Werth Untouchable in 2017 CDI-W 's Hertogenbosch Grand Prix

Sat, 03/11/2017 - 10:23
2017 CDI-W 's Hertogenbosc

Isabell Werth continued her unprecedented winning streak in the Western European League World cup qualifiers by claiming victory in the Grand Prix aboard Emilio at the 2017 CDI-W 's Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands, on Friday 10 March 2017. Werth has the judges under her spell and her excellent riding aboard her duo of 80% horses (Weihegold, Emilio) make her untouchable on the circuit.

Werth brought Madeleine Winter-Schulze's 11-year old Westfalian Emilio (by Ehrenpreis x Cacir AA) to Den Bosch and convinced the entire panel of judges, which included Sanders (NED), Van Daele (BEL), Fransen-Iacobaeus (SWE), Plewa (GER), and Wessels (GBR), of her superiority. The judges whipped another 80.00% score on the table for what seemed to be a hand-brake ride. 

Werth had Emilio active and expressive with the nose beautifully out, but she needed some subtle half halting in the corners to keep him going that way. While everyone is infatuated with Emilio's piaffe-passage work -- yes the flawless rhythm is superior and the transitions excellent -- he is always croup high in those movements and could move the legs more under the body towards the point of gravity. The first two halts were not square, the trot half pass right lacked elasticity, but the one to the left was much better. The extended walk had good relaxation but the clarity in the four beat rhythm is certainly not optimal. The collected walk barely had any collection and was too open in the frame. In canter Werth was definitely not asking for the maximum from her horse, which led to correct riding, but with true expression missing. The extended canter finished right after X, the one tempi's were all well executed but need to improve on uphill tendency and ground cover. The exit of the left pirouette was hesitant, the right one was outstanding. Werth stands out by her ability to have the horse good in the bridle, though, and she can skillfully ride each movement to the utmost of a horse's ability at that moment in time. It's stunning. With Valegro's retirement, Isabell has taken that vacant niche of iuntouchability and the 80.00% score put her well in the lead.

2016 World Cup champion Hans Peter Minderhoud finished second aboard Gaston Glock's 16-year old Swiss warmblood Flirt de Lully (by Florestan x Gauguin de Lully). The chestnut gelding is such a great example of a willing horse that tries his utmost. While he's consistently too short and tight in the neck, he still gives it his all with good extensions, lovely passage work and an ever improving piaffe. The piaffes showed much more relaxation and control. The half pass to the right was very irregular though, but the extended walk was fantastic. In the collected he did get close to being lateral. The horse has big tempi changes but in the two's he still swings too much in the hindquarters. Minderhoud wrapped up another solid ride and earned 77.020% with his scores ranging from 74.600 (Fransen) to 78.400 (Sanders).

The prettiest test of the day came from German Jessica von Bredow-Werndl on her 13-year old Dutch warmblood mare Zaire E (by Son de Niro x Jazz). The contact with the bridle as absolutely phenomenal. Throughout the ride, the mare was light and soft and pretty much steady at the vertical. The trot extensions have much scope but look hurried, the half passes were so pure and rhythmical. The extended walk showed much control. In passage the elegant mare has a gorgeous silhouette with good regularlity and spring, in the piaffe the rhythm is outstanding but she leans too much on the forehand. The transitions in and out of piaffe were smooth. Also in canter, Zaire E showed great form with a tidy zig zag, and nice tempi changes in which the relaxation needs to improve. Von Bredow wrapped up with a super final centerline in which the mare had not lost a bit of its activity and power. Their 75.300% could easily have been much higher and Fransen was on point with her 77.300%!

Text by Astrid Appels - Photos © Digishots

Related Link
Scores 2017 CDI-W 's Hertogenbosch 
Eurodressage Coverage of the 2016-2017 World Cup Circuit