What makes a Champion?

This week German rider Isabel Werth won the European Dressage Championships. She also had the highest score, a PB for Isabel and her horse Bella Rose, in the Team competition. So…..Isabel is the European Dressage Champion. And it is not for the first time. This is the sixth time she is Champion. What makes a Champion? I think there are three important things.

Longevity. Winning one race in a record time or scoring a winning goal in an important game, or winning a championship once are all the signs of a talented athlete. But it takes more than that to be classed as a Champion. Isabel Werth is the most decorated equestrian athlete in the world. She has won Olympic, and World Championship medals, as well as multiple Championships. She has three, yes three horses in the FEI top ten ranked horse/rider combinations in the world. She is currently in first place, second place and sixth place. Isabel keeps coming back, riding different horses, and she keeps on winning.

Isabel Werth and Bella Rose World Equestrian Games, Tryon , 2018

Consistency. To be able to do so well on so many different horses over several decades makes it clear she is not just lucky, or just has a great horse.I have watched Isabel over two decades and I have seen her ride different horses, not easy ones either, and she is a consummate professional rider.

Champions’ Attitude. Having a Champions attitude does not mean having a big head and being impressed with yourself. It means complete dedication to your sport, the hours of practice, and the not so glamorous hard work that make it possible to get to the top. It means sacrificing a lot of your personal life and your time. It means having the courage to go out onto that skinny limb and risk it when you compete. Complete focus, endless patience, and the mettle that means you never, ever, give up. Five years ago Isabel’s horse, Bella Rose, had a difficult injury and it took four years for the mare to come back . Isabel had other horses, top horses, to ride but she never gave up on Bella Rose. Now the mare gives her everything she can in the competition ring. It is a Champion’s partnership.

Isabel and Bella Rose Gold Medal winners Tryon World Equestrian Games 2018

For me those are the things that make the real Champions. Congratulations Isabel and Bella Rose. Here is a video of her winning ride. It is edited to show just highlights but it really does not get better than this.

I hope you enjoyed that video. For me it is inspirational. This post is my response to the Fandango weekly challenge of Who Won the Week?

For me it is Isabel Werth!

Isabel Werth giving a Masterclass in Wellington
Florida March 2019

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23 responses to “What makes a Champion?”

  1. Jordan Faux Avatar

    I would also add mental toughness, often called “grit” or “reboundability”. So much of what you write about corresponds to my world in figure skating! One of my favorite sayings is “a setback is a set-up for a comeback” and it is oh-so important:) Great article!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      I love that saying! Thanks for sharing it.

      Like

  2. Amy Avatar

    The pingback did not make to my post site, maybe because you are not using wordpress. Could you send me your link of your framing post (in the comment section) if you don’t mind. I want our followers get to see your beautiful post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      Hmmm not sure why that did not work. I am on WordPress and when I click on the pingback it takes me to your “frame” post page. I put a link on in comments.

      Like

      1. Amy Avatar

        Sorry for the trouble. You can come to my comment section and see pingbacks showing there.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. anne leueen Avatar

          Yes I did and looked as some of the others. So interesting to see other’s responses and their lovley photos.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Gavin & Wyatt Avatar

    This is a wonderful conversation. The elements mentioned apply to so many walks of life. Thank so much for reminded us about these factors.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      You are most welcome. I’m glad you can relate!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Tina Schell Avatar

    A beautiful tribute Anne, the video is amazing. What a fantastic team they are. And what a record she holds. Wow!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      She is truly a GOAT ( greatest of all time) in dressage and equestrian sport. Thanks for commenting and also for taking the time to look at the video!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Tina Schell Avatar

        A GOAT – hah! That’s a new one on me Anne.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. anne leueen Avatar

          Roger Federer is often referred to as the GOAT of tennis. That’s where I got it from.

          Like

  5. Amy Avatar

    Thank you for the video link. The performance is amazing….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      Thank you for taking the time to look at the video. It is a masterclass in dressage really.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Amy Avatar

        So impressive! Thank you again!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. AYR Avatar

    A beautiful horse

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Subbashini Meenakshi Sundaram Avatar

    This is some different and unknown world to me. I always love reading and knowing about this from this place it gives happiness also inspiring. It is wonderful for me to know the love, dedication and hope you people have in you and your horses . (I didn’t see the video)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      Thank you for reading and commenting Subbashini. It is a different world from yours perhaps but there are similarities in all of our worlds that speak of common human experience.

      Like

  8. Just Tips and Stuff! Avatar
    Just Tips and Stuff!

    I agree!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. sandyjwhite Avatar

    And three key qualities that produce champions in life, as well!
    Loved the video, Anne.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      I agree Sandy. There is much in life that needs the Champions Attitude. Glad you liked the video. It really is the best of the best of dressage.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. cigarman501 Avatar

    There are many comparisons I would make between being a championship rider and a championship coach…or having championship teams. I would add one…Love. Love for the sport but more importantly love for the animals (players?) you are training.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      Yes! Thank you for this comment. You are so right. The love of riding and the love of horses. It is a passion really and without it there could be no joy and no Championship wins. I’m so glad you mentioned this.

      Like

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