted that she first felt down when it became clear that Bella Rose and Don Johnson couldn’t compete in Rio. “Everybody knows that my relationship with Bella is something special, and originally I had planned to make a head start with her. When the situation came to pass it first was difficult. However, I didn’t experience something like that for the first time. After a perceived 100 years in the sport I already know these situations.”