The world’s most decorated equestrian, Germany’s Isabell Werth has spoken about plans for her retirement from the sport after the Paris Olympics in 2024.
Isabell is a five-time Olympian and has won gold at every Games she has ridden at, including team gold at the delayed Tokyo Olympics earlier this year. She plans to contest the next Games in three years time, but has said she will end her competitive riding career after Paris.
“Paris is a turning point,” Werth told the German Press Agency, shortly after having won team gold and individual silver on home soil at the European Dressage Championships in Hagen. “Then at some point [my] active career will end,” said Werth. “Whether that’s 2024 or 2025, I’ll find a sensible deal.”
This is the first time the 52-year-old has discussed her retirement from the sport. She has now revealed she “certainly no longer wants to ride at the age of 60”.
Isabell won team gold with Germany in 1992 (Barcelona), 1996 (Atlanta), 2000 (Sydney), 2008 (Hong Kong), 2016 (Rio), and also claimed individual gold in 1996 – a feat she has not managed to repeat since, being pipped to the top spot in Tokyo this year by her teammate Jessica von Bredow-Werndl.
Isabell also has nine World Championship and 19 European Championship medals to her name, including both team and individual gold at three consecutive championships in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Earlier this summer, Isabell announced the upcoming retirement of her top horse Bella Rose, who is the reigning world champion. It was then planned that the 17-year-old Belissimo M mare should perform once more at Aachen CHIO this month, but plans for this were scuppered when she had to undergo colic surgery last week.
Isabell’s other top mare, Weihegold OLD, with whom she has won three World Cup titles, triple European gold in 2017 and team gold and individual silver at this year’s Europeans, is 16 now and not expected to compete at another championship. Isabell’s medal hopes now rest with the 11-year-old Quantaz, who will compete at Aachen this month, and the nine-year-old mare Superb, who Isabell has said could “follow in Bella’s footsteps”.
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