Isabell Werth among riders eliminated under blood rules at CHIO Aachen

  • The reigning world champion, Germany’s Isabell Werth, was one of three grand prix riders eliminated under blood rules at CHIO Aachen last week.

    Isabell and her current top ride, the 12-year-old Qatarback stallion DSP Quantaz, were eliminated in the CDIO5* grand prix special after blood was spotted in the horse’s mouth partway through their test. The pair had just begun their line of two-tempi changes and were trending around the 74% mark, when the judge at C, Denmark’s Susanne Baarup rang the bell to call them to a halt. She wiped the stallion’s mouth with a tissue, which showed the presence of blood.

    Isabell Werth being eliminated from the special did not result in team disqualification, and her score of 76.41% from the grand prix still stood, helping the German team, also featuring Benjamin Werndl (Famoso OLD), Frederic Wandres (Duke Of Britain FRH) and Ingrid Klimke (Franziskus 15), finish second in the Nations Cup. This was the first time the home side has not triumphed at CHIO Aachen since 2010 – with Denmark claiming a decisive victory in the team competition.

    It is also the first year since 2016 that Isabell has not landed the title of Aachen grand champion, with Dane Cathrine Dufour taking the honour instead.

    Two USA combinations were also eliminated under blood rules at Aachen; the team fortunes suffered a blow when Katie Duerrhammer and Quartett were eliminated in the CDIO5* grand prix special, while blood was also spotted in the mouth of Adrienne Lyle’s CDI4* ride Salvino during the freestyle, resulting in her elimination.

    “I don’t think I’ve ever felt Salvino feeling so soft, supple, and powerful as he did today in the warm-up or in the show ring,” said Adrienne of the 15-year-old Sandro Hit stallion, with whom she won team silver at the Tokyo Olympics. “The feeling he gave under the lights was just phenomenal and then, in a sad turn of events, halfway through our test he must have bitten his lip because the judge noticed there was some blood in his mouth and so we stopped our ride. Salvino [was] immediately examined by our team veterinarian to make sure he is ok, and his well-being is our number one priority.

    “I feel sorry for Salvino that he didn’t get to show off his favourite final centre line, but judging by how proud he was of himself back at the barn, I think he is still convinced that he was the winner.”

    Meanwhile, Aachen debutante Katie was eliminated shortly after the conclusion of her 71.3% special, when blood was found to be present on 14-year-old Quaterback gelding Quartett’s bottom lip during the post-test stewards’ check.

    “I am so proud of Quartett for laying down a great grand prix special today, mistake free until our last extended trot where unfortunately he tripped and bit the bottom corner of his lower lip. We still finished with a 71.3% but sadly there was a bit of blood from [the] lip bite present at bit check,” said Katie. “While I’m very sorry and disappointed for my teammates that my score couldn’t count, this doesn’t take anything away from how proud I am of this amazing little-horse-that-could.”

    The USA team, which also included Benjamin Ebeling (Indeed), Charlotte Jorst (Kastel’s Nintendo) and Steffen Peters (Suppenkasper), finished seventh, just behind the British team of Lottie Fry (Everdale), Laura Tomlinson (Fallatijn), Lara Butler (Kristjan) and Susan Pape (Harmony’s Eclectisch).

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