Germany’s 2008 Olympic individual eventing champion Marius Voigt-Logistik has been retired, aged 18.
Although the grey had not campaigned seriously since an injury in 2009, rider Hinrich Romeike had hoped to get him ready for London. But finding the Holsteiner less supple than previously, he decided to retire him healthy so he can enjoy a long retirement.
Marius became famous for his wonderful cross-country partnership with Hinrich, a dentist who competes as a hobby and so is a rare amateur rider in the world of top-class horsesport.
German eventing team manager Christopher Bartle told H&H in an interview in 2008: “Marius is a character so similar to Hini himself, the partnership fits like a hand in glove. They are both so chilled out, and particularly cross-country, whatever Hini thinks, Marius does.”
Hinrich’s appreciation of Marius’s generosity made for some fabulous quotes over the years.
“I turned him like a lawnmower and I don’t know how, but he managed to get over the rail,” he said of their dodgy moment at the Colt Pond at Badminton 2007 (the pair are pictured at the Lake, left).
And after another successful performance across country at Aachen in 2008, Hinrich said with a grin: “Marius seems to work like a machine – he sniffs the track and goes off like he’s after a fox. You could tie a mechanical ape on his back and I’m sure he would do it.”
Named after a singer
Marius was bred by the father of a friend of Hinrich’s, Hans-Werner Ritters, who also bred Ludger Beerbaum’s 1992 Olympic showjumping individual gold medallist Classic Touch.
The Ritters family suggested Hinrich take the horse on a two-week trial when the rider expressed an interest in buying him as a five-year-old and after three days Hinrich knew he wouldn’t be sending Marius back.
The Holsteiner-thoroughbred by Condrieu XX was named after the German singer Marius Muller Westernhagen.
“When he had his greatest hits he had a lot of hair and when Marius was at his breeders he was always a bit hairy and had very skinny legs, so that’s how he got his name,” explained Hinrich in an interview with H&H before the Games in 2008.
The suffix to his name – Voigt-Logistik – is a lorry transportation business run by Hinrich’s father-in-law.
“It was just for a joke, for fun,” said Hinrich, a devoted family man with three children with wife Susanne. “He likes it when ‘his’ horse does well and we like to do things as a family and have fun together.”
Hinrich and Marius contested six consecutive championships between 2003 and 2008, winning team gold at the 2006 World Equestrian Games in Aachen as well as double gold in Hong Kong at the 2008 Olympics (right). Apart from this, his best individual championship placings were two fifths, at both the Athens Olympics and the 2006 worlds. The only time Marius failed to complete a championship was when he had to be withdrawn due to a stifle injury before the final horse inspection at the Pratoni Europeans in 2007.
The pair were in the top 10 at three- and four-star 18 times, including finishing sixth at Badminton 2007 and winning Marbach CIC*** in 2006.
“This horse has such strong morals,” said Hinrich, meaning he always wanted to do the right thing and please his rider. “He never gives up and he is never frightened. Even when he hurts himself, he doesn’t become shy, he just says, ‘That was a shitty jump, let’s do it better next time.’ He’s very keen across country – he almost eats the obstacles.”