The choice of Werth’s horse, Bellissimo M daughter Bella Rose II has raised some eyebrows given the passing up of both Weihegold and Emilio in favour of the mare who Werth is backing as her top contender, despite what the rankings say.
Bella Rose 2 has returned to competition after nearly four years away from the ring due to injury.
She is so far unbeaten on comeback, but has not scored as highly as European gold medallist and twice World Cup victor Weihegold, with whom Werth is ranked number one in the world…with Emilio and Werth ranked second.
She also lies seventh on Don Johnson, so the inclusion of Bella Rose over Werth’s top horses is an interesting decision. Whether it pays off in Tryon remains to be seen, but one can never write off the queen of dressage.
Other interesting teams to follow include Great Britain, where both Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin have been named on promising young horses; Hawtins Delicato and MSJ Freestyle respectively.
Admittedly the horses are both young inexperienced at this level, but are being piloted by riders who could easily rock the boat. Unsurprisingly, Edward Gal has been named to the Dutch team on Glock’s Zonick, alongside Madeleine Witte-Vrees and Hans Peter Minderhoud.
Denmark have sadly lost their best chance at a medal after top performer and world number four Cathrine Dufour was forced to withdraw due to horse injury.
Sweden’s main contender would be Patrik Kittel, who has recently been training with Werth herself.
The French have taken a surprising stance by opting not to send a team to the Games.
Team USA features stalwart of the sport Steffen Peters as well as standout performer Laura Graves, who is currently ranked third in the world.
We would expect to see team Germany taking top honours, possibly followed by Great Britain or The Netherlands – but for now, the silver and bronze medallists are looking very tough to call.