Rudolf Zeilinger Resigns as Danish Coach After 19 Years

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Rudolf Zeilinger with Danish team at Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. © 2016 Ridehesten
Rudolf Zeilinger with Danish team at Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. © 2016 Ridehesten

Oct. 26, 2016

Rudolf Zeilinger has resigned as coach of the Danish dressage team after 19 years in the post but will stay on to the European Championships next summer.

The German trainer who will be 53 years old in two weeks wants someone new to take over the coaching job next year, the Danish Equestrian Federation announced.

Rudolf, winner of the German Championships in 2001, coached the United States team before taking the job with Denmark.

“During Rudolf’s 19 years as coach,” the federation said in a statement, “the level and the number of athletes at the highest international level have increased significantly with medals at the European Championships, World Championships and Olympics.

“I have had 19 fantastic years as national coach of Denmark, and I am extremely happy to have been part of the development of Danish dressage,” he said. “It has been an exemplary collaboration with the federation and the coaching staff, which has resulted in good performance and a great development in Danish dressage.

“But here at the start to a new four-year period up to the Olympics in Tokyo, I find that the time is right for a new coach to take over and continue the development of Danish dressage sport.”

Jens-Erik Majlund, Danish federation general secretary , said: “During 19 years as national coach for our dressage team, Rudolf Zeilinger has lifted Danish dressage to be among the strongest dressage nations in the world. We have been extremely happy with the cooperation during all these years.

“From having just a handful of international Grand Prix riders back in 1997 when Rudolf started, we now have a very big group of riders competing at CDI shows all over the world. At almost every important CDI show in Europe, you will find Danish riders, not just competing but very often among the best-placed riders. During these years, Rudolf has done a fantastic job at clinics, shows and championships, our riders and trainers have developed and a lot of them have grown to be among the very best in the world.”

Among those cited by the federation as coached by Rudolf is Andreas Helgstrand, who won individual silver and bronze medals on Blue Hors Matine at the World Equestrian Games in 2006, team bronze at the Europeans in 1999 and 2001 and the Olympics in 2008.

“We are very grateful and feel lucky that we succeeded in having one of the best qualified and professional coaches in the world,” Jens-Erik said.