Two olympic champions compete in lower franconia
The pferdefreunde lindenhof hambach mastered a major challenge by organizing the international eventing tournament and the bavarian championships for juniors/young riders. When even olympic, world and european champion michael jung, who won the two international competitions, praises the event, it's like a knighthood for the organizers.
"I am the michi", imagines the professional, with a baseball cap on his head and leaning relaxed on a landing jump. Sympathetic. "It was just a good time to offer a one-star and two-star test here. I think it is the first time that I am here in this area to ride", explains the 31-year-old.
The olympic champion sees the landing course with 26 obstacles and 30 jumps with a height of up to 1.15 meters and a depth of up to 1.80 meters as a challenge. "The combination of jump 6, the oak tree and the burste, is demanding. The land also. The mountainous terrain challenges the horses' physical condition. A good training for further examinations."
The master horse trainer trains young horses in the disciplines of dressage, jumping and landing. Those parts that are in demand in versatility. Complex training is important for michael jung. He adapts to each horse individually. For his rough victories there is no secret recipe. "When you see that the horses are successful, you know that you are on the right track."
Motivation is unbroken
Despite the many successes the motivation is unbroken. "A tournament like this is always an incentive for training at home. You can see what you have to work on." Michael jung does not run a commercial stable, but keeps the horses as long as it is possible and a progress is recognizable. "When you see that the limit has been reached, then a horse is sold once in a while."
We never rest on our laurels. "Basically, it always starts again from the beginning. My goal is to work steadily with the horses. You want to win a lot of competitions, you want to measure yourself against the competition in national prizes or in the world cup." The co-owner of a riding school appreciates the versatility of the challenge in the country. "The routes are never the same. It goes through the forest or over meadows, uphill and downhill. The speed, the action are unique here. At the water the horses are sometimes a little bit draggy." Just the jump to the water ditch was actually almost a problem. His horse "the dante took the jump too short, got stuck for a moment, stumbled, but was able to catch himself again and finally led michael jung to a safe victory.
Show director gerold ort, also chairman of the pferdefreunde lindenhof, was pleased about the prominent starter. "When we knew that michael jung and andreas dibowski were coming, we were very impressed and a little nervous. But we have mastered the challenge. Everything went well, which was only possible thanks to the many motivated helpers." And the chairman weib: "we can only do something like this if we have fun at work."
The chairman was particularly impressed by the many visitors on all days – and the performances of the professionals. "The dressage of michael jung and his horse 'der dante' was unique. A harmony. The spectators held their breath. One could have dropped a pin." Michael jung was even invited by the mayor to sign the golden book of the community. "It is not every day that you have such a prominent guest", says gerold ort. A highlight from a local perspective was the second place for kristina schmittfull from the riding and driving club sulzthal on "little lord at the bavarian championships for young riders.
In conversation with andreas dibowski
Andreas dibowski has been one of the best international eventers for more than a decade. His greatest success is certainly the team gold medal at the olympic games 2008. The 47-year-old master horse farmer from dohlen, near the luneburg heath, started with three horses and gave his very personal impression of the hamburg tournament.
How do you like the tournament?
I am here for the first time and from the first moment i was enthusiastic about this facility. Above all, the friendliness and helpfulness of the team on site are unique. A strong logistic is behind the event. There is always a lot to discuss with the organizer. And here are all open. That comes incredibly well ruber. Gerold ort has done a very good job with his people.
Why did you choose hambach as the venue for the tournament??
At the beginning of the year the show dates are announced, where also hambach was to be found. Furthermore, my riding colleague steffen maier was already here last year and recommended hambach. The date and the type of event just fit perfectly. I am here for the first time in the area of bavaria, pardon franconia (laughs). And i now know what makes the difference.
They are international at the start. What level is offered here?
More than standard. You can see that just by looking at the track. A lot of expertise and heart was put into it. I know that this region has certain problems with the soil, which is very hard here. But there has been a reaction to this, so that this is now well ready for use. I had checked the ground conditions and talked to the organizer beforehand. This year, I have already failed to start five times due to poor ground conditions. I am very consistent – for the sake of the horses. After all, they are our capital and I am not prepared to put their health at risk. I have never regretted leaving a tournament for that reason. Rather when I did not do it.
What constitutes versatility for you??
With versatility, the connection to the horse is much more intense. At the beginning of my career, versatility was more of a hobby. But one thing that was important to me and made me feel good. Since 1995 I have consistently ridden only versatility, because that is where I feel most comfortable. In versatility, much more attention is paid to the horse, which also comes closest to my understanding of riding, my philosophy.
What was a particularly emotional moment in your career??
I fell in a three-star cross-country competition in kreuth in 2004 and broke my shoulder – and still rode the next day. With one hand. The other I had tied under the jacket on the belly. Two years before I had a broken shoulder in a competition and had no chance to continue in the tournament where I had a good chance to be placed. I did not want to experience this situation again. I first tried out in the hall whether it was even possible to land with one hand and tied the reins together so that I could take off. It worked, and that was very moving.