Isabell Werth, more fondly known as the “Dressage Queen”, represents Germany and holds the record for most Olympic medals won in Dressage; this includes six gold medals and four silvers. With such a successful career, you might assume that she has always known that riding is the only thing for her. However, she tells us a different story while reflecting on her first Olympic start at age 23 with Dr Schulten-Baumer and his horse, Gigolo.
“At that time, maybe I didn’t realize how great it was to start my career with such a horse like Gigolo,” Isabell recalled recently of her competing the Hanoverian gelding that was nine years old at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992. “He became the most successful horse in the world.”
The opportunity to ride Gigolo came when Dr Schulten-Baumer lost his rider and asked Isabell if she’d take their place. According to an article from Horse Magazine,
“He [Dr Schulten-Baumer] taught her that while it was important to ride it was also important to study. She learned the business in the 16 years of their partnership.” (Link) This may be what encouraged Isabell to pursue a career in law and marketing management before deciding to take the plunge and become a professional rider, full time, at age 32. Even today, Isabell uses her business knowledge to run her own training facility and her line of equestrian accessories.
Recently, Isabell received her personal best score of a 90.09 for her freestyle performance at the second leg of the FEI World Cup in Lyon, France. Upon being interviewed, Isabell said, “I think 2 - 3 more times with the music and then we are nearly perfect, hopefully” as she looks towards the FEI World Cup Dressage Finals in Omaha, Nebraska later this year in March.
In addition, Isabell Werth will be hosting her first ever U.S. Dressage Showcase in Omaha where she will be reviewing her training techniques and how to bring a young horse up through the levels of competition. According to Omaha Equestrian Foundation, Isabell will be working with four different horses for this exhibition, “Two young horses (5-7 years old), a Small Tour horse and a young Grand Prix horse.”
Caracol will be a vendor at this event so we hope you’ll join us to watch what is sure to be an exceptional competition and exhibition.