Christine Traurig Gets New Mount, “Best” Since Her 2000 Olympic Mount
9 years ago StraightArrow Comments Off on Christine Traurig Gets New Mount, “Best” Since Her 2000 Olympic Mount
By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
A recent chance encounter with a horse Christine Traurig admired as a youngster several years ago led to a Thanksgiving reunion and a prospect she describes as the “best” she has had since competing Etienne on the United States bronze medal team at the Olympics in Sydney in 2000.
She came across Louisdor again when she was visiting the stables at Voerde, Germany, of Jo Hinnemann, her longtime mentor, last year while looking for a horse for one of her California customers.
“I was not even thinking about something for myself,” said Christine who is based in Rancho Santa Fe near San Diego, “not even talked about it.”
Then, she saw the horse that had been at Jo Hinnemann’s barn when she trained there for six years after the Sydney Games but he went to the Westfalen auction and another home before returning recently for sale.
“It seems some good opportunities arise when something is right in front of you.”
She went home and talked about it with her customer, Janet Balmuth, and Michelle Leonard joined in financing the purchase and they formed a three-way partnership.
Christine flew back from Germany with the Westfalen gelding (Laurenzius x Eridana x Ehrentusch) now 11 years old, and after quarantine arrived at the Albert Court stables last Thanksgiving. Her friend, Günter Seidel, trains at the same facility.
“I’m very excited,” she said. “He’s a spectacular horse.”
Christine, now 55, grew up near Verden, Germany and rode young horses for her father, who was a breeder. She rode sale horses at the Hanoverian Ekite Auction before joining the stable of Holger Schmezer, who was the German national trainer and died unexpectedly in April, 2012.
She moved to the United States in 1982.
Christine rode Etienne on the U.S. team along with Susan Blinks, Günter Seidel and Robert Dover at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, winning the bronze medal and was named the U.S. Olympic Committee Female Equestrian Athlete of the Year.
She said she worked Louisdor with Jo Hinnemann for five days before flying home to California.
She plans to compete Louisdor at Prix St. Georges at a local San Diego show the first week of February as part of forging the partnership.
“He shows talent and potential for evertyhing,” she said, “but I will definitely keep him in the small tour this year and keep working on the Grand Prix movements. He is very impressive, big, with unbelievable scope, a beautiful trot, great canter and great walk. He is a horse that gets a little nervous so we first have to make him confident and relaxed at the small tour while proceeding to Grand Prix.
“I need to have a very personal relationship with the horse and that takes a lot of time to develop.
“I am so happy to have such a good horse It is for sure the best horse I have had since Etienne