Ulla Salzgeber, 2-Time Olympian for Germany, Declares End of International Competition Career at Age of 59

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Ulla Salzgeber and Rusty at the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

Sept. 23, 2017

Ulla Salzgeber, the two-time Olympian for Germany who dominated world dressage with her gelding Rusty at the turn of the century, has ended her international competition career at the age of 59.

Ulla and Rusty, a Latvian Warmblood, won team gold and individual silver and bronze medals at the Sydney 2000 and Athen 2004 Olympics, medaled at the 1998 and 2002 World Equestrian Games, the European Championships in 1997, 1999, 2001 and 2003 and was world No. 1 for at least 32 straight months.

She and Rusty were World Cup champions in 2001 and 2002 but were disqualified in 2003 when the horse tested positive for drugs after finishing first. Debbie McDonald and Brentina were awarded the title, the first pair from the United States to capture the annual championship.

Rusty died in 2013.

After Rusty’s retirement, the sole championship appearance by Ulla was at the 2011 World Cup Final on Herzruf’s Erbe where she took bronze.

Herzruf’s Erbe ridden by Ulla Salzgeber in the Rhinelander gelding’s last competition in 2015. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Ulla told the German Internet site Dressursport Deutschland: “When I look into my cupboard with the medals, I think of a very exciting, fulfilling and beautiful time. But now it is the younger one’s turn and I am now the one who helps the youngsters on their way to the top. I like to train madly and with great passion and I would like to use my time more for my students.”

She still has some talented horses in her stable that she said she wants give a chance at national level and with other riders, but ‘the time of international sport is over for me.”