In a complete reversal of fortune from Thursday’s grand prix, a super performance from Isabell Werth in the special secured Germany the Nations Cup victory, while a below par test from grand prix winner Laura Graves meant overnight leaders the USA had to settle for second.
On Thursday, Isabell posted an uncharacteristically low score of 72.51% with the 12-year-old Ehrenpreis gelding Emilio, who showed several serious moments of resistance in his grand prix. Today, however, the pair were back to their usual selves, pulling out a score of 79.13%, which remained at the top of the leaderboard.
“I was really surprised with what happened on Thursday, but today it was back to the old Emilio,” said Isabell, who was also celebrating her birthday. “It was a really nice test, although I wasn’t expecting to stay in front until the end of the competition with the others coming behind me.”
Indeed, her teammates were on super form too, with Helen Langehanenberg within a whisker of the top spot with 79.02% on Damsey FRH. Both Dorothee Schneider (Sammy Davis Jr) and Jessica von Bredow-Werndl (TSF Delera BB) posted plus-76% and elevating Germany to the top of the Nations Cup podium.
The USA finished second, five marks behind Germany, with Kasey Perry-Glass and Goerklintgaards Dublet their top performers, scoring 78.79% for a fantastic test to slot into third.
The imposing Verdades gave Laura Graves a tricky time; the 16-year-old gelding was hot from the moment he entered the arena, and took a strong dislike to the camera on the side of the arena, with major spooks in the extended trot down that long side, and again in the canter. But even with the blips the pair scored 74.09%.
Cathrine Dufour and Atterupgaards Cassidy led Denmark to third, with their 77.48% test leaving them fourth individually after Cassidy broke to canter in the third extended trot.
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Both Emile Faurie and Lara Butler performed well for Britain to finish 13th and 14th respectively, and qualify to ride the freestyle tomorrow morning.
Emile and the De Niro stallion Delatio continued their successful comeback to competition after lameness to post 73.66% in just their second special together.
Lara was delighted with Rubin Al Asad’s performance; she had the 16-year-old by Rubin Royal on song to post a shade under 73%, their best performance in a special this year.
Don’t miss the full report from Aachen in next week’s H&H, on sale on 26 July.