Olympic Dressage: Ulla Salzgeber

May 28, 2012

One of the world’s most experienced and medal-adorned dressage riders has withdrawn her name and her horse from consideration for the German dressage team that will compete at the London 2012 Olympics. The German Federation and rider Ulla Salzgeber report that veteran team member Salzgeber has decided that her horse Herzruf’s Erbe is not prepared for London and that she won’t try for the team. “The decision has not been easy for me!” Salzgeber wrote on her web site, saying that she had nothing to add to the German Federation’s announcement. Salzgeber suggests that she will instead prepare for the 2013 indoor FEI Reem Acra World Cup series. The German Federation announcement attributed her absence to her heavy schedule as a professional trainer. Among Salzgeber’s accomplishments include team gold and individual silver medals at the 2004 Athens Olympics; team gold and individual bronze medals at the 2000 Sydney Oympics, and first-place World Cup Dressage Finals champion in 2002 and 2003. Salzgeber’s current international-level horse is Herzruf’s Erbe, a 12-year-old? chestnut Rhinelander with a bright white blaze. A few months after placing third in the FEI World Cup Finals, “Herzi” suddenly went lame at Aachen in 2009. Salzgeber dismounted in the ring and led her limping horse away. She rehabilitated the horse, giving credit to aqua therapy, and they have returned to competition at the highest level, with success at Munich in 2011. The German National Dressage Championships begin without the familiar faces of Ulla and Herzi on May 31 at Balve. Photo of Ulla Salzgeber schooling Herzruf’s Erbe by Adrian Falconianu. Inset photo courtesy of German Olympic Team.

Germany’s Ulla Salzgeber rode on her country’s gold medal dressage teams in Sydney in 2000 and in Athens in 2004. In between, she and her great horse Rusty, now retired, won two back-to-back FEI Dressage World Cups. She announced this week that she and her current high-scoring horse, Herzruf’s Erbe, shown here, will not try for a place on the German team for the London 2012 Olympics. Archive photo by Adrian Falconianu.


Fran Jurga is a freelance writer and editor from Gloucester, Massachusetts. Her blogs include The Jurga Report for EQUUS Magazine and War Horse News on the 2011 Steven Spielberg film. Fran is the founder of Hoofcare and Lameness Journal and writes a specialist Hoof Blog. You can follow Fran on Facebook and Twitter for more news about the horse world. In 2008, Fran wrote the WorldRides blog for the Hong Kong equestrian events of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the Discover WEG blog for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in 2010.

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