Benjamin Werndl about World Cup success: ‘Worked towards it all life’

Benjamin Werndl about World Cup success: ‘Worked towards it all life’
Benjamin Werndl about World Cup success: ‘Worked towards it all life’

Benjamin Werndl has had a summer with big highlights. After already putting in very good performances in Aachen with Famoso (by Farewell III) and Daily Mirror (by Damon Hill), the rider from Aubenhausen set a new personal best all three days on his World Cup debut with Famoso and won with the team bronze. “It was exactly what I had been working towards all my life, but it was very emotional,” Werndl said of his first World Cup.

Through Nancy Versluis Borsboom

A day after the World Championships, Werndl, who runs a dressage stable in Aubenhausen with his sister Jessica von Bredow-Werndl, was back in the normal routine. “I came back the day after the World Championships and rode all the horses right away,” said the 38-year-old rider. “Which by the way, I missed a lot, I only rode one horse the whole time in Herning – that was very strange.”

Strenuous

Although Werndl only had to ride one horse at a time in Herning, it was a very strenuous time for him. “I had never been on a race that long before, that was really new to me, but it was especially very strenuous mentally,” says Werndl. “And then you ask yourself ‘Is this what I really want?’, to which I can answer a resounding yes, because this is exactly what I want to do and that’s what I’ve been working towards all my life. But it’s all really very emotional.”

Another dimension

Riding at a World Cup is a whole different dimension according to Werndl and you can’t compare it with another race. “At the World Cup I didn’t drive for myself, but there I drove for Germany. I had only experienced that for the first time in Aachen and that was just before the World Cup”, explains the rider. “The pressure I felt because of that, it didn’t come from outside, but you just feel that the pressure is there. That is new to me and that was exhausting, but also very cool. I would love to experience that again.”

Finally succeeded

Werndl’s attempts to join the German team failed each time until this summer, but did contribute to his personal development. “If you look at it closely, I have been preparing for this World Cup for twenty years and I have also learned a lot from that road here,” said the rider, who was able to enjoy the World Cup despite the pressure. “When it finally worked, it was really an explosion of joy, but I had to fight to get there.”

‘Famoso is a very special horse’

“Famoso has been a very special horse to me in the past and I have learned a lot from him. Its most special feature is its reliability. The Freestyle in Herning, for example, was also new to him. I already noticed in Aachen in the Deutsche Bank Stadium during the Spécial that Famoso thought: ‘What is going on here?’ It was our first time and in that particularly difficult situation, he listened more than ever,” said Werndl. “That was also the case in the Freestyle on Sunday and also in Herning. The crazier the atmosphere, the more he listens to me. That is an incredible asset, because there are also horses that do the opposite. In addition, he has exceptional qualities, especially his piaffe and passage, which are world class.”

Read the entire interview with Benjamin Werndl here

Source: CHIO

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