Isabell Werth’s anniversary in Riyadh

Isabell Werth (GER) knows the FEI Dressage World Cup™ like no other, Riyadh will be her 25th World Cup™ Final. Photo by FEI/ Leanjo de Koster

Edited Press Release

Isabell Werth knows the FEI Dressage World Cup™ like no other, Riyadh will be her 25th World Cup™ Final. She has competed in the Final with nine different horses so far and won five times, Emilio will be her tenth partner in the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Final. The interview with the world’s most successful Dressage rider…

You’re aiming for your 25th FEI World Cup™ Final – that’s definitely the record. What do you say to that?
Isabell Werth: (laughs) I would say: What a great anniversary!

Emilio is 18, has been one of your Grand Prix horses for a good eight years and is taking part in the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Final for the first time. That’s quite an exceptional career…
Isabell Werth: That’s absolutely true, but Emilio is also an exceptional horse. If you say that horses have a seventh sense, then Emilio also has an eighth. He is so sensitive and has so much intuition. Horses need spirit and Emilio has incredible spirit and elasticity.

Riyadh will be the first Final for Emilio and with that he experiences another premiere…
Isabell Werth: That’s right, he will also be flying for the first time in his long career. But I am very optimistic that he will master it superbly and calmly.

Emilio competed in an international Grand Prix for the first time in 2015. Since then, he has competed in 96 international tests at Grand Prix level, won 56 times and, with one exception, has always scored more than 74 per cent. What do these figures do to you?
Isabell Werth: These figures make me proud because they emphasise my deep conviction, which I always tell people. My conviction that good Dressage sport goes hand in hand with good gymnastics and good gymnastics means that it is a maintenance measure for body and mind – for horses and humans alike.

The FEI Dressage World Cup™ is in its 37th season – how do you rate the importance of the series?
Isabell Werth: The World Cup™ was not so well accepted at the beginning but has now established itself as the highlight of the indoor season. It has contributed to the fact that Dressage now takes place all year round. If we look at the World Cup shows – for me it’s been Stuttgart, Basel and Amsterdam so far this season – they’ve all had full houses and the atmosphere has been gigantic! That speaks for itself.

The FEI World Cup™ Final is being held in the Arab world for the first time – what experiences have you had with the Arab countries so far?
Isabell Werth: I’ve been to the show in Doha twice so far, but I’ve never actually been to Saudi Arabia. So I’m very excited. It is good to see the development on the Saudi sporting scene specially in the equestrian disciplines where men and women compete on equal footing, it is a great development. I also think we can safely assume that our sport will be presented very well there and that we will find great conditions and I hope that we can perhaps inspire a few new Dressage fans. In any case, it is important that the sport of Dressage is presented as internationally as possible and I am looking forward to this further international experience.

Can you tell us which Freestyle you will be riding?
Isabell Werth: We’ll definitely stick to his tried and tested Freestyle to the music of Italian opera melodies by Puccini and Verdi. When I heard the music for the first time, I thought: That sounds like pizza music. But since then: Emilio and I love this music and the Freestyle!

The 2024 FEI World Cup™ Finals for dressage and jumping are scheduled to be held April 16–20, 2024