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May 25, 2010

An Interview With Isabell Werth, Part 1

Isabell Werth. Photo courtesy of Rolex.

Germany’s reigning dressage queen Isabell Werth is back in the show ring after giving birth to her first child Frederik in October. She’s agreed to answer some questions and give periodic updates as she prepares for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Read all about her typical training day, her rising stars and her plans for 2010.

Q. Could you describe a typical training day?

A. Since my son Frederik’s birth last year the day now starts with him! I then start with the horses at around 9 a.m., and I can ride about seven horses per day. The rest of the day is now usually based around the stable business and Frederik.

Q. How many horses do you have at the moment?

A. At the moment we have around about 40 horses under the saddle, so my whole team is very busy!

Q. Do you have any up-and-coming horses that you think are very promising?

A. I have two horses with a lot of potential and great futures. The first is El Santo who is a horse with a lot of hope—he competed in the FEI World Cup in Gothenburg, Sweden, in February, and I think he’s really talented; he did a great job there and also in Dortmund, Germany. The next horse is Don Johnson who is quite naughty at the moment, but he is an outstanding talent, and I hope I can bring him to the Grand Prix at the end of the year.

Q. Can you briefly explain El Santo’s and Don Johnson’s personalities?

With Ernie (El Santo) training is easy as he’s so uncomplicated and polite, and I would say he is the easiest horse at my stables. Don Johnson is a very strong character and needs a few more shows to increase his experience and calm down, so it is difficult for him to come to big showgrounds at the moment.

Q. What are your plans now that the indoor dressage season is over?

A. We have to prepare for the outdoor season at the beginning of May, and we will try to concentrate on the big shows, then come back in good shape and be prepared as best as possible for the World Equestrian Games in September 2010.

Q. Which shows have you got lined up between now and the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games?

A. The biggest show will be the Aachen CHIO in Germany, and then we have our National Championships in Münster. We have a lot of shows up until August, and then after the German Championships we have the team nominations, and we will see what’s going on then.

Q. Are you looking forward to London 2012?

A. Yes, it’s a big goal with one of the young ones, and Hannes (Warum Nicht) will be 16 then, so he’s a possibility. I think we will have a few options, and I hope we will be able to fight for the top places.

Isabell Werth, 40, has represented Germany in multiple Olympic Games, World Equestrian Games, European Championships and FEI World Cups. Most recently she won team and individual gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, she captured the 2007 World Cup Final in Las Vegas, Nev., and earned team and individual gold at the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany. She is a Rolex equestrian sports Testimonee.