Isabell Werth sets up camp in Aachen
Many-time Olympic gold medallist, World and European Champion and winner of the Deutsch Bank Prize at the CHIO Aachen – Isabell Werth, the most successful rider in the world holds many titles. She now has a new one: Head Coach Dressage of the CHIO Aachen CAMPUS Programme of Excellence. We spoke to her about this and current aspiring youngsters at her own yard.
Question: Will we purely experience you in the trainer role soon?
Isabell Werth (laughs): No, I enjoy riding myself too much. To find a horse, train it and then compete with it – is what drives me. I love developing a vision of a horse and then turning that into reality. The shows are then like the icing on top of the cake.
Question: Which of the aspiring youngsters in your yard are currently raising your hopes for the future?
Isabell Werth: Superb directly springs to mind there, a 9-year-old Surprice daughter, whom I won the qualifier for the Lousidor Prize with in Munich. She has incredible body feeling and rhythm. That is what impressed me at the first glance.
Question: The aspiring young talents of the CHIO Aachen CAMPUS are also impressed. Because with you they have the best, most successful and most famous trainer they could wish for. What was the deciding factor that persuaded you to become the Head Coach Dressage?
Isabell Werth: There are many reasons. On the one hand, at this level the project is also new territory for me and a very exciting task. It is however also important that the CHIO Aachen is the driving force behind it. Against this backdrop, the prospect of success if very high.
Question: What is the current status, are there any places left and who is allowed to take part?
Isabell Werth: We can already look back on a very successful first year with Jos Lansink, Head Coach of the Jumping programme – we are getting underway with the dressage in the autumn. There are still places left, we are currently scouting the applicants and deciding, who ultimately fulfils the prerequisites. The participants should be between 16 and 20 years old, ride at least at medium level, should have already notched up international victories or at least placings and have their own horse.
Question: How can you help them in concrete terms – it is not purely training-oriented, is it?
Isabell Werth: Although there are several international institutions that help Young Riders, Juniors and aspiring talents, some of them still don’t succeed in making it into top competition sport. They might not have the right horse or the right environment or simply don’t find the opportunity to draw attention to themselves. Of course, it is primarily about instruction, schooling and training in many areas. But also about establishing relationships. In this way, new combinations can arise or a new rider for a horse. But at the end of the day, it is initially about finding international talents, training them on with professional support to help them make it onto the top sporting circuit.