EQUESTRIAN Preview: Werth and Madden to defend World Cup Final in Dressage and Jumping in Gotebotg

American Beezie Madden winning her second World Cup Jumping title in 2018 (Photo: FEI/Liz Gregg)

The climactic annual competitions in the worlds of Dressage and Jumping come this weekend in Goteborg (SWE) with the FEI World Cup Finals, as part of the Goteborg Horse Show.

Equestrian is primarily contested in regional leagues, especially in Europe and the Middle East, and so the only major worldwide event annually in Dressage and Jumping are the World Cup Finals.

These are celebrated competitions, that began in 1979 for Jumping – in Goteborg – and 1986 for Dressage. The schedule:

4 April: World Cup Jumping I
5 April: World Cup Jumping II; World Cup Dressage Grand Prix
6 April: World Cup Dressage Grand Prix Freestyle
7 April: World Cup Jumping Final

In the Dressage World Cup Final, there are 18 qualified athletes from 12 countries, including five returning medalists:

● Isabell Werth (GER) ~ 1992-2007-17-18 champion + seven other medals!
● Helen Langehanenberg (GER) ~ 2013 champion, 2012-14 silver medalist
● Hans Peter Minderhoud (NED) ~ 2016 champion
● Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven (SWE) ~ 2016 silver medalist
Laura Graves (USA) ~ 2017 and 2018 silver medalist

In the Jumping World Cup Final, a total of 34 athletes from 18 countries are entered, including eight returning medal winners:

● Kevin Staut (FRA) ~ 2013 World Cup bronze medalist
● Christian Ahlmann (GER) ~ 2011 World Cup champion
● Daniel Deusser (GER) ~ 2014 World Cup champion; 2007 silver; 2016 bronze
● Ludger Beerbaum (GER) ~ 2010 and 2014 World Cup silver medalist
● Steve Guerdat (SUI) ~ 2015-16 World Cup champion; 2012-13 silver; 2007 bronze
● Henrik van Eckermann (SWE) ~ 2017-18 World Cup bronze medalist
Beezie Madden (USA) ~ 2013 and 2018 World Cup champion
Devin Ryan (USA) ~ 2018 World Cup silver medalist

Embed from Getty Images

It’s astonishing to think that Werth (pictured above), now 49, is still at the top of the Dressage world, but she will be trying for her fifth World Cup title, dating all the way back to 1992. She won her first major international title way back in 1989 with the European Championship! She owns six Olympic gold medals (1992-2016) and four silvers, plus nine World Championships golds, spanning 1994-2018. Amazing.

The World Cup Finals are being held in conjunction with the Goteborg Horse Show, which includes many additional events.

Prize money is substantial, at about €1.3 million for each competition. Look for results here.