German dressage rider Isabell Werth put on a brave face while riding at the European Dressage Championships in Hagen, Germany. She surely had other things on her mind, as just before the competition it was revealed that her 17-year-old mare Bella Rose had just undergone emergency colic surgery.
Bella Rose, a 17-year-old Bellisimo mare, was the European Champion in 2019 and helped Werth take home Team Gold and Individual Silver at the Olympic Games in Tokyo this year. But the mares winning streak has been broken: Bella was rushed into emergency colic surgery the night before the European Championships in Hagen. Her owner Isabell Werth won Team Gold for Germany riding Weihegold OLD – while Bella Rose was fighting for her life. “Weihegold fought with us for Bella,” Werth said. “I am super happy.”
But, the medal was only of minor importance for Werth after an emotional night. ” These were special circumstances,” said the rider from Rheinberg: “I wasn’t particularly motivated this morning.” Bella Rose, the professed favourite horse of the record-breaking rider, was the only thing on her mind.
Bella Rose had been due to make one final competitive appearance at CHIO Aachen later this month, just before her retirement. It is unknown if the mare will be able to compete.
Source: Horse and Hound