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Here are some of the highlights of my riding career…from the
very beginning .....
Since seeing the German Derby at the movies
at age nine I was determined to become a
jockey. I won my first race against ”Grind” the
horse that the year before won the Union
Race, in Germany, the equivalent to the U.S.
Preakness race..I received great comments in
the newspaper giving me high hopes at
becoming a great jockey.However, my dream
of becoming a great jockey came to a quick
end after growing suddenly and of course also
gaining weight, a sin for that profession.
I wanted to continue a career with horses and with the help from
Hans-Günter Winkler, Germanys foremost Olympian, I became
the first apprentice at the German Riding School in Warendorf.
The German Riding School in Warendorf is the most
important Riding School in Germany as it not only
trains, but there it tests all Bereiters and Trainers.
At this time it was under the direction of General
Niemack who was also the president of the German
Judges Association. I was very fortunate to be
trained by some of the very best in classical
The most important influence and love to the art of dressage
came from the “ great Master” Heinrich Boldt, father of Harry
Boldt multiple European-World- and Olympic champion , and
author of the book “ The Dressage Horse” which contains the
elemental theories of German classical Dressage.I didn’t know it
at the time, but I realized soon that his instruction was the
beginning of my fascination with dressage. I was most fortunate
to work with such a great man.
During this time I also worked with H.H.
Brinkmann who was one of the most renowned
jumping riders of the German cavalry and
German National Team. I also benefited to a
great extent from instructions by Albert Brandl
and Hans Biss.
Although my apprenticeship included training for all disciplines,
my concentration remained on Dressage. I received my Bereiter
FN License from the German Agriculture Ministry and the
German F.N. at the German Riding School in Warendorf. The
Deutsche Reitliche Vereinigung, or German F.N. is the national
Equestrian Federation and is responsible and governs all
disciplines of equestrian sports, breeding, and competitions.
During my years in Warendorf, I received numerous job offers
from several parts of Europe and abroad. However to advance
and solidify my education I worked for three more years under
the supervision and instruction of government recognized
Instructors in Berlin and Leverkusen, to further enhancing my
equestrian knowledge.I attribute my later success to the direction
and inspiration of my many gifted teachers.
I became one of the youngest Bereiter/Trainer in charge of a
Government regulated Riding School in Southern Germany. Due
to the success I had there with my students I received an
invitation by General Niemack the director of the German Riding
School in Warendorf to participate in a seminar reserved for
Riding Instructors FN in Warendorf. I was not only the youngest
participate but also the only Bereiter. It was a great honor and
helped me in getting more confidence for future responsibilities.
After training horses and riders for several years in various parts
in Germany I accepted a position in Vienna, Austria.
There I was successful in competing at Dressage shows and
Eventing. I established a good friendship with Johann Irbinger the
chief rider of the Spanish Riding School. He got me interested in
the airs above the ground and I learned a great deal from him. I
never expected that this knowledge would be of benefit to me
since those are not exercises requested at any dressage test.
Little did I know then that it would help me enormously later in
my life. I competed regularly at combined training and dressage
shows. I remember one anecdote, I competed at a Dressage
Show and looking at the starting list I thought that I should win
the test. Nevertheless, to my disappointment a young woman
won and I placed second. Years later that young woman become
world champion and gold medal winner at Olympic games, it
turned out to be Christine Stueckelberger.
My curiosity to work in other countries was awakened and I
decided to accept a position in Mexico City.
There I was quite successful in competing at FEI level dressage
shows including Grand Prix. I also competed successfully at
combined training shows against riders that rode at Pan American and
Olympic Games for Mexico.
I was on my way back to a new position in Germany
when I was told that there is a position open to train
riders and horses for the Royal Lipizzaner Stallion
Show. I accepted the challenge with very, very little
languages skills and suddenly I was in charge of
many riders and horses. Somehow, I managed and
unexpectedly I could utilize my knowledge of how to
train "airs above the ground" thanks to my friend
Chief rider J. Irbinger from the Spanish Riding
School. We also had a very successful trip to Mexico
where we performed for two weeks at the Arena
Mexico in Mexico City and then also performed in
Guadalajara. I had some unusual experiences making
several presentations with a Stallion at some well
known TV News and sport shows taking the horse in
a freight elevator up to the studios.
I stayed with the Show for five years during that
time I was in charge of training riders and horses,
choreographing the numbers, choice of music for
the show and later for a second unit of four riders
including myself. Another unique experience has
been to participate in a Macy's Thanksgiving
Parade and giving a 4 minutes performance on the
street in front of Macy's being on National TV
We performed at large State fairs including the
National Fair in Toronto Canada, where we
performed in front of twenty thousand people. In
contrast to the big arena show we performed to
taped music and our presentation lasted about 45
minutes consisting of a single number, a Pas de
Deux, a Pas de Trois, a Pas de Quatre, and "airs
above the ground". After five years , I decided
instead of continuing back to Germany going
back to Mexico. There I trained several of my
former and some new students to national
championships of all levels. Some of my students
later went on to compete at Pan American Games
and Olympic Games.
I accepted a very exciting offer from Vancouver, Canada to
train a young German speaking woman to compete at the
Olympic games in Munich. Unfortunately, after a couple months
they had financial problems and I decided to move back to
Europe. I truly enjoyed Vancouver but my English language skill
at that time was too basic to stay as an independent
After a break and adventures in the business
world, I am back now doing what I love most,
training horses and riders.