We were recently in Germany to visit our new Team Horze rider, Benjamin Winter. One a sun-drenched morning we arrived at Benjamin’s training ground: The headquarters of the German Comittee of Riding (DOKR). Benjamin is part of Germany’s focus group for the Olympics, a prestigious and greatly sought after position amongst young riders in Germany.
As we arrive, 21-year old Benjamin comes out to meet us with a friendly smile. He has just been training one of his horses, and is about to train another, but stops to take the time to show us around. The centre is vast with beautiful indoor and outdoor facilities of every kind. “I feel really privileged to be part of such a great programme, with the best trainers and facilities in Germany and maximising my Olympic chances, and Germany’s chances for success”.
Benjamin takes us over to his favourite part of the centre: the eventing practise course. It is usually closed for visitors, but he grants us special permission to wander the breathtaking grounds. On the way over he tells us about a riding incident he once had, in which he hit his head very badly. There is no denying that eventing comes with all kinds of risks of injury, so we ask him why he does it. “The thrill of eventing can’t be beaten by anything! I grew up doing dressage and show jumping, but neither stuck the way eventing does with me. When I first tried it, I knew this was the discipline for me. It’s really important to be careful and face up to the risks within the sport, but if I am honest, it is part of what makes love it so much”.
Benjamin is a natural. By his second season in eventing, he had achieved 13th place as a senior at the European Championships. To qualify, he achieved 10th place the same year in the UK, and became the youngest rider to be competing at his age at the Under25 Challenge in Germany. And now his sights are set high. “I’ve always been a high aimer. The next one is an Olympic medal. Whether it be in one year or ten years, I’m going to work as hard as it takes to get there”.
For Benjamin’s full Rider Profile, and all our other Team Riders, Click here