The example of Laura Klaphake shows how much riders depend on the owners of their horses. By selling her top horse Klaphake’s sporting career gets a dent. She is now facing a rebuilding.

Imagine, you are a world-class professional cyclist, but suddenly you can only compete on a Holland bike. Or you take your car away as a Formula 1 driver and put you in a VW Beetle. While most other athletes do not have to worry about not getting the best possible sports equipment available, many riders find that different. Because the horses they ride usually do not belong to themselves, but to stud owners, breeders or investor groups. They want to see their animals win, but many of them are interested in selling them at some point.

Ehning: “It was clear that will be sold”

For example, Germany’s top rider Laura Klaphake has been without a top horse since the beginning of the year because owner Paul Schockemöhle sold her exceptional mare “Catch me if you can” to the Czech entrepreneur Petr Kellner – as is rumored for a double-digit million amount. Kellner is multi-billionaire, according to Forbes’s richest man in the Czech Republic, and he supports and promotes his daughter Anna Kellnerova, who is also an ambitious show jumper. Klaphake’s second-best horse “Silverstone” had already been bought by Kellner from Schockemöhle a year earlier – also allegedly for a double-digit million amount.

Equitation Stuttgart Marcus Ehning (picture-alliance / dpa / S. Gollnow)

Marcus Ehning has a pragmatic view of the conditions in equestrian sport

For Germany’s front-runner Marcus Ehning these are normal events. The market and the prices for top horses, according to Ehning, have developed extremely in recent years: “There are more and more good horses and more and more good riders from different nations.” The demand is very high. ” However, only in rare cases, the riders themselves are the buyers of one of the top horses. “Most riders can not afford it.”

Even Ehnings three best show horses “Pret a Tout”, “Cornado” and “Comme il faut” are not his own. The 44-year-old has experienced several times in his career that his top horses were sold, but sees this pragmatically: “I’ve always been in favor of selling when it’s about so much money,” he says in a conversation with DW and takes “Catch me if you can” owner Schockemöhle almost a little in protection: “Paul Schockemöhle The mare could also have sold sooner, “says Ehning, who won the Nations Cup at the CHIO in Aachen last year alongside Klaphakes and won team bronze at the World Championships in Tryon . “So he gave Laura the opportunity to develop the horse.

Downgrade from the Olympic squad

For Laura Klaphake , the loss of “Catch me if you can” nonetheless means a kink in her career that was going very well. On “Catch me”, as she affectionately called her horse, she developed into an EM and World Cup rider for Germany, was a permanent member of the German Nations Cup team for two years and last but not least celebrated an emotional event at the team competition in Aachen last summer Success.
Understandably, she is now also emotional when it comes to her former horse. With the DW Klaphake does not want to talk about the loss of “catch me”, too deep sits the wound. “That was pretty hard for me,” the 25-year-old had previously told the trade magazine “Reiter Revue”: “First ‘Silverstone’ and now ‘Catch me’ That makes me incredibly sad.”

Riding CHIO Aachen Otto Becker (picture-alliance / Press photo Baumann / H. Britsch)

Show jumping coach Otto Becker believes that Laura Klaphake returns to the top of the world

Instead of the national squad rides Klaphake now initially only in the perspective squad. After the horse was sold and she did not have an equable horse, that was the logical consequence, “explained Jumping national coach Otto Becker the downgrade to the DW and analyzed the situation of his protégé as follows:” Laura must now She has some very promising horses, but of course they do not have the experience at this level and have to prove themselves. ” That, according to Becker, is a process that could take months or even several years: “You have to be lucky enough to find the right horses, and it’s a long way to take them to the top go again. ”

Three good news

The first good news from the perspective of Laura Klaphake: Her six current horses, of which she rides the ten-year-old “Bantou Balou” in the German perspective squad, represent significantly better “sports material” than the Holland bike and the VW Beetle from the somewhat extreme input examples.

Reitsport Aachen CHIO Laura Klaphake (picture-alliance / dpa / U. Anspach)New dream couple? Laura Klaphake on “Bantou Balou”

The second good news: With Otto Becker, she has a national coach at her side, who appreciates her qualities: “She is a good rider, also young, motivated and ambitious,” says Becker. “I am convinced that we will see her in the top sport for many years to come.”
And finally, the third and maybe the best news: Although all of their show horses are again Paul Schockemöhle, but has the rider in future more say when it comes to the question: sell or keep? This is confirmed by her father Joseph Klaphake to DW: “We hope that Laura’s young horses develop positively and one of them turns out to be a potential championship horse, in which case we have found a common arrangement, so that such a horse can also be considered Laura. ” There is a great chance that Laura Klaphake will once again bring a horse to the top of the world, but this time she will be allowed to continue riding.

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