Laura Klaphake put in a fantastic round for the German team this morning (Thursday, 20 September) in the Bank of America Merrill Lynch-sponsored showjumping at the World Equestrian Games (WEG).
But the 24-year-old’s cool performance for just one time-fault is even more impressive when you discover that she is not a professional rider.
“Riding is my hobby — I’m studying for a masters in real estate management,” explains Laura, who gained her undergraduate degree in international management and marketing two years ago.
Laura’s ride Catch Me If You Can OLD — a 10-year-old she has ridden since she was six — belongs to Paul Schockemöhle and she is able to juggle riding with her studies through the support of her family. Her mother Gaby shares the riding of Laura’s horses (she has five to eight at any one time) while her father Joseph has worked for the Schockemöhle operation throughout Laura’s life.
Laura has one more year of studying ahead of her and says she would like to combine riding and work in the future.
“Riding is my passion and I want to keep that passion and not have to earn a living with horses,” she said. “I’m not always motivated to study but then I go to the stables and that is my gift.”
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Laura has two younger brothers — 18-year-old Enno is a successful junior showjumper and was a pony team gold medallist in 2013 riding Pepper Ann 7, while her 22-year-old brother is a strong soccer player and is currently studying in Mexico. He is in Tryon supporting Laura.
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Horse & Hound’s bumper magazine reports from WEG will be in the issues dated 20 September (dressage and eventing) and 27 September (showjumping and para dressage).