Isabell Werth claims a record 12th Aachen freestyle title

  • Isabell Werth remained the queen of Aachen as she and Emilio 107 scored a personal best of 87.63% to claim freestyle victory. It was her 12th individual win here, and the 12-year-old Ehrenpreis gelding is the fourth horse with whom she has taken the title.

    She was chased all the way by the Americans, however. But it wasn’t the USA rider most would have expected to give her the closest run for her money, Laura Graves, but instead Kasey Perry-Glass who rounded off a fantastic show here in Aachen to finish second with 85.2% on the 15-year-old Diamond Hit son Goerklintgaards Dublet — a full 10% higher than they managed at this show in 2017.

    Laura did however recover very well after a tricky ride in the special — where Verdades took a strong dislike to a camera on the side of the arena — to fill third with 85.09%, despite not riding the 16-year-old gelding quite on full power.

    When Laura posted 85% I knew I had to give everything,” said Isabell. “I’m proud that we could improve each day here, and Emilio was brilliant today.”

    It was massive personal best for Kasey and Dublet, who have only once before broken the 80% barrier, and showed that taking a break for the latter half of 2017 has paid off.

    “I could feel it was a good test — he was very with me in there,” said Kasey.

    Denmark’s Cathrine Dufour took fourth, posting 84.83% with Atterupgaards Cassidy, whom she has partnered since juniors.

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    Britain’s Lara Butler (below) concluded a successful show with a beautiful freestyle on the 16-year-old Rubin Royal gelding. They scored 76.37% — their highest score of 2018 — with a harmonious, fluid routine to their popular Celtic-style soundtrack.

    “He’s just got better every day here — he found another gear in there today,” Lara told H&H. “It’s weird to think that I’ve just ridden all the tests at Aachen — it’s everyone’s dream to ride here and now I’ve done it!

    Emile Faurie snuck in front of Lara with 76.55% on Delatio. This is the first show for the powerful De Niro son since February, having been off due to injury.

    “He felt great in there, just a little tired, which is to be expected after six months off,” said Emile, who is aiming the 14-year-old at WEG selection, along with his other ride, Dono Di Maggio.

    Don’t miss the full report from Aachen in next week’s H&H, on sale on 26 July.

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