Isabell Werth and El Santo repeat their win in the Grand Prix Special in Stuttgart

Isabell Werth and El Santo repeat their win in the Grand Prix Special in Stuttgart

Riding the ten-year-old Rhinelander El Santo NRW, Isabell Werth (Germany) repeated her win last year in the final of the Grand Prix Special for the Prize of the MEGGLE Gruppe on Sunday morning. The five international judges from Belgium, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Poland and Germany awarded 77.867 per cent for the five-time Olympic Champion’s performance on her gelding in front of a crowd of 4,800 in the Hanns Martin Schleyer Halle.

“It was a new test for us but El Santo did really well,” she said when praising her horse. “Our weakness, the piaffe is slowly getting better.” Horse show director Gotthilf Riexinger commented: “I’m quite sure he’ll be piaffing in London.”

Second was Monica Theodorescu (Germany) who rode Whisper, the gelding bred in Baden Württemberg. The Olympic Team Champion in 1988, 1992 and 1996 had lead with 73.733 per cent before Isabell Werth’s performance. Another German, Brigitte Wittig, the wife of Werth’s coach Wolfram Wittig, came third on the mare Blind Date who she bred herself (73.311). Her husband commented wryly: “Not bad for a housewife!”

During the ceremony to mark her horse Satchmo’s retirement on Saturday evening Isabell Werth said: “It went exactly how I myself hoped it would. I’d like to thank everybody who made the evening possible.” It was a highly emotional farewell and the German found some moving words to thank her patron and owner of Satchmo, Madeleine Winter-Schulze. “There was a meteoric rise and a meteoric fall but you always believed in Satchmo and me. That you didn’t take the horse away from me, that’s what makes you so special.”

Categories: Dressage, News