Germany raises eyebrows with team selection for World Equestrian Games

  • Gold medal favourites Germany have announced their team for September’s World Equestrian Games.

    The four combinations set to defend Germany’s world title from 2014 are:

    • Isabell Werth – Bella Rose 2, with Weihegold and Emmilio 107 as direct reserves
    • Sönke Rothenberger – Cosmo 59
    • Dorothee Schneider — Sammy Davis Jr
    • Jessica von Bredow-Werndl – TSF Dalera BB, with Zaire E as a direct reserve

    Helen Langehanenberg and Damsey FRH are named as reserves.

    World number one Isabell Werth will be hoping to add to her existing collection of 30 championships golds. But she has not been selected on her triple European gold medallist and double World Cup champion Weihegold OLD, but instead on Bella Rose 2 (pictured above), the 14-year-old mare Isabell had made clear was her personal preference for WEG.

    The Belissimo daughter returned to competition this year after almost four years out due to injury, and is so far unbeaten on her comeback, although her grand prix scores this year are not as high as those achieved by Weihegold. Isabell has Weihegold and Emmilio 107 as reserve horses.

    Sönke Rothenberger — who won double individual silver behind Isabell at last year’s Europeans — is named with his top horse, Cosmo. The pair were crowned German champions earlier this year, but were ruled out of Aachen in July when the 11-year-old Van Gogh gelding contracted an infection. They returned to form at Donaueschingen CDI4* however, beating Isabell to win the grand prix special with 84.36%.

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    Dorothee also rides her European gold medallist, the 12-year-old San Remo gelding Sammy Davis Jr, with whom she is currently ranked fifth in the world.

    Jessica von Bredow-Werndl completes the quartet with the 11-year-old Easy Time mare TSF Delera BB. The pair are in their first year of grand prix together, but performed very well in Aachen, finishing fourth in the grand prix with 76.8%. Jessica’s more experienced ride, the 14-year-old mare Zaire-E, ranked considerably higher than Delera, will be a direct reserve horse for Jessica.

    Helen Langehanenberg was the talk of Aachen as she made her comeback just three weeks after giving birth to her second child. There, she and the 16-year-old stallion Damsey FRH scored more than 77% to finish third in the grand prix, and 79% to take second in the special behind Isabell. The pair have been chosen to be team reserve.

    For a full preview of the Games, don‘t miss next week’s edition of H&H magazine, out 30 August.

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