Dr. Uwe Schulten-Baumer, one of Greatest Dressage Trainers, Dead at Age of 88.

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Dr. Schulten-Baumer. © Raimund Hesse
Dr. Schulten-Baumer. © Raimund Hesse

RHEINBERG, Germany, Oct. 28, 2014–Dr. Uwe Schulten-Baumer, one of the greatest dressage trainers, died Tuesday at the age of 88.

“Der Doktor” (The Doctor), as he was nicknamed, was a former jumping and dressage rider who became internationally famous as the trainer and coach who worked with Nicole Uphoff and Isabell Werth, both winners of multiple Olympic team and individual gold medals.

He was born in Essen, Germany, the son of a farmer. He became interested in horses early in life and helped groom horses and learned to ride at a riding academy across from his school. After service in the Germany Navy in World War II, he first competed in international show jumping before switching to dressage in the 1950s.

As Dr. Schulten-Baumer worked fulltime in the steel and cement industry, he gave up competing to concentrate on training horses and dressage riders. Among his first students were Margit Otto-Crepin and Pia Lau of Italy.

In 1986, he began working with Nicole Uphoff who a year later first won a Grand Prix Special in Switzerland with Rembrandt and went on to win Olympic gold.

The same year he also began coaching Isabell Werth, whom he asked to ride his own horses, including Gigolo on whom she won four gold and two silver Olympic medals. He also owned and developed Satchmo that Isabell rode for Olympic gold in 2008.

The trainer-rider relationship lasted until 2001. Isabell continued to identify Der Doktor as one of the most significant influences on her career.

He trained his step daughter, Ellen, after Isabell moved on.j

Dr. Schulten-Baumer is considered by some to be the inventor of the controversial “deep and round” training method known as Rollkur, or hyperflexion, as a method of stretching and relaxation.

Awards to Dr. Schulten-Baumer included the title “Reitmeister” (Riding Master) in recognition of exceptional achievemenźs as well as numerous other accolades. He was twice proclaimed Trainer of the Year by the International Dressage Trainers’ Club,  (IDTC), the “Silbernes Pferd” (Silver Horse) from Aachen CHIO in 2005 for lifetime achievement, the German Rider’s Cross in Gold and in 2009 received the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Ludwig’s Pferdewelten, an online equestrian site, gave this description:

“The doctor, as all the world called him, was not necessarily a sociable guy, he did not like crowds, hated confinement… he had just a few real friends.

“He loved bright colors, at his home in Rheinberg everything was whitewashed, the stables, the house, the walls. He prayed for independence.

“Many years ago, a wealthy entrepreneur asked him if he would train his son and pushed a blank check on him with the remark that he should enter any amount he wanted. Schulten-Baumer declined.”