The Queen Reigns: Isabell Werth Wins Fourth World Cup Dressage Title, and Other Stunning Moments from Paris
byEditorial Staff| Apr 15, 2018
It was a fight to the finish.
Germany’s Isabell Werth and America’s Laura Graves have gone tit for tat for the top titles as the biggest rivalry in dressage – Isabell won last year’s World Cup Finals, but Laura beat Isabell at Aachen shortly after, and so on. Headed into the FEI World Cup Dressage Final in Paris, everyone was wondering the same thing: will it be Laura, or will Queen Isabell (who won her first World Cup Final title 26 years ago) keep her crown?
For a moment, the pendulum swung in Laura’s direction – the 30-year-old rider came out on top in Friday’s Grand Prix on her mount of more than a decade, Verdades. Ultimately the “queen of dressage” came back with a vengeance on Saturday for the finale, packing all the power that she could from her Olympic mare, Weihegold OLD, to score 90.65 – an eye-widening score, but barely edging out Laura and “Diddy’s” 89.08.
Isabell radiates confidence – especially on the back of “Weihe” – but even the most decorated rider in modern dressage says winning doesn’t come that easy.
“This is life, a lot of people think it’s easy, you win and you win again, but it’s not like that,” Isabell said. “You have to think about it all the time and keep listening to your horse. Yesterday was not our day, but today we could solve it. And this is what I really like to do, and that’s the reason why I love to compete!”
Enjoy these dazzling moments from the 2017-2018 FEI World Cup Dressage Final, as captured by Thomas Reiner.