November 2018 - Hail To the Queen
Written by CRM
Thursday, 01 November 2018 05:20


A weekend with Isabell Werth.

photos: Kim F. Miller

Reigning dressage queen Isabell Werth urged some of California’s top riders and horses to bring out every ounce of brilliance and perfection during the latest SH Productions Masterclass. It was held Oct.  13-14 at Ad Astra Stables, the base for Rebecca Rigdon and David Blake. The facility is lovely to begin with and was even more so gussied up with VIP tents and vendor booths ringing the dressage court.

It was just a month after the German superstar had earned yet more gold medals – this time team and individuals at the World Equestrian Games in Tyron in September. We thought she might have taken a break afterwards and might have been finishing a relaxed month in the States, but no, she’d flown in from Germany the Friday before the clinic and was headed home Sunday afternoon. “It was a short, quick trip,” she told us. “But it’s really nice out here.” The night before, she loved seeing seals on a nearby beach and having dinner with friends, likely some of the many German-born dressage stars that live nearby and were in attendance and often helping translate the rare word of English that wasn’t at the ready for her.

nov2018 isabell1Isabell WerthSaturday night featured a kick-off for the Second Adequan West Coast Dressage Festival. Starting Jan. 23 of next year, the four-week winter circuit will all take place at Galway Downs in Temecula, where one of four weeks was held last year: the rest were at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Also new this year are breaks of varying lengths between each show, and two additional weeks in the Fall, back-to-back starting in Nov. 14. All are 3* competitions, featuring major qualifying classes including five World Cup qualifiers.

Look for an in-depth report on Isabell’s clinic from our Dressage News & Views editor, Nan Meek, in our December issue.

nov2018 isabell2Northern California trainer/rider Susan Ighani, left, takes a Whidbey Tea break with friends and clients, Delanie Emmert and Joey Emmert Evans. The mother-daughter team operate the company, which is a founding sponsor of the Adequan West Coast Dressage Festival. Joey is an FEI-level dressage rider herself and Delanie enjoys trail riding.

nov2018 isabell3Nan Meek got her own pair of Foot Huggies during a break.

nov2018 isabell4Masterclass organizer Scott Hayes & Isabell select the winner of a drawing for $8,000 in ReitenRight Arena footing

nov2018 isabell5Craig Stanley, Guenter Siedel, Rebecca Rigdon, Mallory Thompson & Niki Clarke

nov2018 isabell6Niki Clarke & Coral Reef Scoobidooh

nov2018 isabell7Matt Cunningham & Ribéry 27

nov2018 isabell8Dawn White O’Connor & Four Winds Bailarino.

nov2018 isabell9Rebecca Rigdon & Iquem

nov2018 isabell10Claire Manhard & Wilfonia