Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Hinrich Manuever: How Many Gold Fillings in Two Gold Medals? Ask Hinrich!

Germany's Hinrich Romeike is a dentist who trains his horse at night after work.

A gold medal. Now there's something you can sink your teeth into!

Two gold medals? All in an evening's work for the night rider from Germany.

Tonight's show jumping finals for the eventing at Hong Kong were held under the lights, so Hinrich Romeike and his horse Marius felt right at home.

The story of the 2008 Olympic gold individual medal is all the more extraordinary for the fact that Hinrich, who lives in Schleswig Holstein, is only an amateur. By day his time is spent in his dental clinic attending to his many patients so his riding is restricted to after-hours.

"I ride after work, about 6 or 6:30 p.m." he explained, "I'm lucky because I have a few horses and I have a great groom to help me." So how does a part-time 44-year-old rider manage to beat some of the greatest professionals in his sport in the world? "I don't know the answer to that" Hinrich replied, "I just do it."

He knows he has been gifted in his partnership with the magnificent gray Holsteiner, Marius. "He is the one who did it today, I didn't ride well. My horse never makes a mistake, but I make many... today however not too many!" he added. And he was thinking about his family and friends back in Germany.

"Tonight they are in my surgery with a big flat-screen TV watching this all happening and they will be drinking champagne--so why are we sitting here drinking water?" he quipped to the delight of his listeners.

The double gold medal winner is a charming man whose story can be taken to heart by many, many amateur riders. Well done, Hinrich!

Thanks to the FEI for assistance with this post.


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