Isabell Werth – profile

Isabell Werth (born 1969) is known as the uncrowned queen of dressage – and for good reason. She is the most decorated dressage rider in the world ever and has represented Germany at no less than six Olympic Games.

Queen of Dressage

Isabell Werth is one of the world’s most successful dressage riders and, as a six-time German Olympian, holds the record for the most Olympic medals won in equestrian sport. She also has nine gold medals from the World Championships and no less than 20 gold medals from the European Championships.

 Isabell Werth currently lives in Rheinberg, Germany, where she has run her own dressage stable since 2004.

Isabell Werth & Bella Rose 2

Isabell Werth completed her legal education in 2000. She worked for some years afterward as a lawyer and sponsorship coordinator respectively, until she took the leap and established her own dressage stable in 2004.

Took the jump to dressage

Werth was surrounded by horses from childhood on her parent’s farm, in fact, she was a very passionate showjumper and military rider before she finally donned the dressage dress and entered the top of the world rankings.

Werth rode Gigolo, owned by Uwe Schulten-Baumer, her coach from 1986 until 2001. On Gigolo, she won all her championships between 1992 and 2000, save for the 1999 European Championships in Arnheim, where she rode Anthony FRH. In 2006, she started riding Warum Nicht FRH at the international level and with him won the 2007 World Cup in Las Vegas. Warum Nicht retired in 2012.

Werth competed at the Olympic Games with Satchmo, who subsequently retired in November 2011. In 2010, Werth started riding El Santo at the international level and in 2016, Werth secured the ride on Weihegold Old, with whom she won the team gold medal and a silver medal in the Individual Dressage at the Rio Olympics.

Isabell Werth worked alongside Bates Australia to develop the Isabell Dressage Saddle available in Bates and Wintec.

A string of top horses

Over the years, Werth has had a string of top horses. Two of them who have really made their mark on world dressage are the recently retired Bella Rose 2 by Belissimo M and the 17-year-old Don Schufro daughter Weihegold OLD.

Not only that, there is a long list of star-studded horses in the Werth stable including Dsp Quantaz, Emilio 107, Den Haag 12, and Superb 2. The latter is one of her favorite prospects for the 2024 Olympics

Isabell Werth og Weihegold ni Amsterdam 2020 Foto: © FEI/Leanjo de Koster

Paris 2024

In the autumn of 2021, Werth announced that after the 2024 Paris Olympics, she will finally end her showjumping career. However, she will not leave the sport altogether, as she hopes to continue teaching and developing horses and riders, even if the show jacket will be hung up.

Results from major championships

Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1992 Barcelona Team dressage
Gold medal – first place 1996 Atlanta Team dressage
Gold medal – first place 1996 Atlanta Individual dressage
Gold medal – first place 2000 Sydney Team dressage
Gold medal – first place 2008 Beijing Team dressage
Gold medal – first place 2016 Rio de Janeiro Team dressage
Gold medal – first place 2020 Tokyo Team dressage
Silver medal – second place 1992 Barcelona Individual dressage
Silver medal – second place 2000 Sydney Individual dressage
Silver medal – second place 2008 Beijing Individual dressage
Silver medal – second place 2016 Rio de Janeiro Individual dressage
Silver medal – second place 2020 Tokyo Individual dressage

World Championships
Gold medal – first place 1994 The Hague Team dressage
Gold medal – first place 1994 The Hague Special dressage
Gold medal – first place 1998 Rome Team dressage
Gold medal – first place 1998 Rome Individual dressage
Gold medal – first place 2006 Aachen Team dressage
Gold medal – first place 2006 Aachen Special dressage
Gold medal – first place 2014 Normandy Team dressage
Gold medal – first place 2018 Tryon Team dressage
Gold medal – first place 2018 Tryon Special dressage
Bronze medal – third place 2006 Aachen Freestyle dressage
Bronze medal – third place 2010 Kentucky Team dressage

European Championships
Gold medal – first place 1989 Mondorf Team dressage
Gold medal – first place 1991 Donaueschingen Team dressage
Gold medal – first place 1991 Donaueschingen Special dressage
Gold medal – first place 1993 Lipica Team dressage
Gold medal – first place 1993 Lipica Special dressage
Gold medal – first place 1995 Mondorf Team dressage
Gold medal – first place 1995 Mondorf Individual dressage
Gold medal – first place 1997 Verden Team dressage
Gold medal – first place 1997 Verden Individual dressage
Gold medal – first place 1999 Arnhem Team dressage
Gold medal – first place 2001 Verden Team dressage
Gold medal – first place 2003 Hickstead Team dressage
Gold medal – first place 2007 La Mandria Special dressage
Gold medal – first place 2013 Herning Team dressage
Gold medal – first place 2017 Gothenburg Team dressage
Gold medal – first place 2017 Gothenburg Special dressage
Gold medal – first place 2017 Gothenburg Freestyle dressage
Gold medal – first place 2019 Rotterdam Team dressage
Gold medal – first place 2019 Rotterdam Special dressage
Gold medal – first place 2019 Rotterdam Freestyle dressage
Gold medal – first place 2021 Hagen Team dressage
Silver medal – second place 2007 La Mandria Freestyle dressage
Silver medal – second place 2007 La Mandria Team dressage
Silver medal – second place 2011 Rotterdam Team dressage
Silver medal – second place 2021 Hagen Special dressage
Bronze medal – third place 2015 Aachen Team dressage

Interview with Isabell Werth from World Cup Vilhelmsborg 2020