For the first time in a long time, Isabell Werth is not going to the World Cup as a big favorite. Nevertheless, something can work for them - if Quantaz stays "chill". If he does that, Quantaz is the best horse in the German team. And the only one that has already cracked the magic 80 percent.
Everything depends on Quantaz. Sure, after all, the twelve-year-old stallion is one of the main actors in the three-part mini-series "Mission World Dressage Championships 2022". Its director is Isabell Werth, the most successful rider in history, decorated with seven Olympic gold medals and nine world championship titles. As already mentioned, Quantaz will decide whether a tenth will be added in Herning, Denmark. "If he pulls himself together and leaves the stallion ego outside, everything is possible," says Werth. In a nutshell: "Quantaz has to stay chilled."
The temperamental four-legged friend wasn't always like that in the past few weeks, so after the CHIO in Aachen it was time to rest. "A week paddock and meadow," Werth told the sports information service. "The most important thing for him is that he comes down." If he does that, Quantaz is the best horse in the German team, and the only one who has already cracked the magical 80 percent in the Grand Prix, the second most difficult dressage test. The world record is 87.460 percent, set in 2014 by British Charlotte Dujardin and her horse of the century, Valegro.
So if Quantaz is holding back his ego, Isabell Werth doesn't see the individual medals that will be awarded in the Grand Prix Special and in the Freestyle on Monday and Wednesday of next week as too far away. Should she nevertheless go empty-handed for the first time since Caen 2014, it would by no means be a drama for her. "It is clear that we are in a state of upheaval," she says: "Horses like Bella Rose, Dalera or Showtime, who easily scored over 80 percent in Tokyo, are missing in Herning."
Apart from local heroine Cathrine Dufour and her Vamos Amigos, for whom three gold medals are already on the platter in Herning, there are many surprise bags at the World Championships. However, the Olympic qualification for Paris 2024, the top priority of the German Equestrian Federation, will hardly be in danger. For this, the team of national coach Monica Theodorescu has to finish at least sixth place in the team decision at the weekend in the Grand Prix - and Isabell Werth is not concerned with such a result at all: "From first place to third place, everything is possible for us."
In addition to Werth and Quantaz, the team also includes eventing European champion Ingrid Klimke with Franziskus, two-time German runner-up Frederic Wandres with Duke of Britain and Benjamin Werndl with Famoso. All four horses are competing in an international dressage championship for the first time, and with the exception of Isabell Werth, this also applies to their three rider colleagues. "It's a very new situation," says Werth, "you have to wait patiently to see what comes out in the end. But there are great riders and great horses, and the others just boil with water."
With her heart horse Bella Rose, who enjoys an animal pension at home in Rheinberg, a medal would certainly have been possible in Herning. The mare only looked up briefly when she left for the training camp, says Werth: "She said: Bye, take care." And just bring a medal.