The unstoppable Isabell

She's got an amazing track record and she has just added even more glory to it.

Isabell Werth and her winning smile (Image: Liz Gregg/FEI)

When she’s got her game face on, you ain’t messin’ with this lady. But this evening the sometimes seriously scary world no. 1, Germany’s Isabell Werth, really let her hair down during the prize-giving ceremony after clinching her third FEI World Cup Dressage title, drenching runner-up Laura Graves (USA) and third-placed British star Carl Hester in a fountain of champagne on the podium.

Isabell sprays Carl Hester with champagne after her win in the Grand Prix Freestyle Dressage at the FEI World Cup Finals in Omaha, Nebraska (Image: Jim Hollander/FEI)

“It’s special to win again after ten years; to come back with a different kind of horse and after a really great season. I’m very happy and I’m also thankful, because I know what it’s like to be downstairs, and I’m really happy and grateful to be upstairs again!”

Isabell has indeed experienced all the highs and lows that accompany a long and extraordinarily successful career. She is the most decorated equestrian athlete of all time.

Full of poise: Isabell Werth and Weihegold OLD (Image: Cara Grimshaw/FEI)

Chasing Laura Graves’ and Verdades’ 85.307 score, Isabelle and Weihegold were last into the arena, and cruised through a fabulous freestyle full of grace, poise and elegance, for the winning mark of 90.704.

Laura and had earlier created a frenzy of excitement by finishing her test with a spine-tingling extended trot – “I wanted to add a little surprise today and I think it paid off, and the crowd loved it!” she said after raising the roof of the Centurylink Centre. “I didn’t realise how badly I wanted to win. I said on Thursday I’d give it a run for the money, and today I thought, ‘oh I want that so badly’, but finishing second to the number one in the world still feels a lot like winning. This is my first time on a podium as an individual and that was very special. I won’t forget it, that’s for sure!”

Laura Graves and Verdades: a little surprise (Image: Cara Grimshaw/FEI)

Carl Hester was happy with his third place on Nip Tuck, who scored 83.757. “I think he gave his maximum, so I can’t be disappointed when he did his absolute best. He is so thin because he hasn’t eaten for a week. He’s really missing Valegro, who he’d normally be travelling with, and when he’s not there he frets. He has no-one to grab hold of, but he’ll have to get used to it. He’s been eating hay, at least, but you need some petrol to do these competitions. Alan (his groom) has had to hand-feed him for the last few days.”

Carl Hester and Nip Tuck: his absolute best (Image: Liz Gregg/FEI)