Germany’s Isabell Werth beat the USA’s Laura Graves to the FEI World Cup title this afternoon (Saturday, 14 April) in Paris, in an incredibly tense showdown.
Laura’s score of 89.082% with her own and her boyfriend Curt Maes’ Verdades was a personal best by 3.886%, rewarding a flawless test with a high degree of difficulty.
“My horse has been terrific all week, I’m super-proud and impressed with how our training is going and how he was in that environment. Perhaps I could have done more to help him and then maybe we would have hit 90%. But we’re so close and that’s exciting,” said Laura.
But Isabell came back fighting after being beaten by Laura in the grand prix yesterday and matched her error-free performance with one of her own on Christine Arns-Krogmann’s black mare Weihegold OLD. She scored 90.657%.
“Today my horse was really perfect and that was one of our best freestyles, perhaps the best,” said Isabell. “I was sure Laura would get a high mark and I was focused on fighting. I tried to analyse what happened yesterday and improve.”
Jessica von Bredow-Werndl was emotional to finish third for Germany with Christine Bürchler-Keller’s 17-year-old Unee BB, scoring 83.725%.
“It’s our third time on the podium at a World Cup final and his last final,” she said. “It’s very hard to beat Patrik [Kittel, fourth on 83.146%] and his 83% but we did it!”
Britain’s Hayley Watson-Greaves was pleased with her 75.346% for 11th on Rubins Nite.
“He went in there again and stayed relaxed and I’m delighted with our score,” said World Cup final debutante Hayley.
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Full report from Paris in Horse & Hound next week (issue dated 19 April).
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