Ciao, Bella! Aachen swansong planned for Isabell Werth’s superstar mare

  • Isabell Werth’s multiple Olympic, world and European medal-winning mare Bella Rose 2 will compete one final time in a fitting swansong to her glittering career.

    The 17-year-old (Belissimo M x Cacir AA) will take to the white boards once more at CHIO Aachen 2021 (10-19 September), which will also host a farewell ceremony for the dressage star.

    “Where else?” said Isabell, on Aachen providing the setting for Bella Rose’s final competition.

    “We always feel obliged to a special extent to put in a top performance and give this outstanding crowd as much back as possible.”

    Aachen is a special venue for the pair. It was one of the first international shows the mare contested on her return to competition in 2018, following more than three years out owing to injury.

    The combination won the grand prix and the special, which they repeated the following year with a full house of victories at the show, including scoring 90.45% in the freestyle.

    “[We] want to demonstrate our abilities in our last appearance on the big, international circuit,” Isabell added.

    The chestnut mare added Olympic individual silver and team gold in Tokyo to her spectacular CV. She is also reigning world and European champion, and helped Germany to the team titles on both occasions. Bella Rose was also part of the gold medal-winning side at the 2014 World Equestrian Games, where she finished second to Valegro in the grand prix on 81.53%, but was withdrawn from the rest of the competition owing to injury, marking the start of her three-and-a-half year absence from the sport.

    Isabell announced the mare’s retirement following the pair’s medal-winning performances at this summer’s Olympic Games.

    They will now be gunning to make it onto the CHIO Aachen winners’ board one final time before Bella Rose bids farewell to the sport.

    Show director Frank Kemperman is keeping plans for the farewell ceremony under his hat, but has promised an emotional farewell for the superstar mare.

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